“Mommy! Today was funny hat day! We didn’t wear hats! You forgot the hats!”
That’s how my kindergartner and first grader greeted me after school on funny hat day. And pretty much every day thereafter for at least a week. Yup. I forgot. I think I’ve forgotten more stuff than I’ve ever remembered. There are just too many things to think about … my brain is full.
I’m pretty sure I’m not getting the “Most on Top of Things Mom” award … ever.
I really need to get over trying to appear like I have it all together. I joke that I can’t even give the illusion of being organized. I used to be able to at least appear like I was slightly organized. Now, not so much. Things are always falling by the wayside. I have lists. I have calendars. I have more lists. No matter how hard I try, I end up forgetting something daily.
The good thing is I haven’t forgotten any of my children anywhere … yet.
I used to be so much about appearing like I could handle this life well—you know that organized, put-together, calm mom—on the outside, I mean. I’ve always been a bit of a mess on the inside. But now things are different. It’s interesting how God works in our lives. Now, when my outside world seems most out of control—crazy schedule, mile-long to-do list, forgotten stuff, mismatched socks, cluttered living, endless laundry, too many books, papers, and crayons, and an unknown number of house projects—my inside world, my heart and soul, is at peace.
And by peace I mean that peace which passes all understanding—you know, that God peace. I still have worries, stress, and occasional emotional meltdowns. But I feel a current of peace under the storm of my life. I think it’s because I’m learning to be thankful for what God is doing in my life. I’m thankful for how He takes care of us, provides for us, and shows His love for us in big and little ways. There is A LOT I would change about my life, but there is a lot I wouldn’t change at all.
You know that verse in Philippians that talks about God’s peace which passes all understanding guarding our hearts and minds?
Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:6-7)
That guarding peace is because we rejoice, we are willing to put aside our rights for others, we have an eternal perspective.
When we are anxious, we fight it with prayer, and we are thankful. I believe that the key to peace is prayer with thanksgiving. As I’m faced with daunting tasks and difficult decisions, I’m trying to find something to be grateful for in the process. I think sometimes we have to be very practical in our approach to this thankfulness thing. This is how I’m doing it—I’m making a list (another list…):
Educational choices—I know that God has a plan. There are options. My kids will be okay.
Financial issues—God has always provided and always will.
Home issues—I have a home. It is beautiful, comfortable, and full.
Car issues—I have a car. It’s noisy but it runs.
Making decisions—God says if I ask for wisdom He will provide. I can trust He will lead me even if it feels like it’s taking forever.
Even in the midst of all the yuck of our lives, we can choose to be thankful and focus on the good things. I might not have it all together for more than five seconds a day, but I have a lot to be thankful for. Maybe having it all together isn’t the end-all be-all I thought it was. Maybe I can just be messy me who forgets stuff and gets weepy at times, who can choose to smile while tripping over the clutter of a house full of children I love with abandon, and who occasionally forgets to send in funny hats for funny hat day.