I’ve been thinking about the concept of peace for a long time.
In my family, peace was the absence of conflict, something you kept by not arguing, not rocking the boat.
In the Christian environment I was born into in college, peace was this magical quality that helped you make decisions. “I had a peace about it.”
Lovely, except that “not rocking the boat” can lead to enabling unhealthiness, and create more relational strain than an honest approach.
And for me, decision making is inherently un-peaceful. I literally have NEVER “had a peace” about a decision before it is made, because I fear making wrong decisions.
Thankfully, at some point in my twenties, I heard one of my favorite Bible teachers explain peace as the product of trust in God and submission to the Prince of Peace. “AHA!” I thought, “Finally, a peace that seems healthy and attainable for me.” And I still think true peace in my spirit comes first and foremost when I am trusting God and surrendered to His goodness, regardless of my circumstances.
But that definition of peace is limited to my own experience – I can trust and surrender to God’s goodness myself, but I can’t force it on others. And as I continued to study my Bible, particularly the Psalms and New Testament Kingdom theology, I increasingly felt the need for a broader definition. A peace we can live out of, but also into.
I found it when I learned the concept of Shalom. The word translated peace in our English Old Testaments means wellness, completeness, safety, flourishing.
This is what God is doing in our hearts and in the world, bringing Shalom. And this is what God is inviting us to join Him in: experiencing His shalom and carrying shalom into the world.
Over the last five years, I’ve been on a journey of seeking shalom, learning how we can participate in God’s Kingdom work here on earth. That journey has brought many new voices into my life, for which I’m profoundly grateful.
One of those voices in Osheta Moore.
I found Osheta originally through mutual friends and her podcast, Shalom in the City (Where Osheta and her guests and co-hosts explore how to practice Shalom in various areas of our lives.)
I love Osheta’s vision for whole-hearted living, and her willingness to lean into actual peace making rather than just peace keeping. She’s funny, sassy, she loves Jesus, and she has led me to practical ways to actually practice Shalom (rather than just learning about it.)
I was thrilled to learn that Osheta was writing a book about Shalom, because I knew it would be a fun read but also practical. Osheta always has Shalom Steps. And our world NEEDS some Shalom steps, right??
Shalom Sistas is even more practical than I expected, encouraging women to pursue Shalom beginning with ourselves, in our relationships and out in the wider world. The book is structured around Osheta’s Shalom Sistas manifesto, which I LOVE.
Shalom Sistas releases in less than 2 weeks, on October 3. Y’all, it’s so good. I really believe in the message of this book. Plus, it’s laugh out loud funny, real, and challenging. All my favorite things. Get your copy now, and Osheta has some fun pre-order goodies for you.