Wednesday, April 8, 2015

World Peace... Or at least peace in our home...

Maybe it was the move.  Maybe it was the grumpy mom.  Maybe it's just because they're all getting older, but no matter the why, we've had some serious contention going on in our home lately.  After a few family home evenings about it, with no results, I read a Conference talk by Richard G. Scott and was profoundly touched by this quote, "One of the greatest blessings we can offer to the world is the power of a Christ-centered home where the gospel is taught, covenants are kept, and love abounds."  Love abounds?  Is it possible that love was the answer?  So Sam and I did a FHE lesson on love.  And the "love jar" was born....  
Sam cut a bunch of little slips of paper and stuck them in a small jar with a fun pen and sparkly pencil (everything is better sparkly!).  When any of us would see another family member do something that showed love for someone else, we'd write it on one of the slips.  
It would then be folded and put in a larger jar.   

 Almost instantly the feeling in our home changed.  The girls were watching each other to catch them doing something good.  Not something annoying.  And they were trying to find ways to show their own love to their siblings.  It's magic, I tell you.  Magic.  And it helped their mother as well.  One of our daughters (who shall remain unnamed...) has had a harder time moving than the others and has shown her displeasure primarily at home.  I was afraid she wouldn't have any slips in the jar with her name on it, so I watched her with the sole purpose of catching her doing something kind.  I saw her differently, through eyes of love, instead of impatience.  And I saw things my husband does for us as the gestures of love that they really are.   
We read all the slips in the jar for our next family home evening.  You want to see your child glow?  Have their good deeds read, out loud, for the whole family to hear.  Again, it's magic. 
 Our first week we had 78 acts of love put in the jar.  From Alix helping Sam get untangled from her bike chain, to Brooke doing Sam's hair.  From Tom putting together the twin's new bikes late at night to Ethan "helping" me doing laundry.  From Erin playing Barbies with Sam (when she really didn't want to) to Sam snuggling Ethan in bed.  
 My favorite one was from Erin... "Mom smashing my samwich" (she likes her bologna and cheese nice and flat - weird, right? - so I roll it for her every morning before I put it in her lunch...)
The next week, we set a goal to get 100 slips.  We reached our goal.  Our home was happier.  To mix it up, the third week we had people write things they personally had done for someone else, in secret.  We were all looking for ways to bless each other's lives and show how much we loved each other.  I don't know how long it will stay interesting, but the spirit in our home is now one of love and peace.  Love really is the answer!

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