Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Leaning into The Chaos

Always, always, things tend towards chaotic around here. More often than not, the floor stays unswept, the Little Ceasar's boxes emptied and piled on the table by the door, and one or both kids in time-out for various and sundry offenses. You can usually find a teenager or two, occasionally even one who lives here but still wont stop asking for permission to drink the orange juice (hint: I only buy the orange juice for him).
This week has been just basic run-of-the-mill Stanley Clan chaos. Jayci turns six (six!) on Wednesday, and don't even get me started on how that happened so lightening-fast. We celebrated her birthday this weekend, and then Adam left Monday morning for a conference in Ohio. He described his hotel room, with king-sized bed and view of a Great Lake (he couldn't remember which one), and I tried in that moment not to begrudge him all that quiet alone time, even though I know he will not even like it one bit because he hates alone time and wants to be around all-the-people. Oh the irony of it, I think to myself as children climb my legs and the door opens and shuts more times than I can count. Moments later I slice my finger neatly with a large serrated knife, not enough to need stitches or anything, but enough to nearly cause a curse word to slip out. And to need Jayci to fetch me a few Jake the Pirate bandages because I begin to feel slightly woozy from the blood-soaked napkin wrapping my finger (I think we can all agree it's a good thing I switched from pre-med). I remind Adam that night how he should definitely not leave me alone to feed the children, unless he wants to also leave us with some frozen dinners that I can safely and easily reheat. Otherwise, we may resort to macaroni and cheese and Chick-fil-a.
Jayci started homework this week, and I listen to her read me books for what feels like hours (she reads at an adorable and agonizing pace). We run to the park to take pictures, last minute of course, because I didnt QUITE read the packet as completely as I should have (which, of course, is the same reason I typically flub things in the kitchen). The neighborhood kids clamor for pushes on the swings and help across the monkey bars. Caden ribbits at the kids on the playground every time they try to talk to him or pick him up, this has become his default response when feels uncertain. Because who among us hasn't wished we could turn into a frog and hop away from an awkward social moment? By the time I extract myself to head home, we barely have time for teeth brushing before all three of us sink into soft beds. I could sleep immediately, but dishes have piled and glitter sticks to every surface, and morning rush makes packing lunches the night before the more appealing option.

Adam and his dad finished the patio in time for the party (hallelujah), but you'll have to wait until it's all gussied up and ready to go out before I'll show it to you. For now, a quick little peek at the pretty bricks laid in a nice-pretty-but-not-too-regular pattern.
The two littlest ones around here act more and more like best friends every day. I mean, the kind of best friends who fight practically incessantly, but also laugh together hard and long, and apologize with hugs only after stomping feet and being sent to their room. But still, friends.
Day after day, the princess dresses stay on, and the glitter doesnt come off. We lean far towards chaos, and I try my best to find space and time to rest in Jesus. To reframe the chores and the monotony, right alongside the crazy and excitement, so the focal point is always always Jesus. I twist my lens and change my stance, bending lower and ever-closer to the gritty grime of everyday life. 
Side note: I joined this, and you should too. But seriously, I signed up WHILE I was eating a somewhat-bootlegged-milkshake (ice cream in a mason jar with milk poured over top). So I feel optimistic about the whole thing. 


  1. I get your choas. We just had 2 Safe Families children leave us after 5 weeks. I expected my 2 children to be a piece of cake, until fall break began. I'll just pretend to enjoy all the Disney and beach pictures.

  2. I feel like we have talked about this... Maybe not? But just last week in KS I relieved the time I sliced my finger with THEIR knife and I got all weird and woozy and kept asking "Do I need a stitch???" And the last word was, "It's probably a good thing I switched from Pre-Med.". WHAT?????!!

    Your chaos looks lovely to me. And familiar. And I always bought OJ just for R. :)

    1. I also feel like we talked about this now that you say that :-) twinsies


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