By Evelyn Spence of Council Bluffs, Iowa, USA
First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for everyone…so that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and dignity. 1 Timothy 2:1–2, adapted
Ah…serenity! During my career as a teacher, I seldom experienced serenity. But when opportunities were presented, I took advantage of them. In Iowa, when citizens are going to face ice or snow that make road travel perilous…Voila! A snow day! Having a day off from school is as welcome to teachers as to students.
One year, well ahead of an incoming storm, I bought navy beans, ham hocks, and crackers and made sure I had my dessert ingredients. I started my soup and my favorite chocolate cake. As I cooked, I prayed for the safety of those who traveled. I meditated and prayed for those sick or in pain. Later in the day I relaxed and read in the peace and quiet of my home.
Just before noon, my working daughter called. “Do you have power? We are without electricity, and the furnace isn’t running.” My granddaughters, ages 9 and 11, were at home and were cold. My daughter brought them over in her four-wheel-drive vehicle. Her family, my husband, and I enjoyed the evening meal together. By bedtime their electricity had been restored.
That year serenity encompassed family time, as well as prayerful hours. Now retired, I still seek days when I can feel such serenity…quiet, peaceful, with the assurance of the well-being of my family, and the assurance of the presence of the Lord.
Prayer for Peace:
Thank you, God, for silence—deliberate, yet without tedium. Thank you for serenity—stillness, without feelings of guilt. Thank you for solitude—just enough, without being lonely. Thank you for peace of mind—may we share it with the world.
Spiritual Practice for the Week: Growing a Gracious, Generous Heart
Each day this week open your heart to God’s grace and generosity with a “breath prayer.” Let your breath slow and deepen. Be aware of God’s breath moving in and out of your heart. Spend several minutes focusing on breathing in God’s generosity. With each breath, silently name one gift for which you are thankful. “God, I breathe in the gift of with thanks.” Let your heart expand to contain God’s gracious outpouring.
With each breath out, name one gift you want to share from the overflow of your heart.
Eternal joy and peace await those who grow in the grace of generosity that flows from compassionate hearts. Doctrine and Covenants 163:9
Today, God, any moments of serenity, I will share with you.