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Posts Tagged ‘Planning’

I love to know what is next … how the movie or book ends, what is planned for tomorrow, where our next vacation will be, what renovation we will do next on our home. I am into certainty. I plan our meals for a couple of weeks in advance, I countdown to holidays, I scour home stores for ideas to duplicate in our home (I rarely have any time to actually do them), and I sometimes read the last page of the novel before starting it (although I always find it is pointless, because it never seems to tell me anything anyway).

Life, though, is not full of certainty, but uncertainty.

There are hiccups to plans, there are changes in schedules, there are twists in the road, and there are surprises around every corner. The only thing I am truly certain of is that nothing in life is for certain.

I learned this a few years back, on our anniversary. As the days grew closer, our daughters were talking up ‘the gift’ hubby had gotten for me. There is nothing worse for adding pressure, than your kids excitedly telling you that you will love what their dad got for you! I mean, this meant that how I responded could disappoint not only hubby, but our kids too.

I knew that I had to plan my response. And so I went into constant rehearsals … in the van, in my backyard, in the kitchen, in the mirror … everywhere I went for a week I was practicing my response. By our anniversary I was a well-oiled machine (with a rumbly in my tumbly, from the anxiety).

When ‘it’ arrived at the house, I was sequestered to our daughters room, until ‘it’ and our family were all in place. Then I was beckoned to the living room, where they were all excitedly awaiting (and I was hoping I would faint before I got there, and had to act out my response). And there ‘it’ was … I was shocked, I was excited, I was unable to act … I was naturally thrilled! Hubby had taken an old chair that I had paid a dollar for at a junkyard (over twenty years ago), to be refinished and reupholstered. It was beautifully redeemed, and I loved it.

Now that is the kind of uncertainty I can handle!

I was recently in church singing along, and an example of certainty hit me in the face, and caused tears to flow from my eyes.

“No power of hell, no scheme of man,
Can ever pluck me from His hand;
Till He returns or calls me home,
Here in the power of Christ I’ll stand.”

As I read and sang those words … no power of hell, no scheme of man … that means nothing on earth, or beyond the earth … nothing, can ever separate me from Christ. There is nothing that any man or woman can do to me, there is no demonic pressure that can sever the tie that exists between my redeemer and me. There is nothing that even I can do to break that tie.

This is certainty! And this is what I hold on to till He returns, or calls me home.

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I love to anticipate things to come. I love to plan vacations, and times away with hubby. I love to count down weeks to school breaks (currently only five more weeks of work until summer break starts …). I love to dream about concerts and other events that I have tickets to, I awaken and my mouth starts watering as I contemplate what I will prepare for dinner.

My brain loves to focus on the good things to come. It is a survival tactic, to get through the more mundane parts of life (this is my undiagnosed ADD talking). It is my way of focusing on the prize that is to come.

I plot and plan, I dream and scheme, all with the hopes of ordering my future fixation … whatever it might be.

It is not bad to look forward to good things that we anticipate coming our way. It is just that we must keep in mind that our planning for future events and experiences is not guaranteed.

I might plan a vacation, and then something comes up that requires I change those plans. I might be looking forward to a summer off, but when a job comes up that could ease our family finances, I need to take it, and forgo that time of R & R. A concert that I have tickets to might get canceled. I might plan something amazing for dinner, but because I end up taxiing kids all afternoon, that gourmet dinner is substituted with hot dogs.

In the midst of my plotting and dreaming, my hopes and dreams, life happens. It is rarely what I would have chosen the path of my life to be.

Even worse, though, than having my plans not be fulfilled, is that I can be so fixated on what is to come, that I forget to enjoy and fully live in the present moment. My eyes can be straining so hard to see the future that they cannot focus on what is currently before me.

That might mean that I am missing out on the beauty, the lessons, the preparation for whatever is around the next corner. In my preoccupation with the future, I might be missing out on the gift of the present time.

“Today is mine.
Tomorrow is none of my business.
If I peer anxiously into the fog of the future,
I will strain my spiritual eyes so that I will not see clearly
what is required of me now.”
Elisabeth Elliot

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