"That you also aspire to lead a quiet life, to mind your own business, and to work with your own hands, as we commanded you." (1 Thessalonians 4:11)
Wow! This chapter on "controlling the chaos" has had me thinking and I'm still churning many things around in my head. I have to admit I chuckled a bit when I read the title of this chapter. Chaos? Check. Controlling? Well... sometimes. Maybe if it was just me that I had to control... Hah! Who am I kidding? I'd still be a mess without all these littles! In fact, I'd probably be more of a mess. ;)
We all know the pressure to do more, be more, have more. I think mama's feel that pressure even more because we take on the do, be & have for our children (and hubbies, even though we often don't stop to ask them first). Home educating mamas add to that list with educate more. And often the world, friends & family tell us we are not doing it correctly, well or enough. Often, I tell myself that. Great. Guilt.
"Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light." (Matthew 11:28-30)
Anyone else ever read that and wonder? Read it and cry? Yeah, me too. My burden didn't feel light nor my yoke easy. I remember Eric finding me once sitting in piles & piles of laundry crying hard. He asked me what was wrong and what he could do. Poor guy! :) There were some logistics that needed changing in our home but mostly I just need to take my broken self to my Savior. I needed to sit at His feet, drink from Him. I needed to see beyond the bone-tiredness and realize He would see me through. Would it be easy? Nope. Quick? Maybe (it wasn't) but that wasn't the point. He was faithful. He was good. He loved me.
You see, the chaos doesn't usually go away. One form will merge into another, in varying degrees. :) But we can learn to control the chaos and own our life in the midst of it. How?
Sally first points out that we will be left empty if we chase after anything but Christ. We have to remove distractions that prevent us from being at peace with God. Ouch. Her promptings to search where my heart is, what I'm so busy doing & why I'm doing it were tough. Interestingly, I was already doing this a bit- there's something about pregnancy that always has me wanting to simplify. Are you too busy? Then let something go. It will be okay, I promise. If it must get done & you're oh so tired, enlist the help of a child, friend, outside help, hubby. Spend time in prayer & talk to your husband- God will direct your steps!
"Noting in this world will fill the deep crevices of your life with peace, contentment, love, and joy except God." (pg. 19)
Oh, how our world needs to hear this! One fade is quickly replaced with the next. One star looses popularity to another. One think tank outwits the next. And people still stay broken because they need Christ! Sadly, many of us in the church do too. Oh, Lord- help me to never offer any other solution except Your perfect Son!
Second, we need to know theology. Don't wrinkle your nose! Theology is beautiful because a right understanding of God helps to not only know who He is but also how to love Him! I found myself musing about my commitments to study His Word and spend time in prayer. Honestly, I struggle to find time to do this alone. :/ There are seasons for us mamas when our devotional time is short but I think if we are faithful to still do what we can, He will provide other seasons of lengthier devotions. Beyond devotions, we need worship!!! How sweet Sabbath rest is with God's people, as well as our times in His Word at home!
"Most of us do not have a corpus of Scripture in our minds, a comprehensive understanding of the Bible and its truths that can counteract the voices of culture. Yet in order to build well, we must have the right resources- a growing understanding and obedience to the words and messages of the God who created us." (pg. 22)
I will also add that knowing the Scriptures and spending time in His Word is so refreshing because it frees us from all the burdens the world (and my own sinful heart) would try to throw at me. We didn't get that math book finished. No guilt. I served pop tarts for breakfast. No guilt. I didn't even finish a week of working out. No guilt. I haven't mopped the floors in ages. No guilt. I let my baby cry it out or I didn't let my baby cry it out. No guilt. Are these things good? Maybe but unless the Scriptures call you to do it, the Lord lays them on your heart and you and your husband are on the same page, be at peace! Listen, I love to talk logistics and there's a place for it. But none of it saves!!!
Thirdly, we've got to act because love is a verb. I was left musing how my actions were showing what's in my heart because I so long for these things:
"Coming into contact with us should be like coming into contact with Jesus. And in fulfilling these purposes, we find satisfaction and peace in our souls." (pg. 23)
"Each day, you are writing the story that your life will tell throughout eternity." (pg. 24)
"His lord said to him, 'Well done, good and faithful servant; you were faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord.' " (Matthew 25:21)
You see, at the end of the day I just want to know that my God is pleased with me and that my loved ones feel loved. Praise God that Christ's redeeming work has paid it all and that I can know please Him! Praise God that I'm not alone and the chaos and busyness of life is all around me! Praise God for coffee and quiet time. :) I'd say owning my life is pretty special!!!
Be sure to check out Dawn's thoughts here!