Peace Among Chaos

I love Christmas.  I really do.  I love to celebrate Jesus’ birth and the peace and love that come from honoring that joyous day.  I even like to see a beautifully decorated tree, holiday lights and a child’s eyes when they find the perfect gift from Santa on Christmas morning.  I enjoy the random acts of kindness that spread like a virus.  If only this bug didn’t seem to pass by the time January 1st rolls around.

The negative side effect of the season for me is an increase in impatience.  There is more to do, but it takes longer to do everything because everyone else has the same deadline:  December 25th.  The kids are more likely to misbehave, even though the threat of being skipped by Santa should bring out their best.  By Tuesday, I’m counting down to the weekend for my days off (so I can get more stuff done.)

Instead of bothering myself with checking cookie ingredients and waging the never-ending battle for order in our house, I should be relaxing in a chair with a cup of hot tea, reflecting on Jesus’ birth and His life on Earth.

Still, on this day, exactly one week before Christmas, I found myself filled with annoyance and impatience.  I was annoyed at being awakened by my sons working out their differences with flying fists and screaming…at 6 o’clock in the morning.  After only five hours of sleep, I wanted to steal another hour or two.  I asked the boys to each go to their rooms and clean – and to not talk to or touch each other.

Yeah, you guessed it.  The fighting continued.  More sleep was not on my agenda.  I stomped out of bed at seven, only to find their rooms were still a mess and our dining room table littered with craft supplies.  In that moment, I wished they were more responsible, could interact without fighting, and realized that mommy is best left to sleep on a Sunday morning.

After the wish flashed through my mind, I wanted to take it back.  This day is no doubt somewhere in the future, though I can’t see it on the horizon yet.  I felt guilty for my impatience.  Just like they learned how to use the toilet, write their names, and say ‘thank you’ for a gift they didn’t like, they will learn how to communicate (and respect my wishes for more sleep.)

In the meantime, I will do my best to soothe my impatience and enjoy the moments that God has given me now.  It helps that my older son has the right idea:

Son's chosen words say it all...

So, with that, I’m going to sip my cup of hot tea amid the clutter in my house.  I plan to make peace with the disorder that surrounds me.

I hope we all can find peace amid chaos rather than let it become us during these potentially stressful days leading up to Christmas.

At peace with mess (via

Impatience isn’t a new thing.  I found comfort in that fact that even David could relate to the struggle with impatience:

Psalms 27:13-14 – “I am still confident of this:  I will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living.  Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord.”


18 thoughts on “Peace Among Chaos

  1. nrhatch December 18, 2011 / 3:06 PM

    Beautiful post, Janna. I am far more patient these days then “way back when” . . . but not getting enough sleep causes impatience to rush to the surface.

    Finding peace and joy amid the chaos and confusion is the principle challenge of life . . . especially for moms with young children. 😉

    • jannatwrites December 18, 2011 / 8:27 PM

      Thanks, Nancy. I’ve talked to several people who have gained patience with age. Rather ironic, since we have children when we are younger 🙂

      To have peace, I’m having to shift my expectations. It bugs me, but I’m going to have to live with the fact I’m not going to have the carpets vacuumed and tile swept/mopped all in one day. It doesn’t help that the playground sand on the tile doesn’t seem to bother the ‘men’ in the house…so I started wearing socks 🙂 It’s my piece of peace!

  2. philosophermouseofthehedge December 18, 2011 / 6:01 PM

    Just keep saying to yourself “it’s just a stage, they will outgrow it.” It is and they will, but then there will be the Next stage, then the next….just keep repeating….enjoy them and the chaos – time for quiet and clean (and sleep) later. Dance wildly now.

    • jannatwrites December 18, 2011 / 8:32 PM

      It’s the next stage that always worries me, mouse! It reminds me of the first job I had in insurance: each task I progressed to doing was more tedious and awful than the preceding one. It got to where I didn’t want them to show me anything else.

      I will surely dance wildly (as long as no cameras are around.) Perhaps quiet, clean and sleep are all overrated?

      Thanks for your nice comment – It made me smile tonight 🙂 🙂

  3. Carl D'Agostino December 18, 2011 / 6:34 PM

    I would not advise being so messy but my man Garfield really does have the right idea about it all. He is totally unflappable.

    • jannatwrites December 18, 2011 / 8:35 PM

      I agree, Carl. If our house looked that bad, I’d need anxiety medication. I can only take messy clutter for so long before I freak out and make everyone clean – or leave so I can do it! If only I had Garfield’s ‘really don’t care’ attitude 🙂

  4. pattisj December 18, 2011 / 10:56 PM

    The days moms get enough sleep tend to happen once the nest in empty! lol Not really that long, but I wanted you to have something to look forward to. 🙂 They’ll grow up too fast.

    • jannatwrites December 19, 2011 / 8:59 PM

      I guess it’s a trade off, Patti. I think I’ll be able handle a few more years of low sleep! I know it will pass by before I know it 🙂

  5. suzicate December 19, 2011 / 6:22 AM

    Patience does come with age. And we moms get a bit lonely when we don’t feel like our kids need us all the time!

    • jannatwrites December 19, 2011 / 9:03 PM

      I can’t wait for patience to kick in! See how impatient I am 🙂

      However, I’m not anxious for the them to leave the nest….

  6. Tori Nelson December 19, 2011 / 8:26 AM

    THANK YOU for this post, for the verse at the end, for saying exactly what I needed to hear today. Just perfect 🙂

    • jannatwrites December 19, 2011 / 9:04 PM

      I’m glad it helped, Tori. I’m glad your back and feeling better, too 🙂

  7. Debbie December 19, 2011 / 8:46 AM

    Patience is elusive when you’re young and your kids are, too. Don’t worry — it has a way of arriving as you and your brood get older (probably because of all those times we’ve prayed for it!) I still find it hard to be patient when I’m waiting in lines, looking for a parking space, trying to get done the “To Do” things on my list, and wondering where all my time goes!!

    • jannatwrites December 19, 2011 / 9:11 PM

      Debbie, I sure could use some extra patience. I’ll take your word for it that it will arrive at some point. I can’t promise that I’ll patiently wait for that to happen, though!

      Thanks for the assurance that patience and I will meet one day 🙂

  8. pattyabr December 19, 2011 / 9:43 AM

    Part of god’s plan is exactly what the Psalm reflects, learning to wait and being okay with it. The hard part is to refocus your goals during that time of waiting, while the world is pressuring you. It’s okay to let the world roll on by. I feel your experience w/ your kids, been there, still feel the sting of that time of parenting.

    • jannatwrites December 19, 2011 / 9:15 PM

      Learning to wait does build up patience…and it is hard, Patty. Knowing that I’m not the only one who hasn’t been blessed with an abundance of patience does make me feel better. The parents before me have survived, so surely I will, too 🙂

      Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

  9. cuhome December 19, 2011 / 2:26 PM

    I loved this part of your post, “…This day is no doubt somewhere in the future, though I can’t see it on the horizon yet. I felt guilty for my impatience. ” That is so true. ♥

    • jannatwrites December 19, 2011 / 9:18 PM

      Thanks, Janet. Sometimes it’s hard to stay in the present and resist looking ahead and wishing my life away 🙂

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