How I Found Calm in the Midst of Chaos

Here is my embarrassing confession. The woman who wrote a study on entering God’s rest has fretted over trivial things in recent weeks.


We’ve spent our summer in a major home renovation. Since I love interior design, I thought this would be pure fun. But living in the middle of chaos is NOT fun!

I knew I liked order and a sense of control over my environment. I’ve discovered I need both. Without them, I’ve been distracted and indecisive. Can you say, “Frazzled”?

In a webcast with Jeff Goins, Gretchen Rubin said “Outer order brings inner calm.” I would add “Outer chaos brings inner craziness!”

The irritations that have nibbled at my peace aren’t major. But the accumulation of small things feels big.

  • I couldn’t control my environment. Open walls allowed mosquitoes, wasps, mice, and humidity to invade our home. Hammering, drilling, and construction noises disturbed my quiet.
  • I couldn’t control my schedule. Workers arrived early. My time was regularly interrupted.
  • I couldn’t control my money. Unexpected problems arose. The cash in my bank account flew out like Monopoly money.
  • I couldn’t control my privacy. My bathroom became the family kitchen. A second leak took away our master shower.
  • I couldn’t control my health. A reaction to mold and construction dust made me sick.

I brought my jumbled emotions to the Lord. I reminded myself that the unexpected expenses, interruptions, and problems were no surprise to Him. He, not my savings account, is our Provider. My time is in His hands.


That day, a woman emailed me to say how my Bible study, Give Yourself a Break, had calmed her when she’d been hit with an unexpected bill. Her email bolstered my faith. God is indeed involved in the details of our lives.

With refreshed faith I saw the unexpected problems from a different perspective. The first leak had led to a project that uncovered a deeper problem. If we hadn’t been in this building project we wouldn’t have ripped out sheet rock to check for a shower leak. Unchecked, that leak would have caused much worse damage and expense. This was not an unnecessary hassle. It was God’s protection.



Our renovation also exposed faulty electrical wiring in the kitchen. This project has been messier, more inconvenient, and more expensive than we anticipated, but it has also protected us from harm and greater expense later. The electrician said it might have saved our lives.

Romans 8:28 has encouraged me many times: “And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good.” But sometimes, my flesh twists that promise into a finger-wagging taunt, “You should be thankful even though this stinks.” When God opens my eyes and allows me to see a deeper level of good in my unwanted circumstances, I wonder how I ever doubted Him.

Our renovation not only uncovered problems in our house, it’s exposed weaknesses in me. Thankfully, God is addressing both problems.

In what area do you need God’s perspective? Who needs your encouragement today? A change of perspective makes all the difference.

Click here to share your thoughts.

Fall Bible study begins September 3rd. Sarah Bush will be leading our study on prayer using her book The Invitation. Sign up here.


Debbie Wilson

Debbie W. Wilson

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  1. Ann Musico

    Debbie I can very much relate to your response to all the chaos because I know I would not have handled it as well as you have. Even being in a cluttered room makes me edgy! It is beautiful to see how God has been watching over you and your family and protecting you from anything worse happening. This was a good reminder for me to keep my perspective right. In my case it often seems the bigger the problem the better I handle it – it’s those small annoyances that seem to tip the scale and make me crazy!

    • Debbie Wilson

      I’ve experienced the same thing, Ann. Maybe we don’t stop and address the little annoyances so they continue to eat at us. Thanks for sharing.

  2. Shirley Miller

    Wow Debbie….you’ve really had a lot going. It’s amazing how the unexpected can “throw” us off. We recently got an unexpected large medical bill for some deductable that we had forgotten about. I found myself stressing instead of trusting God for His provision. How often I forget that He allowed it and will continue to take care of us like He has been so faithful to do. Also…I too, have been blessed by your Bible Study. Just finished the week on Messy Emotions. Am loving the lessons. May God bless you today.

    • Debbie Wilson

      Thank you, Shirley. So wonderful to hear from you. Taking every thought captive does not come naturally for me. May the Lord meet your need in a way that blesses your soul as well as your practical need.

  3. Lee Gaitan

    Isn’t it amazing how spiritual truths and lessons come to us by the the most unlikely of circumstances. Weaknesses–in our soul or in our house–that we would prefer to deny and paper over can only be repaired by uncovering them. The initial exposure can be costly–whether the price is paid with dollars or with our pride–but restoration the results is priceless.

    Thanks, Debbie, for reminding us that hiding does not bring healing.

    • Debbie Wilson

      Lee, I love your summation: “Hiding does not bring healing” Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

      • Lee Gaitan

        Aaagh, the last line should read “…the results of restoration are priceless.” Bad typist, bad, bad! And I can’t hide it. 😉

        • Debbie Wilson

          I do that all the time! 🙂

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