My plan was perfect. I had it all worked out down to the days and hours that I would get stuff done. The only problem with my plan is it was just that … MY PLAN. It wasn’t HIS plan.
At the start of the year, I had a renewed sense of direction. I knew what I wanted to accomplish with or through Discovering Me, and nothing was going to get in my way. The recalibrating was done, and my focus was clear. And yet, on March 14, 2017, I found myself saying, “Wait, that wasn’t the plan!”
Yeah, what did happen? I’ll tell you what happened. Life happened. I started January off strong, and February 6 was the golden date for writing discipline and getting things off my plate that were not my focus. I was excited for February 6. After months of dragging my feet, I was finally ready to start running! Only two days later things changed dramatically, and I haven’t been myself since.
On February 8 I had a significant allergic reaction, one that I should have used the EpiPen but chose to fight through it instead. Not my smartest move. It was a reaction I haven’t had in a long time. It was one that filled me with fear and anxiety about eating anything – even the foods I know are safe. I simply could not eat because every time I tried, I had a full-blown anxiety attack which simulates an anaphylactic reaction. I am doing better now, but my diet doesn’t go past bagels, potatoes, cheese, tortillas, popcorn and the occasional glass of red wine. And no caffeine whatsoever. Man, caffeine is awful if you are in an anxious state!
At the end of February, the first part of March I had a much-anticipated trip planned to Vegas with my mom. Oh, I went on my trip but was creative with my food choices. And bless my mom for being so patient and understanding all week long. Let’s just say I took a lot of Benadryl for both my body and mind!
When I arrived home, I realized I brought a nasty traveler with me: a chest cold! It is perhaps the worst cold I have had in a really long time. I have never had a cold start in the chest and then work it’s way up to the head. Not fun my friends. I have spent more days on the couch just trying not to cough than anything.
The allergic reaction, the anxiety, the cold, the not being able to get off the couch were NEVER part of MY PLANS.
Because I built up the first week of February as THE WEEK to start writing, I fought to write the first chapter of Discovering Me. Of course, the one on my heart to write was “I’m Allergic to That.” Coincidence? Absolutely not. God was showing me things I never realized about my allergies through writing. In fact, the chapter may have been lacking without the recent allergic experience. I may never know, but I take comfort in knowing that He works ALL things together for good.
The second chapter “Workaholic” I was going to send to my accountability partner before I left for Vegas. I got it done, but it wasn’t good. I just knew it in my soul; it wasn’t complete. So once again I am not making my deadlines … not following my plan. I told myself I would fine-tune the chapter when I got back AND get a third chapter cranked out and delivered by March 10. I can do this!
Apparently not. I haven’t written a word since I got back from Vegas. You would think with all the couch time I could write here and there. You know, it’s hard to write between coughing and fuzzy brain.
My plan is not working out at all.
WHAT’S WRONG WITH ME?
So many things, as I laugh out loud! I was chatting with God, and I asked, “What’s wrong with me?” He simply showed me that nothing is wrong with me and that things are going according to His plan. It became apparent that I have been functioning in MY plans. I never asked God if my plans were a good idea, or even practical. Nothing I set out to do was wrong, in fact, I believe He wants me to do the things I have on my to-do list. But, the key is to conquer those tasks in His timing, not mine. And in His strength, not mine. I mean seriously what strength do I even have apart from Him?
I do fight the urge to beat myself up mentally about not getting this or that done. But God isn’t beating me up. In fact, in the moments when I don’t know what to do the message of rest has been loud and clear. My health is on shaky ground right now, and I can’t do some of the things He is asking me to do until I feel better both in body and mind. That’s just fact. And that needs to be okay. When I really think about it, all He is asking me to do right now is rest. Only He knows when I will be ready to move onto other tasks.
By the way, when did “doing” become more important than “resting”? Realistically without rest, you can’t do!
My marching orders going forward are simple: rest and better self-care. If that means I cancel plans so I can stay home and rest, then I will. If it means my blog gets out on Tuesday afternoon or evening instead of first thing Tuesday morning, so be it. If it means the house isn’t quite as clean as I would like before house guests arrive … oh well. I honestly obsess over things that in the grand scheme of things do not really matter. Oh, and all those things I obsess about fall into MY PLANS.
I have one job: seek Him first. You hear it all the time, but there comes a time when it isn’t just words you hear and instead becomes something that you practice daily. Every second, minute, and hour if necessary. “But seek first HIS kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” Matthew 6:33 (NIV).
I will say that I do have a revised plan that I am bringing before the Lord. It’s like me saying, “Okay, Lord, this is what I am thinking? What do you think? What needs to be tossed and what should stay?” I am waiting to hear back, patiently, and in the meantime, I am resting.
- Are you so task driven that you will do whatever necessary to get something done? Even if it compromises your health?
- What does your to-do list look like? Is it filled with YOUR PLANS or is it filled with HIS PLANS for you?
- Do you struggle to rest, truly rest – mind, body, and soul? And if so, have you asked yourself why?
- What does self-care look like for you?
At times I feel like I have no business talking about rest and self-care because I do a pretty crappy job of it at times. However, maybe that makes me a perfect candidate for discussing the issue because I know what someone SHOULDN’T do!
Self-care for me means adequate rest, plenty of water, eating a reasonable amount of calories and every few hours, time for play, time for family, balanced work hours, and above all else time with God. Without those in balance, it will all go to pot. Moreover, I am pretty sure these all fall within His plan for me.