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You Call It Chaos, We Call It Family!

“You call it chaos, we call it family!”

This sign is posted in my “coffee nook.” (I really need my coffee!) Chaos is defined as complete disorder and confusion. I also love the synonyms: disarray, mayhem (so daunting that an insurance company has made a complete marketing strategy out of this one), turmoil, maelstrom….need I say more?

As much as my control freak self doesn’t want to admit it, my family feels more like chaos than peace ninety-nine percent of the time. Why is that? What happened? When I look back to my dream of my family, this is more what I had in mind. Happy, respectful children, wonderful family dinners, balanced breakfasts, kisses and lunches handed out at the door from a mom who had it all together. (Yes. I did grow up with June and Ward Cleaver. If you have no idea who that is, you really should look them up. Good unrealistic stuff!)

Instead I have a senior in high school who is now 18 and who I can not protect anymore and an 8th grader who is simply a middle school boy. If you are looking for a visual picture of chaos, I am certain the picture would be a middle school boy. My husband and I meet coming and going and sometimes just look at each other with helpless glances if we take the time to look at each other at all.

The list of regrets can grow long. I didn’t pray enough. They didn’t see me studying my Bible enough. I did not model grace and love but reacted in frustration. Parenting is hard. Each stage has something new to teach me. But I know that each stage, each trial, each celebration causes me to cry out to my God. I am helpless to parent without Him. When I surrender myself to Him, His grace washes over me and allows me to show my family the love and grace that I have been shown. I also am able to accept His grace for myself.

The physics side of chaos says that it is something so unpredictable as to appear random. What I do know is that nothing is random. Nothing is unpredictable. My God knows all and is in control. That is why I can cling to Him in the chaos. That is why I can trust Him in the unknown. The best thing that I can give my kids as their mom is an example of a woman who relies totally and completely upon Jesus.

I leave you with this quote that for me sums it all up: “I need a little coffee and a whole lot of Jesus!”

Jennifer Daniel


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