Call Me Ms. Controlled Chaos

CONTROLLED-chaos-featured

Checkmate.

After almost 28 years of marriage my husband will not play chess with me because I do not play five moves ahead. I live more in the moment. The funny thing is – sometimes I win because it is so unexpected! Of course, chaos predictably does not always turn out so well, and most of the time it is as frustrating to me as everyone else.

My natural tendency is chaos. Along the way I have learned to cope with my nature by creating artificial boundaries for myself. I set alarms, write things down and thrive on routine.

Labels are everywhere: introvert, extrovert, creative, analytical, organized, messy, chaotic. Some are helpful and some are not. Some we are able to control, others not so much.

Lately the left brain/right brain test has been making the rounds on Facebook, and, as always, I got sucked into taking yet another test to tell me what I already know about myself … except it didn’t.

When I took the FB test I tested 70% left brain (more logic based), not because it is who I am but those are the characteristics I have cultivated and valued. How much of our personality is cultivated and how much is intrinsic? Nature versus nurture?

This got me thinking about what I am able to control and what I am not. Even though I have incorporated a great deal of structure in my life, the tendency for chaos is always on the perimeter. I worry sometimes it will get the best of me or that there is no changing who I really am. But who is that exactly?

The New Testament is filled with examples of the old and the new self. I believe and hope in these words, but in my heart of hearts I also believe the LORD created me and I am fearfully and wonderfully made – even the chaotic parts of my personality. My new self does not have to be diametrically opposed to my old self, but the plumb line is wisdom.

The virtues of wisdom are extolled and compared to foolishness.

Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time, because the days are evil. Therefore, do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is.” – Ephesian 5:15-17 (ESV)

As mothers, sisters, wives and friends we are often confronted with crisis. Biblical women also found themselves in the middle of family and tribal conflicts. Because marriage was used to build alliances, they were often the voice of reason among conflicting parties.

It is difficult in the midst of conflict to speak words of peace. Wisdom is exactly what is needed but the words alone do not guarantee they will be heeded. One must cultivate a lifetime of wise decisions, temperate nature and desire to bring peace wherever she goes. Here are a couple of examples of women using their wisdom for good in their families:

In 2 Samuel 14; the wise woman of Tekoa, plays the part of a grieving mother to bring attention to an injustice.

In 2 Samuel 20 Joab, a general of King David, was pursuing an enemy of the state and the “wise woman” intercedes for her village and stops a slaughter. She references her city as a “Mother of Israel” and pleads for a resolution.

In my own nature, chaos comes naturally, as does foolishness, and for a season it can be exhilarating but eventually the high wears off and the drop is dramatic. The cultivation of wisdom comes in the consideration, practice and control of thought, step and word. It takes time to overcome the wide path of foolishness. There is always a need for more women who are wise in every walk of life, so let’s keep persevering together.

Controlled chaos ... it drives some batty and causes others to thrive. But even those that embrace a chaotic lifestyle must admit that order and wisdom are needed to balance out the whirlwind from time to time.

Liz Clayton

Liz Clayton

Liz, the mother of two wonderful adult children, and her husband desire to pursue the LORD where ever HE leads… Her spiritual gifts of prayer and encouragement have facilitated work as a disaster relief chaplain and helping parents to actively pray for their children at every age.
Liz Clayton

About Liz Clayton

Liz, the mother of two wonderful adult children, and her husband desire to pursue the LORD where ever HE leads… Her spiritual gifts of prayer and encouragement have facilitated work as a disaster relief chaplain and helping parents to actively pray for their children at every age.

  • Jess Clayton

    I love it! And it all sounds so familiar… genetics are weird! Love you!

    • Liz Clayton

      It is the greatest prayer of my heart that you would follow me in the pursuit of wisdom all the days of our lives! <3

  • Pingback: Intentionally Caring for Myself | Middle Places()

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