Tuesday, September 13, 2011

When You've Got it All Figured Out

Ever felt like you had planned well and finally "had it all figured out?" Maybe you had a sweet little life going. . .for a good 5 minutes or 5 days and thought you had finally arrived? Yeah, that's me! A month or so ago I thought I had done it; I had come up with a good workable plan where everything would get done smoothly and efficiently.

We had a visitor for 3 weeks in July, then packed up our son and brought him to college, then I planned to come home and chart out our school assignments for the year using my nifty new computer homeschool planner. I was no sooner home and unpacked and a storm named "Irene" hit my very wooded neighborhood, knocking down trees and taking our electricity out for 5 days. Keeping our day running with showers and food gathering took all my energy. Then there was the cleanup that comes after such a storm, mostly inside the house with all that was *undone* and *defrosted*. And school was upon us. 

Thankfully, notebooks had been completed. But no lesson plans. Fancy computer planner laid dormant. I chose a light schedule for the first week and was ready to hit the books hard this week and really get rolling. Then yesterday our septic system acted up, derailing my efforts again. . . (It's fixed today). 

This morning I thought of the John Lennon quote from his "Beautiful Boy" song: "Life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans." This would be true to me, except for one factor..."BUT GOD." Life doesn't happen to me, it doesn't interrupt me. GOD'S plans happen to me. GOD interrupts. 

When I don't recognize God's hand (or truthfully when His plans FRUSTRATE me), I lose my peace, I am stressed, I get grouchy! When I recognize His hand, I lean into His plans. I pray more, I get in the Bible more, I walk by faith. I may not have any idea where I am going. That's quite common for sheep following their Shepherd. They have no idea where they are going and they don't care. They know from experience the journey ends with green pastures and still waters. They can lie down and sleep in peace knowing the Shepherd will take care of them. 

I've realized I foolishly thought that the way we "schooled" last year would be the way I was to do it this year. I was all ready to make the same plan with just the new page numbers. But God had other plans. And since I wasn't considering a change, I was moving along merrily with my plans. Thankfully God interrupted me before I had gotten too far on my own path. 

"Many are the plans in a person's heart, but it is the Lord's purpose that prevails." Proverbs 19:21

"In their hearts humans plan their course, but the Lord establishes their steps." Proverbs 16:9

Left to myself, I was planning a school year with no wiggle room, no space left for the priority changes I was sensing from last spring (which I had completely forgotten). Rather than knocking out pages and pages of books, I was sensing we needed to teach more about what to do with those pages. Rather than a "text book" year (pun intended), I wanted to leave room for the messiness of being more missional as a family and reaching out to others. Rather than a dump truck teaching method, I wanted a mentoring model. It's official. Having gotten completely off track, I am  finally on track! 

"Lead me by your truth and teach me, for you are the God who saves me. All day long I put my hope in you." Psalm 25:5

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