God is Sovereign . . . over Broken Printers

It's Monday, starting the second week of school. Two kids sit around the kitchen table working on math worksheets, one pretends to sleep in the next room... It is calm, peaceful. . .quiet . . . mornings like these are great. They are just not very usual. Actually they are downright practically nonexistent. In fact by the end of typing that sentence the peaceful moment was gone. It has taken me 10 minutes to write that sentence because of the chaos that can ensue in .2 seconds around here.

I have a type A personality. As in AAA. I appreciate organization and a good plan. As the youngest of 6 children I am no stranger to chaos, and I can appreciate it even, but there are certain areas of my life I like organized and planned. Books and homeschooling fall into this part of my life.

My oldest has inherited my bent for perfectionism. It can get ugly.

A wonderful morning can easily be derailed by a glass of milk spilled all over the table. Normally perhaps no big deal, but add a laptop, an ipad, an iphone, and several hundred dollars of curriculum and . . . yup. Chaos. Chaos derails peace. I feel flustered, frustrated, agitated, and often angry over seamlessly small things.  I am not proud of these moments. Too many of these moments have left me ashamed and defeated. I have allowed circumstances to steal joy and peace too often.

This summer I spent some time reading and listening to speakers online. The message was constant: Learn to find peace in the chaos. I read Teaching From Rest: A Homeschoolers Guide to Unshakeable Peace,  a WONDERFUL book I would recommend to any homeschool mom. Such a good word! I was all poised for a RESTFUL and PEACEFUL experience in our homeschool this year.

And then <enter children> real life, didn'tgetthememotoberestful children.

Day one went pretty well. Day two ok. Day three rough and day 4 downright horrible. I was sending SOS texts to my husband, ready to send my 2nd grader to school...locking myself in the bathroom. Why? Ummm I think it involved clocks. You know past/til...how many hours from 3am to 9pm....yup. Craziness. How can something so simple go so . . . wrong. There was no peace. No restful teaching. Only chaos. I was defeated. I was so upset with myself. I had such unmet high expectations...of myself.

My printer kept going offline the entire two weeks before school I was printing and planning. The first week of school it was still an issue. A working printer is a major necessity in our homeschool. I was sending frustrated texts to my husband. Why have you not fixed this? What is the issue? I need a new printer!

I listened to a short audio this summer that was wonderful-- "Why Homeschool?" . . . (a few theological issues if you are not Catholic, but hey! The point was great) where the speaker talked about how God is in the spilled milk. We often get frustrated by things like spilled milk (or broken printers . . . or kids who can't tell time) and focus on how the distraction is "taking us away" from what we have to do. However, the speaker states that God is the author of the spilled milk. The spilled milk, the broken printer, the child staring blankly at the window-- that is what God had planned for that moment. The broken printer is God's will for my life at that moment.

Who am I to get frustrated or angry at God's will? Who am I to question the perfect will of the sovereign God? The same God that controls the wind and the waves controls the spilled milk and the dysfunctional printer. I am called to rest in His sovereignty. The chaos that all too often reigns? The distractions. The unavoidable yet unwelcomed hiccups in the day? Embrace them. God doesn't care whether or not we finish the math page, but he does care about how I treat His children. He cares about the relationship. And so do I.

Prayerfully approaching today with diligence, grace, and rest . . . even though the printer is still broken.


  1. I can feel your exhaustion in every word you wrote, Nicole. You’ve been through a lot of chaos, indeed. Homeschooling isn’t an easy task, and you always have to be prepared for any possible mishaps that could happen. On the other hand, I do hope you’ll take time to breathe and calm yourself when things don't go as you planned. Anyway, it’s been a while now, and I really hope you’ve got your printer fixed. Thanks for sharing that! Take care!

    Stasia Snellgrove @ ALB Image

  2. I love the title (and message) of this post. Ironically, I'm the opposite; laid back, fly by the seat of my pants to a fault, but the message here is so encouraging to me too.
    This is awesome. Thank you for sharing.

  3. This quick printers buyers guide should help you make a good decision. It will also help you have a much better experience with your printer.

  4. The down to earth approach of the essayist in this blog is commendable.


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