When plans go awry…

We were heading into the city for a Saturday morning of family time, just me and my two kids. A cooking class for my young aspiring chef son. Computer shopping for my college bound daughter. Coffee and brunch out. 

Until we heard a loud, persistent, disturbing noise.

“Mom, I think that’s your van,” my daughter stated matter of factly.

Sure enough…I pulled off into the empty parking lot of a country ice cream shop and this is what I saw…

A very flat tire. And just like that…our well laid out plans gone awry. Long story short…some friends picked us up. My husband and his friends saw my SOS texts when they took a break from fishing and came to rescue my van. The tire was repairable for less than $15. And, I still enjoyed quality time with my kids.

The message in this? Sometimes , life just happens. At no fault of our own, things come up that cause bends and kinks in our well thought out plans. Things like nails on the highway. Illness. Weather. Other people’s choices.

Other times, our own choices, lack of action, or a multitude of other reasons can throw our plans to the curbside.

God’s got our back, though. He is always right there to lead, guide, and direct.

I know that I just need to be willing to listen. Trust Him in the small stuff. Keep moving forward. It is easy to allow myself to get stuck, but being stuck doesn’t move me forward . 

Sometimes, there are messages in everyday stuff. Even flat tires on Saturday mornings.

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

Pieces

We dumped the letters out on the table tonight. I stared at all the Scrabble tiles. Letters. By themselves, that’s all they are. 

As we played and laughed over the words our son tried to convince us were real….Wiki dictionary and the Urban dictionary are not credible Scrabble sources….those letters became pieces of words. Those words joined together became a board full of words and family memories.

Letters don’t mean much in Scrabble until they are joined together to form words. Otherwise, they are just pieces. 

Sometimes, life feels a little like that. Like a bunch of pieces that don’t seem to fit together. Plans fall through. Dreams dissolve right in front of us. Everyone else seems to have it all together. And our life feels like, well shattered pieces that don’t fit together.

I’m in this pieces phase in my life. A dream my husband had that seemed to be God’s leading….doors have closed. My struggle with balancing work and home feels overwhelming and impossible most days. Disjointed pieces trying to make sense together.

A great friend reminded me that God works behind the scenes. He puts the pieces together in ways we cannot see or understand. His grace is sufficient for the day. Just as those Scrabble letters somehow come together to form meaningful words, the shattered, broken pieces of our lives can and will come together when we trust Him.

I encourage you to rest in that truth. 

And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose. Romans 8:28

Community

I have always thought that Behind Closed Doors would be a great title for a novel. Sometimes, the people whose lives we think are perfect, who we find ourselves envious of, actually have very painful stories and struggles behind the closed doors of their homes and hearts. Some people are just really good hiding behind a facade of all is perfect in my life right now while inside they are crying, in denial, or just trying to keep all the pieces together.

Sometimes, I think we forget we were never meant to navigate this thing called life alone. I have come to realize that we all have our struggles. For some people, it is financial worries. For others, it is the painful sense of rejection. Some struggle with self identify and self worth. Sometimes, I find myself struggling with a combination of all of them.

Point is…we all struggle, we all have our insecurities, we all have good days and really bad days. Two things I have learned from working in long term care with families, residents, and staff…1) to be compassionate and not judge others because everyone has a life story¬†and 2) sometimes, I need to reach out to a trusted friend when what I really might want to do is retreat and be alone.

Some days, all you need is a coffee break with a friend, a small group meeting with some church friends, or a really good laugh or cry with some close friends or family. Maybe it’s you, maybe it’s them, but we all need to know someone cares. A smile truly can go a very long way.

Working in long term care, as families walk the journey of aging parents and all that can go with it including finances, dementia, choosing facilities, the dying process…sometimes all it takes is one person’s smile, compassionate words, or simple gesture of caring to make all the difference in the world.

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