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The Beauty of a Calming Influence

March 14, 2020
On Saturdays we talk about Inner beauty

Happy Saturday, dear reader. I’m so glad you dropped in. If you’re new to Dressed for My Day, you may not know that on Saturday’s I turn my focus to inner beauty. Monday through Friday I share physical beauty and fashion tips, shopping guides and outfit ideas. But on Saturday we talk about inner beauty. Today, in light of the atmosphere in our world right now, I thought it might be good to remind ourselves of the beauty of a calming influence.

the beauty of a calming influence

In a crisis situation…

Yesterday as I folded laundry I decided to turn the television on to see if I could catch any news about the Coronavirus and the current state of affairs in our country. I knew schools, sporting events, conventions and other large gatherings had been closing rapidly. And my husband was at work at that very moment meeting with other leaders of our church to decide whether or not to have even one Sunday service. Life as we had known it was changing at a fast pace.

I happened to turn on the news just as the President of the United States was stepping before the press with a gathering of CEOs and leaders from the private sector. As I folded socks and shirts I found myself glued to the news conference, looking for some reassurance that appropriate measures were being taken to handle the impending crisis.


Honestly, while I understand the seriousness of this virus and unique diagnostic challenges it presents, I’m not awfully worried about becoming sick with it myself. I do worry a little for my parents and other senior adults. My dad has just recovered from a bout of pneumonia and certainly doesn’t need to be exposed to the virus. And my daughter, who works in a retail store, has asthma. So I worry a little about her.

But I’ve also become increasingly concerned about the impact of this health scare on our economy. As I mentioned, my daughter relies on wages from a retail chain. And I know so many other Americans could potentially lose work hours from this ordeal. Undoubtedly, many in our country will be called upon to go above and beyond to serve extra hours in their roles in hospitals, nursing homes, the National Guard and other capacities, while many more will be restricted from carrying out the jobs they count on. So even if a person never comes in contact with the virus, their lives could be seriously impacted.

I don’t know how you felt about the President’s address and those of the men and women gathered around him yesterday in the White House rose garden. But I found great comfort in what I heard. We’re still facing an unprecedented national emergency, but I felt the tension leave my shoulders and my spirit calm a little as we were assured that a plan had been devised. And I found great comfort in the fact that our government was linking arms with businesses and organizations in the private sector to ensure that measures are effective, timely and thorough.

…we need a calming influence

In crisis situations we obviously crave a calming influence. But we also long for a steadying hand, a voice of reason or a simple assurance during the ups and downs of daily life. Our hearts need to know that we’re going to be okay even if the world around us is seemingly crumbling before our eyes.

I remember many times hearing one of my children simply ask me or their dad, “Is everything going to be okay?” Maybe they didn’t use those exact words – although many times they did. But at the root of their frustration or fear or fragile emotions, I knew they simply wanted to be reassured that all was well.

Over time I learned some important words that I would use in an effort to calm their hearts. I would simply tell them, “I don’t really know if it’s going to be okay. But I do know that you are going to be okay.” I’ve learned through the years that we have no guarantee about our circumstances. But we absolutely have a God who hold us in His loving hands and assures us that He will always be with us. We can be okay even if everything around us crumbles.

I don’t really know if it’s going to be okay. But I do know that you are going to be okay.”

the beauty of a calming influence

Have you know women who have brought a measure of calm to your world when things seemed to be crumbling or changing rapidly? Maybe your mom or a grandmother? Maybe a mentor or teacher? Or maybe just a friend or neighbor?

When I think of those women who have provided a sense of calm amidst the storm, I recall how they have sometimes given me:

  • renewed hope
  • a better perspective
  • solid truth to steady my tumultuous emotions
  • reminders of past victories over equally hard situations
  • a gentle touch
  • momentum to press on
  • accurate information instead of speculations
  • a pared down and doable plan of action

A woman who provides a calming influence doesn’t have to solve the puzzle or end the crisis. She simply lights a little candle and places it in the center of the situation so that the space that once seemed dark and unmanageable and scary now seems a little brighter. And in doing so, she helps us breathe a little easier, pick up where we left off and move forward.

how to be a calming influence

Honestly, this is not my forte. I find myself a little more prone to growing anxious over things recently. I think I’ve encountered some major blows in recent years that have caused me be hyper aware of the fragility of life. That’s no excuse, but it’s where I am these days.

Still, my prayer and desire is to be a woman who does indeed provide a calming influence for my family, my friends, my readers and even the strangers I encounter in daily life. And right now we all have the opportunity to either add to the mayhem as we grope in the darkness or…light that simple, small candle that can provide a little hope, a little perspective.

So how can you and I steady ourselves so that we can calm others?

Here are some steps I’m reminded to take so that I can hopefully provide some calm rather than stir the pot;

  • Take time to worship – While many church worship services are cancelled for a while (ours included), I think it’s important that we take time to worship God this Sunday, but also daily. When David encountered crisis, he gained perspective and renewed hope by worshiping God. As we magnify God through worship, the problems around us shrink in comparison.

But when I thought how to understand this, it seemed to me a wearisome task, until I went into the sanctuary of God; then I discerned their end.”

~ Psalm 73:16-17
  • Seek daily wisdom – While I’m a firm believer in a daily quiet time with God in His Word, times like this require we commit even more to this practice. In fact, I think it’s wise to balance out all the other things we’re reading and hearing with an ample dose of truth and perspective from the Bible.

but his delight is in the law of the Lord, and on his law he meditates day and night. He is like a tree planted by streams of water that yields its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither. In all that he does, he prospers.”

~ Psalm 1:2-3
  • Speak truth, not speculation – It is so easy to join the chorus of hearsay during confusing days like these. But when we pass on information with qualifiers like, “I heard…” or “they’re saying…” or “someone told me…” we only add to the mayhem and generate more anxiety. Instead, let’s be women who determine to get the facts, go to the source, quote correctly and refuse to pass on hearsay.

These are the things that you shall do: Speak the truth to one another; render in your gates judgments that are true and make for peace.”

~ Zechariah 8:16
  • Carry on – When I’m flying and the plane experiences turbulence, I tend to take my cues from the flight attendants. If they’re “carrying on” with their regular duties, I “carry on” reading my book and munching my pretzels. Putting one foot in front of the other and simply doing the “next thing” actually centers our own minds and hearts, but it also gives calm to those around us.
  • Keep a clear head – Let’s remember what really is different about our present circumstances and what is not actually changed. We can still get out and walk the dog, go for a hike, ride a bike or work in the garden. We can grill in our backyard, clean out the gutters, go for a drive through the country or have a picnic on a blanket. I find that getting out and about clears my head and helps me keep things in perspective.
  • Practice calm – Sometimes to experience calm we need to practice calm. Light a candle ( a literal candle, this time!), turn on some calming music, brew a cup of tea, bake bread or read a calming book (I like Jan Karon’s Mitford series for this).

I think if we’ll practice a little healthy, biblical self-care with the steps above, we’ll naturally (or supernaturally) be prepared to light that little candle for those around us. Instead of adding fuel to the fire of distress, our behavior, demeanor and words will cast a calming glow on the situation and encourage others to be less anxious, too.

These are just a few of my ideas for how to be an agent of calm amidst the current crisis. Do you have other ideas you’d like to add to my list?

Do you have thoughts you’d like to share about today’s topic? I’d love to hear from you today! I tend to take as much time off from work as I can during the weekends, so I may not reply to your comments unless you ask me a direct question. But I’d love for you to carry on this conversation in the comment section below. And you can know for certain that I read and value each and every comment. Please remember that I try to keep this space free from controversy, so let’s stay away from the topic of politics or other divisive issues.

Update: I’ve closed comments to this post. Obviously, the point of the post was not only to encourage calm, but to be a reassuring word in the midst of uncertainty. Unfortunately, I’ve had a few comments come up for approval that have been political and a bit disrespectful. I’m not trying to censor. But I do want to protect this space. Feel free to email me if you would like to address me personally. I’ll gladly take any comments and respond to them respectfully through an email, as I’ve already done in a few cases. Thank you so much for reading. I appreciate each of you.

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xoxo, Kay
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26 thoughts on “The Beauty of a Calming Influence

    1. Thank you, Kay! I always appreciate that you share your deep spiritual truths with us! This was an excellent one! I resolve to remain calm! Blessings to you and your husband!

  1. What a beautiful, calming post, Kay! Thank you! Just right. I love the simplicity of your site’s new design too. Very easy on these older eyes!!!

  2. Amen and Amen! Wonderful, sound advice today. I LOVE Jan Karon and the Mitford series. Have read them all and always anxiously await the next one!! Father Tim seems so real…well, every character in her books. I think the Government and my own City leaders are doing a terrific job with protecting the citizens of the U.S. and adding a calming balance to the media’s panic mode of information. Sure miss our sports and praying all of this passes sooner rather than later. Thanks for a great post today! You definitely have a calming influence and by all means….continue on with your great fashion and advice!!

    1. Thank you fo reminding us what is important , and redirecting our thoughts to the the One who is control. We need to be reminded, especially in times like this, to let go of our fears and trust in the Lord. You remain true to yourself; those that follow you do so, NOT strictly because of fashion or beauty— those bloggers are a dime a dozen! You are a complete person, with your beliefs , and if someone doesn’t like that part of you, they need to unfollow…there are plenty of “generic” stylists for them to follow. Thank you for being YOU!

  3. I, unlike others who have commented, DO NOT need this “stuff” from you. Stick to the fashions and stay out of religion and all that foolishness. Not everyone believes in it and some of us even find it to be offensive. There. I’ve said my piece. Kick me out if you want to.

    1. Wow, Jan, no need to be so rude! If you don’t like who Kay is, just move along and read somebody else’s blog. Her husband is a pastor, for goodness sake! Of course she’s going to have religious content. I’m an atheist but don’t get offended by other people’s beliefs. I follow the golden rule and treat other people with respect. Anything that doesn’t apply to me on Kay’s blog, I just scroll on past. Don’t be a jerk.

      1. I can’t believe Jan was so rude on this post! Why is she even reading your posts? When you subscribe it clearly states that Saturday is about inner beauty! I
        believe she could really profit from these posts.
        I thoroughly enjoyed your posts today! It reminded me to be calm and Jan reminded me to be kind. Both calmness and kindness is what all of us need!
        Thanks Kay for your sweet and kind spirit! I would love to be in one of your seminars sometime!

  4. Thank you for this post. I think this is just what many of us needed to hear.
    Take care ❤️

  5. Thanks Kay for yourcalming words that God had you to share with us. As I have look around the last few days.lhave stood back and watched people face with sad looks and painful looks. We can stand by and do nothing or we can share our claming words and thoughts to help those around us get thru this time. Prayers and trusting in God will help us each and everyday. Stay safe and well for you and your family. Brenda

  6. Thank you for your words and sharing such timely verses with us. As a fellow asthma sufferer, and with a husband who has gone through chemo, we are very cognizant of staying away from crowds. It is a certainty that God will sustain us, and walk with us on our path. But, we all need to hear it over and over!

  7. Kay, I appreciate your inspirational words and thoughts in the subject today! As it is affecting everyone, I truly feel your post is spot-on!! I agree with many of your tips and use several of them already… learned some new ones, too!! The Mitford Series books are by far the best for a peaceful escape and a pleasant read! Will always look forward to your fashion and beauty posts, but know that your words today are most likely what most of us need at the moment!

  8. Good word! Truth! Thank you, as always, for the great fashion tips. Thank you most of all for your clear and unapologetic stand for Christ.

  9. Thank you for your calming words. Ww all need to hear these during this crisis our nation is enduring.

  10. Love this! And even though I don’t know you personally, you project such calm and peace that I was surprised you don’t think you’re a calm influence! You seem like one to me! ? I am comforted by how our leaders are handling this crisis and confident that we will bounce back from it economically. Currently, our church has cancelled everything but schools are just on spring break, so we’ll see. Praying we don’t see widespread outbreaks.

  11. Thank you for a well balanced, discerning post. Many people are hurting and letting panic and selfishness drive their actions. We need to take care of each other in the present circumstances and all others as well.

  12. Thank you, Kay! God is indeed in control and He is capable of bringing us through this temporary crisis. I always think about the words “ for a season” and “watch and pray” when these difficulties arise. Praying for you and all of us at this time.

  13. Thank you Kay!!!! What an excellent time to post this. You are an incredible writer and thank you for always acknowledging God and standing up for what you believe. Many prayers for you and your whole family. ~Lisa-~

  14. One reason your post on “calm” is so helpful is that you mention truth. Not hiding our heads in the clean laundry, but acknowledging that there is a problem. Then moving forward and taking in “the peace that passes all understanding.” Thanks for your encouraging words.

  15. Thank you, Kay, for these calming words!? I am reminded of the little book on HOPE that you told me about. Hebrews 10:23, “Let us hold unswervingly to the HOPE we profess for He who promised is faithful.”

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