beautiful chaos

Expectations are ruthless things. Especially when those expectations are set by one perfectionist by the name of me.
Maybe it’s pinterest. Maybe it’s facebook family photos of happiness and perfectly dressed kiddos eating perfectly prepared meals. Maybe it’s all the blog posts featuring all these beautiful DIY projects that I long to attempt. Or maybe, if I’m honest with myself, it’s just my messed up perception of what’s important, of how God creates beauty and significance in all that He calls me to. 
Some days are simply more pinterest/facebook/blog featureable days than others. It’s only natural to celebrate a successfully baked quiche with a few quick snapshots and a status update, am I right? At least, that’s how I celebrate it . . . that and eating several slices more than I probably should. 
And while I love pinterest and lifestyle blogs {umm, hello! I have one!}, there are those other days, you know, the other 83.7%, that never make it to instagram. 
This week for instance:
Instead of going to a Seder meal I had been looking forward to, and that I was supposed to bring unleavened bread for, I spent the day in bed battling a severe migraine. 
I didn’t think you guys would appreciate or benefit from a picture of my puke though . . . so no snapshots or status update there {I admit, I did think about it . . . then laughed at the idea. You can thank me now}. Dark chocolate was about the only thing I had been able to get down that day since I’ve convinced myself that it lessens the pain of my migraines. So you can only imagine how awful that picture might have been. Let’s just say, dark chocolate shall not touch my lips for some time. 
It’s hard, so hard, to perceive those kind of things as lovely though, isn’t it? 
The days when you planned to take your kiddo to the park but they threw a terrible tantrum so you had to stay home and work through anger issues instead. The day when you stayed up extra late the night before to prep yummy hot cross buns for breakfast, but you burnt them at the very last second. The time you pushed yourself beyond exhaustion to clean the house for company only to turn around and find your little one with the honey jar . . . open honey jar . . . upside down, open honey jar. Who put that honey jar on that bottom shelf anyway?! Oh, that was me . . . 

Those days, those moments, the unfeatured ones, the painful ones have been grabbing my attention lately. 
In those times of unmet expectations, failed DIY projects, and puke buckets, I’m beginning to see a beauty at work that I hadn’t perceived before. 
It struck me Thursday as I was curled up on my bed trying to block out the light, the 13th episode of Sesame Street, the flying Cheerios that my tiny was gleefully hurtling in my direction: this is worship. To fellowship with the God Who endured the greatest of sufferings by rejoicing in His peace, His comfort, His security in the midst of chaos was His expectation for me. 
Here I was thinking He would be most honored by an elaborate Seder dinner with friends {and He was!}, but instead He desired praise in the midst of this woman’s brokenness, her messed up plans, her broken hosanna, her fellowship with His sufferings. 
Worship doesn’t always look pretty. 
But the Spirit kindly drew me in that day, drew me in to worship the Father in the way that He desired of me, instead of the way I had expected to. 

That is beautiful. 
He is beautiful, beautifully kind and good.

And while I’ll continue to photo-bomb your newsfeed with pictures of baked goods and my 2-year-old’s cuteness, I don’t want you to feel as though that’s all that ever goes on over here. In fact, some of the most beautiful things will never be captured with my iPhone’s camera.

It’s those things that make today so thrilling, that make Easter so wonderful. Celebrate the One Who makes all things new today! 

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3 comments

  1. I love benefiting from your gift for writing. I started writing some similar thoughts recently…many of our hardships are things you can't take pictures of. And sometimes, when I'm feeling left behind on the darker side of life, I have to look through my picture feed to remind myself that there are actually a whole lot of happy moments in my life, too. 🙂 Thanks for this. Encouraging to me right now.

  2. Keren, you have no idea how encouraging this comment is! At first, I published this post and then immediately reverted it to a draft because I wasn't too sure about how clear it was. I'm so glad it was encouraging to you! I would LOVE to hear your thoughts on this so please do publish it. I totally agree that it's so easy to focus in on the negative to the exclusion of the positive sometimes . . . reminds me of your post on the recency bias. 🙂 You have no idea how often I think of that! Praying for you today.

  3. Thanks for your prayers. (I think I needed a little extra boost of sunshine, too. Unfortunately the weather really affects my emotions, and well, it's gotten better on both accounts. ;)) And I need all those little reminders all the time. 🙂 I am glad you published! 🙂

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