In Others’ Words: Chaos

Beth Vogt Life, Quotes, Reality, Uncategorized 25 Comments



Photo by zeafonso/

“Our real discoveries come from chaos, from going to the place that looks wrong and stupid and foolish.” ~ Chuck Palahniuk (1962-), American novelist & freelance journalist

It has been a haphazard summer.

“Haphazard” is just a three-syllable word for chaos.

And “chaos” is a two-syllable word for “Would somebody please tell me when I’m going to have a normal day again because I haven’t had one in a long, long time and I’m teetering on the edge of …”

Pardon me. I got a bit carried away there.

Since I’ve been living with chaos for quite a few weeks now, I decided to find a quote that put a positive spin on life spinning out of control. I like today’s quote and how it promises something good out of chaos: discoveries. And at the same time it also unpacks chaos for us, describing it as a place that is “wrong and stupid and foolish.”

Well there ya go.

There are times I would classify the last few weeks — months — as wrong, in the “this isn’t what I expected for the Summer of 2012” meaning of the word. But I’m not going to belabor the chaos … instead, I’m going to embrace Palahniuk’s statement and believe there are discoveries waiting for me in the midst of all this craziness.

  • Evacuate from my house for weeks? I discovered I can live with a whole lot less stuff than I thought.
  • Computer crashes and attempts to retrieve all my data fail? I discovered that sometimes I have to accept that one of my worst nightmares just came true — and then be surprised when someone saves the day and finds a way to rescue all those supposedly irretrievable documents.
  • Vertigo flares up again after a 5-week reprieve? I discovered life went on … I just slowed down a bit to compensate.

In Your Words: What discoveries have you made in a season of chaos?

I’m getting ready to celebrate a 3-month anniversary & I’d like you to celebrate with me! Wish You Were Here, my contemporary romance novel, debuted on May 1 — almost 3 months ago. I’m planning a fun “Where in the World is Daniel?” contest to celebrate. Come back tomorrow for more details.




Comments 25

  1. I’m sorry you’ve gone through so much this summer, although I do admire your positive attitude! And your book is awesome! How crazy and wonderful it must be to celebrate the 3-month anniversary of its release! 🙂

    I feel like lately there’s been a lot of chaos in my mind… (OK, that sounds kind of creepy, LOL!) But I don’t really feel like it’s a negative thing; it’s just that ideas keep running through my head and I keep running after them! It’s exciting but also a little scary to think of all the possibilities at this point in my life, having recently graduated with a Bachelor’s degree. I’m thinking about starting a business, along with other sorts of bold plans. I really want to make sure I’m seeking God’s will, but I also want to make sure to embrace the moment and not let the time and opportunity He has given me pass by.

    Sorry for blabbing all that here! But that quote was a bit of a comfort to me, knowing that sometimes we have to take risks and be willing to look foolish in the eyes of the world in order to make important discoveries and a difference in the world.

    Thanks for this post!


    1. I love your attitude, Amber! I’m all for running after opportunities … I just don’t like feeling I’m running multiple races at the same time!

    1. One of my favorite verses is “[God] will be the stability of your times.” — and that’s what I cling to when life is chaos, Pat.

  2. Wow, Beth. Your summer has been c-r-a-z-y. I’m glad God is holding you together through it all.

    What discoveries I’ve made in the midst of chaos–how much I need, need, need the people around me. And how blessed I am to have them.

    Yay, excited for Daniel’s fun contest. 🙂

  3. Beth, I hate that you’ve had a summer like this, but am so inspired by the way you’ve coped. It’s given me hope and an example of where to put my focus.

    One thing I’ve discovered through the chaos in my life has been the oasis of friends. They’ve provided the sustenance when I couldn’t reach it myself, the focus when life seemed out of focus, the support when my world was collapsing, and the cocoon of rest I so desperately craved by wrapping me in their prayers. And you were foremost among them.

    Blessings, E

  4. I. Don’t. Like. Chaos. I like my life to be in control, and for me to be at the controls. Of course, walking with God, doesn’t allow for that very often.

    A few years ago, we had a lot going on in our lives, and God topsy-turvied all my carefully laid plans for our lives. Nothing worked out. What I learned is that His plans are better than mine. His goals for that season and my goals were very different. I learned to trust Him more, to depend on Him to provide for us in His perfect way.

    Praying for you, friend!

  5. Chaos. My life has been pretty chaotic since we had twins two and a half years ago, but I’ve learned so much about myself in the chaos, and I hope that it’s made me a better person – most days. The past six months, since I started blogging, writing and learning about the craft of writing, has been pretty chaotic. I’m coming to a place where God is leveling me out a bit. I need it. Sometimes, when we get so caught up in a vision/goal/dream I think we can become out of balance and life becomes chaotic – but there is always something to learn, even when we’ve brought the chaos on ourselves.

    1. Yes, sometimes we do bring the chaos on ourselves, especially during transition season of our lives.
      Very wise, Gabrielle.

  6. I must say that I LOVE red, so this picture is riveting! Nothing like some red to convey chaos. 🙂 The interesting thing about chaos is that sometimes it’s created by others, but other times we generate it ourselves. Consequently, our reactions vary greatly. I’ve done both and discovered a very important truth: God’s still there. Always. Ignoring the flying debris and anchoring to Him makes all the difference. But until I’m ready to anchor and trust Him to calm the storm, the debris causes damage. That’s where true discovery happens: when we survey the aftermath to see where He kept us safe regardless of our choices. I’m praying that the Fall season brings the return of calming peace for you, Beth. I look forward to hearing what He worked in you as you look back on this season.

    1. Donna,
      Thanks for joining the conversation.
      I appreciate your wisdom … and yes, I am wondering how I’ve changed through all this.

  7. I’m glad you’ve got perspective on your crazy summer, and I’m sorry you’ve had to go through all that.

    When I’ve had a season of chaos, I’ve realized that my family is my lifeboat when I find myself in a turbulent sea of crazy.

  8. I’m so glad you’ve been able to find the positive in the midst of chaos. That’s so awesome…and inspiring.

    What have I learned? That my definition of “success” isn’t what it should be. That I need to keep my focus on Jesus. If I do that, then I’ll be running the right direction, and the ultimate prize won’t be what I originally thought it was…it’ll be way, way better.

  9. I find my strengths in chaos.

    Both my daughter and my bff have suffered bouts of vertigo. Hope you’re feeling better.

  10. I wrote a piece about chaos a couple of years ago and called it Roller Coasters. Despite many people’s love of this “thrill,” I don’t like roller coasters and I don’t like when life imitates the crazy out of control feel of one. But as I processed through that analogy, thus processing the heart-in-your-stomach careening of life at that moment in time, I came back to the sovereignty and goodness of God – His faithfulness to hold me and teach me in moments of chaos. He is my anchor that keeps me from flying off into the stratosphere emotionally and spiritually when all else is racing up and down and round and round at frightening speeds. My God has always been faithful, so I’ve learned to grab His hand and just hold on tight.

    Yet I am always with You;
    You hold me by my right hand.
    You guide me with your counsel,
    and afterward You will take me into glory.
    Whom have I in heaven but You?
    And earth has nothing I desire besides You.
    My flesh and my heart may fail,
    but God is the strength of my heart
    and my portion forever. (Psalm 73:23-26)

    I pray that He brings comfort and healing to your “up and down and round and round.”

  11. I’m really sorry for all the chaos in your year, however, you’ve served as an encouragement for how to handle it. I so appreciate good examples. I actually remember how other’s did it gracefully when I’m going through my own chaos. Thanks, Beth.

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