Making Plans

I used to make plans. Sure, I’ll still make the list of to-dos for the day. Grocery lists, an order of errand running so I don’t forget the dry cleaning or the milk or to mail the taxes. And yes, I’ve got meetings scheduled… coffee with her and lunch with them and planning sessions with the team. But planning… like life planning… like dreaming of the future, yearning after things… not so much.

When I was 16 or so, I thought I would become a lawyer or possibly a journalist. I would get married sometime in my 30s and have kids but my career would trump most of that. I hear my daughter saying things like this. That she’s never going to get married or if she does it’ll be a long time from now and kids, well, maybe. And my son chimes in with assurances that he is going to build a cabin in the woods somewhere so he can hunt and ranch and live off the land and who needs a wife and kids for that but mom and dad will always have a place there. So sweet. It used to worry me that my kids didn’t want families. Like, where did I go wrong? Did I complain once too many times about having to pick up after everyone, feed everyone 500 times a day, and oh the mountains of laundry? No. Once I remembered my own carefree ideas of the future from my earlier self’s yearnings, I relaxed.

Because life has a way of reshaping, stretching, replacing and even annihilating dreams.

Or, as God says, “For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.” Jeremiah 29:11.

I was toying around this morning with an idea, after watching a gorgeous grandma deliver her grandson to kindergarten. It was an idea that pondered the future. Could that be me? Would it be possible for me to help my daughter raise her kids? Would I have this chance on the school playground ever again after my own children grew out of the playground? What would that look like and what would be the paths that put us there?

What a siren song that could have been. It could consume, hold me captive in a dream, while life walked on around me.

No, as Maya Angelou once said, “I believe life loves the liver of it.” No, dreaming is okay, but living is better. And turning that life over to God, to His plans, is the ultimate.

I’m probably about halfway through my life. And I believe every step of the journey has had some learning purpose to it. Coming on to the board of Compassion Tea? Early classes in writing, experiences with missionaries, and traveling abroad all prepared me for this stage. My adoption gave me a heart for children without families. My own struggles with having children taught me a reverence for life that I couldn’t have otherwise understood. Raising those kids has softened my heart toward us all; good grief, it ain’t easy being a parent, much less human!

My husband talks about retirement; he plans for it and dreams big. And I listen and smile and encourage; all the while knowing that any and all of those dreams belong to God. About some He will say, “No, that’s not good for you.” About others He will say, “Yes, to my glory.”

Me? I’m just along for the ride. My eyes are watching God to see where and when and how He moves.

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