When January 1, 2015 rolled around, I was ready. I was motivated, spending hours with my planning calendar mapping out lesson plans for our homeschool, writing down goals and dreams for myself, finding books I wanted to read every month. I pledged to reach my 10,000 step goal with my FitBit at least 5 times a week, submit at least 6 articles to different magazines before the year was over, and blog at least twice a week. I was even going to write a children’s book with my niece by the end of January and FINALLY read the Bible through in a year.
I didn’t go into my planning alone. I spent time praying over my plans and asking God to be a part of them. I set my alarm and started getting up even earlier to read my devotion and spend some time writing. I told my mom I was going to ask her to keep the kids a little more so I could spend even more time planning and writing and doing things I wanted to do.
For a couple of weeks I sailed along, proud of myself and all that I was accomplishing. I submitted an article, began reading the first book on my list, outlined my children’s book, and blogged my heart out. I was even keeping up with the laundry.
How naive of me, ya’ll.
Because the third week of January happened. My stepdad had a stroke, and my calendar was forgotten. A few days after that, while he was still in the hospital in one town with the doctors trying to figure out what to do, my youngest sister, hours away, went into labor and had a very complicated delivery, ending up in ICU. I spent days and nights away from home, driving what felt like thousands of miles and spending too much time on the phone trying to keep updated on what was happening at each hospital, all the while fighting the guilt that any mother would have over being away from her children so much.
As the weeks dragged on, I put my calendar full of plans and lists and books and dreams in the back of my mind, afraid to think too much about it and what I wasn’t accomplishing. February began with Charlie 2 weeks behind in school, my book only 1/4 of the way read, hardly any blogging accomplished, and my children whiny and needy from their lack of mommy-time. My FitBit went dead and remained that way, and I totally gave up on my plan to read through the Bible this year. You can only imagine the laundry situation.
Don’t worry, everyone is home now and fine, and God has blessed me with a perfect little niece. And everyone in my house has clean clothes to wear.
God sent me a strong message during this time as I raced around worrying about lives and my to-do list.
We can make our plans,
but the lord determines our steps.
Proverbs 16:9 (NLT)
As I sat back down with my planning book once all the drama was over, I approached it a little differently. Instead of making my plans and inviting God to be a part, I asked God to make me a part of his plans. I marked out the reading, math, and science assignments that Charlie and I had not completed, rewriting his lesson plans at a slower, more enjoyable pace. I thought about things we could do for people around us and included those activities in my planning. I wrote specific things I could do to prepare my Sunday School lesson. I included time for friends.
My calendar was a wreck, no longer perfectly written and neat. It was a mess of plans marked out and to-do lists never to be completed.
But God made me okay with that.
He gave me so many good things during this time. I got to have long conversations with a lot of my family (those unhurried, we’re going to be here forever, waiting room conversations) and bond with my new niece (she is precious…really perfect). He revealed to me that I have a wonderful, huge support system: my husband (he is so awesome and generous), my in-laws, my church family, and my friends. All of their prayers and help was such a blessing. Someone said to me, “You have quite a village,” and I realized that I really, really do.
Most importantly, God revealed to me that my plans are so unimportant.
What are your plans? Are you asking God to be a part of your plans, or are you asking to be a part of His plans?
Because let me tell you from experience, God’s plans will prevail, one way or another, with you or without you.
Commit your actions to the lord,
and your plans will succeed.
Proverbs 16:3 (NLT)