Embracing the Chaos

This morning I prayed for God to help me embrace the chaos that’s swirling around me.

I’m reading, Wash Your Face, by Rachel Hollis. I need to read this book every year. It is laugh-out-loud hilarious and packed full of excellent reminders on how to live life to the fullest. Rachel dedicates an entire chapter to chaos, and how we react to it. We fight against it, we try to control it, we try to force it out of our lives. All understandable reactions…. who wants a hurricane blowing through the meticulously planted flower garden they call life??

Yet I see the truths from her story reflecting in my own life… we can’t control the storm, and when we try… we only lose control of ourselves. It is in those desperate attempts to calm a storm, to hold together our perfect holiday plans amid a widespread pandemic, to get to work on time when the interstate is backed up due to some jack-wagon causing a 20-car pile up, to get it all done (you know, the mile-long to-do list, respond to emails, clean the house, cuddle the kids, acknowledge the hubby, take care of ourselves)… that we lose ourselves and we lose sight of WHY we are even attempting any of it!

A couple times a year… I’ll lose it. I blow up. I cry. I spazz out. Usually my husband gets the brunt of it. He’s usually the one that pushes me over the edge. But if I’m being honest, he isn’t what gets me TO the edge. I get myself to the edge, by pushing my whole being, full-force against storm after storm that I can’t stop. And they push me closer and closer to that edge.

What would it look like if instead of making myself a wind-catcher, a full sail, being dragged by the storm… I choose to stand IN the storm, to let the wind swirl my hair and the rain wash down on me? To crank up the music and sing at the top of my lungs when I’m stuck in traffic. To go-with-the-flow of holiday plans. To find gratefulness everywhere. To unabashedly cry when I miss my dad and embrace all the happy memories when they come to me. To just sit and enjoy Wheel of Fortune with my college kid without worrying about what’s left undone on my daily list? Oh the life this would be!

It being Christmas time, I have decided to read a chapter of Luke each day. The first seven verses of chapter 2 are easy to skim through and not think much of. La dee dah… Romans called for a census, Mary traveled with Joseph to Bethlehem. She gave birth to her first son. By the way, there was no room in an inn for them because of poor Roman planning so she had to shack up in a barn and birth that baby among farm animals. Whaaaat?? Without an epidural because this was back in the day. Ummm… talk about chaos. Walking down the hall to the bathroom is a hassle when you’re nine months pregnant, let alone traveling on a donkey to a distant town. We pack our bags with what we’ll need during our clean, warm hospital stay, and include cute little outfits our grandparents gave us for Baby. Mary didn’t have temperature control, clean sheets, or cable. And she dressed her new precious baby in rags.

Luke doesn’t say if Mary was gracious through this experience, if she embraced the chaos. Heck, maybe she complained the whole time and was naggier than the old nags she shared the stable with. But I doubt it. When the angel came and announced that this was the path offered to her, she accepted. She could’ve said no. And the chaos she chose to embrace, changed the world.

My chaos won’t change the world on any level close to Mary’s. But embracing my own dear pieces of chaos can change my world, and in turn change my husband’s and my kids’ worlds, and who knows the ripple effects it will cause.

So let the wind blow and the rain fall. This girl is going to embrace the chaos (or at least give it my best).