Our house is in chaos at the moment. After living in the same place for longer than we ever have in our married lives, it’s time to replace the worn-out carpeting in the living areas and hallways of our home. (With the exception of bedrooms, the idea of carpeted floors in a warm climate has always struck me as quite impractical.)
Of course, trying to find places to stash all the books, furnishings, chairs, knick-knacks, artwork, etc. from entire swaths of your living space (as well as the hall closet and interior shelves of all furniture the professionals will move)—and be able to live, move, and function in the remaining spaces—is sometimes feeling like a huge logistical nightmare. (Fortunately, as you can see here, we have a guest bedroom…!) As a client and colleague frequently states about such moments, “It’s a first-world problem.” We have accumulated a lot of stuff in 27 years of marriage.
Being able to continue working during this transformation of our home is important for me. I lost much of last week to battling a virus which was bad enough to send me to urgent care and a COVID-19 test to make certain I was in that 95% who are sufficiently protected by the vaccine. Fortunately, the test came back negative.
What this means is that I’ll be closed off in my office this week while workers pass by my door, carrying out old carpeting and installing the latest in engineered wood-style flooring that should be low-maintenance, cooler in summer, and stay looking nicer for a lot longer than the five-plus years we’ve lived here. Hopefully, all will go smoothly and by Thursday we can begin putting our living areas back together.
Sometimes chaos enters our lives without warning, turning everything upside down. That certainly happened around the world with the COVID-19 pandemic. When those days arrive, we hunker down and power through, doing our best in adverse circumstances. We rest when we can, grieve when we must, and support each other on the journey—as we have.
While it can seem counterintuitive to invite chaos into our lives, there are times when it’s the right choice. Henry and I know it will be a lot easier for us to care for the highly trafficked areas of our home when they are not covered in easily worn down and soiled carpeting. Our living areas will look more attractive for a much longer period of time. Removing the carpeting should also be better for our allergies.
When have you invited chaos into your lives for reasons that made sense to you? Is there any place in your life, large or small, where upheaval might be the right choice now?
This question makes me chuckle as I think about my “sewing space” that is in absolute chaos at the moment. I am trying to make a “soft book” for my grandson, disappointed in the pattern I purchased and trying to improvise. In the mean time I have fabric/scraps all over the place, a trash can overflowing with the rejects, scrap booking supplies out for hole punching and rivet setting, batting, tracing paper, embroidery supplies, pins and clips strewn from one end of the room to the other. My ironing board stands at the ready, dotted with fuzz from felt and fuzzy fabrics. I cannot seem to finish one page before another idea pops into my head. This is CHAOS…. and Love – knowing that Cade will (someday!) enjoy the buttons, snaps and peek a boo pockets that will help him develop fine motor skills. It is chaos I have invited … and am learning through. Not as grand a project as re carpeting, but this little upheaval is a way I am reaching out in love to my little guy who is too many miles away from Nana. Thanks for helping me see the blessing in the chaos!
Oh, Joyce, what a beautiful reflection chaos! Thank you for sharing it, and yes, this chaos will connect you and Cade beautifully. Many blessings on the unfolding of the pages….
I feel like I’m still living in chaos after my move. My house might be setup and I keep reducing the ‘stuff’ I have but I still haven’t found a church home. It’s made me rely on my daily walk with Jesus even more heavily than before. I’ve tried attending 5 different churches but because of either Lucia or their political stance, I’m still looking. And feeling like I’m in the wilderness and wandering. I have to cling to the fact that God wouldn’t have moved me here if He didn’t have a place for me. I just have to keep trusting and looking.
Miss you dearly, my friend
Oh, Nila, I’m so sorry to learn that you’re still in church-home chaos. It’s tough to spend time in the wilderness, even if you do trust that God led you there. I will focus my prayers for you in that direction, and pray also for patience and perseverance…. Reach out if you want to talk sometime.
Books multiply when you are not looking and with too many (too many books is an oxymoron) keeping them in order becomes more and more challenging but the chaos of books and flowers is so much nicer than barren order and austerity. Aladdin’s cave was probably not organized with jewels not organized by spectrum order, red rubies, orange topaz, yellow citrine, green emeralds, blue sapphires and black jet. Better get back to my chaos of chores.
Hi, Jen! You are right about books multiplying…even when I’m looking! There’s certainly a gift of beauty in the chaos of the things we own, as long as they don’t overwhelm us. Thanks for these multifaceted(!) reflections.
I’m glad you are feeling better!
Sometimes we need a bit of chaos to figure out what is important.
Thanks, Damien. Yes, chaos does help us reorient, doesn’t it?