Living on His Plans

When people talk about how they can’t wait for life to return to “normal”, I mentally stand on the other side thinking: ‘but I’m not 100% okay with the old kind of normal, the pre-covid normal…What changes do I want to see made within my family for our “future normal”…What is it that I want to grasp as a spiritually beneficial takeaway from this unique time?’…Because I don’t want to revert back to my Alicia’s world, impatient, on the go self when things do return to “normal”…my true colors usually show up best with a well thought out detailed itinerary…that’s part of my control girl flaw.

I’m trying to figure out how to mesh this current lifestyle (the things I’ve learned during my coronavirus-downtime) with what’s to come when life eventually does return to “fast-paced normal”…and the idea of loosening my firm grip on ‘itinerary-style-planning’ definitely needs to be part of a wiser planning method for myself.

We’ve all seen firsthand now how things can dramatically change in a matter of day to day living.

I have to laugh in spite of myself — back in late February, before I even knew the word coronavirus existed, I had sat down at my kitchen table and counted through my calendar all the days that I had marked down to substitute teach, and there were many. And in my eyes I was thinking about dollar signs and the amount of money that I’d be able to tuck into savings to put towards a trip our family has/had scheduled this summer. In the midst of counting sub days I literally thought of how foolish it seemed because subconsciously I knew something could come up and any of those days could be taken from me, none of them were necessarily ever guaranteed to stay locked in. Sure enough every single one of them was canceled out through the end of the school year due to the virus.

On top of that, my mom and I were supposed to travel to Vegas at the end of March for my uncle’s celebration of life — that event was postponed until a safer travel time.

That trip my husband, the kids and I have scheduled in July, ya that’s just a few phone calls away from being wiped off the calendar as well.

And I think it all boils down to the fact that I need to be okay with being flexible, not getting set in my own plans. If I choose to get so hung up on my plans and then something comes up and spoils them to the point they can no longer take place I risk getting caught up in disappointment, stress, maybe even depression…but if I choose to remember that this life is forever changing and can’t ever offer stability then my heart remains softened and willing to embrace the changes. I can’t keep a tight hold on my plans because they’re fallible just like every other part of this life. Nothing is wrong with planning, in fact the Bible even encourages us to plan BUT our plans are to be within God’s best interest and in-line with His will. Proverbs 16 provides some key verses on this matter:

Proverbs 16:3 Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and He will establish your plans.

Proverbs 16:9 In their hearts humans plan their course, but the Lord establishes their steps.

It’s God who has the say in the end.

Planning is a normal part of life but to include God in our plans, knowing that He has the ultimate best direction over us, is the key to a healthy life schedule. Because of this slower period in life, I’m also seeing that it helps to have a schedule that isn’t jam packed.

We must trust that God has overall control and be willing to submit to His plans when ours get fouled up. This happens when we remain in close communion with Him, asking Him to guide our plans and redirect our steps where needed.

I’m thankful to say that regardless of my plans becoming distorted, because of coronavirus, I am at peace with them falling through. This pandemic has served as a reminder once again that God truly is the only unchanging, unfailing, unfaltering part of life. So now (and when post corona season ever comes) I am prepared and willing to commit my plans unto Him with welcomed arms and a sensible calendar open to changes.

Photo taken in in Germany, near the North Sea

Autumn Update: REST

I love this time of year—from the cool, crisp days, to the layers of crunchy fall-colored leaves scattered across hibernating front lawns.

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With Thanksgiving and Christmas plans under way and a love of baking in the kitchen with my two girls, the aroma of cinnamon and nutmeg spices never grows old and seems to create the perfect mixture. I longingly look forward to the autumn season weeks before it arrives.

My husband enjoys it for other reasons…the fall season for him means camouflage hunting attire, the ideal rifle of choice, and a deer permit with high hopes of filling a tag with a trophy buck.

But it also proves to be a busy time of year for our family. It can be easy for us to become distracted from the routine of everyday life as we tend to shuffle in a few extra plans for the holidays and if I’m not careful that alone can complicate our lives. Continue reading “Autumn Update: REST”

Lego-building vs. God

One of my favorite things about God is His ideal timing…

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God’s Word always provides the answer to our problems; we just have to be willing to go there.        

I’m perpetually guilty of getting caught up in the crazy-business of life and losing focus on the things that really matter. Attempting to search for the bottom of a to-do-list just to realize the rest of my calendar is filled with activities, deadlines and appointments, sometimes just doesn’t settle well with me. Raising children, planning meals, a demanding job…the list goes on― these are things that keep my husband and I and most other grown-ups on the go. Let’s face it, sometimes “adult-ing” is tough… in the heat of the moment we often forget to breathe and allow God to direct our steps.

So far homeschooling my son this school year has proved to be somewhat stressful and difficult…second grade started and my boy has brought to the table not only his school books, but an exasperating attitude nearly every day.

Recently I sternly but rationally discussed with him the possibility of maybe focusing a little more, in light of finishing Math in an hour’s time, rather than three hours. And it’s not that he struggles with the work or expectations, he’s perfectly capable, he’s just preoccupied with other interests and therefore it distracts him from the matter at hand.

Needless to say the conversation didn’t appeal well to him and it left me feeling helpless and as a result I slowly walked away from the table and plopped down on the sofa and sighed, most likely dramatically. Continue reading “Lego-building vs. God”