I played basketball all the way though Jr High and High School, it took years to be semi decent at it. I was always yelled at by coaches to be “more aggressive”, to “be a tiger”, but it was hard for me to do that. Aggressive is not an adjective used to describe me. As I got older and more experienced I got better at basketball and although offense was definitely an easier side for me to play, I did get better with my defense. I got stronger, I learned how to box out and I have an enormous reach making blocks one of the best skills I had. It was fun, I played with my best friends and I have nothing but awesome memories of the sport. I still remember so clearly however one day after a game I was red faced, sweat slicking my hair back and I was talking to a friend who said “I just love watching you play, you are so graceful”. I was like what? Did you see my points? My blocks? I was hustling all over that court and you thought I looked graceful? I still chuckle thinking about it because in my head I was the tiger out there I was trained to be and yet from everyone else's vantage point I was a giraffe leaping around the court.
I am not complaining. It’s not like she compared me to a bull in a china shop. Being accused of being graceful is not an offensible crime. But I didn’t want to be seen graceful. I wanted to be seen tough.
This is still my lot in life.
I have called my blog Calm Amongst the Chaos for many many years because it’s what one person said I was while I was wrangling my kids and I liked it and the name stuck. At the time I was pushing Lily in a wheelchair, probably arguing with Andi Jane and holding a baby Oliver on my hip. This also makes me giggle because in my head there is no calm. And that chaos is mine. She is saying I am bringing with me a whole lot of chaos, my chaos, my kids, my monkeys, my circus and I’m just walking through it calmly. I am so not. I am an anxious person. I have strange neuroses. I am not calm in my brain at all. Yet I seem to give an appearance of calm. Again. I’ll take it! But for the years it has been kind of a silly name for my blog when in all reality I’m lying. I’m not sharing with people how to remain calm amongst life’s chaos. I am just going along with what I look like I am. If you asked me point blank, Kim how do you remain calm amongst the chaos? I’d laugh and say “I don’t”.
I have never been diagnosed with anxiety. I actually only recently have been able to understand what it is. My whole life I have been nervous, scared, driven by fear. I fidget obsessively and I worry and obsess about all the ways things can go bad. I’m an over thinker and can never just take things as they are. I never understood when I feel like I am going to jump out of my skin, or when I can no longer be in a place I was just fine in a few minutes ago that it was anything more than me being me. Yet I also consider myself an extrovert. I laugh, make jokes and smile a lot. I love people and genuinely care about them. I thrive on being social and need to be around others. Unless I get a weekend to myself in a hotel room. Then I’ll take that. But I wonder if my ability to socialize in public with my circus of crazy swirling around me is how I get dubbed cool and calm amongst it all. But I really feel anything but calm.
I think it is all because I am tall with long limbs. I guess giraffe's never get accused of being anxious, but I bet you there is a mama giraffe out there with maybe just a few too many kids that are getting into giraffe naughty business and she is stressed out and tried, but does she look it, no.. she’s a giraffe! She is tall and graceful and munches shoots of trees. She is doing her business all gracefully, but I know in her head she is saying “they can’t go there, they shouldn’t be there, what did Greg eat for breakfast, did Gerald drink any water? Did Gerry poop yet today…”
My point for this post is this… I do not feel calm amongst it all. But I crave it and I want it and I strive for it. And when I want it, by the power and GRACE from God, I can achieve it. But it is not a given. It is not natural for my mind to be at peace at any given time. I have to be intentional in my seeking of it.
April was an intense month for our family. Well the last half especially. We were busy nonstop. We had two out of town volleyball tournaments for Andi, one being in Vegas. With two littles. It was a lot. A LOT. We had a trial and might I add we are STILL waiting for our judge to rule on our case. It was not a month where I was able to be sitting still in my storm just praying for peace as it passed. I was a tasmanian devil running from disaster to disaster making everything more of a mess. I was still for the most part digging in my bible and doing my morning devotions but half the time I forgot what I read just moments before. I am struggling to even get into my book club book this month because my mind is filled with too much stress to focus on the things that bring me peace. Even while trying.
I hate this place I can find myself stuck in. I hate the negativity is spews. April was also fun. I never want to be that mom that can’t find the joy in the moments because I’m too stressed. Yet I find myself there often.
So it’s May now. It’s summer hot here in Arizona and some parts of our world are starting to maybe slow down a little. Maybe. And even if they don’t, my focus is still going to be that calm. That calm I brag about in naming my blog. The calm that everyone sees in me, yet I never see in myself.
I am going to get more intentional with the things that get me there. Focus. Intention. Joy. If I focus on it, pray on it and seek it, I know it will be found.
And most of all Philippians 4:4-8, my most favorite verses in the entire bible, will be on repeat inside this messy head of mine.
4 Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! 5 Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. 6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
8 Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. 9 Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.