Chaos and confusion make me nervous. I like Well-orchestrated plans, and when those plans actually happen. When things appear to come unraveled, I go running for my to-do list, anxious to manage the mess. Unfortunately, life is not always that easily contained or cleaned up. But as my sweet friend Shannon Taylor Vannatter shares, sometimes God allows the mess … and for a beautiful reason.
When Our Messes Reveal Our Blessings
by Shannon Taylor Vannatter
Sometimes it takes a mess to experience gratitude.
I’ve talked online lately about our major remodel. We’re swapping three rooms around including the kitchen. We also got a new roof and heat pump, plus a room addition – a closet and my office. Yay!!!! We’re doing most of the remodeling ourselves along with finishing out the closet and office.
Since the work never seems to stop, my husband and I are exhausted. And our many jobs have multiplied. The electrician had to cut into our drywall in the new kitchen to add wiring for appliances. Therefore, I had to replaster one entire wall.
For a while two rooms of furniture were smashed into one with a narrow walking trail around it. This makes it almost impossible to put pine planking on our vaulted ceiling. As I write this, most of our kitchen is completed but the plumbing isn’t hooked up yet. That’s tomorrow’s project.
And the list goes on.
The carpenter had to knock out our rock foundation to connect our addition. Completing my office isn’t even on the agenda while we focus on keeping our pipes from freezing and getting our main living area in functional condition.
Suffice it to say, our house is a mess. But in the midst of our disorder, four things put everything into perspective:
Odd sized windows to replace old, breezy ones and my kitchen sink had to be ordered. We waited and waited for the arrival date, but neither showed. We joked about our items coming on a slow boat from China. Lowe’s apologized and said all the hurricane victims were getting precedence on shipments of building supplies.
My house may be a mess. But I have a house.
One of our church members was diagnosed with cancer. Too late for treatment. Days ago, my husband visited her in the hospital. She was unresponsive with her grieving spouse holding her hand. We realized that poor man’s house was in a mess as the woman God gave him was slowly and painfully ripped from this life.
Our bedroom end of the house was cold for a few days until the heat and air people added vents to the addition.
People in third world countries don’t have a heat and air guy.
My kitchen sink still isn’t hooked up. It’s amazing how crippling not having water to cook and clean with is.
Sixty percent of the population don’t have indoor plumbing.
So as we dig out from under our rubble, I’ll try not to complain or feel overwhelmed. Instead, I’ll count my blessings along the way.
Award winning author, Shannon Taylor Vannatter writes contemporary Christian cowboy romance and has over a dozen published titles. A romance reader since her teens, she hopes to entertain Christian women and plant seeds in the non-believer’s heart as she demonstrates that love doesn’t conquer all—Jesus does.
She gleans fodder for her fiction in rural Arkansas where she spent her teenage summers working the concession stand with her rodeo announcing dad and married a Texan who morphed into a pastor. In her spare time, she loves hanging out with her husband and son, flea marketing, and doing craft projects.
Connect with her: Shannon’s Facebook, Shannon’s Goodreads, Shannon’s Pinterest, Shannon’s Twitter, and Shannon’s Amazon Author Page.
More about her latest release, A Texas Holiday Reunion:
His Christmas Homecoming
With her foreman out of commission, Resa McCall needs horse trainer Colson Kincaid to run her family ranch through the holidays. But having the handsome single dad back in Bandera, Texas, is unsettling. Colson broke Resa’s heart years ago, and she can’t risk getting close again. Still, working with him and bonding with his sweet little girl is making the ranch feel merry and bright. Being at Resa’s side stirs up emotions Colson thought were long gone. But he has a powerful secret that could keep them apart forever. Can Colson give Resa the one Christmas present that might finally bring them back together—the truth?
Get your copy now:
A Texas Holiday Reunion on Christianbook A Texas Holiday Reunion on Amazon
Let’s talk about this! Are you a neat and tidy type of person or do you thrive on change? I’m neither, but I’m also not a huge fan of mess or chaos. When my house feels chaotic, so do I. When life feels chaotic, I tend to clean and organize. And, unfortunately, get hung up on a lot of minor details, potentially losing sight of all the blessings God’s provided. What about you? What resonated most as you read Shannon’s post? When has God used a messy and chaotic environment to point you to a deeper truth? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below.
Before you go, I invite you to join me at Crosswalk where I shared ways we can find strength in Christ. You can read that HERE.
Monday, I stopped in at Wholly Loved to share my thoughts on God’s favor and what that looks like when life gets hard. You can read that HERE.
If you’ve enjoyed today’s post and want to receive more great content sent free, directly to your inbox, then sign up for my quarterly newsletter. You can do so HERE. (Subscribers will receive a free, 36-lesson Bible study based on 1 Timothy titled Developing a Life of Love and Faith. I’ll be sending that out soon!)
I am definitely NOT neat and tidy but I really like to organize. I just don’t have enough space in my house to do what I want to do, and no money to change anything.
I’m sorry to hear that, Kim. Thank you for popping in to say hi, and I hope Shannon’s post was encouraging.
I’m so not organized, Kim. It exhausts me to try to get organized. But once we can put everything back where it goes, I’m planning to organize as I go and try to stay that way.
We didn’t have the money either. But when the roof was leaking and the air conditioner quit, we decided we’d have to get a loan. Since we were getting a loan, we decided to do the remodeling and addition and make it worth our while with a much more functional house.
Our kitchen will be open to the great room when we finish. So we’ll have more room for family and church gatherings. Even cooking supper for just us will be nicer since I won’t be secluded from my family while I cook.
Oh, my! No air conditioner in Arkansas??? That must have been rough while you waited to get a new one! Our air conditioner went out one summer, and it was miserable!
We bought window units. But it was loud and didn’t cool completely. It happened at the end of summer last year. We made it through this summer before making the decision to do something major. And the central unit we had before wasn’t big enough, so it never was completely cool on really hot days. Sitting was comfortable, but not moving around. We’re happily about to freeze to death now. It was quite warm today, cold yesterday. Arkansas weather likes to go back and forth a lot.
Hey Jennifer. Thanks for having me again on your lovely blog. We have plumbing in our kitchen now. I was able to wipe down all my new countertops and run the dishwasher last night. I will never take indoor plumbing for granted again.
Hey Jennifer, thanks for having me on your lovely blog again. We got our plumbing hooked up last night. I was able to wipe down all my new countertops and run the dishwasher. I will never take a kitchen sink with running water for granted again.
Yay for plumbing!
Thanks so much for sharing your insight with my readers!
I’m not organized at all but I am working on it!
Me too, Shelia. Since most of my house is in disorder at the moment, when I get to put it back in order, surely I can organize as I go.
I have areas where I’m organized and others where I’m a complete mess. Somehow, I did much better when our daughter was young. Now it seems I’m always focused on other things.
I’m a very organized person but it’s great to find appreciation in the mist of the messes we do go through in life. We have so much to be thankful for :). Great post! flightministries.com
I wish I was organized flighministries. I aspire to be, but I usually can’t pull it off.
I like things neat and tidy but with four children, things get messy and chaotic quickly. I’ve seen glimpses of His grace and mercy in our chaotic mess and I need to see more of His presence even when dishes are undone and laundry isn’t folded.
Wow, sbmcmh. I can’t imagine how messy my world would be with four kids. Once I started writing though, I realized something had to give. Unfortunately housekeeping was one of the things I slacked up on. It got on my nerves after a while. These days, when my house isn’t in remodeling chaos, I try do a stage of cleaning daily. Pick up the clutter one day, dust the next, vacuum the next, and so on. It works pretty well and doesn’t take a large chunk of time each day.
Even though I like things neat and tidy, God has shown me much blessing and His grace in the midst of our chaos, especially because I have no control in the chaos.
I used to be OCD Organized and then I had a Family Tragedy and Then we had to move away from our Home to a House I Hate (To get away from Nasty Neighbors that were putting My Children in danger) and Now I can’t find the excitement to do anything anymore (I still have boxes packed from over 4 yrs ago) I used to decorate for Christmas at the beginning of November Now I’m lucky to get the tree itself up by Christmas Eve 😦
Oh and I’ve heard they lost their House because they couldn’t keep up with the payments we really should have stayed a little longer but I was afraid for my kids
Anyway Your book looks great Thanks for sharing with us
My mom is OCD organized. And she used to do the entire cleaning thing daily. But she’s slacked up since she retired. I guess she found more fun things to do than clean and organize. I’m sorry you had to leave your house. That’s tough. But I admire you putting your kids first.
Ya It was really sad I’m trying to make this house more of a home but it’s definitely hard
I am an ocd organizer. As I am getting older, I can handle more things not exactly like I would prefer. I know what you mean by things being in chaos when remodeling. We had some remodeling done 5 years ago and it is a messy time.
We’re putting the finishing touches on the kitchen, Donna. So we should be able to move on soon. The living and family rooms won’t be as time consuming since it’s mainly flooring and paint. This mess has made me want to be organized 🙂
Hey Donna. We’re putting finishing touches on the kitchen now, so we should be able to move on soon. The living and family rooms won’t be as time consuming since they require mainly flooring and paint. The mess is making me want to be organized.