When Order Becomes Chaos

A new Year brings a clean slate with new beginnings in many areas of my life.

Every few years I get a new address book. This had to be the year. My old address book is coming apart, and several people have moved several times.

My creativity for adding new addresses to pages that already have addresses going in multiple directions, and on top of cracking white out, and with Post-it notes that have lost their stickiness, tells me that it is time to retire this address book for a new one. My plan was to actually have an address book that started out in alphabetical order.

I had scanned my address book at Christmas and added extra pages as work sheets for addresses that were in my phone and that my husband contributed, so I decided to make an Excel spread sheet. Great Idea. Since I have a new computer, I had to find Excel (but that is another story). I worked to make sure that all of my lists were included. This was sort of a yours, mine, and ours endeavor, but I felt like I was successful. I finally had all of the names in my list and I printed the spreadsheet.

diary-2080420_1280Now it was time to start the task of entering the names in my brand-new address book. As I completed the first page I realized that the names were not in alphabetical order. I looked back at my spreadsheet and realized that after all the work of getting all of the names in my computer list, I had forgotten to do that one last thing, to press the one button that would have placed all of the names in ABC order.

I had already messed up my address book but I thought I could fix the rest of the pages, just not the first page. Back to Excel I went and highlighted all of the names and pressed that one magic button that made all the names go in alphabetical order. I printed off the names so that they would be ready to be a guide for the order of my task.

After I completed all of the A names, I tried to flip over to the B tab. Little did I realize that my address book had been moved when I was about to begin my task, and all of my A names had been written on the P page. First of all, I am thankful that a friend introduced me to FriXion pens last year in bible study. They help to erase the mistakes I make when trying to write quickly when taking notes. I just decided to erase everything I had done in my address book and start over.

I know when I get to the P page, I will find remnants of the addresses of the people on the letter A pages but that is just the way it will have to be. My names will only be in order until I need to add someone else anyway. I am not going to try to be perfect. I am going to understand that just because it is a new address book, I do not have to have all of my “ducks in a row.” If I had done something wrong, God would forgive me if I asked Him to so why not forgive myself for something as petty as this? I am much too hard on myself. God sent Jesus to forgive me of my sins before I ever did anything wrong. He knew I would never measure up to the standard of perfection.

My address book is really pretty with its flowers on the outside and its beautiful tabs all lined up in a row, but once I spill a glass of tea or Diet Coke on it, the pages will not be so beautiful. It will not matter that the people on page P were once the people who are now on page A. They are just as important to me and will be loved just as much as if they were written there at the beginning.

I plan to spend this year trying to remember that it is important to do my best even if my best is not perfect. God made me and He loves me for who I am. I intend to enjoy this year even when order becomes chaos.

For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them. Ephesians 2:10 ESV 

Do you not know that you are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in you? 1 Corinthians 3:16 ESV 

The word that came to Jeremiah from the Lord: “Arise, and go down to the potter’s house, and there I will let you hear my words.” So, I went down to the potter’s house, and there he was working at his wheel. And the vessel he was making of clay was spoiled in the potter’s hand, and he reworked it into another vessel, as it seemed good to the potter to do. Then the word of the Lord came to me: “O house of Israel, can I not do with you as this potter has done? declares the Lord. Behold, like the clay in the potter’s hand, so are you in my hand, O house of Israel. Jeremiah 16:1-6 ESV 

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