Welcome to Our Community - Allie Tiller
Allie Tiller (Miller) was born and raised in Omaha, Nebraska and currently lives there with her husband and two teenage daughters. She has been a lifelong member of Lutheran Church of the Master and has volunteered in many capacities. She is currently the youth and family ministry coordinator at LCM's West campus where she gets to work with middle and high school students. She was a stay at home mom for 12 years and before that was a third and 4th grade teacher. Allie has a true love for Okoboji Lutheran Bible camp. She attended camp in the summers of 1988 and 1989 and returned for various recharges and then as an adult chaperone when she was in college. It was at camp in 1988 that she gave her life to the Lord. Camp will always hold a very special place in her heart.
Every year I try to come up with my theme word for the year. One year, my word was “better”. I didn't want to try and set lofty exercise, Bible reading, or eating goals. I just wanted to be or do “better” in several areas. Another year, my word was “joy”. It was my goal to find joy in even the smallest of things. This year, I've decided to focus on the word “peace”. My immediate thought was that peace is something we think of a great deal at Christmas time. As I reflected, I quickly came to understand that it was actually a perfect word for me for 2023.
My thought process took me to the very opposite of peace... chaos. If you only knew how many times I described myself this past year as a “hot mess”! Having kids or working with kids seems to naturally bring its own level of chaos. I have grown a lot in this area. I am, by nature, a type A personality and like things in order. (And yet I became a youth leader!) I have learned to loosen up a bit when it comes to the organized craziness around me. I will be honest…there are times I really wish I could completely eliminate all the chaos around me. Realizing this is highly unlikely, it is my hope to focus on having peace amidst the chaos.
In Luke chapter 8, Jesus provides a beautiful example of maintaining a peace despite the craziness. He and some of his disciples are in a boat when a storm picks up. The wind is blowing, the boat is shaking, and the last place the disciples probably wanted to be at that point was on a boat. Now, I think about what I would be like in that situation. Being a leader, I would probably be shouting at people to go sit in different places on the boat to even out the weight. I'd be ordering people to bail the water out, and I would probably be telling other people to start rowing faster. Contrast that with Jesus’ example. He wakes up and basically asks the disciples while why they are freaking out. Jesus is not running around like his hair is on fire like I would have been doing. He has a peace even amidst the chaos.
I am horrible under pressure. I could never be a rescue worker or an emergency room doctor or nurse. That is just not inside my gifting. But I think the peace that we long for goes even further than just the crisis or emergency type situations.
I don't think you have to look very far in our society to see the day-to-day chaos we seem to have created for ourselves. The constant running from one activity to another... The flying through drive thrus to grab another fast food meal... The endless text messages and phone calls that we can make basically anywhere to “keep life going”. That's the kind of chaos that can be a little more deceptive. I think we sometimes forget that we get swept up inside the chaos of the world, and because we don't realize that it's happening, it can be even more damaging. I catch myself sometimes just stopping and taking a deep breath and realizing that I'm not even giving myself the time or the space to just breathe in deep. It's at those times that I realize how very little peace I am experiencing.
And it’s also at that time that I realize that I’m a slow learner when it comes to this particular lesson. This, what seems like almost constant chaos, is nothing new. Looking back, there have been many times that I have been completely stressed out and spread way too thin. But this year, I plan to be less reactive and more proactive when it comes to how I handle chaos.
In 2023, I choose peace, and Isaiah 26:3 has become my verse for 2023:
“You will keep in perfect peace all who trust in you, all whose thoughts are fixed on you!”
When life starts to spin out of control…even just a little…or the chaos kicks in, we need to keep our eyes, mind, heart…ALL of us…fixed on Christ. It is only through Him that we will find that perfect peace…even amidst the chaos. That, my friends, means we are doing better.
- If you are interested in more about the ministry of Lutheran Church of the Master in the Omaha area, you can view their website by clicking HERE.
- What is your life more defined by, peace or chaos?
- What would be your theme word for 2023? What word would have ultimately best described 2022 for your life?