So, I’m a planner by nature. I have calendars, Family Hubs, lists, and even lists for my lists! It’s almost “planning to a fault.” And that’s what I just learned yesterday.
It was my plan to post a Tip Tuesday blog post yesterday. I knew precisely what I was going to write about, I had a free printable available for all you lovelies—it was all set! But I just could never find time to write my post. The kids have been borderline little terrorists for, what seems like the past week, I’m battling a minor, albeit annoying, cold, and I feel like I’m stuck in neutral, just trying to spin my wheels and not going anywhere among the piles of laundry, dishes, dusting, meal planning and prep, etc., etc. etc.
Yesterday was my internal “deadline” to get this blog post written— I mean, it was Tuesday! I just had to get it done! That was my plan! But guess what, Friends? Who cares about my plan? God had a different plan for me. And it was actually way better.
The day started out with my kids bringing literally each and every piece of furniture and toys out of my daughter’s room. We’re talking her little vanity, chair, every castle, pony, photo frame, jewelry box...you name it...it was there! How these two managed to drag all these things out from her room in the time it took me to make breakfast for them (which they didn’t eat) is completely beyond me. (And how I didn’t notice is another miracle; I’m sure it had something to do with the fact they were getting along and I was basking in the lack of fighting and screaming for a whole five minutes!)
I looked at the mess and I thought “Lord, help me!” Now, for some of you, you may think that I was being borderline facetious, but it really was a silent prayer, too. I needed help to not lose my $*/+ and also to have the strength to turn this situation into a good one.
I took a breath and I decided to hide in the bathroom to compose myself (yes, that happens here). When I took a moment to breathe, I thought about my business mentor, Jeffrey Gitomer, and his “Yes! Attitude” and I thought about how I could find the “Yes!” in this situation. I thought, now I can really deep-clean Lexi’s room! and so I did just that!
I vacuumed and dusted and it was soooo much easier to do now that everything was out of her room! The best part—I didn’t have to do any of the “heavy-lifting!” Now, what do you think happened when my Littles saw what I was doing? Why, they wanted to help me clean! Praise, Jesus! Not only was I able to clean, but we now cleaned together! It kept them entertained, not fighting, and productive! Oh! And! (Best part!). They helped me to put all the toys and furniture away! It was almost like a game to them. I was super proud of them. And of me, for not losing my cool and turning this into a much worse situation.
Well, fast-forward now to lunchtime and they just got whiny. I thought, “Oh no, I can’t do this again!” So, I hopped onto Facebook for a minute while and I saw a friend of mine posted about happy and joyful and how we think the two should be synonymous. But the reality is, joy should stand alone. Having a joyful heart doesn’t mean you’re always happy, but it means being able to see joy within your own crazy circumstances. It hit me like a ton of bricks—God was speaking to me! He told me that I already accomplished this, I could do it again! So, I did the best I could. I tried feeding kids (they refused again), they kept stealing each other’s toys, one would hit and the other kicked, they’d tell on each other, they were impatient, they were ridiculous, they were almost destructive. I couldn’t do it. I needed A. Break.
My door opened at that moment and my mom came. She hadn’t seen the kids for a while and she wanted to take them on a quick little adventure. It was like she was an angel from heaven! I don’t even remember putting shoes and coats on the kids, I just wanted them OUT! Finally, they were gone. And there I was, alone. I didn’t know where to start first. Picking up rogue toys, doing a load of laundry, washing dishes, writing that confounded blog post that was still on my to-do list. I chose none of those things. Since it was just at noon, I knew vodka was out of the question, so I turned to the next best thing—Mac & Cheese!
I sat my butt down on my couch, big bowl of the boxed cheesy goodness, my electric blanket, and a very rare indulgence, an adult TV show. There were still toys all over, dishes in the sink, and my blog post, still unwritten. But that hour of me time was just the joy my heart needed.
When the kids got home, they ate lunch and another friend asked if we wanted to go to the mall to play. We met up and our kids hung out for hours! We then indulged ourselves together with dinner out, sans kids. And I’ll tell you what, my heart could not have ended more joyful.
Sure today is still a bit crazy. Yes, the kids are still a little whiny and demanding. But what has changed is my ability to change, too. To go with the flow instead of stressing out over my plan. I never thought I’d be writing about my day and sharing it with the world. Yesterday was God’s plan to enrich my life by strengthening my relationships, seeing how solid my tribe is, and taking some actual Me Time. (Seriously, that hour and a half of a true break actually helped more than I ever would have dreamed) And maybe, just maybe, my day will reach out to one of you. Maybe, just maybe, this was also His plan for us both and you’ll be encouraged to work with God’s Plan instead of your own. Maybe, this is just what you needed to hear, too.
I can plan all day long, but if I get caught up in doing what I want to do or plan to do, I may miss out on building better relationships, rejuvenating my own heart and soul, and appreciating the people and the love I am surrounded with. So today, don’t make a plan. Just choose to live today with a joyful heart and remember that happy and joy aren’t synonymous—that joy is how you view your circumstances. Turn the “Ugh” into “Yes!” Go with the flow. Love yourself. Strengthen your relationships. And listen to God’s Plan.
For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD. Plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. (Jeremiah 29:11)