I was honored to be the keynote speaker and loved that I had the opportunity to think about “how to open your door to a Christ-centered home” and find peace in our homes for that long.
A few cute friends came and this what I have to document that night:
But I wanted to write about it for a minute here on this sunny Friday in March. I waited until now because I can’t get my act together, but also because it’s easy for Christ to be in the center of our lives around the Christmas season. Even through all the hoopla we can feel that peace. (I’m going to use Christ-centered and peace kind of synonymously through this post because they are sort of one and the same to me…if we are Christ-centered we have the kind of peace I’m talking about, and if we have peace, it’s most likely created by keeping our hearts and our minds Christ-centered).
All those lit-up red and green sparkly remembrances and nativities are packed up and boxed away along with the Christmas carols and the thick feeling in the air helping us remember to serve and to reach out and to #LightTheWorld.
So how do we keep that peace in our homes always? Not just at Christmas?
I loved this topic because really, if our homes are Christ-centered, we can get through any battle, right? Not that the battles are going to be any easier, but because we know to whom to look as the source to figure things out.
Sometimes it sure is tough to feel that peace when our day looks like this:
Or when we’re slamming doors due to sleep deprivation and the world is blurry and our kids’ job charts are empty for the third week in a row and we just cannot seem to keep up with this world that sometimes seems like it’s eating us whole.
Oh wait, side-track, maybe that’s just me 🙂
Yes, I need this reminder.
So I talked about the who, what, when, where, why and how questions relating to gathering more peace in our homes.
First the easy ones:
WHAT do we want?
Peace in our homes
WHO do we want it for?
WHEN do we want it?
WHERE do we want it?
In our homes which leads to our hearts
And then we come to WHY?
deep down, that we NEED the Holy Ghost.
And we can’t get it if there’s no peace.
Our children can’t feel it if there’s no peace. They need the Holy Ghost to help them and
guide them just as we do, and if they never learn to how it feels, or how it
can direct them, they can’t truly understand it.
understand and feel it, there must be peace.
goal. PEACE is the means to the end.
And to have JOY. Because JOY is the purpose of life after all.
GHOST to help us get there.
See, it’s all a giant circle.
parents, we try desperately to get it sometimes, right?
becomes motivation for the “HOW?”
I talked about some pretty funny measures my family went through to try to gain that peace in our home growing up. Because I grew up in a pretty crazy home
with eight siblings that was chaotic at
But my parents didn’t give up. Some little things they did:
bedrooms and had us try to earn them back because clutter and disaster zones don’t mix very well with peace and tranquility in the home.
—oooooooo’m before meals …my dad drove us crazy with this but somewhere in the middle of the getting-dinner-to-the-table chaos my Dad would sit at his chair with his arms out and close his eyes and oooooooo’m very low until all of us calmed down…or went crazy because he was driving us nuts 🙂 But the point is, he was going to desperate measures to get peace in that home of ours.
–My parents even went so far as to have little role-plays during Family Home Evening where two of us would impersonate two of us fighting, and someone else would impersonate the Holy Ghost. I know, maybe not overly reverent, but the two kids role playing would fight, and the “Holy Ghost” would run away. Then they would be kind and help each other out, and the “Holy Ghost” would stick around.
–We had Family Testimony Meeting (which we do in our family and have now paired it with “Fasting Club” which I talked about back HERE and it’s my favorite thing ever). In my opinion, nothing can make the air as thick with love more than a Family Testimony Meeting.
–We rotated pictures of Christ in our bedrooms (more about that HERE).
–We utilized very well the “Fighting Bench” (back HERE)
RECOGNIZE HOW THE SPIRIT FEELS.
I went on to talk about relationships and how they alter the feeling in our homes as well.
Relationships with our spouse, others, and ourselves. Not being so hard on ourselves sometimes. I won’t go into detail on the relationship stories I shared because it will take forever. But I did reiterate that sometimes we go home from something like this and we think, “great,
I’m all set, I’m going to go home and change my family.”
But what we really need to change is US.
as she does
else. WE HAVE TO CHOOSE TO HAVE CHRIST IN THE CENTER OF OUR HEARTS FIRST, and then I truly believe those ripple effects will envelope everyone else in the home.
own heart,… she brings the Lord into the core of her home and family.”
My very favorite thoughts of all time about this are from Cheiko Okasaki. This is my book copy I have all marked up from her (the book is called “Lighten Up” and it is exceptionally good..check it out HERE).
I will quote my favorite lines real quick:
“Our spirituality will increase, I believe, not necessarily as we spend more time with Jesus, but as we let him spend more time with us, in our daily activities. We tend to compartmentalize our lives, or divide them up, into separate little cubbyholes labeled ‘family,’ ‘church,’ ‘gardening,’ and so on. I think we sometimes have the mistaken notion that religion is like a special room in our house. WE go into this room when we need to “do” religion. After all, we cook in the kitchen, we entertain in the living room, we wash in the bathroom, we sleep in the bedroom, and we “do” religion in this spiritual room. You know what’s wrong with that view of the religious life? It means that we can walk out of that room and close the door behind us. It means that we have compartmentalized our lives to that religious experience is just one cubbyhole out of many. It also means that we spend most of our time in other rooms. And we feel guilty because we keep hearing that it should be the most important room in the house and we should spend most of our time there. Does this sound just the tiniest bit familiar?
Instead, perhaps we should think of our spiritual lives, not as a separate room, but as the paint on the walls of all the rooms, or maybe a scent in the air that drifts through all the rooms–the way the fragrance of spaghetti sauce or baking bread has a way of drifting through all the rooms of the house, becoming part of the very air we breathe. Our spiritual lives should be our lives, not just a separate compartment in our lives.
Let me put it another way. Suppose the Savior comes to visit you. You’ve rushed around and vacuumed the guest room, put the best sheets on the bed, even got some tulips in a vase on the dresser. Jesus looks around the room, then says, ‘Oh thank you for inviting me into your home. Please tell me about your life.’
You say, ‘I will in just a minute, but something’s boiling over on the stove and I need to let the cat out.’
Jesus says, ‘I know a lot about cats and stoves. I’ll come with you.’
‘Oh no!’ you say, ‘I couldn’t let you do that,’ and you rush out carefully closing the door behind you.
And while you’re turning down the stove, the phone rings, and then Jason comes in with a scrape on his elbow, and the visiting teacher supervisor calls for your report, and then it’s suppertime, and you couldn’t possibly have Jesus see that you don’t even have placemats for Pete’s sake, and someone forgot to turn on the dishwasher so that you’re eating off paper plates, and then you have to drive Lynne to her basketball game. So by the time you get back to the room where Jesus is still patiently waiting for you, you’re so tired that you can barely keep your eyes open — let alone sit worshipfully at Jesus’ feet to wait for those words of profound wisdom and spiritual power to wash over you, to make you different, to make everything else different — and you fall asleep whispering, ‘I’m sorry, I’ll try to do better. I’m so sorry.’
She quotes Jeremiah 29:13: “And
ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your
doesn’t touch or that aren’t relevant to Him.”
I have felt His guidance and presence in my life more times than I can count. I was ready to tell my too-close-to-my-heart-to-share-on-this-blog story of Lucy when I found out about her syndrome and the comfort that I felt from above that was almost tangible, but ran out of time. But I do know He’s there. And He loves us. And He wants to help us through our pain and sorrow and loneliness and worry.
If we only let Him in.
Savior into your own home right now.
today in how you invite the Savior into your home?
indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.”