Unruffled; Thriving in Chaos by Edie Melson and Rhonda Rhea
Writers Read Post #10
Last spring, the kids and I "impulse bought" a bird feeding station. Not just a bird feeder. We dove in with both feet and got a station for birds including a feeder, bird bath, hummingbird feeder and a cage for suet. I didn't know what the word suet meant before this endeavor, but soon I was choosing the perfect blend for the types of birds we hoped to attract.
And just like Field of Dreams, we built it and they came. All kinds of birds. Our station looked like the Starbucks drive-through on a Monday morning. We named our regular visitors, made up dialogue for them, and watched that station like it was a big screen TV. Usually, the birds played nice, but certain combinations weren’t the best and would leave one or more birds with ruffled feathers. It reminded me of when my dog knows she’s in trouble and the fur on her back sticks up. I see that line of fur and I know she ate a diaper. But, in all this, I never thought about situations that ruffle my feathers so it speak. Until I read this book…
I picked up Unruffled, Thriving in Chaos because I’ve read (and loved) books by these two authors. Such a “dream team authorship” was a no-brainer for me. I ordered it immediately. They use this metaphor of ruffled feathers to illustrate what I think is one of the biggest struggles for almost every person I know -living in chaos. In the preschool pick-up line, at the grocery, by the soccer field, I talk to people all the time and as an answer to almost any question, I get responses like, “We’re so busy. I’m exhausted. There’s so much going on.” We are all surrounded by chaos. Some of it we brought on ourselves, some is brought on by others, but it’s chaos none the less.
I’ve actually read a fair number of books and blogs on this topic. And every one of them focused on minimizing the chaos. Heck, I’ve written blogs posts about minimizing the chaos and there's a place for that. But those books don’t usually have a lasting effect on me except to make me feel guilty and out of control because guess what? I can’t control the chaos. At least there are books out there to remind me I still stink at it.
Unruffled wasn’t like those books. The premise of the book is that there will always be chaos, but there are tangible ways to thrive within the chaos. Not clean it up, suppress it, hide it, or tackle it. But live the life of joy God intended for us without eliminating the chaos first. I don’t know about you, but that gives me comfort. It gives me hope. It a message I need to keep close to my heart.
Edie and Rhonda have two distinct writing styles, but they complement one another perfectly. They don't claim to have this figured out. In fact, some of the most compelling portions of the book were the places where they shared their very real struggles living unruffled. I think you'll relate to their stories as I did. I laughed, teared up, and highlighted and underlined so much it looked like I was planning to take a final exam on it. If you’re a cover-judger, judge away because it’s beautiful. Read this book! And please let me know if you took my recommendation. I’d love to hear your thoughts. As always, anytime you see the title, it’s a link to buy the book on Amazon. You can also click on the cover photo.
Let’s start thriving in this chaos together.