Peaceful Chaos

by Tama Fortner

For in him we live and move and have our being. Acts 17:28 NIV

Peaceful and chaos? Now, there are two words that don’t go together! Or do they? Rather than a contradiction in terms, is it possible that peaceful chaos could be a lovely—even worshipful—way to live?

Because let’s face it: life is filled with varying levels of chaos. No matter how organized, color-coded and coordinated, or perfectly planned we may try to be, the unexpected happens. And the holiday season—with all its trappings—just adds to the craziness, filling up our to-do lists and cramming our calendars with commitments. In other words, chaos.

Where can we find peace in the chaos?

Let’s begin by taking a moment to note where peace is not found. Peace is not found in the perfectly curated tablescape, the perfectly posed family portrait, or the perfectly planned dinner party. (Trust me—I’ve tried. It isn’t there.) That kind of worldly peace is an illusion, as fleeting as the homemade fudge pie on the kids’ table at Thanksgiving.

Here’s what I’m learning (the hard way, of course): Peace isn’t found in perfection; it’s found in presence. His presence. Real and lasting peace is waiting for us when we step over, through, and around the chaos and into the presence of God.

How do we do that? By leaning more and more into the truth of Acts 17:28—“In him we live and move and have our being.”

In Him. Every breath, every step, every moment of our lives can be lived in the presence of God. Yes, even the most chaotic of moments. When little angels act more like little turkeys, when glitter covers every square inch of you and your house and the dog, and when your patience is kaput, God is there. Take a deep breath and step into His presence . . . with a little practical CHAOS.

  • Call out His name. Whether it’s a whisper from your heart or a full-out shout for Jesus to come and come quickly, calling out His name reminds us that He is in control, and He’s made provisions for every chaos-filled moment we encounter (Hebrews 13:21; 1 Corinthians 10:13).
  • Hope for the best and trust God to make a way through whatever wilderness you are facing (Isaiah 43:19). The end result might not look quite like what you’d planned, but with a healthy dose of grace and love, it will look like His plan.
  • Ask for help. From God and from friends and family. Life is should be an all-hands-on-deck adventure, especially during the holidays (Ecclesiastes 4:9–12).
  • Open your eyes to what really matters: gathering with those you love, sharing the wonder of God’s endless gifts, and taking time to intentionally and specifically thank Him (Ephesians 5:20).
  • Seek opportunities to slip away with God. Even if only for a second or two. Close your eyes and breathe deeply of the holy presence of the One who never leaves you (Joshua 1:9; Matthew 28:20).

It might not be possible to eliminate all the craziness and chaos from our lives, but we can invite His Peace into it. With a little CHAOS of our own.

This article is brought to you by the Advanced Writers and Speakers Association (AWSA).

About the author: Tama Fortner is an ECPA award-winning author with more than fifty titles to her credit, including her latest Simply Christmas: A Busy Mom’s Guide to Reclaiming the Peace of the Holidays and My Advent Nativity for children. To learn more, visit

Join the conversation: How do you invite peace into the craziness of the holidays?


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