When I was first asked to be a guest blogger for my wonderful friend, Stacey, my thoughts immediately started churning about what I would say. Should I write about an area in my life where I was successful – where there was little struggle? That would give me a pretty short list of topics from which to choose. So I thought I would share some thoughts on an area where I don’t always do so well.
You see, I am a planner.
I like to know how I will spend my day, week, month, season…you get the picture. I love to have people in my home, but I get “a little stressed” planning the specifics. What food will I fix? What if my guests don’t like chicken/beef/pork? What time should everyone arrive-not so early that I don’t have enough time to cook, but not so late that their babies are crying before we have even eaten. Somehow, I finally get every detail down pat. I allot the proper amount of time to clean before they get there. If everything goes “according to plan”, I will have the toilets clean, floors swept, and laundry done (because we ALL know guests immediately look to see if we have dirty laundry!) before my friends ring the doorbell. I coordinate the main dish and sides so everything (hopefully) comes out of the oven at the same time-piping hot and yummy (again, hopefully!).
It’s kind of exhausting to read, huh?
Imagine living like this. You would think I would finally relax and enjoy my time with friends once they arrive. I do…well, I try to relax anyway. I have been blessed with fantastic people in my life. However, I have a difficult time really enjoying my time with them because of this “need to plan”. I often have trouble enjoying the moment because I am always focused on the “next thing”. Once I have completed a project, or pulled off a dinner party, I start thinking about the decisions/plans I have to make for the next event.
I really don’t think my problem is that I am a planner though. I think my issue is I am often not a “truster”. I was reminded of that wonderful verse in Jeremiah 29:11, “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 a hope and a future.” Why do I worry whether “my plans” will work out like I have them pictured in my mind? God has plans that HE knows about that involve my life and His big picture for me. I need to just rest in Him and trust His plans will be in my best interest.
I tend to stress over many things-big and small.
I have always known I get anxious about things “more than the average bear”. It has really been highlighted to me lately. Some things I have faced in life would cause most people to have at least some anxiety. My oldest child was diagnosed with a brain tumor as an infant, had several surgeries, chemotherapy, and has struggled with seizures frequently. Those are some areas where my trust has been tested. I haven’t stopped at the big things though. I fret about whether people will decide to come to the new small group my husband and I are leading, about getting in carpool line in time so my child is not the last one picked up, about getting to the gym early enough to get a bike in the popular cycle class, about what to write in this blog…ARG!!!
I would imagine my Heavenly Father looks at me, and thinks something like I do when one of my children worries unnecessarily. When they are stressing out about something they shouldn’t, I say, “Don’t worry about that. I’m taking care of it.” Or, “That’s not anything you should even be worrying about.” Hmm…maybe I should take my own advice. I should at least take Paul’s advice in Philippians 4:6: “Do not be anxious about anything” or Peter’s advice in I Peter 5:7: “Cast all your anxiety on Him because He cares for you.” Now, THAT sounds like a plan.
So… are you a planner or a truster?