The Only Way to Peace

I sat at my breakfast table on Thursday morning and cried over the stabbings in Pennsylvania. Not one to typically talk to the TV, I couldn’t help but say aloud, “Why? Why would someone do this?!” The brutality of it was just too much.

Later in the day I found myself reaching for my phone, checking social media to keep updated on a friend of mine, who’s precious baby girl has been in the hospital since Monday. My heart breaks a little to see so many tubes attached to that sweet little face. She is sedated and paralyzed and a machine is basically breathing for her. Another tear rolls off of my cheek.

Then the phone rings. It is a friend of mine from my old neighborhood. A mom whose daughter went to kindergarten with my oldest. She tells me that her husband of 22 years is leaving her. She recently discovered that he had been having an affair with a woman he met at the gym. Now she is facing a mountain of debt and is planning to move  herself and her three daughters back to her native homeland, Holland.

It’s a lot to take in in one morning.

Human suffering takes so many shapes. A young man so broken and emotionally unstable that he commits gruesome, unfathomable violence. His victims – blindsided, and literally stabbed in the back. Precious babies, innocent and hurting. Mothers, fathers, family and friends who feel so helpless as they look on. Sadness, fear, anger, loneliness, betrayal. Heartache in all its varieties.

From Thursday until Saturday night, my heart was hurting for friends and family members – and even strangers across the country – in so many ways.

And then on Saturday night I had the opportunity to visit the Gilbert Arizona Temple. My perspective changed and my mind was put at ease. My heart was changed. But I wasn’t able to find the perfect words describing that change until Sunday morning.

At church, the bishop of my congregation and shared some thoughts. He spoke about his son, and how he was watching from a window as his son struggled with some chores outside. He said his first inclination was to rush out and help him. But he didn’t right away. He said his heart was stretched out to his fine son because he kept at it. He didn’t give up the struggle. And he was made stronger and wiser in the process.  Then my bishop shared one of my very favorite scriptures. It is a scripture that, for me, perfectly sums up the joy of the Easter season.

John 16:33

These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have  overcome the world.

It’s worth reading again.

So there you have it. Every heartache in this world – whether it comes of our own doing or we are hurting because of someone else – every single physical, spiritual, mental, and emotional hurt can be healed by the power of Christ’s atonement. He is the way out of darkness into the Light. He has borne all of our suffering in a way that I can not fully comprehend. The sad truth of this life is that we will all have tribulation. We will all face trials in one way or another. But there is happiness and hope and light ahead. And He alone is the way to peace.


Image courtesy of

Wishing you all a lovely and beautiful Easter.

Planting a Seed: Making Peace a Priority

Ah, physics. You get me every time.

I’m assuming you are familiar with the term “inertia”? You know, “…an object in motion tends to stay in motion, while an object at rest tends to stay at rest…“? Yeah. Inertia. I’m blaming the laws of physics for my extended absence from the blogosphere. I took a rest during December (which, for the record, was awesomely busy), and I tended to stay at rest until now. April.

During my little hiatus, I have had several life-lessons on the subject of peacemaking. Funny enough, the most recent one involved a complete stranger yelling at me in the parking lot at Sprouts (I do believe my last post involved a lady showing me kindness at Sprouts. Weird.) and the sheer willpower involved in not yelling back. Okay, I may have raised my voice a LITTLE TINY BIT. But it was not nearly as much as she deserved. So I think I need some credit for that.

The sad thing is, since I haven’t been thinking about peacemaking on a daily basis, I haven’t fully been living it on a daily basis. And this, I think, has been my greatest lesson over the past four months.

As the wonderful Stephen Covey puts it, “The key is not to prioritize what’s on your schedule, but to schedule your priorities.

Several years ago. I randomly picked up a book while staying at my sister-in-law’s house in Chicago, and ended up reading the whole thing in one night. I can’t remember the name of the book to save my life, but it was basically a tutorial on how to become a writer (I still have no idea…but hey, we all have to start somewhere, right?). The first step in becoming a writer was this: Create a space for writing in your life.

The book made the connection to gardening, and to me – although I know less than nothing about gardening – the logic of the metaphor was immediately clear.

Before a single seed can ever be planted, think of all the time and preparation involved in creating a suitable place for that seed to grow. What area of the yard is best? What soil is best? Again, I don’t know enough about gardening to keep this list going, but, you know…I’m sure there’s a lot of other stuff you need to know about where to plant a seed before you plant it.

The point is, you have to create a suitable space.

As a stay-at-home mom, I have never had a more packed calendar than I do at this point in my life. Like most mommies, my schedule is ruled by the precious little people in my life. Between school, homework, ballet lessons, swim lessons, piano lessons, potty-training, playgroups, cheerleading practice, church activities, and trying to feed everyone and then keep my home and the people that live here relatively clean….it can make for a long day sometimes. And I’m sure it will only get busier.

So if I want even one second of my 24 hours for myself, I have to carve it out of that hectic day and hold on to it like crazy. This is not rocket science. But that little garden analogy served as a great reminder to me that time is a valuable resource, and if we ever want to succeed at something, we have to carve out a place for it – a set time amid our daily routine – and make it a priority.

After attending a garden party last week for the women’s group at my church, I was reminded very clearly about the writing analogy I had read so many years ago, and the immediate need to create a space for the important things in my life. So, the law of impetus was put into motion, and now here I am, in front of my computer screen once again.

So there it is. My first post in a long while. Impetus has finally conquered inertia. For today anyways. Here’s to hoping that momentum can take it from here. 

Landscape with Olive Trees