Finding Inner Strength from the Prince of Peace Jesus Christ

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We live in a tumultuous world, where we are bombarded daily with trials that test our faith. I’ve been taught all my life, but finally feel like I understand that those challenges come at us to make us stronger, and humble us to turn our hearts to the true rock, the Savior Jesus Christ. That is where we can find real peace. With Easter coming up in a few weeks, I am delighted to share how I find peace in my Savior, as part of the #PrinceOfPeace campaign by The Church of Jesus Christ of latter-day Saints (knick-named the Mormons.) I’ve also got a calendar you can print off, with ideas to find your own peace.

EASTER faith and service activity with the family

In the week leading up to Easter, April 9 through April 16, this calendar highlights one of eight Principles of Peace: Faith, Compassion, Forgiveness, Repentance, Gratitude, Scripture, Prayer, and Hope.

For each principle, there is a scripture with 3 suggested activities to live those principles in your every day life. What a great opportunity to work together with your family to grow together!

Download the calendar here: Easter_2017_Peace_Calendar

We believe the teachings and Resurrection of Jesus Christ can help all of God’s children find peace among the turbulence and challenges they face daily,”  “In a span of one week, Jesus rewrote humanity’s story and made it possible for each of us to overcome every obstacle in our lives, including death, and brought peace to the world.”  -Representative for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
Peace can often be hard to tap into. From the chaos of daily life with a family of 6, to mourning the death of my mom last year, teaching a daily Bible study class, and working from home, I’m constantly striving and praying for peace. I can’t stand how I feel when I don’t have that peace.
I could share a story about each of the 8 principles above, but forgiveness is jumping out to me today.


It’s such a complicated word.
It’s not just about your heart changing when someone apologizes..oh no, it’s so much more.
It’s forgiving someone who didn’t ask.
It’s giving yourself grace when you realize you aren’t perfect.
It’s about the emotions that come with someone forgiving you for something you did.
I’ve always loved the analogy of the backpack when it comes to forgiveness. Have you heard it before?
Harboring resentment for whatever reason is like carrying a backpack filled with rocks. Not just strolling along a road, but HIKING for HOURS with that heavy backpack.
It’s about pulling out those rocks, and casting them aside with every step. Consciously letting go of grief, sorrow, pain.
Releasing hurt that others have caused you, and guilt for  guilty. Oh yes, I’m guilty.

The Letter

I recently wrote a letter to someone I’ve known for a while, apologizing for my occasional unkind attitude towards them. We’ve never been that great of friends. But I wanted to be her friend. I thought we’d connect, and we just never did. Not for lack of my not trying. So since “she didn’t care” about me, I thought I’d SHOW HER by my indifference towards her. That translated into feelings I didn’t like having within my heart. I didn’t see her too often, but when I did…I was cold….indifferent.
Then I felt bad, guilty, shook myself and said, “Kristen, that’s not who you are. You love people. You reach out. You lift up.” At least that’s what I want to be, but I’m not always. I get hurt sometimes and I respond this way.
So I wrote her a note and mailed it. I apologized and explained that a few years ago, I hoped we’d be friends, and I was sad we never got that chance.
She sent me an email and said…”That’s so sweet of you to write this note, but I feel bad…I never even noticed you acting that way.”
Wow, all of that effort I put forth with those heavy rocks in my backpack, all for nothing.
Of course I was happy to hear she hadn’t noticed, but even more mad at myself for what I’d likely built up in my head as major unkindness, but hey, at least she didn’t notice.
It felt so freeing to empty out that heavy load in my backpack and start over. Clean my slate of the feelings I’d had.
I’ve experienced the healing power of forgiveness over and over in many ways in my life, and I’m grateful for it. I’m grateful for my Savior Jesus Christ who taught about the beauty of forgiveness, and how it can make me more whole. 

A Plate of Cookies

I was just chatting with a friend a few days ago as she shared with me that someone she didn’t even know caused her family grief and pain, and she hated how it felt. She said she didn’t know how she would respond when she saw that person, if she would ignore them, say hello, or yell at them about their unkindness. When I suggested baking her a plate of cookies, she wasn’t sure how to respond, considering she didn’t do anything wrong.
All I said was that I’d done it before, and it truly feels good to forgive, even when you haven’t done anything.
Who can you bake a plate of cookies for this week, as you are seeking to find that peace from forgiveness?
Consider the Prince of Peace. Print out the above, and encourage your family to join you on this journey in the week before Easter, as we contemplate our Savior, his life, and his mission.

Teaching my children

I strive daily to do my best, but I mess up all the time! It’s important to me to seek forgiveness from my children when I make parenting mistakes. I do it almost daily, and I’m grateful they are willing to forgive my shortcomings. A family that forgives often, loves deeply.
Let it out, then hug it out, that’s my philosophy. I want them to know that adults make mistakes, too, and they should never be afraid to admit it.  I just got called out by one of my kids yesterday. I had a lot on my mind, with an insurmountable to-do list, and apparently I was barking orders. They said, “Mom, why are you talking mean like that to me?” To which I didn’t think I was…I was absorbed with the thoughts in my head. At first I was annoyed that I got called out, but then I remembered…if they are perceiving it this way, I need to change my behavior. So I did…right away…and apologized with a hug.

family pictures at corn maze

I hope you’ll join me in this journey next week, the week before Easter, and follow the prompts on the page. Thanks for letting me share a piece of my heart! Share #PrinceOfPeace on social media if you join in.

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