Monday, May 2, 2016

The Pursuit of Order

I've gone through a flurry of tidying and organizing at our house.  It stems from a few different things.  First, I'm beginning to think about the next year of homeschooling, this time with two, and I wanted to get a little more organized and deliberate about what I have in the house.  We've hired someone to clean our house, and after looking at all the clutter they have to clean around, I was a little motivated to shed some of the extra stuff.

I was talking to a friend about it, though, and realized there was another motivation underlying all this.  We've spent the last three years of our family life getting our kids home.  A lot of money, time, and space on my thought plate went into that, but I think we're done.  (Don't pay attention to that virtual asterisk)  So I'm ready to make some space in my life to think about our family as a complete unit--what does that look like?  Where are we going now?  I have so, so not figured that out yet, but I want it to involve less junk in our house, so that seemed like a good place to start. 

Because our house is cluttered, and disordered, and really, my whole life feels like a four-ring circus right now.  I'm not a ring master.  I'm an analytical chemist!  I like order, structure, perfect endpoints in my titrations, and using volumetric glassware to make solutions.  In my dreams, my household runs like a well-tuned instrument (analytical, not musical).  I hold out hope that order will make it easier to parent my children...that I will be a better parent if I can just get my house is in order. 

As I was coming to this realization, a friend posted this link on her Facebook page, and one line spoke to the very heart of the problem with my pursuit of an ordered household:

"I've said it before and I'll keep saying it again and again and again - your "success" as a foster or adoptive parent is not measured by your capacity to keep everything in order; it's determined by your ability to trust that even in the chaos Jesus is beautiful - and even in the mess, so is what you are doing for these kids."

The ringmaster needs a plan if the circus is gonna run at all--but that can't be my end goal.  And it's certainly not how God measures success.  I wish changing my environment would fix all my parenting problems.  It's so much harder to accept that I will become a better parent by worrying less about the order in my house and more about the order of my heart. 


  1. Good thoughts-even for later on when the circus clowns have left the building! I still need to have order, so I have energy to help with the circuses in my children's homes! But I still need to remember that God is in charge and a clean home will not make me a better helper to those kiddos! Love to all of you!