• Dana L. Butler

What My Life Is Like These Days [On Chaos and Stillness]


After spending so much time documenting the incredible God-story of Maia’s birth week, it feels good to be getting back to a “normal” blogging life.

Well, as normal as I can manage while wrangling a high-energy genius-toddler and our beautiful, still-new-but-quickly-growing baby girl.

And I actually have felt a need to just spill a whole bunch of the thoughts that’ve been rolling around in my heart lately – so this may end up being fairly random and disjointed.  But here goes.

Riding Waves of Crazy

Life is incredibly different now than it was 2 months ago.  The best kind of different.

I am loving being Isaac and Maia’s mommy.

YES – there are for sure moments when I’m tempted to pull my hair out.  And there are definitely times I realize it’s day 3 that that same darn load of clean clothes has been sitting in the dryer.  That I’ve gone down into our 120-year-old dungeon basement to start the de-wrinkling cycle about 4 times too many and yup, they’re still down there.  Wrinkled.

Ha.  It’s a metaphor for my life.  Wrinkled.  Imperfect.  A bit chaotic.  Unfinished.


Ya know what?  All the imperfection and the not-having-it-all-figured-out-yet?  I’m super okay with it.

I’m realizing that the insane difficulty that was Isaac’s babyhood actually prepared me for this adjustment from 1 kiddo to 2.  I learned to master riding the waves of crazy instead of trying to control them.  To kick back and roll with the punches.  To take life as it came.

In other words:  Surf’s up.  Ride it out.

A dear friend told me once that different types of boats are made to accommodate different amounts of cargo, different amounts of weight.  A boat that’s too full will obviously begin to sink.

But here’s what I’d never thought of before: a boat that’s not full enough?  It doesn’t function the way it was made to function.  It doesn’t move quickly enough, and it could even tip over.

It isn’t carrying enough weight.

I’m realizing this about myself these days – in the midst of my struggling to keep up with laundry and clean and make dinners and read books and give cuddles and feed bottles and change a gazillion diapers: I love it.  I’m thriving.  

I can handle the chaos like I didn’t know I could.  “My boat” can handle the weight.  And actually?  I was made for it.

At some point yesterday afternoon, between feeding Maia a bottle and having Isaac help me make a birthday cake for Stan, I realized I was in heaven.

Isaac was whiny and Maia was fussy and it dawned on me: I was somehow very okay in the midst of the madness.  In all the running around trying to meet everyone else’s needs.  In this season where a grabbing a minute to use the bathroom feels like a luxury.  (C’mon moms, you know what I’m talking about.)

It’s all good.  I’m doing what I was created to do.

Isaac and I somehow pulled off making a banana cake for Stan’s birthday yesterday. Mom: 1. Chaos: 0. 🙂

Our girl is starting to SMILE! Yay! Makes all of life brighter. 🙂

Rediscovering Stillness Inside

And when I do stress out for a few minutes (which I definitely do at times), I’m learning to recover.  To wrangle my heart back into a position of looking to Jesus as my Source of grace for each moment.  Grace to manage it all and remain calm.  And grace to remain peaceful when I absolutely CAN’T manage it all.

That’s the tricky part.  Letting go and chilling out when I feel like I can’t control my environment.  But He’s so faithful to meet me when I ask Him for help.

My mantra in this season?  “God wouldn’t have called me to motherhood if He didn’t intend to meet me deeply in the midst of it.”  Repeat.  Over, and over, and over.

And y’all, He does.  He so meets me.  Even when I’m distracted and busy and He’s not at the forefront of my mind.

He draws my heart and attention toward Himself, undoing me with His love and breathing on the flames of desire for Him in my heart.

Even in this season of sometimes-chaotic adjustment.  Even when I simply can’t be still on the outside.

That place of internal stillness I wrote about?  I’m rediscovering its value in this season.  Re-learning that in the midst of the noise, there’s quiet inside, if I’m willing to rest in it.

Because He’s there.  Alive and burning inside me.  Whispering peace in the midst of chaos.  Rest in the midst of business.  Joy in the midst of pressure.

He gives it all.  It’s all His grace.

And I’m so loving my life in this season.

Every good gift comes from Him – from His extravagant heart.

I’m just so thankful. 🙂

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