The day that didn’t. That was what I called the day that my plans underwent a total overhaul. It was a sunny Monday just a few weeks after Ella’s birth, and we were finally getting out of the house. Just to Target, but let’s be real – where else do you go with a one year old and a newborn? After loading everyone up, several projectile spit ups and a car that failed to start meant we were back inside, only to find that the fridge sprang a leak in the 0.06 seconds that we were actually out of the house. Needless to say, we didn’t make it to Target that day. In fact, we didn’t make it anywhere except sprawled among a slew of Little People and books in the living room. But that was exactly where The Lord wanted me and exactly where He revealed a lesson that I’ve hidden in my heart.
Jacob is at a new stage of independence. That stage that is bittersweet to my mama heart. He is so capable now, so smart. He pushes my hand away when I try to help him hold his cup of yogurt or color a picture because he wants to do it himself. On this particular day, when we were stranded inside, he brought me one of his beloved animal books and plopped into my lap so I could read it to him. As I opened the book, he pushed my hand away to turn the pages himself. But his chubby little fingers couldn’t grasp each page, so he turned multiple pages at a time. I know this book by heart, and I know which pages he likes best, so I knew he was missing out on some of his favorite animal pages because he wanted to be in control. He was hurrying to turn so many pages at once that he completely missed the vibrant colors, words, and photos on the pages. As I felt my frustration rise at his demand to get to the last page, The Lord spoke. In my soul I felt Him say, “You do this too. This life I have given you – don’t be in a hurry to get to the end. You’ll miss some of my greatest plans for you.”
Yes. I’m a planner. A planner who seriously adores picking out a pretty new spiral bound agenda each year. I love meal planning, party planning, play date planning. As moms, we have to be planners to some extent. And planning is good. As busy moms and raisers of these tiny kingdom warriors, it’s easy to let our minds constantly wander to their futures. Always thinking about tomorrow, next week, next year for ourselves and our families. I love independence and I like to be in control of my circumstances and my decisions. I want to plan good things for my family’s todays and their tomorrows. But really, the Master Planner (and I’m not talking about that pretty spiral bound planner) is truly the One in control. Of everything. Of today, of tomorrow, of every toddler meltdown, every unforeseen illness, and every plan changed. Every car that won’t start and every refrigerator leak is a detail intricately woven into His plans for us. Every detail of every day ordained for us was known intimately to Him before one of them ever happened. And they’re all for a purpose, designed by the One who wants the best for us. When I attempt to take the reins, I miss out on what could be some of His most beautiful plans for me.
Are there days when I silently pray for bedtime to come? Definitely. Are there times that I wish I could walk through a store by myself and look at things other than boogie wipes and diaper pail refills? Yep. And there are times that I’m so tired and overwhelmed that I want to fast forward to the weekend. But that would mean missing out on the moments The Lord has ordained for me. What areas of your life are not playing out according to your plans? Maybe it’s the pressure of work or finances, a strained relationship, the loss of a loved one. Know that the God who knit you together has it. He has it. Nothing in your life is a surprise to Him. In fact, He has a history of working wonders in people whose plans are second to His. David didn’t wake up one morning and plan to conquer Goliath, Nehemiah didn’t plan to rebuild Jerusalem, and Mary didn’t plan on giving birth to the Savior of the world. They were ordinary people with plans just like me and you. But isn’t that the beauty of the heart of God? He turns ordinary into holy. Another day at home certainly wasn’t in my agenda. But really, I’m so glad we never made it to Target. We had one of the very best days we have ever had. My spot on the living room floor, where trains and teethers abound, became holy ground when I surrendered my plans to His.
As moms, we know that these days are precious and sacred. Yes, these are the days when our own interests are few, but these are also the days when our impact is great. These days frequently stray from my plan, but they are the days when I have the two sweetest sets of arms wrapped around me, reading books about farm animals and laughing when the tower of blocks falls over. Days of feeling painfully exhausted but blissfully happy, content right where the hand of God has placed me. Days of pouring out more love than I ever knew I had in me and days of receiving it back in the forms of toothy grins, first words, and slobbery kisses. It is okay if my plan isn’t the one that comes out on top. When things go awry, remember Who holds your today and all of your tomorrows. I’ve stopped measuring my productivity in terms of meals planned and errands run. Regardless of projectile spit ups and failed trips to Target, these are the very best days because they were intricately and intentionally planned for me by a merciful Father. And I don’t want to miss a single page of this story He’s written.