Often, after I settle my girls in bed, my evenings are spent working or laying on the couch watching television or cleaning the kitchen. Tonight as I sat down to turn on the TV I hesitated as I noticed the calm peace that had settled over my home. Not wanting to disturb that peace, I turned here instead.
Lately my family has had a difficult time getting along. When I say my family, I mean every single one of us. I have been tired and grumpy and stressed. Matt has felt similar feelings and also has work issues he carries home with him. The girls and I are desperately trying to get back into our normal routine after a difficult month in March. They are fighting a lot more, arguing with us, being disobedient, lazy, pushing our buttons harder. I told a friend today that I sometimes feel like my kids have been replaced with rude aliens. When my kids are acting up and I am not at my best and most energetic, well, let's just say that my attitude probably doesn't help much.
Tonight we were having another rough evening. Everyone's tone of voice was on edge. There was so much contention going on! Matt and I were both exhausted and trying to get dinner made. My home felt chaotic and unsettled and I felt like we were all going to either explode or kill each other if I didn't do something to change our environment and our attitudes. So I took the advice my Mother gave me as a small child when we talked about what I could do when I was angry or scared or unsettled: I turned to the Hymns.
Thank goodness for technology! I opened up the Pandora app on my phone and plugged it into the speaker and bathed my home and my family in Hymns. Within moments I felt more peaceful. Within minutes, my kids were getting along and laughing as Zoe worked on her math program for school as Paige watched. Matt calmed down and got a bit of rest on the couch as I finished up the dishes.
I have a strong belief and testimony of the power of good music in our lives. I have always felt the Spirit of my Heavenly Father strongest through music. It is through using my talents that I am able to most fully express myself and my testimony. Maybe it isn't that way for everyone. I know that music speaks to me in a different way than it does to others. It is almost as if music is my most innate language. Music skips words and thought and just goes directly to my heart.
The music flowing through my home this evening changed our environment, softened our hearts and allowed the Spirit to calmly reside here. That one decision changed the entire course of our evening. No, my kids weren't perfect, but they were better and I was far more patient and understanding. We ended the evening with scriptures and prayers, a song for each of them and a few giggles and I feel so much better about how the end of the day played out. I was able to stop and really appreciate them for who they are. I was able to really enjoy them.
I know I have been so blessed every time I look at my family. We are so fortunate to have a roof over our heads, to have our basic needs not just met but exceeded, to have insurance and good jobs, but most of all to have each other. When life gets hectic and busy it is so easy for me to get frustrated with the attitudes of my kids. Or when they get really needy when I am doing something. When I am tired it is easy to say I don't want to play house right now. But the thing is, it really is just as easy to do the opposite- if I can bring peace to myself and my home.
I need to always remember to stop and take the time to invite peace into my home and into my heart so that I can always give my children my best self instead of my crazy, frustrated self. Tonight those Hymns helped me to do that. Tomorrow that may look like 10 minutes of decompression and meditation in my room. Or yoga before bed to quiet my mind and my soul. It could be five deep breaths in the pantry. I have plenty of tools before me. I have learned these lessons. I just need to remember to put them into practice every day.
Now I'm off to get some work done as I enjoy this quiet I have created in my space. I hope you all have a peaceful evening!
I know that Hymns may not work for everyone. Especially those who believe differently than me. What do you do to bring peace to your home or to yourself? What quiets the chaos in your life or in your heart?
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