I was a planner. All through school my planner was my lifeline. I loved getting the syllabus and finding out exactly what it was going to take to do well in a class. I would make lists for my lists, and it felt so good to put a check or a line through a task completed.
Then I became a mom. I plan to be there on time, but then Daniel needs his diaper changed, Savannah can’t find her shoes, and Caleb insists on the orange shirt. I plan to organize that closet, but then the kids spilled water and the toddler decided a green marker would make a great decorating accent. When I see you at the grocery store and say “We should get together” I plan on making that happen but before I know it weeks have passed and I don’t even have a good excuse as to why I didn’t call you.
It’s not just poor follow through and daily mishaps that change my plans. When I graduated college, I planned on doing short-term missions. I ended up meeting and marrying my best friend, which has been the best change of plans imaginable. I planned on having a baby 10 years ago, but it took 5 years. Waiting that long wasn’t what I had planned, but I wouldn’t have it any other way now. When we moved back to Nashville, I had planned on staying there. After only 3 years in my hometown, I now live in the Carolinas. It wasn’t my plan, but it has been a good one.
In their hearts humans plan their course, but the LORD establishes their steps. Proverbs 16:9
I love a plan. I love to know what is next and I love seeing things to completion. But I am learning that plans are just that….plans. It is only when I turn my plans into expectations that I find disappointment and frustration. It is only when I allow my plans to give me a sense of control that I feel anxious when things don’t go as planned. When I trust that the Lord is establishing and directing my path, then anxiety and control have no place.
I’m finding that in the end, I’m usually glad that my plans get changed. Sometimes it means that I meet someone that changes my life or sometimes it’s simply experiencing something new. When I think about it, my plans never really go as planned. I’m also learning that it’s more than alright with me. His plans truly are greater than mine.
So whether it’s a major life situation that is changing unexpectedly or you simply can’t get out the door with your kids, trust that He has a plan, and it is good. It just may not look like your plan.
How do you deal with a sudden change of plans? How do you help your children deal with them?