When God Changes Your Plans

Today (written last week) Anna is home sick with a stomach bug.  We were up most of the night with her; poor thing.  Of course, there’s been a change of plans today – a piano lesson rescheduled, a grocery trip put on hold – and instead, washing bedding, and keeping liquids at the ready.  When my family is sick I am happy to be home with them and serve them.  Yes, it’s sometimes hard, especially with little sleep.  But a certain “mama bear” instinct kicks in and you just do it.  

Although Anna wasn’t feeling well, I love this picture that shows “peace’ bear right up close on her neck. She doesn’t always sleep with a stuffed animal, but when she’s sick, she wants one close by.

As Anna napped today I had some alone time to sit, read, and feed my soul with the only words that can.  

Psalm 46:10 – Be still and know that I am God.

Isaiah 26:3 – You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you.  Trust in the LORD forever, for the LORD GOD is an everlasting rock.  

I realized something: God prepared me yesterday for what was to come today. 

Yesterday I had plans of getting quite a bit accomplished – my to-do list was way too long.  Instead, in the morning I felt God nudging me to prep dinner early.  Have it all ready to pop in the oven later in the day.  So, that’s what I did.  As the day went on I felt more and more tired and wiped out, and it felt so wonderful having dinner taken care of.  Thank you, Lord.  By the afternoon, after having a little rest, I still felt God saying, “Rest more.  In me.  Lay aside your plans.”  So, that’s what I did.  I made myself a cup of tea and sat down to study.  By the time I had picked the kids up from school and we were into the routine of homework, I was again grateful for my slower day, and having the energy for the kids.

Fast forward to last night when I was up in the night with Anna.  Around 4am I’m laying in bed thinking about how I will adjust my day today to be home with her, and it comes to me:  Had I rushed around yesterday doing what I originally intended to do, I would have been past exhaustion being up with her in the night.  I’m not sure I would have been able to do it.  My slower day reserved some of my energy for right now.  And I am amazed.  I am amazed once again at how my Father makes provisions for me, cares for me, and loves me in this way.  

Sometimes I plow through accomplishing even when I feel the nudging to slow.  And I’m usually sorry I did.  My body either protests with fatigue or I have zero energy left for my family in the evening.  Many times I am frustrated when my plans change and my to-do list gets put aside.  But slowly I am learning that it is always for my good.  Thank you, Father.  

Fancy Class #2

A few Fridays ago Anna held another Fancy class for me.  She informed me at breakfast that we would be having another one that morning.  Ok.  I guess I should attend!  

It was a Friday, my only errand outside the house was picking James up at noon from school, so no, I wasn’t dressed to the nines.  It didn’t even cross my mind that it might be a problem.  

I arrive at class on time and Anna begins her new descriptions of fancy and plain items.  As she finishes she says “You must look fancy every day! If you don’t look fancy you can’t come to my class. For reals, Mom.” I look down at my yoga pants and t-shirt.  “Really?” I say.  Anna is firm in her rules.  We’ll see if the teacher can bend the rules for mom next week.  Or, maybe I’ll really get dressed up and surprise her!  

A Peaceful Home

I’ve been studying in Proverbs lately and something new struck me today.  First, let me share what I’ve gleaned from previous study.  (Photos are random from recent weeks.)

Proverbs 15:17 – Better is a dinner of herbs where love is than a fattened ox and hatred with it.  

Proverbs 17:1 – Better is a dry morsel with quiet than a house full of feasting with strife.  

Another reader in the family!

My take away from earlier study: That it’s better for us to eat cereal for dinner in a loving and peaceful atmosphere than to go all out to make a big family meal that leaves me stressed and flustered.  I desire for the meals I make and for mealtime to be a blessing for my family, so if preparing an extensive meal doesn’t do that, then change the plan.  Of course there are times where we make special meals that are full of fancier dishes and take much more prep time – holidays, birthdays, special celebrations, etc.  But again, the goal is that the food and the time together is a blessing to everyone.  This concept has changed the way I look at food and meal planning.  Of course I don’t WANT to serve cereal for dinner, but I have taken a simpler approach to meals so that mama remains peaceful and calm.  

Barbie hanging from a Lego helicopter – uh-oh.

Ok, fast forward to present when I came across these passages again.  Could these verses be an argument for taking care of ourselves and our souls?  Not only taking time for ourselves, but making the time to be in the Word – soul care.  THAT is what makes us a peaceful and calm mama, right?  When I make the time for a walk before I pick up kids from school – I’m clearing my mind, becoming calmer, and making myself ready to be available for them during homework and mealtime.  When I choose to study the Bible versus folding laundry – I’m creating peace in my soul that will better serve my family later in the day.  I’m not suggesting we ignore all home chores and just spend hours a day with our nose in the Bible.  I’m suggesting we find a balance of the two that will serve and bless our families.  

Babysitting Cousin Luke

Proverbs also talks about one of the problems that can disrupt a peaceful home:

Proverbs 21:9 – It is better to live in a corner of the housetop than in a house shared with a quarrelsome wife.  

Proverbs 21: 19 – It is better to live in a desert land than with a quarrelsome and fretful woman.  

Ouch.  I admit sometimes this is me.  But I don’t want it to be.  If a walk, a rest, or being in the Word can fix this problem, then I say, “Yes!  Make time for it!”  

Polishing Hot Wheels cars

The first verses mention love and quiet as a goal, and where there is love and quiet, there is peace.  Lord, help us find a balance in our daily schedules to foster a peaceful home that will bless the members of our families.