When Things Don’t Go as Planned

Last week I was working on getting back to a normally scheduled program.

But what does that even look like?

With all our good intentions life still happens and instead of it falling into place we find it falling all over the place.

I’m rereading the book, Teaching from Rest by Sarah Mackenzie. The subtitle is “A Homeschooler’s Guide to Unshakable Peace.” Even though it is tailored to a homeschooling mom, the principles move way beyond homeschooling and connect with every day life for anyone.

One of the many lines I highlighted in my reading was this:

Teaching from rest means we don’t panic when things don’t go according to our plan — in fact, we plan for plans not always working well. ~ Sarah Mackenzie

I’m not always good at this.

I’m a planner in my personality make-up. I like to know the plan and check the boxes when the details are completed.

Yet life rarely works like that and so I’m trying to be one who plans for the plan not always working well.

And let me tell ya it grates against who I am as a person. I like the plan to work because that’s why we have a plan. The plan needs to happen so the appropriate boxes can be checked off.

How can my pretty list stay pretty if the boxes aren’t checked correctly?

In their hearts humans plan their course, but the Lord establishes their steps. ~ Proverbs 16:9 (NIV)

I’m working on allowing that grating to file away my rough edges of pre-scheduled perfectionism — giving grace to myself and others.

And that’s how I find myself here on a Monday at 9:43 pm, pounding out a blog post to hit the Monday deadline.

Yes, my plan was for finishing earlier. Actually, in my full-focus planner, my plan was to write it yesterday but people in ministry understand that Sunday is Sunday and sometimes Monday turns into clean-up from Sunday.

As much as we plan, learning flexibility helps us bend a little more easily when adjustments are needed.

I’m getting a grasp on it but not always perfectly. I’m learning to rest from striving, rest from trying to get it right every time. Instead I’m learning to be okay with what is and what will be.

Even as I type that last line, I’m amazed I can type it and mean it.

A year ago… even 6 months ago… I don’t know if I could say that with much confidence.

…don’t panic when things don’t go according to our plan — in fact, we plan for plans not always working well…

We plan for what we can and line up things to the best of our ability. But when the power point presentation decides to not read your file and little children are 15 minutes away from storming into Kidz Ministry … getting frustrated, yelling at the screen and growling in low tones really doesn’t help the situation. (It’s the little things I’m learning!)

Instead a deep breath with a mental whisper of, “Okay!” changes my outlook and helps me focus, re-evaluate and look to plan B.

Because this is what I’m learning: Plans don’t always go my way but practicing flexibility stretches me in new ways. Being flexible gets me closer to a completed project more than my stubborn, stringent, do-it-my-way plan does.

In any given day, our plans may not go our way but letting go of the panic, resting from the striving and simply taking a deep breath gives us a better outlook and brings us to a better end.

Here’s to a good day!


8 thoughts on “When Things Don’t Go as Planned

  1. God is working to teach me to let go, not stress and be flexible, even though I am struggling with things being thrown in my path of life with increasingly feeling as if I”m falling behind and juggling too much. Thank you for your continued words and encouragement – they DO make a difference!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so much, Mary! Yes, I’m finding flexibility and slowing down my reactions to things helps me process in a better way. Thanks for jumping and sharing! It does make a difference to me! 🙂 I always enjoy hearing from you! Have a great day! Love to you!


  2. Hi Rachel 😊 “I like the plan to work because that’s why I make a plan.” So true….why do some of us strive until our 40’s and 50’s to learn to strive less if/when things don’t go exactly as planned? Life is good though, because our God is ALWAYS GOOD, and good in ALL ways. Always enjoy reading your blog posts.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Isn’t that so true! I’m finally learning to take things more in stride and not let things get me so frustrated! Glad I’ve got a traveling companion like you and we can learn together! 😉 Thanks for jumping in! ❤️


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