How to Thrive in Chaos

How to Thrive in Chaos

“There is only one thing in my entire life that must be organized…if organization and order can still be found in my attitude, we are doing well. But if my attitude falters, even in the midst of external order, so does everything else.”

– Rachel Jankovic, Loving the Little Years

Yesterday morning was crazy. Our little boy was fussy and managed to spit up through his nose before his nap. (I know. Gross.) It took a while to calm him down, because I can’t kiss it better if it’s on the inside. After his nap, he toppled a small table stand, breaking a snow globe and a glass vase of artificial flowers. (Picture glass and water everywhere with Baby looking at you like, that was a big noise…) Later, he managed to close his fingers in a drawer to our coffee table. That wasn’t a very pleasant experience either.

None of these particular events were on my agenda for the day. Things like folding cloth diapers and cleaning house were on my list, not mopping up broken snow globes.

As crazy as the morning sounds though, I wasn’t feeling overwhelmed. I honestly didn’t even think about all the crazy things that were adding up until after the fact. Life happens, babies bounce back, spills mop up, and we move on.

Rachel Jankovic is a mother of seven children (including one set of twins!), and she is the author of Loving the Little Years: Motherhood in the Trenches, a book full of real life and practical wisdom when it comes to parenting.  (If you haven’t heard of this book, you can learn more about it here I would recommend reading it!)

Rachel’s premise is that it is possible for us to stay joyful in the midst of chaos if only we can keep our perspective. If we can look at our broken snow globe and think, Well, I’ve always wanted to know what was on the inside of those, and if we can look past Baby’s fussiness and be thankful that he is strong and healthy.

I’ll be completely honest – I can’t keep my perspective on my own. I might really want to. I might even manage for a while. But I’m too selfish to not mind when life’s craziness interferes with my agenda. I need help maintaining the kind of attitude that Rachel talks about. If you are a Christian, you know that help comes from God.

For example: Yesterday morning, before Andrew was up, I was struck by King David’s dilemma. He grew up the son of a shepherd. His training took place in the fields and consisted of protecting and providing food for the flock. Now he finds himself making decisions for a nation – making laws, executing justice, and defending borders.

David realizes that this governing thing is too great for him. He doesn’t feel qualified for the task. So he delights in the fact that God will help him! In fact, he has joy in the face of his enemies because God is with him. Take a look!

“For you make him [the king] most blessed forever; you make him glad with the joy of your presence. For the king trusts in the LORD, and through the steadfast love of the Most High he shall not be moved.”   – Psalm 21:6-7

Forgive me if I gush a little. Isn’t that amazing? It’s possible to have joy in the midst of the chaos! I know I don’t have the wisdom or the strength to raise Andrew. I am out of my league with this mommy-ing thing. But I know that as a Christian, God is with me! What strength can compare with God’s strength? What wisdom can compare with God’s wisdom? Whose presence is more precious than God’s presence?

Who would we rather be trusting in?

The steadfast love of the Most High God strengthens our hands for the chaos. He is with us in the “thick of it.” He will not let us be shaken as we trust in Him.

Okay, maybe I gushed a bit more than a little. But God is worth it, right? 🙂 The fresh perspective that He gave me yesterday morning filled me with joy and strengthened me for the chaos for the day. And I will praise God for that!

What do you think? How has God helped you keep perspective in the midst of the chaos? I would love to hear about it!

~ Erin