December 3, 2012

Bless the Lord Reason #10: He Changes My Plans

I had high hopes for the month of November.

I was supposed to finish the first draft of my book.

Didn't happen.

I was supposed to make ahead meals for the whole month of December to alleviate some of the holiday craziness.

Didn't happen.

I was supposed to get more done for the course I'm teaching online.

Wanna guess what happened? Yeah. It didn't. That's what.

I'm a planner. It's like, ingrained in my DNA to plan and organize. Can't be helped.

Disorganization? Does. Not. Compute.

But instead of doing all the things I'd planned, the month of November found me
  • Dealing with two very sick puppies and nursing them through parvovirus.
  • Taking on not one, but two freelance editing jobs that fell into my lap.
  • Singing not one, but two duets that I had to learn pretty much from scratch.
  • Throwing a Christmas party for 40 people when I was supposed to have an extra week to plan it.
  • Teaching the same online class I've taught several times--but oh yeah, they revised it and that required a bunch of extra work.
I've gotta say: there were times I wanted to beat myself up because I didn't get done what I'd set out to accomplish. I started to feel like a failure, a slacker. Why was I so tired? Why couldn't I get up at 4 am to write those scenes I desperately needed to write?*

Why couldn't I just buck up and do it all?

But you know what? Slowly God started changing my attitude, giving me a peace about the unfinished goals, reminding me that I'm not a failure, and that sometimes, He has different plans for us and our time.

I realized...I was essentially like a little kid, flailing and stomping because things hadn't gone MY way. When, if I looked at the bigger picture, the change in my plans provided me different opportunities than those I'd set out for myself:
  • Getting a glimpse, however small, of what real motherhood might be like someday, and how, when my babies are sick, nothing else really seems to matter.
  • Earning extra money for a writing retreat that fell into my lap.
  • Blessing others with music.
  • Blessing others with a night of food, relaxation, and fun, at a time when more people could attend before the craziness of December kicks in.
  • Improving the quality of my students' learning experience.
In the end, God's ways are better.

It doesn't always seem that way when I'm going through the change, but I do bless His name today for making me more flexible.

I was never a gymnast, so I need lots of help. ;)

Your Turn: How do you react when God changes your plans?

*I've gotta say a BIG THANK YOU to my husband and to my critique partner, Melissa Tagg, for putting up with a lot of whining on my part regarding this feeling of failure. Their encouragement and support meant the world!

15 comments:

  1. I'm so glad your puppies are better, Lindsay. God does have a funny way of changing our plans, doesn't he? I have to admit I've thrown a minor temper tantrum or two in the past, but I'm getting better at resting in His arms no matter what.

    Um...Christmas party for 40 people? Now that would take me about three months to plan. You go, girl. :)

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  2. I'm a little unflexible but I recognize my grumpiness and try to roll with the punches. lol
    I'm glad your babies are better and would love to hear your duets! Music is wonderful. Have a great December. :-)

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  3. 40 people--you're my hero!

    And you did bless with music! Indeed!

    How do I react--depends. I'm trying to get to a point where it depends less on my mood and more on my positioning in regards to trusting God.
    ~ Wendy

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  4. Aww, you are welcome, Linds. You can whine to me anytime. Just think of how much fresher your writing will feel now that all the rest of that stuff is behind you. :) I'm so glad your puppies are better, your party was fun, your editing job is done...yay for all of it. And...together we will finish our drafts this week. [cue victorious music]

    You know me, so you know I'm a planner, too. Flexibility is not easy for me. I have felt God stretching me in that area, though, in recent months...as you probably also know. Haha...but yeah. My mom reminds me often that God gives me enough time to do the things I need to. What I can't do, well...I can freak out (as I admit is usually my first response) or I can let go. Adapt. Be flexible. Be calm. :) Working on that...working on that...:)

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  5. Changing mid-stream goes against everything in me! It takes me a while to get on board when plans change, I think God chuckles at me a lot, because life is full of change and growth. I can totally relate to your post, great reminder to me - like a mirror in my face:)

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  6. I've had quite a few plan changers in my life and, though some of them are harder than others, I've learned to bend a lot more than I used to. Having twins was a plan changer and since the day we discovered there were two, I've had to learn more than ever how to bend. It's in those times when I DON'T want to bend that I'm the most miserable. But, as you said, with the plan changers come some of the most awesome blessings - two of them to be precise! :)

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  7. I pout, and then I get back to work. My poor husband. :)

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  8. Wow, you had a busy November! I love how, when times get busy or rough, God uses that time to help us grow. Lately I've had to do a lot of praying that God will help give me peace when plans change, and to see the bright side of new things in my life, realizing that they may be better than the plan I had for myself.

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  9. I totally get the frustration feeling. I like you, have organization in my DNA. I married a man that has very different DNA. Schedule what in the world is that? I still get frustrated when my plans get changed and normally its only after God taps me on the shoulder and says "I got this" do I straighten up. But MTagg is so right, you'll be fresher, your projects are done and your doggies are better and I'm totally positive the ones that got to hear you sing were blessed.

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  10. Just when I thought I was heading into a season of harvest, I found myself in a season of pain...extreme physical pain - my knee, and the sad pain of loss - losing my precious dog to cancer. After some time alone with God,(He put me in the desert), I've come to an understanding of this pain in my life and a change of plans. He is good!

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  11. Superwoman Lindsay! :)

    God knows I'm a planner. He created me to be. I have also learned to trust Him even more when a door is closed and another one is opened. You never know what blessings you'll miss out on while holding onto bitterness, anger and confusion, etc. over why plans change. It's all about letting go and that is hard. But we're in this together, God sends us encouragement through His children--just like through this post.

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  12. Good reminder:)

    Megan K.

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  13. I admit I don't handle instant change very well. At all. Unless He ups the ante and the new thing is way better. How nice of me, right?
    Rolls eyes...
    Sometimes though, He has to pry my fingers off what is good, and take my hand and lead me to what is best.
    I'm learning to floooowwwwwwwww better and embrace new challenges. I think. Maybe.
    ;)

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  14. Thanks for your support, everyone. It's good to know I'm not the only one out there who struggles with this!!

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  15. Awesome post Linz! Good reminder! This week has held lots of unplanned surprises already for me...sick son, missing Bible study, my husband's unexpected business trip during a week when i have performances almost every night. Thanks for reminding me to focus on what God is trying to accomplish. Thanks for hosting the Christmas party. Your home looked beautiful, the food was delicious and u were the perfect host! Not to mention how super cute u looked!

    Rachel E.

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