Thursday, December 12, 2019

Christmas: Finding Peace

As a mother, I've often wanted to give my children more temporally than I've been able to. Each Christmas I'd feel sad, especially as a single-parent for so many years, that I couldn't give them what they wanted or needed, or what I would have liked to give them. There were sometimes tears, mostly on my side.

Now, as a married woman, with 5 additional children and 14 grandchildren, I still feel the same. We're on a limited budget of time and resources.

For this reason I have been grateful for the teachings of my own mother who gave me the most important gift; the gift of a testimony of the gospel of Jesus Christ and the understanding of what matters most.

I often reflect on these thoughts: what can we do to help lift, strengthen and bless our family, that will be meaningful, keep the Spirit of the season, and help them feel of our love? For...that is what matters most.

I am very grateful for the recent First Presidency Devotional about the true meaning of the season and these powerful messages from Elder Kearon:

“We must be careful not to be so busy and tired from trying to do too much that we miss the focus of the season and are unable to figuratively kneel at the manger, worship the newborn King, and bring our own personal gift to Him,”.
“Is your schedule too packed? Are certain cultural traditions and pressures causing you undue stress and preventing you from receiving and reflecting the joy of Christ’s birth? How might you simplify your calendar this Christmas and plan better for next?”
“Perhaps this year you don’t send the Christmas cards, or you let go of some other media-inspired expectation you have of yourself. The cost in either time or money will take away some of your ability to focus on the Savior and feel His Christmas joy.”
“Perhaps this year you have a simplified Christmas with more homemade gifts and gifts of service, because the pressure and cost of trying to buy it all is too great—and unnecessary—and it will take away some of your ability to focus on the Savior and feel His Christmas peace.”
“As this Christmas approaches, let us do more of what matters and much less of what doesn’t..."
I second his words as they are true and have sunk deep into my heart. I pray we can strive to have more peace this Christmas season by letting-go of what matters less and focusing on what matters most.