Finding Joy and Peace

I woke up to this lovely, quiet, wintry view.

I love to watch gently falling snow this time of year.

And see everything covered in a blanket of white.

I've been thinking about joy and peace lately. My life isn't perfect and some of my extended family relationships are an ongoing trial for me. The world is in great turmoil as more and more of my spirit brothers and sisters make selfish choices and use their free agency to hurt others. There is so much that is out of my control, but there is still a lot of good in this world and there are true sources I can turn to for joy and peace.

First, my Heavenly Father is always there for me. And I know I have a heavenly mother as well, cheering me on through my Father in Heaven. These are my perfect parents, who never let me down, who never forget me, who want me to succeed and have joy in my life here on earth. I have always known that I am a daughter of God, and that He loves me unconditionally and perfectly. When I focus on my relationship with Him, the loss I feel from not having earthly parents I can count on for love and support, is greatly minimized. I know I am blessed in countless other ways and all of my blessings, including my Savior, come from my Heavenly Father.

Second, my Savior and Redeemer is my ultimate source of joy and peace. This is such a beautiful time of year and as my husband and children and I carry out our Christmas traditions, we reflect on how one precious baby came into our world to save us all. I love my Savior, Jesus Christ. I am so thankful to be a member of His church here on earth, so thankful to have the fullness of His gospel in my life. I am truly blessed to have my testimony and to know that my Savior lives. It is only through Him that I can repent and receive forgiveness for my sins. It is only through Him that I can forgive others and heal from the wounds others have inflicted upon me. As long as I do my best, He will make up the difference (and there is always a difference). And I know that in the end, good will win and evil will fail. I have chosen to be on the winning side. I choose God and His Son, Jesus Christ.

And then I have my family. MY FAMILY. I am so blessed! I have a faithful and completely wonderful husband who honors his priesthood and is the best provider I know. I have a son who served a two-year mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, who also honors his priesthood and keeps his covenants made at baptism and in the temple. He is going to make an excellent husband and father someday. He is a wonderful big brother, too. I have two incredible daughters. They are talented and beautiful, inside and out. I have amazing mother-daughter bonds with each of them. We love to spend time together, crafting, shopping, watching chick flicks, or just having meaningful conversations together. We are so close! They are my best friends and I love that. They are good sisters, too. And I can't forget my baby. My baby is almost 13! He also honors his priesthood as a Deacon. He is sweet and bright and funny. I love homeschooling him. This family, which will be eternal, just like my heavenly family, is one I can always rely on, for constant love and support. And in our Christ-centered home, we have found true joy and peace.

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