We know that this season is often an incredibly busy and sometimes stressful time for many families. We all want to have a happy and peaceful Christmas so we can remember the real reason for the season.We tell ourselves that this year will be different. But every year, the hustle and bustle creeps in and things get frantic and unbalanced. Throw in unforeseen trials like financial problems, illness, family issues, selling a house, moving, or getting (or losing) a job, and things can become a bit overwhelming.
With all the to-do lists and people pulling at you from every angle, it can be hard to feel peace and the spirit of Christ. Many voices from the world in which we live tell us we should live at a frantic pace. There is always more to do and more to accomplish. Yet deep inside each of us is a need to have a place of refuge where peace and serenity prevail, a place where we can reset, regroup, and re-energize to prepare for future pressures. [i]
A woman that I love and admire recently shared that she wasn’t having the best of days and was overwhelmed. She was being pulled in so many different directions. She felt prompted to stop what she was doing, say a prayer for peace and then randomly go through the Ensign to look for answers and clear her mind. She stumbled upon a talk that was precisely what a loving Heavenly Father needed her (and all of us) to hear. It’s from a General Conference address by Elder Richard G. Scott titled “Finding Peace at Home.” Take five minutes out of your busy day and read this. Right now. I promise that it will help you manage everything and everyone around you. Here are seven tips inspired by Elder Scott that are guaranteed to help you get re-centered and find peace in your home:
1. Regardless of your circumstances, center your home and your life on the Lord Jesus Christ.
“Be certain that every decision you make, whether temporal or spiritual, is conditioned on what the Savior would have you do. When He is the center of your home, there is peace and serenity. There is a spirit of assurance that pervades the home, and it is felt by all who dwell there.” Our children need to feel this in our home. Don’t skip daily personal and family prayer, daily personal and family scripture study, and weekly family home evening. Things will go more smoothly. That is a promise.
2. Set boundaries.
“Satan will try to ruin your goodness and abilities by exploiting your weaknesses.” We all want to be good and follow the Savior. Satan knows our strengths and our weaknesses. We might have a huge, giving heart full of goodness. With so much going on during the holidays, we feel obligated to say yes to everything and everyone. This can cause us to neglect the things most important like our relationship with God and our spouses and children. Running faster than we’re able can cause us to become frantic and lose sight of what is truly important, no matter how good our intentions may be.
3. Turn off the phone and tune into God and your family.
“Many of us have a [phone] that fits into our pocket. We are seldom without its company; we may refer to it many times a day. Unfortunately, these devices can be a source of filth and wasted time. But, used with discipline, this technology can be a tool of protection. Scriptures [and General Conference addresses] are a powerful source of inspiration and guidance by the Holy Ghost in times of need.” Resist the temptation to constantly check the phone, email and social media. We need to turn off the phone and tune into our children and our Heavenly Father.
4. Follow promptings.
“Doing all we can to invite the gentle, guiding influence of the Holy Ghost into our lives is critical in our attempts to center our homes on the Savior. Acting obediently on those promptings strengthens us even more.”In the midst of a busy schedule and being pulled to and fro, we can’t hear the spirit in chaos. Make peace a priority. Guard it and fiercely protect it so you can follow the spirit.
Wait. Aren’t we supposed to slow things down? Isn’t serving adding more to our already busy plate? Yes and no. “When we obey the commandments of the Lord and serve His children unselfishly, the natural consequence is power from God—power to do more than we can do by ourselves. Our insights, our talents, our abilities are expanded because we receive strength and power from the Lord. His power is a fundamental component to establishing a home filled with peace.” Refer to #2, 3 and 4 to find out who, when and how to serve while maintaining balance.
6. Center your home around the Savior and be a true friend.
“As you center your home on the Savior, it will naturally become a refuge not only to your own family but also to friends who live in more difficult circumstances. They will be drawn to the serenity they feel there. Welcome such friends into your home. They will blossom in that Christ-centered environment. Reach out to those living in adverse circumstances. Welcome into your home others who need to be strengthened by such an experience. “ We can pray to find out who to invite into our homes. While this might mean getting out of our comfort zones, it can have a lasting impact on others who need us more than we realize. Peace will come as we minister to those in need.
7. Be patient and forgiving with family members.
“[There may be] a family member who is not making good choices. That can challenge our patience and endurance. We need to trust in the Lord and in His timing that a positive response to our prayers and rescue efforts can occur. We do all that we can to serve, to bless … We exercise faith and remember that there are some things that must be left to the Lord.” The holidays are about families. But there are no perfect families and there are always family dynamics—especially during this time of year. Be kind and forgive quickly. Some family relationships can be healed quickly, while others may take more time, including those serious problems that can only be understood or solved the next life. Don’t be afraid to set boundaries for personal and spiritual protection if needed.
Summing It Up
Ultimately, “We need not worry if we can’t simultaneously do all of the things that the Lord has counseled us to do. He has spoken of a time and a season for all things. In response to our sincere prayers for guidance, He will direct us in what should be emphasized at each phase of our life. We can learn, grow, and become like Him one consistent step at a time.”
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