From Chaos to Order!

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The story of my life really.
From Chaos to order.

So many times in my life God has taken me as I am, a chaotic mess of emotions and feelings and brought me into a place of order.
Now as I am a slow learner, this seems to be a pattern in my life. I would love to say that God will sort me out and I am good from then on, but I tend to slip into old thinking patterns and I start to let the lies of the enemy invade my thoughts time and again! It is a constant battle and one I don’t think I will win until I am home with God.

My shoes are like this too!
I love shoes. But not like most girls who love sparkly, high heeled beauties. Nope, I am more of a Nike, Converse, coloured sneaker kind of girl. I live in jeans and t-shirts (I will leave those confessions to another day!) and so coloured sneakers are the perfect fit for me.

So over my many trips to America, and thanks to the wonderful world of internet shopping (seriously, what is better than shopping in your jammies!) I have accumulated (quite) a few pairs of shoes, I know, I know, there are worse problems a girl could have! In our old house, I had a great system for my shoes with having a large wardrobe, but our new house doesn’t allow me that luxury. So after a couple of months at our new place, my shoes were a mess! Some were on the floor, some were on the shelves, and some were in a big basket which I had to empty every time I wanted to find a certain pair of shoes!

It was messy people, and it was driving me nuts!

IMG_6803And so I jumped online and bought myself some shoe boxes. I hate to admit how excited I was when they arrived… was like Christmas had come early (now I know you are wondering, its only 297 sleeps away!) I spent the afternoon making up these little plastic boxes and then started packing my shoes!

Oh, the joy. The beauty. The order that these wee boxes bought to my wardrobe and my shoe collection! They turned my chaotic mess of shoes into a thing of order and beauty, and I was one happy chicken!

Even though it took me months to sort it out, once I made the decision it was easy, simple and didn’t take long.

Isn’t our walk with Jesus just like this? We know something is a mess and we know we should do something about it, but we procrastinate and put it off. And when we finally decide to do something about it, it is simple and easy (well, most of the time!) and we look back and go “Man, I should have done that months ago”

1 Corinthians 33 reads:

“God is not a God of disorder but of peace, as in all the congregations of The Lords people.”

God doesn’t want chaos in our minds to mess us up. He doesn’t want disorder as that’s when the enemy comes in to distort our reality. No, God is a God of order and a God of peace. He wants us to find rest and peace in Him and lose the chaos.

As I continue on this journey of Lent, I am reminded again that God is in the middle. In my messy middle. To get my shoes sorted, things got messier before they got better. There was a huge mess in the middle of my floor before they were all put into boxes. Same could be said of my life. Sometimes it is darkest just before the sun rises and I am learning to keep walking knowing Jesus is with me. Carrying me on the days I don’t have the strength to walk and encouraging me to turn my chaos into His beautiful order.

So whether it’s shoes or my mind, I feel so much better, and so much more at peace when I have order.

What is it for you?
Where do you need order this week?
Where does God want to replace your chaos with His beautiful order?


Messy In The Middle…..

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Sometimes life is messy in the middle!

Sure the before and after photo’s tell a story.
Chaos to Order.
Mess to Perfection.
Dirty to Clean.

But often there is a story in the middle that is unseen to most. The struggle, the pain, the battle.

This week my before and after photo’s seem pretty straight forward…..a messy bench to a tidy bench. Nothing complicated or particularly messy about it…..Right?

a before

But for me, there is so much more than what the photo’s show!

You see, the fact that my bench got this messy is not something that happens often in our house. I love having a tidy bench. If my bench is tidy I feel the whole house is tidy…even if it’s not! There is nothing nicer than walking into the house and seeing a clear bench. Mess and clutter drive me nuts and leaving stuff on the bench is something which I can’t stand…..much to the frustration of my family, although they know the quickest way to my heart is cleaning the kitchen for me!

But on this day, I was tired, I wasn’t feeling well and I was also feeling sorry for myself:

Why does no one help me around here?
Why is the place always a mess?
Can’t they see the clutter?
Doesn’t it worry anyone but me?
Why am I the only one who cares around here?
Why does no one love me?
Would they even notice if I fell off the edge of the world?
Does Jesus even love me?

As you can see from my train of thought, things went completely off the rails pretty quickly and all of a sudden I had gone from a messy bench to no one loving me, not even Jesus! Does this happen to anyone else or is it just me? Seriously, I had de-railed so quickly and things had escalated so rapidly in my mind, I didn’t know what had hit me!

Stop and just breathe Kathy…….

Let’s keep it all in perspective. Yes the bench is messy, but that doesn’t mean you are a terrible Mum and no one loves you… just means you have a messy bench!

As I sat and got myself together, I thought of Jesus. Of course there are no before and after photo’s in the Bible, but we can read of such stories. In my minds eye, I can see the 5000 starving and then feeling full and happy once they were fed. I can see the anger and despair as Lazarus was pronounced dead, and I can see the relief and happiness when he was once again breathing. I can see the woman with the issue of blood before she touched Jesus and I can see her face once she was healed. The Bible is filled with before and afters.

But, in all these stories, there is a middle that we often don’t see. There is a middle where people felt they had no hope, or they had no answers, some didn’t even know they were in the middle! But in each story there was a middle where there was a battlefield of the mind. Some were small battlefields and lasted only hours, some were bigger battles that lasted years.

Philippians 4:7 reads:

And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

So what does all this have to do with my bench? Well, when I get overwhelmed or start to believe the lies of the enemy, I need to remember that God will give me the peace I need. It will surpass my understanding and it will help me to keep it all in perspective. No matter what I am going through, facing a messy bench or facing something a lot bigger God is always with me and He always offers me His peace.

He is there in the befores and He is there in the afters.

And, He is always with me in the Middle, helping me keep my mind on Him and keeping everything in perspective!

Square Burger, Round Bun……AHHHH!

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It’s just wrong!

Square burgers were made for square buns and round burgers were made for round buns, right?
I mean, who in their rightful mind would put a square burger in a round bun? Well, Wendy’s would, that’s who! Now for that very reason I would never normally eat there, but this week was different. But first a tiny bit of history to clue you in……

I’m a little OCD and I’m not sure if I should be proud or embarrassed to admit it! But I do love it when things are lined up perfectly, labelled and put away where they should be. I love it when the petrol pump finishes with a round number and I can’t stop running until I hit that full kilometer! The tv volume is always on an even number and so is the temperature in my car! I love things in straight rows, hence the reason why I got rid of all my circular Tupperware in my pantry and the reason I got rid of the striped duvet cover on my bed (I spent way too many hours making sure the stripes were straight and figured it was easier and less time consuming to just not have stripes!) The clothes in my wardrobe are all hung according to colour categories and all the lovely lined boxes that sit on my top shelf are labelled and neat as a pin! Yes, the world is a happier place when things are lined up, labelled and in the right order!

a burger squareSo back to square burgers in round buns. Again, it’s just wrong, but it’s amazing the things we will do for our kids. Jackson has been working so hard with his school work and I promised him if he got 6 100%’s in a row, I would take him out for lunch (without his sister!) He hit that goal at the end of last year but we just hadn’t found the time to make it happen. Seeing his sister is away this week (that is a whole other story in itself!) I said we would finally do it……… His pick! Wherever he wanted to go would be fine with me! Of course, I was secretly hoping he would choose one of my favourites, but I kept my mouth shut! Now, Wendy’s has just opened by us so of course he wanted to try this new place. I had seen the ads, and I knew they put square patties in round buns, but this wasn’t about me! This was Jacksons reward, this was all about him. And so as much as I was screaming in my head “NOOOOOO!” I said out loud “Sure thing Buddy, it’ll be nice!” But could I do it? Could I actually eat a square burger in a round bun, and live to tell the tale?

So I sucked it up and ordered 2 square burgers in round buns! It took everything in me when I got my burger to not trim the corners, but I didn’t! I ate every last little bit, yes, even the square corners! To be honest, I think Jackson found it quite amusing, the fact that his crazy old Mum would eat a square burger just for him! We had a great lunch (ok, not the food so much but the company and conversation definitely made up for it!)

I know for a fact I won’t be rushing back for another one anytime soon! Sorry, all you Wendy’s fans out there, I hope I haven’t offended any of you, but it’s just not my thing! I think from now on, I will stick with round burgers in round buns, and peace will be restored to the world, well my world anyway! I know I am the Burger Queen, but there are even limits to what this slightly OCD girl will put herself through!

a burger