It was so nice taking a break from our normal routine during the month of December: celebrating with friends and family, making special memories with my girls, and even taking time to just sit by the Christmas tree and count my blessings while I enjoy a cup of coffee from my new coffee maker. As I sat contemplating the new year, a plan began to form in my mind. I needed a new routine, a new schedule that would keep me on track with the housework, and a workable plan to add exercise to my day. So, I made a list. “Things I Want to Make Habits in 2012”
- Spend focused time in prayer every morning while everyone is asleep (while staying awake myself…)
- Exercise 5 days a week & spend time with my girls in the process (the oldest is a runner & the youngest likes Zumba, so it should work)
- Make sure the kitchen is clean before going to bed every night.
- Make a plan for getting & keeping the house clean throughout the week so that if my Sunday school class spontaneously decides to meet in the parsonage I won’t be too embarrassed.
Sounds like a pretty good plan, right?
I had also been praying about what God would have me do differently in my life & ministry this year. I felt like He was telling me to be still. Focus on People. Be Intentional. That’s a great plan, too…I’m not really sure how that’s gonna fit with my plan…but I’m sure it will all come together once I get started…right?
Cue January 2 and we hit the ground running! My sweet husband had already taken down (most of) the Christmas decorations the week before. He’s the best. <3 So Monday morning started with a great cup of coffee and a wonderful Quiet Time. My girls joined me and we prayed together. Then we started the laundry, cleaned their rooms, straightened the living areas, and re-organized the kitchen. The second half of the day included Zumba with my youngest, finishing up all the projects I started that day, and a healthy-home-cooked meal for the family. It was GREAT! I love it when a plan comes together!
And God in His heaven said: “Plan? What plan?”
The phone rang. It was the automated subbing call telling me about a job in our local elementary school. They needed a teacher for the next four days. No problem! I can work full time in a class full of 24 first graders and still accomplish my plan. And I did. Every day I got up early and had my Bible study and prayer time. I packed nutritious lunches. I plowed through the lesson plans. I kept the little ones in line. Every afternoon I exercised. I spent time with my girls while we cooked healthy dinners. I contacted various church people through phone calls & e-mails so they didn’t feel forgotten. I even spent time with my husband (though it was very brief due to his triathlon training…but that’s another story). It was a tiring but great week. I felt like I had accomplished so much of my plan! But then the weekend hit and I crashed. I did not feel like going to church. I did not feel like leading worship. I did not feel like walking around shaking hands. But I did it anyway because that’s my job.
Seemed as if my plans were interfering with God’s plan. Hmmm…not good. I’ll do better, Lord! And God said: “Yes, daughter, you will.” Cue stomach virus.
Now I’m not saying that God made me sick…It was probably one of those little first graders who have yet to learn the meaning of personal space…or how to cover their sneeze… But either way, it has served its purpose. I am being still today. I am evaluating my plan. I am taking time to pray and ask God to show me His plan more clearly. I’m learning that it’s OK to have a plan but I don’t need to be married to it- meaning that I cannot tie myself to my plan til death do us part. I need to let God drive, not be my co-pilot. I need to follow His plan. And if His plan happens to include some of my plans then that’s just gravy (I mean…that’s just something extra special…but maybe healthier than gravy since I am trying to be healthier…) :)
PS…Coincidentally (or not) I’ve been reading Pete Wilson’s book “Plan B.” It’s a great book that I would totally recommend for those of us who find our own plans not working out the way we expected them to! Click the title to find out more!