Put First Things First

Imagine a beautiful breakfast of gluten-free banana pancakes with a side of juicy ripe peaches, Greek yogurt, and sprouted pumpkin seeds. Does it sound good? Well, it was! I made the pancakes using a recipe from the cookbook Everyday Detox, which my hubby gave me this past Christmas.

Despite the tastiness of my meal, I couldn’t really appreciate it because my mind was occupied with my list of to-dos for the day and week. Even though I was present in my body, my mind and spirit were far away ruminating. I had hopped on the hamster wheel and was running my little heart out. The inner stillness and mental peace that I had a moment before slowly morphed into a building tension that affected my body. I could feel my shoulders tightening and rising up to my ears. Can you relate?

Then, before I could get too bent out of shape, I felt a little inner tug to meditate. Immediately, I accepted the helpful idea that the Spirit had planted in my heart and went to the Abide app on my phone. The sound of the gentle music and the deep soothing voice of the narrator reminded me to breathe. In a matter of two minutes, the chains of my mental stress were broken. After meditating, I naturally shifted into a time of centering prayer. However, instead of focusing on one word, I focused on a phrase that came from my meditation.

It’s in His hands.

As I repeated these words and breathed deeply, the names of friends, family, coworkers, and acquaintances started to fill my head. Why were all these names coming to mind? I realized that I was carrying burdens from my interactions with them, and I needed to let them go. One by one I handed these people over to my Maker. Tears of relief and pain quietly streamed down my face and the tightness in my shoulders melted away.

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay 

When new names ceased to come to mind, I felt an inner tug to do some journaling, so I listened to this direction that I was receiving and took about 10 minutes to process the spiritual experience I just had. I thought of how I had seemed overwhelmed by the world just moments before, and I asked myself: “What helped?” The Spirit seemed to answer me when a couple of verses of Scripture popped into my head. (I have listed them below.)

I lift my eyes up to the hills. Where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth.

Psalm 121:1-2

Then, an image flashed in my mind. It was a photo that I took of the ocean when I was heading home from a mission trip to Cancun, Mexico. That trip was an incredibly transformative time for me that brought a lot of emotional healing. Hmmm.

Yes, my Lord is my helper. I felt so much gratitude at that moment. It seemed like my heart was expanding in my chest. Instead of feeling a physical shrinking and tightening when I thought about my upcoming day, I felt an opening and loosening. A smile beamed across my face. Then, I thought to myself the following idea.

How great is our God.

Immediately, the Spirit reminded me of a song with that title by Chris Tomlin and I felt led to listen to it. I have embedded the song below. My hope is that you take a few minutes to pause and be still. Just listen, let it wash over you, and soak in its truth.

He wraps Himself in Light
and darkness tries to hide
and trembles at His voice
Trembles at His voice

Chris Tomlin

In these trying times with a pandemic, police brutality, and political strife it is easy to forget that there is One who is in control and has us covered. Chris Tomlin’s song reminds me that the darkness of this world is no match for my God’s light. You may not have the same concept of a higher power as me, but you can lean on your Source’s strength. You can trust that you are held in your Higher Power’s hands. This morning I chose to turn to my Maker and remember who He is and what He did and continues to do. The result of this surrender where I put first things first (I put my relationship with my God first) is that I was able to get back to a place of stability in a matter of moments.

If you are seeking peace in your life, then maybe try opening up to something bigger than yourself. It works. It really works.


  • Irma

    Thank you from the bottom of my ❀️for sharing such a beautiful spiritual experience in your blog. This morning I was questioning what I can do to connect with my God & to meditate & then I read your blog. It filled me with so much peace & serenity. So grateful to have you in my life!! πŸ™πŸΌπŸ’–πŸ˜˜πŸ€—

    • Shannon

      You are most welcome! ❀️ I am so glad that this post provided comfort right when you needed it. It is funny how God works. I haven’t posted in months, but I was very moved after listening to the Chris Tomlin song I mentioned in the post. In fact, I felt so inspired by it that I played it on loop and wore headphones while I composed the post. I didn’t want to lose my focus. My sweet hubby even tried to ask me a question in the midst of my writing, but I said “Not right now I am in the zone!” Lol! I am never that direct, but I literally felt like the Spirit had taken over. I think the reason I needed to get it out is because God knew people would need the encouragement! I am just a channel of His peace. How great is our God!πŸŒŸπŸ™βœ¨

      I am also very grateful to have you in my life. You are always so affirming and that means a lot! πŸ€— Love you, lady!

  • Shannon

    To All the Post Readers,

    The video that I embedded in the post is the one that I used to soak in the Spirit. This video if focused on the chorus of “How Great is our God.” The caption in the post that is underneath the video contains lyrics from the full song. To listen to the full song, go to the following link. 😊


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *