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This year has been a whirlwind of things. Good things, bad things, good news, bad news, and lots and lots of really hard work. I don’t mind hard work when it leads to nights of restful sleep. When the hard work drags on and on with no end in sight is when I’m not a big fan of it. Over all though this year has been good. We’ve done many, many necessary things. And yet there are some really big things that still need to be done.

During the time that our house was on the market our house was in pristine condition. And I noticed a couple of things, 1. it was stressful to keep things that way and 2. I was much, much happier overall. I wasn’t tripping on things, the girls kept their rooms clean (because I made them), the dishes were always done and the laundry was always folded and put away. Now there are clothes everywhere, the kitchen is a mess with mail and whatnot on every flat surface and I never make my bed. I realize that these are two extremes and extremes aren’t typically helpful. I know there’s a better way and I’m going to find it.

Granted, there are reasons for the mess.  When our house was on the market I let the girls have about 10 articles of clothing and we put the rest in storage- yes I really did that. It’s because the house is so small that we couldn’t leave a dresser for each girl in their room while the house was staged. Since then the seasons have changed and the girls needed warm clothes and we’re short a dresser and….you get the idea.

I could give several other scenarios with the same type reason but I won’t because I’m looking for solutions. In my heart I’m really “over” trying to make the house work but this is the house I’m in and peace is what I’m after. And I’m trusting the Holy Spirit to lead me in this and bring my heart to the place it needs to be.

During church this past Sunday we were praying for many different things including the persecuted church and missionaries but at one point our pastor asked us to pray for that one thing that stood out in our lives that needed to be broken. And as I started praying for the one thing that stood out to me another word clearly rang out and it was chaos. Chaos was the underlying thing that needed to be broken in order for other things in my life to come into alignment. So how do I do that? How do I subdue chaos in my life? Well, one verse kept coming to my mind over and over, “Seek peace and pursue it.” The New Living Translations says it this way:

“Does anyone want to live a life

that is long and prosperous?

Then keep your tongue from speaking evil

and your lips from telling lies!

Turn away from evil and do good.

Search for peace, and work to maintain it.” Psalm 34:12-14

So not only do I search for peace but I work to maintain it. That’s helpful to me because I can identify a source of chaos (or frustration) but it’s not going to magically disappear over night. Or apparently in during the day either. While I was writing this Travis called and reminded me of 5 errands that I need to run. That isn’t how I wanted this day to go and this would normally frustrate me but during my devotions this morning the Holy Spirit reminded me that I wasn’t going to be completely organized in a day. I am thankful for that and I’m determined to at least make one step toward subduing chaos today.

So, today I will get a book case out of storage. It may not sound like much but since I have to run errands anyway it makes the most sense. I don’t have anywhere to put the girls homeschool stuff, so I’ve had binders stacked in the living room only to get knocked down, spilling their contents in the process.  I also intend to make a menu. My friend, Mary is a good resource on this. In the past she’s posted her weekly menu.  I think incorporating some of her ideas  will help me get my weekly dinners under control so that all of the Buttons are eating together at night, help me with my chaotic eating patterns (if I don’t know what to eat then I won’t eat), and it will help me get our grocery budget under control. I’m finding that this whole chaos thing is much bigger than a messy house.

Good grief, I’m being transparent today! You know what though? I find that the more transparent I am, the more helpful it is. Because I’d be willing to bet that this will either help someone or it will give someone else an opportunity to share how they’ve overcome something in their life. Because if I’ve learned anything  it’s this- it’s never just me. We all struggle with something. One of the biggest lies  that people buy into is that we’re the only ones with a particular struggle. That I’m the only one that needs to subdue chaos in my life while everyone else has a life that’s perfect. It’s just not true.

Today I will pursue peace. Even if it’s just one thing. How about you? Where in your life is there chaos? Where have you overcome chaos? Is there an area in your life that just seems out of control?  Let me know in the comments.

I pray for peace for you in abundance,