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Finding Peace

Finding Peace

The feeling I think I’m craving the most around our house this Christmas is peace. So how am I going to find it?

Here are five “just say no” strategies I am using this week to
avoid the stress and find the peace I crave this Christmas:

1) Just say no to the internet. I’m telling you the truth, the internet can suck the life out of me if I let it. When I avoid Twitter, Facebook, Blogs and Skype like I’ve been trying to do the past few days, suddenly I feel more peace because there is not so much competing for my time, energy or attention. I love the internet, don’t get me wrong, but sometimes I just have to say no to all the little things that steal my focus and energy.

2) Just say no to more. There are so many things I could do in the next few days.  But when I feel my stress level rise just a little bit at the thought of DOING something, I need to find a more simple solution or not do it at all. I want to spend more time BEING and enjoying the holiday, so I’m just saying no to things that involve more time than I actually have, things I cannot afford or stress I don’t need.

3) Just say no to high expectations. I want our holiday to feel something close to perfect, it is in my nature to want to create a magical experience for my family. I could feel a little disappointed in myself  for any number of things that I could have done better. But letting myself get bogged down by unnecessarily high expectations or get frustrated for being imperfect (whether it is self-imposed or put upon me by others) is too much of a burden for me around the holidays!

4) Just say no to worrying about tomorrow. Sometimes around the holidays when life in general is a little stressful (when we have financial worries or other concerns about our life), I tend to forget to find and embrace peace in the moment. When I just say no to thinking too much about looming worries, I can appreciate the more important and meaningful things about today.

5) Just say no to any projects or tasks that can wait until AFTER the holidays! I am used to being busy all the time. I’m always thinking ahead to the next thing I “should” do with my time. It is hard for me to slow down and take a break! But many “things” can wait for a week or two. Right now, it is time to celebrate Christmas and find peace in the season.

How are you finding peace this week?


  1. Estela

    I’m printing this post! I need/want peace this holiday season. Thanks for such an inspiring post :)

  2. Tara

    love the way you encourage us and tell us the truth about experiencing abundant life.

    praying PEACE for you and yours…..

  3. Kimberlee J.

    What an encouragement today as I am feeling a wee bit overwhelmed. These are great reminders, and I am posting the link under my “Love It” section on my blog.

  4. Marci

    Our goal each December is to make it a peaceful, joyful time full of family and friends and Christ. This year, that has been a challenge. Mostly because I didn’t say no to enough things back in October and November and they caught up with me! So, this week, I am done shopping, wrapping and worrying. I don’t have everything done I really want to do, but it is enough. I want the week leading up to Christmas to be peaceful!

  5. Rachael

    Great post, I’m unplugging Wed – Sun it should be nice!

  6. Deanna

    Oh, yes! Our Christmas season has been fun, relaxed and full of delight. That is because we chose to opt out of craziness a few years ago, and settle for a Christ centered focus.

    Oh, we still decorate, bake, give gifts, enjoy time with friends and family – we haven’t give up anything! It’s just that we decided that the only ones we had to please were ourselves, that the kids didn’t need more stuff than the house can reasonable hold, and we want to remember the reason for the season!

    Have a wonderful Christmas, Melissa! Joy to the World! The Lord HAS come!

  7. Melissa

    I loved this post. I’m maintaining peace through journaling, trying to be present in the moments, setting boundaries, and setting each days intention. Happy holidays Inspired Room!

  8. Karen

    Thanks, I needed that! I was up at 5:30 a.m. (for work) and decided I’d make the Molasses Sugar Cookies before I leave (to give as gifts). Don’t get me wrong…I love baking but I’ve missed sitting with a cup of coffee to peruse the newspaper and just relax a moment before work—all in the name of Christmas.

    I’m hereby finished and will make do with what I’ve done for friends and family and instead keep the spirit of Christmas in my heart.
    Enjoy these precious days leading up to the majesty of Christmas.

  9. Sally

    Thanks for the reminders Melissa — all good points. I am done with my shopping, and don’t “have” to leave the house for anything this week. That is a luxury for me – to just be at home. So, the kids & I are finishing up on baking & wrapping. I need to do “self-talk” all the time to pace myself & prioritize so that I don’t become overwhelmed. It’s been a good year in that way so far. I SO appreciate all these little nuggets that I read along the way that help keep me on track. Merry Christmas to you & yours.

  10. Gina

    GREAT advice!! Especially the Internet. ;)

  11. Mirjam

    I couldn’t agree more. Sometimes it’s so hard to find peace. I’m always busy and for me the only way to get some rest is to turn off my computer. I want to buy a good book before christmas. And besides some family cooking and baking my plans are; read, relax and enjoy the company of my husband and kids.

  12. Karrie

    Thank you so much for this post…I have really prayed for peace this season, to just relax in Christ, celebrate his birth, and breathe and play!

  13. Vee

    I’m following your example on the entire Internet experience just as soon as I post this comment. Thank you for the wonderful tips and may peace find us all…

  14. Pat

    Great advice Melissa!

    I am definitely enjoying my blog break. Visiting while having my coffee this morning.

    Wishing you and your wonderful family a very Merry Christmas!

    All the best in 2011!

  15. Ashley Nichole

    Ahhh, after reading this I already feel a sense of relief. Thank you for this post. I guess I should now get off the computer! :)

    Happy Holidays

  16. teresa

    Amen! Melissa, thanks for all your support and example this past year.
    You are a true blessing.
    Have a wonderful time with your family.
    Merry Christmas

  17. Lauren

    I am finding peace within myself. I still have a long to-do list, but I’m prioritizing mindfully and letting go of my own perfectionism slowly but surely. It also helps that I’ve decided to leave work early today to get household chores done at a slower, more joyful pace rather than in a frenzy later tonight. :)

  18. Jennie

    Absolutely to all of them!

    Specifically, the internet has become a huge problem for me. I find myself on it constantly. Part of me is fearful that I will miss something. Recently, I can’t stop myself from going, “Oh my gosh! Something COOL is happening on the internet and I JUST found out about it!!! Now I must go through 3 years of archives just to catch up so I get all the funny references.”

    I have to remind myself that the internet is a ginormous and even if I made myself crazy for eternity, mining through all the cool internet things, I’d never finish.
    Remembering this and instituting a once-a-week internet free day has kept me sane lately.

  19. Emily

    Wonderful (and very timely!) pieces of advice. I’m still trying to strike a balance on that “just say no to more” idea. Hope you have a very Merry and Peaceful Christmas!!

  20. SillyJaime

    It’s the saying no to worrying that’s going to get me. I just can’t stop myself in that department.

  21. Sara

    Part of my finding peace over the past few weeks has been saying “NO” to Facebook all together. I still post on my House Bella account, but don’t even glance at my personal accounts or any friends accounts. This was at first challenging because I live 2500 miles from my closest friends, but I keep up with them in other ways. Better ways, I’d even say. Not trying to “keep up” with the entire world has made me more present in my own life, and more peaceful during the season. It’s been such a relief!

  22. Cherry

    Thank you for these thoughts … helping to create a sense of peace for all who read. I will be copying and pasting your five suggestions into my journal (on my laptop). Thanks for your great blog which I have been enjoying, and thanks for your heart …

  23. Traci

    EXCELLENT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Shared it on Facebook my friend!

    Traci @ Ordinary Inspirations

  24. Melissa Newell

    Thanks melissa – reminds me of what’s so important! I will be “unplugging” Thur – Sunday! (from blogging anyway)

  25. Gina

    Such a great reminder-by saying no to certain things we are able to say yes to what truly matters, thanks for sharing these reminders!

  26. Fiona's Mosaic

    I am delegating! My girls are home, and ready and willing to help! I’m just always trying to do it all. I figured after finals they deserve a break, but they want to help.

    Sooooooo…………I am growing and changing too.

  27. Denise C.

    This is the hardest thing for me to accept & do… not get so upset when my kids (4 & 2) have all their toys out on the floor. Our main living area & their play area are in one space. I am *trying* to accept that my kids will have toys on the ground, & life will go on. I’ll add my husband is very proud of me for this, I won’t lie, it’s hard, very hard for me to do.

  28. Andrea

    Love this post-it rings so true! My hubby gets home tonight after working away and our Christmas officially begins. We look forward to doing less, but enjoying more! He did look for the Canadian House and Home Nov issue for you, but unfortunately they did not have any left =( Hopefully you could order it directly from them?? Have a Merry Christmas!

  29. Pearl Maple

    Merry Christmas to you and the family
    Thank you for the inspiration all year long

  30. Kim

    This post is as beautiful as one of your “decorating” posts! Have a blessed Christmas!

  31. Jenny

    Thanks for the great post! This week I’m saying no to anything extra. One of my family’s favorite traditions is to sit in front of the tree and listen to Christmas music each night before Christmas. So I think I’ll do that instead of worrying! :) Thanks for the inspiration.

  32. Sarah

    Peace is a distant aspiration for me just now as we have just finished having some renovations done & there is still so much to do in the way of utterly dull, but time-consuming things, like painting banisters etc.

    I quite agree about the internet though – after a long day updating the Natural History website I am turning OFF the computer and curling up on the sofa with a book within the hour!

  33. Jenni

    That’s funny! I just wrote about finding Joy. I think I need the peace more. Thank you!

  34. Minnesotamom

    I, too, am saying “no” to doing more stuff. We have had a fairly cozy, relaxed December, and I have LOVED it. Reading books on the couch, playing with toys on the floor…these are the moments I have so badly wanted to be present for in my children’s lives. And it is a blessing to be here.

  35. Lisa

    Oh, my! This exactly what I needed to read right now-lol. Great list of suggestions.

  36. Anita

    Great advice as always Melissa! I have slowed down with blogging. I just have to try to stay focused. That is hard for me to do as I keep going from one thing to another. Thanks for the reminder :)

  37. Becky K.

    Melissa, I SO resonate with your struggles. Thanks for sharing these great strategies to pursuing peace instead of perfection around the holidays.

    It helps me to remember that Jesus lived the perfect life on earth so we don’t have to!

    Blessings to you and your family this Christmas!

  38. jeanne terrill

    Great post! I was just commenting on how I much I have enjoyed the holiday season this year. I had a plan. I started early. I didn’t beat myself up over the things I couldn’t control. I tried to keep it simple but enjoyable! We have already hosted 2 family gatherings and the 3rd one is tomorrow. I would love to re-post this for my friends to read. Wishing you a Peaceful Christmas!

  39. marigold

    Melissa, your heart is so pure and always in the right place. the simple fact that you ponder on these things shows what a good wife and mom you are. putting our families first behind our ‘business’ is always a challenge isn’t it? but i honestly believe that God see’s the intent. it is mainly for our families that we pursue outside interests, work, hobbies. It’s just learning to balance it. and say “no” when we need to. yes the net can suck you in, and i find myself comparing my life/home/blog/shop to all the many amazingly talented people out here and i find myself feeling that i too should be writing more, doing more, creating more arrrrgh. lol…it’s enough to just sit and read a devotion with my little bubushkas, it is enough. thanks for a great post! love you girl. have a wonderful Christmas with your family! :)


  40. Sandy

    Brilliant. Thank you for the gentle reminders. Have a wonderful weekend, friend!

  41. Laryssa

    I’m like you, too much internet (and other media) stresses me out!

  42. Glenda Childers

    My adorable mom, always said, “when you say ‘no’ to something, you say ‘yes’ to something else.” (and visa versa). I like all the things you said NO to and suspect you are saying yes to peace, fun, good memories, rest and a very Merry Christmas. Good job.


  43. Katie

    AMEN! I wrote a blog called Christmas simplified. There is soo much I am not doing this year and all i can say is ahhhhhhh peace. Great post!

  44. Sally

    Melissa, I commented earlier…but p.s. I LOVE the ornament in this post-photo. Can you tell me more about it — or where you got it?

    • Melissa

      It is a DaySpring ornament, and it is gorgeous! There is a link in my sidebar, if you click the photo with the bird on it you should be able to find it, and maybe it will be on sale? If not, right after Christmas?


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