Did I tell you about the issue I used to have with m&m’s? The whole bag of candy would be empty in only two days, and I would wonder who ate all my m&m’s until I realized that I ate them all every single time.
I don’t know how those little candy-coated chocolate morsels used to be such a weak spot for me.
I had to stop buying them. That was the easiest solution for me. I only had to make one decision at the store to not buy them so that I could avoid the fifty decisions to not eat them whenever I walked in the kitchen.
That’s how you create a personal filter: a habit or decision made to protect your heart, attitude, and well being. You can create filters for your home and family members too.
Do you want to avoid the commercialism at Christmas? Don’t go to the mall and watch less TV.
Want your kids to be content with the toys they have? Stop taking them to browse the aisles of Target each week.
Do you feel frustrated about your crowded schedule? Learn how to say no, which pleasantly sounds like, “I’d like to, but I can’t…”
Create your own policies to sound more official.
I think we too often forget that we can make choices about what we let into our lives. One thing I am careful about is the source where I get my news. I don’t watch much television because I don’t feel very good afterwards. Most news is more for entertainment. I am so conscious that this world is not the way God designed it to be that I don’t need to be reminded of it in my home every night.
When someone talks about making home a haven, a haven is a place of safety and refuge. It means more than decorating it with throw pillows, comfy blankets, and snacks. The significance is creating a shelter, a safe place.
It means I can have compassion for a hurting world without letting it all into my home.
Another way that I am watchful to filter is spending time online late at night. My judgement is clouded and I tend to be more emotional, so I try not to do online shopping late at night. One time I was going from one site to the next. I wanted to find something that I “needed” so I could buy it and it could make me feel better, but then I realized, “Wait, what need am I trying to meet here?” I closed the computer and jumped into bed.
I filter out caffeine, because even though I love the short-term effects, it makes me irritable later.
With Christmas coming, I’ve been getting so many catalogs in the mail, and I spent some time this morning canceling them and getting them off of my desk. Before you want something, you see it. It doesn’t occur to me to buy something unless I see it in the catalog first. Where your eyes gaze, your heart follows.
If we want to live in a peaceful home, we have to use some filters.