May 18, 2012

When Life Derails Your Plans

I realize this image may be disturbing after my Friday post on train riding...stick with me here.

This week, I’m taking a short hiatus from my Names of God series. Why?

Because things didn’t go as planned this week.

In fact, things haven’t gone as planned for the last FEW weeks.

And this bothers me to no end. Why? Because I’m a planner. I love lists. I love calendars. I love anything that helps me plot and plan in my neurotic little way. Sometimes, I even plan by the hour. Do I ever get done everything I want to?

No.

But I usually get at least SOME of it done.

But the last few weeks?

Nope.

Writing goals NOT accomplished. Items NOT checked off the list. Marked calendars that lied because I wasn’t where I thought I’d be when I thought I’d be there.

Some of it was out of my control: migraines that incapacitated me, a different work schedule and location thrust upon me for three days, appointments and lunch meetings that meant I couldn’t write on my lunch break…

Some of it was due to a choice I made: hanging out with family instead of writing, for example.

But you know what? In all of the frustration, I’m learning something.

First, that when I’m not in control, it bugs me. And that shouldn’t be the case, because those are the times when I can really lean on God and grow closer to Him, and remember that HE should be in control of my life. Him. Not me.

And second, time spent with PEOPLE is never wasted.

In fact, I had a great time with my family this past week. If I’m always doing and never bonding, then all I’ll have left at the end of my life is a bunch of stories. No depth. No real connections. Only connections with characters who can’t hold me in their arms when tragedy or joy occur.
Wish I was this flexible!

I’m not saying I’m perfect at this. I need to be more flexible. I WANT to be more flexible. I want to rely on God and not my own ability to plan and control situations.

Because God can use flexible people. He molds them into who He wants them to be.

YOUR TURN: Do you struggle when life derails your plans? Or do you find it easy to go with the flow?

16 comments:

  1. I'm learning once again about surrendering control to the one who can do the most good.
    ~ Wendy

    ReplyDelete
  2. Most of my career has been in an industry that requires flexibility and I'll elaborate so no one gets the wrong idea! Early Childhood education. I'd plan my day and then 2 teachers would call in and BAM! Shot! So I learned quick not to get too set on my plans. Then I had kids of my own. And again...

    But, I've noticed since I'm at home most of the time and can set my schedule and life, I get real grumpy when things don't go as planned.

    Hugs, girlfriend!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. LOL, the first part cracked me up. The second part gave me hope! :)

      Delete
  3. Great post! I can relate. When nothing gets done on my lists, I realize I'm not as in tune to God's will as I believe I am. Sometimes I think He allows me to be derailed to refocus my energies.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think that's so true, Laura. That's definitely how I feel today. :)

      Delete
  4. Love your second observation: Time spent with people is never wasted. And how true, that characters won't hold you in your arms when tragedy or joy occur. We're all so human and flawed in our attempts to get it right and do things our way, but God usually has other plans, and since He is Love, those plans are most often relational.

    Your post reminds me of the famous quote by John Lennon:

    "Life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans."

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I never want to be so busy with the less important things that I miss out on ministering to someone...or having them minister to me, if God wills!

      Delete
  5. I'm awful with going with the flow and giving up control. Just awful. It takes lots of praying and moments to myself to find that happy place where I'm able to hand it over. I'll keep tryin' though.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's all we can do. Keep on tryin'. Keep on prayin'.

      Delete
  6. I used to be very much like you, Lindsay, until I had children! Oh, my goodness do they derail the plans I make each day - and don't forget the dog, too. I have three close girlfriends and all of them have four children - trying to make a plan to get together is almost comical sometimes - inevitably, one of us has to cancel because of a sick child or other issue. Suffice it to say, God has used hundreds of derailed plans in my life to get me to a place of flexibility - but do I always bend? No and that's when I get crabby. For instance, right now, I wanted to visit some blogs, but the twins just got into the kitchen and one of them invited the other to dig in the fridge...gotta go. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yep, I have a feeling that's gonna rock my world completely when it's my turn! Glad to know you're surviving it, though. :)

      Delete
  7. Oh, this is so, so good Lindsay...and so exactly what I've been struggling with, too, in the past two weeks. I had this whole list of things to get done in between my two big trips. Yeah, didn't happen so much. And like you, I struggle with losing control of my schedule and plans...

    But it's true that time with real people is never wasted...and that real peace comes from letting go and trusting God that He's not going to leave us hanging...I love that about Him!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Just keep repeating that: real peace comes from letting go and trusting God.

      Love it!

      Delete
  8. I agree with Gabrielle...wait until you have kids!! But for me, the one thing that got me over the "list" habit real fast was The United States Marine Corps.

    Once I became a Marine wife, I learned quickly how to "adapt, improvise, overcome..."

    So now it isn't so bad.

    Learn the Marine Corps motto early in life! It helps!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm sure being a military wife taught you also about patience and trust!

      Delete