Guard Your Joy and Peace this Holiday!
This post was originally published on Dec. 21, 2008, but I think this is a wonderful reminder for this year too! Today is the first day of December and this month is going to fly by FAST! Let’s remember to enjoy it! Say no when we need to. Get off the computer when we need to. Get on the carpet with our children. Laugh. Eat. Enjoy. Count our blessings!
The Christmas cards sitting on my mantle are bellowing at me in their cursive gold fonts to have a joyful and peace filled holiday season. I think the cards are mocking me as I run about town shopping and stressing about cookies and wrapping presents. I do desire to have joy and peace over the next two weeks and I am determined to guard my joy and peace.
Joy stealers come with many different faces.
Unmet expectations certainly steal your peace when you are disappointed and upset. Anger is a form of unmet expectations. So next time you are angry ask yourself which expectation you had wasn’t met. Then you have the choice to look at a situation logically or choose to just get over it. My spiritual mom would ask me when I was upset “What is the worst thing that can happen?” Once you worked out a situation backwards, you realize that it is just money, stuff, a bummer, or a disappointment. Then you come out thankful that you are alive and everything is relatively okay.
Unresolved conflict steals your joy when you are fighting with a your spouse, family member or a friend. Some conflicts can be resolved quickly. While others have been the elephant in the family living for years. My parents have unresolved conflict between themselves as long as I have been alive, but I decide not to take sides and not let their conflict between each other bug me. They are both wrong and my only concern is their relationship between them and me. Even when they complain about the other to me, I have to let their comments roll off my back. Sometimes putting on a hard shell and letting stupid comments roll off my back is my way of guarding my peace and joy.
There are joy stealers on the road! They steal parking spaces, go too slow, block the parking lot by waiting ten minutes for someone to load up their car and start it just so they can walk 20 steps closer to the door. One joy stealer may even be in the driver’s seat of the car! Your husband may be driving like a maniac or not going the route you would have gone. Just close your eyes and remember you will get there eventually.
Remember the big picture and keep your peace. What does Christmas mean to you? Is it spending quality time with your family? Is it remembering the Savior coming to earth so we can spend eternity in heaven? Is it being generous to others or a good time off from work? Whatever reason you celebrate Christmas, remember the big picture when something goes wrong and ask yourself if the big picture is still being accomplished. Don’t sweat the small stuff.
As you have joy and peace the rest of your family will feel it too. Don’t keep that joy and peace to yourself let it radiate from you wherever you go!
How do you plan to guard your peace and joy? Are you having a rough holiday season or this one being pleasant to you?