Finding Serenity

“The Serenity Prayer” was always a favorite of my father–who would have turned 99 this month–and I love it, too. A framed needlepoint of that prayer hangs in my office and was made for me in  the ’70s by a dear friend in our first pastorate in western New York State.

Connie sadly passed away in her 20s from ovarian cancer after we had left the area. At that time “cancer” was just a scary word to me and I had no inclination that cancer support ministry would become my life’s calling.

Last week as my husband and I were leaving Florida– in spite of five wonderful days of speaking and relaxation–I felt overwhelmed by my mental to-do list.

 Upon returning home, we would be traveling AGAIN! This trip is for our rescheduled 50th anniversary celebration riverboat cruise. (Remember the one I had to cancel the day we were supposed to leave for Paris because I was in the hospital with a small bowel obstruction and about to have a 12-day hospital admission including a horrible NG tube and surgery? Yeah, that one. )

So much to be done in a week–unpacking/repacking, catching up on all the emails and messages, paying bills, preparations for the two Bible studies I would miss, etc…Oh, and finally STARTING our taxes! (Yes, I know I’m late to that party!)

One of the things really stressing me was that my bi-weekly blog was scheduled for today and I had no ideas, no interviews done, nothing, nada, zilch. I couldn’t see how I could possibly find the many hours needed to write, along with choosing thee right scriptures, photos and song. Delaying a week wouldn’t help because we would be gone for two Wednesdays.

Then The Serenity Prayer popped into my mind. This is something I can change! It’s my blog, I make the rules and I will  just skip it.

But while waiting for our airport Uber ride, God gave me the idea of blogging about the prayer, including what photos and song to use–while assuring me I could finish it quickly.

I changed my attitude and began writing in my head. I also asked my husband to take a photo of me right then and there as a testimony to the fact that sometimes God changes our circumstances and sometimes He changes us. Either way, we find serenity.

The Serenity Prayer as most of us know it is the shorter, revised version adopted by Alcoholics Anonymous almost 100 years ago. But here’s the original prayer as written by Reinhold Niebuhr (1892-1971), American pastor, theologian and political commentator.

God, give us grace to accept with serenity 
the things that cannot be changed, 
Courage to change the things 
which should be changed, 
and the Wisdom to distinguish 
the one from the other.

Living one day at a time, 
Enjoying one moment at a time, 
Accepting hardship as a pathway to peace, 
Taking, as Jesus did, 
This sinful world as it is, 
Not as I would have it, 
Trusting that You will make all things right, 
If I surrender to Your will, 
So that I may be reasonably happy in this life, 
And supremely happy with You forever in the next. Amen.

Dear friend, I pray today for you to have courage to see any hardship you face as a “pathway to peace.” To have faith in God’s timing to “make all things right.” And with Him to be “reasonably happy” now and “supremely happy” forever.
Open in your browser to hear the incredibly beautiful “The Serenity Prayer Song” by the Serenity Prayer Project. 


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    • Linda Rushing on March 19, 2024 at 9:32 AM
    • Reply

    Thanks Lynn ! Just what I needed today! Have an awesome trip!

    1. Thanks, Linda, for your encouragement. We are having a lovely cruise ❤️

    • Paola on March 20, 2024 at 8:08 AM
    • Reply

    Yes perfectly written! Perfect message! Perfect timing! Have a wonderful trip!

    1. I appreciate so much your kind words! I love it when the Lord takes me small efforts and uses them for His glory. We are having a wonderful riverboat cruise—thanks!

    • Ruth katona on April 15, 2024 at 5:02 PM
    • Reply

    Thanks so much never heard the song but knew the prayer. I appreciate you sharing

    1. Hi Ruth,
      I’m so glad you liked the song–it was new to me too! I love that prayer and the power of the words.


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