"Do you want to listen to some whining?" I asked, as my mom answered her phone. I heard her chuckle.
"Why? Do you have some for me?"
She listened as I recounted my frustrations with living in half of the house after the lower level was flooded by rising ground water, the carpet was lifted and dried with large fans, and the damage was assessed and a plan of action was discussed.
It had taken a full month.
Not a single room in my house - except maybe the upstairs bathroom - was not affected by this problem. Most of the contents of the lower level were stacked in boxes in the garage. The kids dressers, too - their clothes piled in baskets in my bedroom. Toys took over the "adult" living room, and coloring books and crayons commandeered the dining room table.
In addition, the smaller space was leaving the children stir-crazy - not to mention house-bound because it would not stop raining. I left story time one morning to change a dirty diaper, only to be met with loud bangs that shook the floor and rattled the metal heat vents. I ran to see what was causing such a racket. The kids were standing on the back of the couch and jumping to the floor (death wish, anyone?).
Preferring their own creativity over coloring in the lines, the children kept looking for any scrap of paper on which to color. One day I discovered that they had used a jury duty form - which must be signed and returned - because I had started filling it out and had been interrupted, leaving it on the dining room table.
"The chaos is seeping into my brain," I moaned to my mother. "I like things to be neat and orderly, but every room is a mess. I don't even know where to start. I wander around a house filled with things that need to be done, and I don't even know what to do!"
For some reason, difficult things always seem more tolerable if you know when they are going to end. I can put up with annoying hair if I have an appointment on the calendar for next week. It's no big deal to run the kids all over the county for a sports season because you know when that running ends...
It is when there seems to be no end in sight that the waiting becomes unbearable.
Scripture promises that God will not give us more than we can bear without making a way for us to endure it. (1 Corinthians 10:13)
That way was to Take every thought captive to the obedience of Christ. (2 Corinthians 10:5)
Even the to do list... The gotta gitter done list... The disorganization....
God is not a God of disorder but of peace (1 Corinthians 14:33), so I had to reign my thoughts back into line with order and plug away at the chaos until it came into line as well.
Eventually the home was put back to normal
...And in hindsight, I can say that I am thankful that God continues to send opportunities like these to remind us, reteach us, and reshape us more and more into the image of Christ (Romans 8:28-29).