From Chaos to Order to Thanksgiving

Lest anyone think I am always organized, completely together… I’m giving you a glimpse of my kitchen counter Friday afternoon.  Not pretty.  If you looked real hard, you’d see dog hair on the floor, along with some damp fall leaves drug in by our two furry friends.  

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There was a moment of complete frustration.  And before I knew it the negative self-talk began in my mind.  “You don’t have enough time.”  “You are so behind.”  “There’s no way to have everything ready for Thanksgiving, then three weeks to Christmas and then the girls’ birthday.”  Thankfully, yes, thankfully, I had spent quite a bit of time Friday reading in God’s word before the sun rose, reading through Crystal Paine’s manuscript, and had lunch catching up with a friend I hadn’t seen in two years.  We had laughed about memories past, shared our mothering struggles and even discussed the dysfunction in each of our families that can drive us crazy. But in the end, we had laughed much and recognized all the good in our homes, in us, in our husbands.  So, I took a step back.  I shut the negative talk down.  I looked at the calendar, saw an opening on Sunday and blocked off two hours.  I then jumped in the car with my family to enjoy an evening with friends watching basketball.  Sure enough, I enjoyed the weekend and my family, knowing in advance about my “blocked off time” left me to the quiet of my kitchen for an hour and half.  The mess on the counter got cleaned up. Coupons got clipped.  I finished filling out the gift idea list, scheduled the new events on the calendar and reviewed the menu for the week.  I blocked off time (with 30 minutes extra on the front and back side) for each task:  shopping, board meeting, real estate calls, church reminders, baking, food preparation, laundry etc…  I sighed a deep sigh of relief.  I wiped down the counters, grabbed a tall glass of water and just sat for a moment.  What a great feeling.

Life can seemingly go from good to bad to ugly in a matter of seconds.  And sometimes, that indeed happens.  A catastrophic event occurs.  But more often, we just think life has gone from good to bad.  We allow ourselves to get overwhelmed.  We wallow in the chaos and never stop long enough to take a breath and work at restoring order.  And that, that is what steals our joy.  That is what keeps us from experiencing gratitude and having a sense of peace.  Just a little quiet time focused on reigning in the tasks, getting a written plan in place, and life can go right back to great.  Yes, there’s a lot to do.  Yes, it may mean more time in the kitchen than usual.  I may be up a little later, but what a privilege.  How blessed I am.  How blessed we are.  How deserving of thanks is my God who is and was and is to come.  

So, don’t get bogged down in the chaos this week.  Take time, right now, to create order.  It is within your power.  Then, as I will do, work the plan.  Let the blogging, the extra house project, Facebook, etc… fall to the side.  This week they are not necessary.  Only your list, only your family, only Thanksgiving.  

My kitchen bar is still clear.  And as of tonight one of the tables is set and ready.  Be Still.  Let the God of Order fill your thoughts.  Be Thankful.

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