My two oldest kids were terrible sleepers as babies. If they slept for over two hours straight, I’d do a happy dance. When I discovered I was pregnant with my third, I Baby Name Finder: Baby Name Wizardwas determined this child would be a better sleeper. I even typed into the baby names finder what name means “sleeps through the night.” The closest it could determine was Shalom which means peace.

Shalom. I’d heard this Hebrew word before but usually associated it with a Jewish greeting or salutation. Shalom actually has a deeper meaning than just peace which we often associate with the absence of war. It means inner well-being, prosperity, and health. Now, I didn’t end up calling my son Shalom. A friend of mine had already given the name to her daughter (who is a lovely girl both inside and out, and I couldn’t think of a better name for her), but I love the idea that every time she calls her daughter’s name she is speaking prosperity, peace, and health over her little girl.

I’ve been researching the British Caribbean during and after the American Revolution for an Island book series I’m working on, so I’ve been digging into Battle of the Saintes paintinghistorical events, piracy, and Caribbean life in the late 18th and early 19th century. One thing I never realized was how the Caribbean Islands impacted the Revolutionary War. The British Navy, at the time, was the greatest in the world. America standing up to the mother country was like David going up against Goliath. However, Britain was also in a power struggle with France over the Caribbean islands which were valuable for their sugar exports. British Naval forces were split between fighting in America and protecting their island holdings from foreign invaders. The division weakened British naval forces in their fight for control of the United States (O’Shaughnessy, An Empire Divided, 2000, p.185).

The national election is this week and Newscasters have been as excited as a weatherman before a blizzard. I try not to be political, and I don’t plan to start now. I’m typing this on Monday knowing it will be read after the polls have closed and the results determined, and I did that intentionally. Because one thing I’ve come to realize about people whether on the left or right is that we all want shalom. We all desire well-being, happiness, and prosperity and to see others prosper. Jesus (the Prince of Peace) said it best in Mark 3:25 which was echoed in a speech by President Abraham Lincoln, “If a house is divided against itself, that house cannot stand.” We are stronger when we are unified.

No matter what the outcome, I hope we find unity as a country and as the body of Christ. That we stop pointing fingers and instead focus our pursuits on life, liberty, and happiness. I pray we will each strive to reach shalom.

So, may you have health and well-being, may you continue to chase your dreams, and may you prosper.

Shalom!

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