Practically Speaking: Extraordinary Truth for Ordinary Days
Welcome new subscribers! And old subscribers…and faithful and random visitors.
For your reading pleasure, I’m running some favorite posts of mine from the days when my blog had like 10 hits a day. I think this post is my all-time favorite. It totally sums up my life. I hope you like it.
Some would say I have control issues.But I’d much rather refer to myself as “a planner.” I simply prefer to know what is going on.
Also, when and how it’s going on.
Not to mention, exactly how much time I’ve got before it goes on.It’s a really good day when I’m also the one who gets to dictate exactly what is going on.I’m quite good at it, actually. I would even go so far as to say that it’s my gift. To dictate. To plan.Plan, plan, plan.I have my daily plan, my weekly plan, my annual plan and my life-long plan.
I’m serious.Like I said, it’s a gift.
A few years ago when Kid-One started kindergarten, Kid-Two was still napping three hours a day, and Kid-Three was yet to be conceived, I seized a season of life to tackle the daunting task of writing my first book manuscript. I had it all planned out.Week-on, week-off, I shared carpool duties with another mom. On my non-driving weeks, I had an extra hour or two a day to write. I worked it out perfectly to get Kid-Two fed, changed and down for his nap precisely at 1 pm every day, so I would have three full hours to write before Kid-One got home from school.
What a plan, eh?You’d think so.But it seems there were variables to said plan that often, (permission to speak freely), SCREWED THINGS UP FOR ME. Kids throwing up, not eating lunch fast enough or not wanting to nap at all. Or a carpooling partner who had a life and children of her own (what EVER!) and sometimes needed to change the carpooling schedule (are you KIDDING ME?).
On those days, I found myself behaving like a three-year-old, stomping around the house pouting. “Why am I always the one whose schedule gets messed up? What about MY book? What about MY time? What about ME? I might as well not plan ANYTHING. (stomp foot, cross arms) Waaaaaaaaaa!”
That’s real spiritual maturity, there. Yes ma’am…
After repeated temper tantrums, it occurred to me that perhaps God was trying to tell me something. And maybe I should shush-up and listen.
“Our insistence upon seeing ahead is natural enough, but it is a real hindrance to our spiritual progress.” A.W. Tozer
Giving God permission to mess with my plans has been a real battle for me over the years. See, God also has a plan for my day, my week, my year and my life. And truth be told, I haven’t always invited Him to my planning meetings. I mean, I thought I had consulted Him, but honestly, I rarely checked in once the plan was in motion. I rarely asked Him for updates or input once I had it written on the day-timer.Clearly, God was trying to wrestle something out of my hands—trying to take control of something I preferred to handle myself. Namely, my schedule. My time. My life, really.
“OK, God, what do YOU want me to do today?”I started taking my written agenda to Him each morning in prayer.Literally.I would literally hold my day-timer open to the page marked “Today” and pray, saying something like this:
“Here is what I have in mind for today. But God, I give you permission to add or subtract anything that does not fall into Your perfect will for my life. Just tell me what to change, and I’ll do it. Help me also, to respond to You in faith and trust, knowing that You see what I cannot see, and You’ve got things completely under control.”
“Now listen, you who say, ‘Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money.’ Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. Instead, you ought to say, ‘If it is the Lord’s will, we will live and do this or that.’” (James 4:13-15)
That’s a scary prayer to pray when you’ve got control issues…er, I mean, The Spiritual Gift of Planning.
While often God gives my daily plan His stamp of approval, He sometimes throws the entire plan out the window. After all, God has been known to tell me to adopt a stray animal …or another child. Talk about a change of plans!
And now, He wants my entire year to be The Year of Yes.I have a sneaking suspicion that He’s planning on extending The Year of Yes well into the rest of my life.In the simple act of humbly submitting my plans to Him, God is teaching me to see His hand weaving the very fabric of my life. He’s showing me where He can strengthen and encourage me in areas where I previously struggled alone. He is especially revealing to me little by little, that though the days and years don’t look exactly the way I’ve planned them to look, His spiritual blessings far exceed anything I hoped for myself.
Lesson Learned: Commit to the LORD whatever you do, and your plans will succeed. ~Proverbs 16:3
Do you have any other ideas how we can commit our days to Him?
If you like this blog, please take a minute to follow me or subscribe. While the numbers don’t matter all that much to me, they matter a WHOLE LOT to the nice publishers I meeting with this week. Stuff like this makes or breaks the deal for a new author. Thank you so much!!
May God always continue to teach you sweetie.
I love this post! I especially found the last scripture very meaningful for my day. Thanks 🙂
Looking forward to meeting you in just a few days. 🙂