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.
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.
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.
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.
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.