I love that this is true. For the small things and the big.
Since I’m a great planner, I can also be a great worrier. What if things don’t go how I had envisioned? What might go wrong that might throw off my plan? So I often make a plan B and even plan C. It’s ridiculous, I know, but it’s me.
I love that God loves me. He made me. He made me a good planner and he loves me even in spite of the times I take this good gift and make it something stupid.
I find it very kind of God to save us. He saves us from our sins and saves us from big things, and I especially love the way he saves us from ourselves.
I feel that every so often God teaches me a lesson and I can learn to do a good job of walking in it. It’s only possible to change my ways because he changed my heart and mind. And for a while the hard lesson might even be easy, and then over time, I drift back. And so, in his goodness he teaches me the lesson all over again. You would think I would just get it together and stop drifting back, but these cycles are true for many parts of my life: planning, parenting, marriage, friendships, food, time, discipline, service, rest – there’s no way to have it all in order all the time. And so our good and gracious God addresses them as often as he sees fit.
So, about planning. I have our family calendar on my fridge, an exercise calendar in the office, a meal plan for the week, and a calendar I keep on my phone so it’s accessible when I’m out. Things are often color coded and it makes me so happy when I reconcile them all once a week to make sure I’ve got everything covered.
But with all those plans there’s a lot that can be messed up and interrupted and ruined. And that can lead to a lot of disappointment and frustration and sometimes anger towards the one that ruined said plan.
I used to think that the more I had planned in one day the better I was doing as a human. Maximizing my time on this earth. Getting stuff done and blessing the world with my presence! And so I would cram as much as I could into the day. If each moment of the day was accounted for the better the day was. I didn’t realize I was a chronic over committer who was getting weary and tired and a little resentful towards the people that didn’t seem to appreciate my precious time!
Blessed be the Lord who daily bears us up. Through different cycles of this lesson I’ve learned that God cares about me and my plans, but that his plans are better than mine. And I learned that if I am going to love and serve him well that means I need to give him access and authority over my life and all the things I hold dear. That means that I need to submit my plans to him. It’s totally fine and good to make plans but I need to surrender them to him.
“God here’s what I have planned and what I want to accomplish today. Is this cool with you? Give me the wisdom and energy I need to carry them out, and give me the grace and joy to be flexible. Let me see interruptions not as a bother but as an opportunity to worship you and trust that you have something else. Help me see if I’m planning stuff to feel valued and successful or because you actually want me to do it”
I once heard that every interaction with a person is an opportunity to worship God.
That means that every time my kids are making me late because they cant (won’t) find their shoes, I can choose patience, prayer and kind, gentle words over harsh words and loud grunting.
It means that when the baby sitter cancels or I catch the 8th red light in a row I can trust that God sees and knows this and I can acknowledge that He is still good and His plans are better than mine. I don’t need to cry and whine about lights or judge someone’s bad planning.
This means when I have to cancel on someone it’s not the end of the world; I am not a failure; my worth as a human has not diminished. It just means that I recongnize my inability to do it all and there’s humility to embrace and grace to receive.
When I submit my heart and life and calendar to God it changes my perspective so much. It helps me live with much more grace for the people around me, mostly my kids and husband, but even the jerk who cut me off on the road. It helps me bless more often than curse .
And right now, as I’m re leaning this lesson, it’s helping me remember to seek God on the front end more often. Before I make the plan, send the text, place the call – to ask God, “Can I please plan this play date/invite them for dinner/go on that trip?”
He is willing and able to daily bear our burdens, so I need to be conscious of daily giving them to him. And in His goodness he will save me.