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IMG_0651I am well known among my closest friends and family for my attempts to maintain “organization and flow” (aka: control-freak!). I also frequently tell people how often we live in chaos. Sometimes the chaos is real, and sometimes it only seems chaotic to me because we deviated from “The Plan”.

When everything goes according to “The Plan”, our household of 7 runs like a well-oiled machine. Laundry done, dishes done, toys put away, bedrooms cleaned, meals dished out and cleaned up, minds educated, and there’s even time slotted for play and rest.

Yay for Perfect!

What’s not perfect is that I’m lucky to get this kind of day once a week… That’s not a very good percentage if you ask me.

Holidays and birthdays tend to bring out the chaos a little bit more emphatically. Well-oiled becomes a thing of the far-distant past. And when well-oiled is left in the dust, this mommy gets a little short, a little panicked, and a little grumpy. (Please tell me you’ve been in the same boat!) Little things that wouldn’t normally bother me send me spiraling during these extra hectic times.

This past Christmas though, something innocent changed my perspective enough that even now, in the middle of January, I’m still remembering a lesson I learned in a 5 second span of time.

I was hurriedly re-arranging the stockings…Again! For the umpteenth time!

I was so beyond annoyed.

Was it really so difficult for small children to leave stockings completely alone, in the correct order, under the tree?? Apparently it was. As I was moving them to their “correct location” again, I simply didn’t notice our “Jesus Stocking” and forgot to move it. (truly incredible, since I was moving at a shocking 300 miles an hour….) My oldest son broke into my chaos with a simple statement, “Um, Mom, I think you forgot something. I think you forgot about Jesus.”

Everything came to a screeching halt.  And suddenly, the only thing that felt like chaos anymore, was me.

It wasn’t the stockings, it wasn’t the upturned box of cereal on the floor, it wasn’t the plastic pine needles on the carpet, it wasn’t the unwrapped gifts calling my name, it wasn’t the bickering children, it was my own heart. I was the one in shambles; I was the epitome of chaos.

As I turned to my son, who was holding out the Jesus stocking with beautiful innocent eyes, my own eyes filled with tears as I saw what I was creating. Christmas isn’t about “perfect”; it’s about “Merry”. It’s about Jesus. It’s about creating a space to humbly worship the King.

I know it’s not Christmas anymore, and even though I can still see the stockings under my tree because I have somehow managed to put up my Valentine’s Day decorations, while leaving my Christmas décor piled at the foot of the tree.IMG_0915

Trust me, that looks like chaos too!

IMG_0914This crazy picture of chaos reminds me that before I start setting in order the physical house we live in, I first need to set in order the house of my heart where the Spirit of the Almighty God lives. If He doesn’t come first, then everything else truly is chaos.

What about you? What areas of your life are seemingly chaotic? Have you misplaced your “Jesus Stocking?”  Is your life about “perfect” or is it about “Jesus”? The Bible teaches that we can’t serve two masters and just like we can’t serve both God and money, we can’t serve the god of perfection and the Lord of Grace and Truth.

Who are you serving today?