There’s something that’s been pressed on my heart lately. I confess, it’s involved a few growing pains, and I wouldn’t say that I’ve reached the other side yet… not even close. But I’ve been hungering to find the joy in life–in the moments both large and small–when things don’t happen the way I might have hoped.
I’m a mom, with three kids. I work from home and I homeschool. That means I don’t get a lot of alone time. It’s quite rare, in fact. So about one evening a month, I try to get out of the house. Just me. I’ll sometimes head to the local coffee shop with my laptop and headphones. Get a yummy drink, tune into my music and for a few hours, just write. It’s a bit of a haven and something I look forward to.
This month, my day to get away for a few hours came. And went.
And I never stepped outside of the house. My husband had to run an important errand after work, and with neither of us being used to following a daily schedule, we lost track on what night it was.
I didn’t go to the coffee shop. I didn’t have a few hours of quiet. I certainly didn’t get any writing done.
I changed diapers. Made dinner. Swept up dinner from around the 1-year old’s chair. Wiped faces and hands. Emptied the stove of the ashes. Built a fire. Kept three kids busy and content and safe.
And I never got my quiet. None of the work got done that I wanted to do.
My instinct–the me that loves her plan A– was to rally against injustice. I wanted to cry. I wanted to get mad. But at who? It wasn’t the kids’ fault and my husband was truly doing his best and had even came straight home when he remembered what night it was.
Maybe I just should have been mad at nothing. Mad at the lack of quiet. For quiet was the very thing I craved. It’s what I wanted.
You see, I’m not a very good Plan B person. I like plan A. Plan B throws me. It puts a hitch in the moment, the day, the long journey. Plan B isn’t what I signed up for. It’s not what I had my heart set on. Not what I thought I needed…
But oh the joy that can be missed out on by clinging to what should have been. Refusing to find happiness in what is.
I’m facing a great many plan B’s in this season of my life. It is in these moments–both great and small–that I need to settle my spirit and trust that God has the perfect plan… even when it’s different than my own. Whether it’s the dreams of life, or simply the hope of that day, I’m learning that when we face the path that is different than what we would have liked, it gives us a chance to grow. Adapt.
This has been what I’ve searched my heart with the last few weeks. That through it all, the ups and downs, the road I might not have wanted to travel, that I can find joy in that moment. For my heart, for the hearts of my children and my family.
That even though my day went left instead of right, I could still smile. No, I didn’t get my quiet time but there is the time to sing twinkle-twinkle little star with the toddler and watch his pudgy little hands as the “itsy bitsy spider” climbs up the water spout. When dinner turns out terribly, we can rejoice in yogurt and carrot sticks and maybe even make a batch of homemade hot chocolate. Just because it’s good for morale. Or when that dream job, or dream future just might not come to be, we can look at the unexpected curve in the road with joy, awaiting God’s blessings in a different form.