Have You Written Your Plans In Ink or In Pencil?

As I lay in bed wide awake last night, energized from the night’s activities, I began to contemplate my 2012 and what 2013 might look like.

I’ve enjoyed reading my friends’ facebook statuses, as well as several blog posts about the last year. I spoke to so many last night as we contemplated what the new year might hold for us.

As I began to pray again about my hopes and dreams and ask that God would direct my paths, He dropped in my heart quite a large question: Have you written your plans in ink or in pencil?

Some of us are born list-makers. We make lists for all kinds of great reasons: the steps we want to take to become healthier; the steps we want to take to improve our relationship with our spouse; the steps we want to take to achieve our dreams; or just simply, the steps we need to take to get through our day intact!

For others, they fight lists. Hate ‘em to the core of their being. Roll their eyes at us “planners.” But even these free-spirits makes plans.

Have you written your plans in ink or in pencil?

When a plan’s been made, how open are you to those plans being changed?  If we as believers are asked whether we’re open to God changing our plans, our answer is almost always “Yes!”. But do our actions show this to be true? If I look at my life since becoming a believer I can see times when I have clung to a plan or challenge once it was made.

Afterall, there were good reasons I made that plan, right?

Dwight D. Eisenhower, 34th President of the United States, former five-star general in the US Army and the Supreme Commander of Allied Forces during D-Day once said, “In preparing for battle I have always found that plans are useless, but planning is indispensable.”

Uh… this man led armies through highly complicated and pivotal historic events – and he thinks “plans are useless?”

I’ve learned repeatedly that when God interrupts my plans, He has something in mind that I don’t. And let’s be honest, His plans are always better than mine. It’s often difficult to see where the next step will take us, but our faith is, indeed, like a muscle. As we exercise it, it grows.

At these times, it’s critical to trust God and obey. Frankly, it is easier when He allows us to continue on our path. But when He asks us to change our direction, to go a new way, to shift our focus, it gets difficult.

Well, 2012 has been a year of changing direction. God has been asking me to go a new way – to shift my focus. Specifically regarding the Ministry Momma community. In September, God dropped a ministry opportunity in my lap. In case you have not heard, I’ve become the Family Life Pastor of a great congregation in Dublin, Ohio. On a weekly basis I get the opportunity to minister to over 150 kids and their parents. I love this new challenge in my life! It is incredibly fun, awe-inspiring, and…time-consuming.

My desire is to give my best energy to this new ministry. It is also my desire that I remain keenly focused on my own family, constantly striving to maintain our own family dynamic and balance. Thus my specific focus on Ministry Momma will have to be paused.

Women in ministry and pastor’s wives will continue to be my heartbeat. I very much desire continued involvement in the lives of women in ministry – encouraging, loving, supporting, and being a sounding board. I will still be available for mentoring women. I will still post from time to time. The blog isn’t going away. But God has asked that I be willing to erase the next line in my plan and pencil in a new item according to His plan.

And I believe His plans are big and beyond my imagination! His word tells me so 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 hope and a future.

So until next post – whenever that may be – my prayer for each of you wonderful women in ministry is that the “Plan B’s” in your life would be the blessing they’re intended to be. That as you are making plans, God would direct your steps. That you would keep your eyes and hearts focused on the One who called you – knowing He is faithful. That you would be open to the paths that God puts before you and that He would light your path each step of the way.

With love and prayers for your journey!

JulieAnn

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Comments

  1. Julie- As always, you have spoken truth so eloquently. Thank you for the reminder that God’s ways are not always our ways, but they are better than we can imagine. We are such creatures of habit, stuck in routines, making it difficult to accept change. Trusting Him in faith will be a journey worth traveling! Love and blessings to you, my friend!

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