When Chaos Is The New Norm

We’re quickly approaching the wedding day of our sixth child. The last to walk down the aisle.

Details abound.

Thankfully we have a friend who is magnificent in follow through. Where I lose details like it was my job, she sees those details come to fruition with a calm and steady demeanor that puts most everyone at ease.

The family has started to come home. Littles who have many needs of their own. Biggers who have better things to do than being concerned about wedding details. Cousins who love each other dearly–and can play and fight like brothers and sisters.

Then there are the ideas. Perspectives.

Chaos begins there–different expectations, disappointments, and the determination to make it all work.

Someone’s way.

What always surprises me is the noise level. When everyone talks, all need to get louder just to be heard.

Trash grows exponentially. Our small carbon footprint becomes a monster when I throw caution to the wind and use paper products because I don’t have the energy to do dishes.

There’s the added joy of providing sustenance. I need to shop every day because we go through so much food. And we’ve only so much storage.

Don’t get me wrong. I love this time. The sweet camaraderie of family who feels completely comfortable with one another is a gift I can’t ignore. The gentle ribbing, the pranks, the ongoing jokes all combine to create a safe and relaxing environment.

All that relaxation is work. The energy required to do family activities creates chaos that is as much internal as external.

Not sustainable.

Isn’t that how many of us “do” life? Constantly going, raising the bar on ourselves in light of what we should be accomplishing.  Adding responsibilities, activities, and people to already full plates without the capacity to do any of it well, just because it “looks” good. Being dissatisfied when our perceived gain isn’t as great as we’d hoped. When who we are doesn’t measure up to those around us who always seem to end up in a better place, in a better way, than we do.

Trying to be anyone other than myself makes me superfluous. Recognizing my particular skill set and talents and using them to the best of my ability is the best me I can become. I can’t assess my worth based on a measure I may never be able to attain or manage an image I can’t sustain. If the yardstick of value is based on someone else’s idea of what’s acceptable, very few will ever measure up.

It’s why I can only evaluate who I am by the standards of the One who made me. With a sense of shalom–wholeness as it should be. God became Man to remind us that we’re more valuable than our net worth. More celebrated than any celebrity. Better loved than anyone could begin to imagine.

Life is full of chaos, messiness that is on a repeated loop. But I can change my perspective by choosing to believe what God says about me.

His truth provides balance for life.

Even in our messiness.










2 responses to “When Chaos Is The New Norm”

  1. So true Dayle! I’ve often heard it said that no one else can be you – so be the best you you can possibly be. We are crazy when we compare and compete with others, aren’t we?


    1. Crazy is a kind way of putting it. And yet, I find myself often mired in the “comparison” trap, wondering why I’m not this or can’t do that like so and so can. God didn’t make me them! What will it take to actually live that truth? Thanks for your thoughts, Sheila!


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