Post by: Angela Parlin
Some days, the sun shines, and I jump out of bed early. I slept enough hours without any interruptions, and I feel good. I start the day with the Lord and a run and then the kids come trickling out of their rooms, ready for the eggs I’ve made. Then I head upstairs for a quick shower with some great music to help me get happily ready to start the homeschool day.
Other days, it’s much harder to see beauty–because other days look a lot more like chaos. Can you relate?
Maybe someone needed me in the night, or I stayed up late with Jimmy Fallon.
Maybe the kids leave their rooms an hour before the time we’ve set. They forget to complete their morning chores, and so the laundry piles up and the bedrooms are a mess.
Maybe I’m tired and it’s a cloudy day and I don’t have time for quiet time and I didn’t get a run and I haven’t made breakfast and I don’t feel well.
Do you ever think about the back-and-forth of our lives? The up-and-down? Does it frustrate you the way it frustrates me?
I can get on such a roll of seeing-the-beauty days–of good, productive mornings, of day-before preparation, of starting the day out right. But then–something changes. Often, I don’t even see it coming. A cold. A sick kid. A misunderstanding. A big disappointment. Hard work that doesn’t yield results. Whatever it might be.
Then I get on a roll of seeing more chaos than beauty.
The kids are still waiting on me, so I have to quickly figure out how to deal.
How do you deal with days that look more like chaos,
with the cloudy days and your own clouded mind?
Last week, on one of the not-so-shiny days of my life, I learned that I have developed an unfortunate habit. That instead of dealing with the chaos, I try to escape.
After trudging through a rotten morning, I sent the kids off to read in their bedrooms in the afternoon. I was discouraged, and I spent a few minutes praying to the Lord about my problems, asking Him for help.
And then I moved on.
I COULD NOT WAIT to sit down on my comfy sofa to turn on Gilmore Girls, and so I fixed a glass of iced tea and resumed my position.
But as I sat there, I felt a holy conviction.
I knew it wasn’t my own voice, because my voice said–There’s nothing wrong with this!
And that’s true. There’s nothing inherently wrong with Netflix, or many other forms of escape.
But there’s a problem sometimes with the way we use them.
I felt the Spirit saying, Run to Me. Seek Me. Look to Me. And I saw my error.
I realized how often I seek the Lord—and then run off to my own fix.
My fix, which feels comforting at first, always leaves me wanting.
I saw that I was trying to escape my life rather than working through the hard parts, while looking to the Lord for His strength.
So by God’s grace, I started a new habit. I hope it will continue to be the way I deal with the not-so-shiny days.
I’ll seek the Lord, and then I’ll wait on Him alone—especially on the difficult days.
Because as Lamentations 3:25 says, The Lord is good to those who WAIT for Him, to the soul who seeks Him. (ESV)
But those who wait for the Lord [who expect, look for, and hope in Him] shall change and renew their strength and power; they shall lift their wings and mount up [close to God] as eagles [mount up to the sun]; they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint or become tired. Isaiah 40:31, AMP
Angela Parlin is a wife and mom to 3 rowdy boys and 1 sweet girl. In addition to spending time with friends and family, she loves to read and write, spend days at the beach, watch romantic comedies, and organize closets. But most of all, she loves Jesus and writes to call attention to the beauty of life in Christ, even when that life collaborates with chaos. Join her at www.angelaparlin.com, So Much Beauty In All This Chaos.