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The plans He has

Several weeks ago My daughter-in-law texted me and demanded to know what I wanted for Christmas this year.  I responded with a gif of a woman running her hands over her face in a dramatic “please don’t make me do this” expression.  She replied that if I didn’t provide a list of at least three gift options, that none of them would accept a single gift from me, including my three-year-old grandson. 

Well, Grandma certainly wasn’t going to let that happen so I responded immediately.  I told her I could only think of one thing: a very pretty planner so that I could plot out my year. 

And you know what?  That is absolutely what I really, honestly wanted.

My planner is beautiful!  It has pretty little flowers on it.  Each month is tabbed individually, then has weekly pages for daily “to-do” lists.  It even had pages of adorable stickers with flowers and stars and bookmarks and even ones that say “Date Night,” “Doctors Appt.” “Vacay,” etc.

This planner is the bomb!

And that’s why for the last three days I’ve been writing down careful permutations about my release schedule for 2022 including my writing schedule and word count goals.  I’ve made detailed lists of all the things I want to accomplish.

And I haven’t written a single word of it in the planner. 

Instead, I’ve scribbled it on a plain yellow notepad.

Why?

Because my planner is the bomb!  It’s beautiful and perfect and so open and full of promise and hope.

I don’t want to mess up this pretty gift my daughter-in-law so sweetly gave m in response to my only request.  Because it’s virtually a guarantee that anything I write in my pretty planner will change.  I’ll miss a deadline, I’ll have to change my schedule, new opportunities will appear, new problems and maybe even tragedies will derail all I intend to accomplish.

That’s life.

Life isn’t pretty, it isn’t perfect, it can’t be planned to the hour, the moment the second.  It’s unpredictable, it’s scary, it’s beautiful, it’s exciting, it’s painful.  If there’s anything the past two years have shown us it’s that.

But there’s nothing wrong with planning.  After all, just because life is messy, doesn’t mean we shouldn’t try to bring order to it.  Planning helps us set out our goals, lays out ways to make use of the gifts God has given us.  And yes, sometimes our plans will change, will get put off, will fall through entirely. No matter what happens to our plans, God’s plans for our life are still there.  He is always beside us, always walking our journey with us. 

Many are the plans in the mind of a man, but it is the purpose of the Lord that will stand.

Proverbs 19:21 

The Lord wants us to walk in faith, to stand in assurance, to maintain hope in his sovereignty.  Taking the time to plan, to write down our intentions and wants and wishes is a way of declaring our faith in Him.  It is our proud affirmation that we will step boldly into the future knowing that even when things don’t go the way we expect, Jesus will be there beside us and His plans are mightier than ours.

So I’m going to pick up my pen now and start writing those plans.  I’m going to do it in my pretty little planner while I silently pray in trust of the Lord’s purpose for my life.

Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life? And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. …

Matthew 6:25-34

Did you get a new planner for 2022?  Have you started setting forth all the hopes you have for the year?

Dear gracious Father – Thank you for giving me a new year.  Thank you for the pretty blank pages of my future and your direction and presence as I take each step into this new year.  I pray that you’ll give me patience, forgiveness, and grace as I seek to find Your will in each challenge I confront.  I pray that I can play some small part in bringing Your goodness and love into the world this year.   These things I pray in Your name. Amen.

By oliviahardinwriter

When Olivia Hardin started having movie-like dreams in her teens, she had no choice but to begin putting them to paper. Before long, the writing bug had bitten her, and she knew she wanted to be a published author. Several rejections plus a little bit of life later, she was temporarily “cured” of the urge to write. That is, until she met a group of talented and fabulous writers who gave her the direction and encouragement she needed to get lost in the words again. Olivia has attended three different universities over the years and toyed with majors in Computer Technology, English, History and Geology. Then one day she heard the term “road scholar,”' and she knew that was what she wanted to be. Now she “studies” anything and everything just for the joy of learning. She's also an insatiable crafter who only completes about 1 out of 5 projects, a jogger who hates to run, and she’s sometimes accused of being artistic. A native Texas girl, Olivia lives in the beautiful Lone Star state with her husband, Danny, their corgi Bonnie Sue, and their new rescue Heidi Ho.

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