One Single, Magical Sentence

One Single, Magical Sentence

Serenity through understanding importance and difference of acceptance and courage
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"Grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to do the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference." -Reinhold Niebuhr

When I was growing up, my father loved to provide me with his favorite philosophical quotes when they applied to a situation occurring in my life. In my younger years, I would roll my eyes and say something along the lines of "answer my question" or make fun of him. One of the most recurring phrases I heard, however, was the Serenity Prayer.

Difficulties in our day to day lives are inevitable. The reality is there are many situations and stressors that we can't just fix or get rid of. Sometimes change happens and we are put in discomfort that challenges us to grow. There are times that I get caught up in my anxiety, emotions, and fear.

Often, I find the Serenity Prayer repeating in my mind and never fails to calm me. I would argue that the Serenity Prayer, though short, can apply to about any problem that presents itself to you.

As I reflect now, I think my dad may not have been so annoying after all. Having the prayer as a reminder to "accept the things I cannot change,” provides a feeling of freedom and peace whenever I cannot change a situation.

At times, there are dilemmas in our days in which we know the right things to do, yet, the right thing to do isn't the most appealing. This is why the second part of the prayer requests "courage to change the things I can."

The final portion of the prayer, which always gives me chills, is the most important part to pay attention to. "And the wisdom to know the difference." Sometimes courage to change something won't help you. If your dog dies, the peace of accepting the circumstance, no made how hard, will ultimately help you.

If you have to tell a friend something you know they really won't want to hear, you need to act rather than accept. This courage to be vulnerable and take a chance at the right time is wisdom. This ability to accept that you can only change yourself is wisdom.

The serenity prayer suggests a sense of a wise temperament and how to "pick your battles." Many recovery groups, such as AA (Alcoholics Anonymous) or NA (Narcotics Anonymous), repeat this phrase each meeting as a means of providing perspective for the group members when telling their stories. I believe that these values can be applied to each and every conflict that exists in each of our days.

Next time you are stressed, angry, hurt, or having trouble making a decision, try repeating this quote to yourself. Hopefully, you will find that wisdom to know the difference.

Cover Image Credit: Photo by Nghia Le on Unsplash

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17 Empowering Bible Verses For Women

You go, girl.
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We all have those days where we let the negative thoughts that we're "not good enough," "not pretty enough" or "not smart enough" invade our minds. It's easy to lose hope in these situations and to feel like it would be easier to just give up. However, the Bible reminds us that these things that we tell ourselves are not true and it gives us the affirmations that we need. Let these verses give you the power and motivation that you're lacking.

1. Proverbs 31:25

"She is clothed with strength and dignity and she laughs without fear of the future."

2. Psalm 46:5

"God is within her, she will not fall."

3. Luke 1:45

"Blessed is she who believed that the Lord would fulfill His promises to her."

4. Proverbs 31:17

"She is energetic and strong, a hard worker."

5. Psalm 28:7

"The Lord is my strength and my shield."

6. Proverbs 11:16

"A gracious woman gains respect, but ruthless men gain only wealth."

7. Joshua 1:9

"Be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go."

8. Proverbs 31:30

"Charm is deceptive, and beauty does not last; but a woman who fears the Lord will be greatly praised."

9. 1 Corinthians 15:10

"By the grace of God, I am what I am."

10. Proverbs 31:26

"When she speaks, her words are wise, and she gives instructions with kindness."

11. Psalm 139:14

"I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made."

12. 1 Peter 3:3-4

"Don't be concerned about the outward beauty of fancy hairstyles, expensive jewelry, or beautiful clothes. You should clothe yourselves instead with the beauty that comes from within, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is so precious to God."

13. Colossians 2:10

"And in Christ you have been brought to fullness."

14. 2 Timothy 1:7

"For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline."

15. Jeremiah 29:11

"'For I know the plans I have for you,' says the Lord. 'They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.'"

16. Exodus 14:14

"The Lord himself will fight for you. Just stay calm."

17. Song of Songs 4:7

"You are altogether beautiful, my darling, beautiful in every way."

Next time you're feeling discouraged or weak, come back to these verses and use them to give you the strength and power that you need to conquer your battles.

Cover Image Credit: Julia Waterbury

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Where Is The Good In Good Friday?

The million dollar question: why is it called Good Friday if what happened to Jesus on this day was so gruesome?

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The name of this holiday and what happened on this day all those years ago just don't seem to add up. Jesus was beaten, mocked, and scorned. He hung on a cross with nails driven through his hands and his feet. He had to struggle for every breath of air up until his last one. This doesn't seem to fit our definition of good, So why do we call it Good Friday?

Perhaps the reason for the name of this day is not because what Jesus had to go through was good, but because what was to come was. When Jesus died on the cross, nobody who loved Jesus at that time perceived that moment as good. There was so much sorrow and hurt and darkness literally fell over the earth. They had no idea that on the third day Jesus would conquer death and raise from the dead.

Good Friday is good in the eyes of Christians because without that gruesome death Jesus went through on the cross, we would never be able to experience life with Him. When Christ died, the veil of the temple was torn in two, thus erasing the separation between God and man. We wouldn't have His holy spirit living inside of us without His death.

Another reason Good Friday is good is because His death had to occur in order for the resurrection to happen. The resurrection happened on the third day, the day we also know as Easter. This is a day of great celebration because we perceive the fact that Jesus defeated death and came back to life as a good thing. It makes you wonder why it's not called "Good Sunday". This celebrated resurrection could not have happened without the gruesome death, which Jesus knew as He was hanging on that cross.

While it's difficult to give a definitive answer to the question of why Good Friday is, in fact, good, I hope this provides a little bit of perspective. On this day, let's remember Jesus' death and celebrate because of what it means. When Jesus died, so did our sin and shame, but unlike Jesus, they did not come back to life. The death of Jesus means the death of sin and the death of the shame that accompanies it.

Let's celebrate Jesus and that good news on this Good Friday!

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