Abiding in God's Peace When You’re at War with the Enemy | alyssajhoward.com

Abiding in God’s Peace When You’re at War with the Enemy

The Bible is clear. There is an enemy, and he has his mind-set on destroying your ability to be who God created you to be. He whispers lies, distorts the truth, and attempts to steal our joy and peace any chance he can get. In fact, I think it’s safe to say that we’re never NOT at war with the enemy. But truth be told, some battles are more difficult than others. I say this from personal experience… some battles are rough.

As children of God, we are called to abide in God’s peace no matter what the circumstance. But how do we abide in peace in the middle of a war? Continue Reading

How to Trade Your Stress for God's Peace | alyssajhoward.com

How to Trade Your Stress for God’s Peace

Pressure. Tension. Strain. We’ve all been there… when either the demands of others or the demands we place on ourselves cause stress in our lives. In previous posts from this series, we’ve dealt with finding God’s peace in the chaos of life and when you’re emotionally exhausted. But stress… stress is different. When I was in college, we were required to take a course on stress management. My main takeaway was that stress is inevitable. It’s a part of life. And in the end, it’s what we do with stress that matters most.  Continue Reading

3 Ways to Fight Fear and Rest in the Peace of God

Fear is something that most of us consider to be a normal part of being human. It’s a natural emotion, one that we often can’t control. From birth, we instinctively feel fear in various situations. Yet, most of us also know that fear can be unhealthy and that some fears need to be dealt with head-on. Take, for example, a young child who’s afraid to go to school for the first time. It’s only natural for that child to be nervous or afraid, but at some point, they will need to face that fear in order to learn and grow. So how do we fight fear? And how do we know which fears are good for us and which fears will harm us in the long run? Continue Reading

Encountering God’s Peace When You’re Emotionally Tired

I have to admit something… I am emotionally tired. As I sit here to write today’s post in our 31 days series on God’s peace, I feel like I’m speaking to myself more than anything. It’s hard to cope sometimes when all you want to do is curl up on the couch and sleep. Not from physical exhaustion, but from emotional exhaustion. It’s hard to always keep up with life’s demands. We have children to raise, houses to clean, jobs to go to, and through it all, we have to maintain healthy relationships with our spouses, family, and friends. And as much as I love writing, the demands of blogging are far more than I could have ever imagined. (Don’t worry… I love it too much to go anywhere!)

So what are we to do when we are too emotionally tired to get the stuff done that needs to be done?  Continue Reading

How to Experience Peace When the World is Falling Apart | alyssajhoward.com

How to Experience Peace When the World is Falling Apart

The sky is falling! The sky is falling! If you’re anything like me, this is exactly how you feel after watching the news. Our world seems to be utterly broken with little to no hope. And as a young woman living in a small town, I feel completely small and helpless. If there isn’t a natural disaster, there’s a terrorist attack. If there isn’t a terrorist attack, there’s a mass shooting. And if there isn’t a mass shooting, there’s a political scandal. What do we do when the world is falling apart? Continue Reading

How to Keep Peace on Social Media (and why it's essential to your faith) | alyssajhoward.com

How to Keep Peace on Social Media (and why it’s essential to your faith)

Since I began this series on God’s peace beyond understanding, I have both anticipated and dreaded this particular post. If I’m being honest, it was social media that first inspired this series. Our culture is most certainly at war… one that is readily seen online. We fight battles each and every day from the comfort of our own homes and often anonymously. Is it even possible to keep peace on social media?

I wish I could say that I only saw this sort of thing from those who don’t claim Christianity. But unfortunately, I can’t. In fact, some of the cruelest things I’ve seen online come from those who subscribe to a faith that is supposed to be based on God’s love… a faith that should be known for its morals and integrity. Continue Reading

Finding Peace in the Chaos (when life is crazy busy) | alyssajhoward.com

Finding Peace in the Chaos (when life is crazy busy)

When your life is crazy busy, how do you cope? How do you survive? No really. I want to know. Chaotic lives seem to be the norm these days. We are a culture on the go. Everything needs to be handed to us in less than five minutes. Why? Because time is valuable. And none of us seem to have enough of it.

When did it get this bad? Take moms for example. We are no longer allowed to be just good and caring moms who love and raise our children well. We have to excel at planning activities, packing extravagant school lunches, coordinating insane schedules, cooking like a gourmet chef, and planning themed birthday parties that are over the top and ultra creative. How do we find time to be moms (or decent wives) in the midst of all this coordinating and planning? Continue Reading

4 Ways to Experience Peace in the Workplace

Jobs come and go. If we’re lucky, we will end up in a career we love. For the rest of us, our jobs simply provide a source of income. Wherever you fall on that spectrum, our jobs matter. We give a huge portion of our time to them. Even if we hate our jobs, they still matter. Why? Because our jobs do far more than put food on the table. We build careers, learn new skills, and form relationships. And truth be told, peace in the workplace is essential because our jobs are such a huge part of our lives and our personal ministries. Continue Reading

No Longer United: How to Have Peace in the Body of Christ | alyssajhoward.com

No Longer United: How to Have Peace in the Body of Christ

Scrolling through my newsfeed, it’s pretty clear that we are far from united. And I’m not just talking about our country… I’m speaking of the church. This division isn’t new. Our church has always faced divisiveness; so much so that Jesus prayed for our unity shortly before His death and resurrection. He KNEW that we would struggle to be united. The good news is that peace in the body of Christ is possible through the Holy Spirit. We need to be united in Him. But how do we do that when we all have our varying theologies and ideals? How on earth are we supposed to get along? Continue Reading

How to Have Peace When a Loved One Doesn’t Know Jesus

One look at the title of this blog post and you’re probably thinking to yourself, “No way. Not possible.” Is it really possible to have peace when a loved one doesn’t know Jesus? Well, it may depend on your definition of peace… For the Believer, following Christ is a matter of life or death. Knowing that a loved one has rejected Jesus is not only difficult emotionally, but it can also cause strain on your relationship with that person. You so desperately want them to know God’s love the way you do, but they want nothing to do with it. Trust me when I say that I understand… it’s hard. Continue Reading

How to Have Peace When It Comes to Your Friendships | alyssajhoward.com

How to Have Peace When It Comes to Your Friendships

From an early age, we all seem to have a desire to make friends. Even my young daughters crave relationships in their lives outside of their immediate family. As we grow older, however, we learn that friendships can be both rewarding and painful. Experiencing peace when it comes to your friendships is sometimes easier said than done. Continue Reading

4 Truths That Will Transform Your Budget (and provide peace of mind)

Before my husband and I were married, we took a well-known course concerning our finances. We learned all of the best ways to plan a budget and save for retirement. And while all of it was wonderful and practical, I couldn’t help but wonder if, in all our financial planning, we’d forgotten how much the Bible has to say about the matter. Nothing this course taught was unbiblical. In fact, the teacher himself was a Christian. But the truth is that no financial planner or well-executed budget can prepare us for every life event. We plan and prepare, but no amount of planning will give us true peace when it comes to our money. Continue Reading

Why Stewardship Plays a Significant Role in Financial Peace

Money is one of the most difficult topics to discuss in the church. Why is that? After all, money is universal to everyone. Seriously… everyone on the planet uses some form of exchange system to buy and sell. Yet for some reason, we get really uncomfortable. Perhaps it has to do with ownership. We all feel inclined to believe that our money belongs to us alone. We get to decide what to do with it. And to some extent, that is true. God cares deeply about ownership. In fact, many of the laws He gave Israel in the Old Testament placed an emphasis on rightful ownership. But in other ways, we need to remember where our true treasure lies. The things of this world are just things, and in the end, it all belongs to the Creator. As Christians, we are called to stewardship rather than ownership. Continue Reading

3 Ways That Giving Will Increase Your Financial Peace

Would you consider yourself to be a giving person? I’m not talking about making charitable donations or giving to your church, but rather the overall picture. Many will give to things they believe in or give in their abundance. But “givers” are a different breed. They naturally give of themselves in every circumstance. Givers have no problem surrendering their time, their skills, and their resources to meet a need in someone else’s life. And while many of us have no problem giving in our abundance, givers make sacrifices. They give even when it’s hard. Some would say it’s not financially smart to sacrificially give, but what if I told you that being a giver would increase your financial peace? Continue Reading

How to Keep Peace When It Comes to Your Family | alyssajhoward.com

How to Keep Peace When It Comes to Your Family

You don’t get to choose your family. I can clearly see this truth in my daughters. When my youngest daughter was born, she was born into an already established family with a built-in big sister who didn’t like her much at first! Now, they love each other. They fight like sisters naturally do, yes. But they miss each other desperately when they’re apart.

As we grow older, our families become more complicated. We gain more and more extended family members, and people go through “phases” of life that can sometimes be not so pleasant to witness or endure. Unfortunately, tragedy can strike, bad decisions are occasionally made, and feelings are sometimes hurt. So what then? How do we handle these things as a family? How do we keep peace as Christians? Continue Reading