The truth is that too often I function on a daily basis like it is true. I want there to be "order" around here. I really do. Because I want peace inside. So I strive and work toward this end, always landing in a place of utter frustration when my efforts fail. And they are going to fail. I have four children. (Four precious children who want to be free to dance in the rain, and pour/spill their own milk. Four souls who need my engagement and my grace more than they need to live in an "ordered" home.)
God has been speaking so gently to me through His word saying it is time for me to let go even more. My efforts and focus on maintaining order around here leave me ungrateful for all the crazy-beauty that surrounds me every day. And quite frankly, I become freaky-control-girl. And nobody wants to live with her.
This is what I feel like He's saying to me: "Jesus brings peace, Haley".
In the midst of chaos and even turmoil... Jesus- He brings peace. Remember how he slept on the boat during that raging storm? I want that. That ability to rest and trust when life blows hard all around.
Instead of desperately trying to maintain order and control in your little world, relax and remember that circumstances cannot touch my peace.
Sarah Young (Jesus Calling)
It is a gift from God, really, that I cannot maintain the kind of order I'd like. You know, I actually got angry when I read that quote from St. Augustine. It's written in the very front of this brand new planner I got, and I took me a sharpie marker and marked right through that word "order" and wrote "Jesus".
Now I am not saying that it is not healthy and good and godly for me to seek a certain sense of order for myself and my family. I am not giving myself permission to boycott order. There is a certain amount of order that creates space to see and glorify God in our lives. But this can be no longer where I seek my peace. The peace that comes from a clean house and orderly life is temporary and certainly not soul-deep.
Because I feel like this is exactly what the enemy has been trying to convince me of in recent months... That if only I could get x-y-z in order around here, then there would be more peace. In this subtle way I've come to believe that God is most pleased when my life is "in order". (And I am quite concerned that many women in the church feel this way.)
But the gut-honest truth is that that desire for order is to make myself look good. I want people to think that even though I "have a lot on my plate", I have it all under control. And yet, in His gracious way, God gives me a multitude of chances every day to burst that big fat bubble.
I'm the one sporting the minivan with peanuts and goldfish stuck to the door jams and a two-week-old sippy cup of milk just discovered under the back seat. I'm "that mom" in the grocery store with two kids who aren't wearing shoes, one who is rearranging the canned goods, and another with all his clothes on backwards (yes, underwear, too).
People, I do not have this under control here. There, I said it. I am not saying that all this is doing me in or that it is controlling me. Not at all. What I am saying is that I gave up control a long time ago. God is in control here, and apparently it is not His plan for me to look perfect.
This question comes softly to my heart one morning before dawn as I sit with my bible open.... "Haley, who are you trying to present as perfect- Me or you? Because it cannot be both."
Day by day (I am a slow study), I am becoming more and more convinced that Jesus brings peace. Peace for the "disordered" and imperfect. Because if "order brings peace", then what about girls like me? For this is what I signed up for when I said "yes" to four children and a small, simple home. All this activity and a fair amount of disorder. Am I beyond the reach of the God of peace?
Maybe order does bring "peace" in our limited understanding. But I want the "peace that passes all understanding" (Phil 4:6-7) So I pray that God would guard my mind in Christ Jesus. That I will seek Jesus fully and live for His kingdom even when it looks messy, trusting that "all these things will be added unto me." And praying that I will never be seen as "perfect" so that He might.
May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.