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“Peace in the Morning” by Paula Nilsen.
5 Ways to Introduce Peace into Your Morning Routine
To find peace amid unrest, I follow the same rules I use for creating. Since I find the creative process extremely difficult and unnatural, I have rules set in place to help me create. When I begin writing, a million other activities vie for my attention (e.g., cleaning under the stove, shining the sinks, making cookies, eating chocolate chips straight from the bag, banging my head against a wall). The list goes on.

To create I must train my brain to maintain a measure of focus; I use this same process to maintain peace in my life amid unrest. Here’s how I start this process:
I thank God daily for His Spirit in my life. (See Acts 2:38, 39.)
I anoint my head with oil as I pray. OK, so I just started this routine with COVID-19 invading the United States. I ask God to anoint my mind for the task at hand. As a writer I want to be productive during this time of unrest.
I write in my gratitude journal. I can only write/create from a thankful heart.
I breathe in fresh air. Sometimes it’s just standing on my balcony for a few minutes; although, on the days I go for a quick walk, my brain is better engaged.
I meditate on Scripture for just a few minutes before I write. (Consider Psalm 29:11, 34:14; Jeremiah 29:11; John 14.)
After I make my way through this list, I start to write; after I incorporate all of this, I feel peace.

2 Ways to Avoid Introducing Turmoil into Morning Routines
I avoid Facebook, Instagram, email, and news outlets first thing in the morning. My mornings are reserved for Jesus, creating, and coffee.
Recently I broke this rule. I opened Facebook at 6 a.m. and a post nearly ruined my morning and caused the worst case of longing—I’ll call it a mild case of coveting. Coveting, I’m sure, begins with comparison. I compared my current moment to the person’s tiny snapshot of his/her life. It made me crabby and my work difficult. Until I remembered one of my other cardinal rules for life: Name that emotion. It began here: jealousy.

It ended here: I opened my thankfulness journal and began writing. Near disaster averted.
Don’t ruminate all day, every day. OK, if you have to worry (How incredibly human of you!), schedule a time to worry. I first learned about this concept from one of my favorite authors, Gretchen Rubin. It works for me.
And that’s my to-do and not-to-do list for coping with the stress of COVID-19 and introducing peace into my morning routine.

Dear reader, I encourage you to reach out amid turmoil. It’s easy to feel alone during these times, but remember we all share in this same story that is unfolding; we are not alone. I gain comfort from this knowledge.

May you be filled with His peace today.
( Information from: Sisters Newsletter – UPCI Ladies Ministries – sisters@upci.org )

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