One Word 2014: Peace
As many people do, I like to choose one word for each year instead of making a whole list of resolutions that I am unlikely to keep past January 23. After Christmas, as the year is coming to an end, my mind automatically turns to the things I would like to improve in my life and I usually have my new word chosen by January 1st.
This year, I thought I was pretty set on the word “joy” because who doesn’t need more joy in their lives? I tend to be an ultra-serious person who doesn’t let herself let loose and have fun very often. And I think sometimes I don’t let myself be happy, either. So, as I was thinking about how I could find more joy in my life, I realized that joy wasn’t the word I need this year at all.
I can’t even begin to let joy into my life until I learn how to let peace into my life.
The word may not be very original, but it is exactly what I need right now. The peace I want to find is the peace that we read about in the scriptures. The two scriptures that stick out to me most are “Peace, be still.” (Mark 4:39) and “Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.” (John 14:27)
My heart is often troubled about many things.
Am I a good mother? Am I a good wife? Am I a good daughter, sister, friend, teacher, Primary President, etc.? Am I doing enough? How can I be better? Why can’t I be perfect? Why do my children argue all the time? Why isn’t my house clean? Why am I unhappy? Why do I yell at my daughters? How can I possibly do all that is asked of me? Why can’t I control the world?
As I look ahead to the upcoming semester, I feel incredibly overwhelmed. I have taken on a couple of extra students, I will be performing a lead role in an opera in April which means a lot of extra practice and memorization and rehearsal hours, my duties as a mother are still just as demanding as ever, and I simply don’t know how I will survive the next few months. My heart is troubled and it is also afraid.
I have written a lot here about how I’m constantly trying to learn to say “no” to things that are less important, to always choose the better part and let go of the rest. I obviously still have much to learn in that department. I don’t want my home and family to always get the worst of me because I give my best to other things.
Then there’s the fact that my children do seem to argue a lot. I know it’s probably normal, but I don’t like the feeling of contention in our home. And I contribute to it in a big way. I am a big ball of stress and anxiety and that stress and anxiety often manifests itself in the form of losing patience with the girls. And my husband. What kind of an example am I setting for my daughters? No wonder they bicker so much–I show them how!
In my life I have developed an extraordinary ability to act like I have it totally together even though I am constantly falling apart inside. I want to stop falling apart inside. It is time to put myself back together.
So, Peace. I don’t really know how to have peace in my life, and this year I’m going to try and figure that out.
I want to feel at peace with my efforts as a wife and mother. To recognize my imperfections, but to be at peace with where I am at this moment. I want to feel at peace with my overstuffed plate, and to learn how to take things one at a time and be at peace with whatever I can do and give the rest to the Lord.
As I write this, I think of my experience performing Dona Nobis Pacem a couple of years ago. I have learned this lesson of peace before, but now I need to learn to have this kind of peace become a part of who I am. No more anxiety and stress all the time.
It's funny… I wrote a couple of days before the end of the year that I wouldn't be making any "resolutions", or hoping to change much. I just want to keep going really over the next year – which is kind of the same thing as looking for peace, isn't it. Looking for the calm, and the quiet…
I think Peace is a great word and one that I can relate to as well. My word will be "simplify." I look forward to following you on your journey!
I need more PEACE too! I had to laugh out loud at your choice for 2012 'lighten up!'—> oh, that is so good.
I hope 2014 brings you the peace you are looking for!
May God give you peace in the year 2014. Great word. By the way – I love the name of your blog. Now you want to be peacefully overstuffed.
What a wonderful verse to keep you on track and from the "source" love that! Nice to "meet" you, I'm from OLW group too!
What a nice well thought out explanation of your word! I think just putting it out there to the world gives you a head start on achieving peace. It will be a slow process, but you've got a year. Good luck!!
I just gave a church talk on peace!! I had lots of good stuff if you want it!! :). Also look at the background of the ladies who wrote the words & music to the hymm "Where can i turn for peace?" 🙂