I have so many interests and passions that if I live to be 200 I will not be able to pursue them all.
It’s kind of like an interest driven attention deficit disorder. That’s not entirely accurate. My ADD kids have a laser focus when it comes to something they are interested in. The attention I give to my interests is more scatter shot.
I’m a kid in a candy store when it comes to a used book sale. I like the way books look, the way they feel and the way they smell.
My thrift store addiction has become fueled by a new interest – collage art and art journaling. I can justify the purchase of bits and items of obscurity to use in my creations. They are piling up.
Although I have only completed two quilts, I have plans and fabric for many, many more.
My writing files are frightening. Partly driven by an inability to throw anything away and partly driven by the paranoid thought that I will someday need that poem I wrote when I was 13 – stacks of buried treasure surround my writing desk.
These good intentions and un-chased dreams invite chaos into my life. When I’m clear-headed and energetic, it feels good to be surrounded by so much potential. When I’m stressed out with a bulging schedule, it feels suffocating.
How do you invite chaos into your life? Here are some of the common ways I have seen other moms invite it:
1. Having too many toys out at once. While I once thought that doing so would keep my kids engaged and interested, they often felt overwhelmed. I watch my daughter with admiration as she teaches my grandson to put one toy away before he takes it another.
2. Having too many items in my kitchen. I have a machine or a gadget to do almost any task in my kitchen. Sometimes I walk in there and sigh. Making a decision to use or not use one is another way I invite chaos. I was shopping the other day for a gift and overheard another shopper say she was looking for an electric corkscrew. Really? Some of my fondest memories are of hand kneading dough with the kids in the big bread mixing bowl.
3. How many pairs of jeans does your child need? With 4 young children and two adults in a small house, I quickly earned that buying too much clothing at thrift stores and garage sales could literally bury us! For each season, take a clothing inventory for each child – and adult. It’s amazing how little you really need. (I have provided a form below for your use in this process.)
4. A huge problem for me used to be inviting chaos by adding too many commitments outside of my family. My former inability to say NO threatened to derail my health and my relationships more than once. Getting older has helped me to prioritize more. I would encourage all parents of kids of any age to ask yourself this: What’s the one thing that only I can do during this time in my life? The answer always was to be the wife and mother that God called me to be. Other people can represent legal clients, but my babies grew older day by day.
I don’t need or want more chaos in my life.
I want peace. It’s only invited into my life as I cast away the unimportant and focus on the marrow.