by Cheryl Merrick
We were trying,
but peace was gone and stress was increasing.
Why were we feeling so stressed
with our business, our home, my health,
working at the post office, volunteering at the school,
family relationships, and serving in the Church?
Slowly through prayer and study,
we began to ground our lives on solid Gospel principles.
My husband retired and we took charge of our business–
paying debts promptly, carefully evaluating costs,
and treating both customers and workers as children of God.
We simplified our home– eliminating all that did not add to our lives.
Concerned about the physical and emotional stress of going down to the school,
I decided to focus my teaching efforts on sending encouraging notes to others.
I realized that I had to set reasonable limits on my Church service;
giving up being the visiting teach coordinator,
serving just one hour each day as a missionary,
and accepting that family history is a life long project.
I started appreciating all I can do and all the help I can give.
I stopped stressing my body by going to Church, the Temple, plays, and stores.
I am accepting that though I enjoy getting out, and want to be a good companion to my husband,
and help people, I do not have the health to do so.
We lessened my physical stress by removing plastics, mold, and dust from our home.
We have also given up trying to start a business for our son,
provide our daughter with a home, or support my mom.
The best thing we can do to help everyone is to remain
financially, emotionally, and spiritually secure ourselves,
and to set an example of joyful Gospel living,
offer encouragement and counsel, and be an emergency back-up for them.
We are creating a new balance in our lives by limiting work and allowing time for relaxation.
We are finally understanding that before we can have peace or help others
we must stand on solid ground.