Finding Joy When Plans Change

Are you a “to-do” list person? Whether you actually keep a written list or not, you probably have some idea when you get up in the morning of what you hope to accomplish. It may be housecleaning, laundry, learning a new skill, reading a book, having lunch with a friend, or just relaxing. How hard is finding joy when plans change?

I have been learning over and over that, I can make my plans but it is God who directs my steps. (Proverbs 16:9).

Photo of a to-do list and text overlay that reads, "finding joy when plans change."

Today nothing went the way I had planned

It all started with one of my grandchildren’s lunches not getting into their backpack. That might not seem like a big deal for this grandma’s taxi except this child has special needs and eats only a few very specific things. Stopping to pick up a sandwich was totally out of the question. Paying for school lunch was equally unacceptable.

After dropping the grandchildren off at school, which is 15 miles from home, I went to an unfamiliar grocery store to hunt for the needed lunch items. When I got back to the school I found that the driveway gates were all closed, making me have to park on the street and walk in.

This was not how I had hoped to spend my morning. I needed to make a choice. I could feel and act irritable, or I could choose to find joy even when my plans changed.

Light at the end of the tunnel

Sometime back I had said that I wanted to start being more people-focused and less animal and farm-focused. This hasn’t been an easy transition. You don’t just suddenly stop doing these activities. You must plan and gradually make needed changes:

  • training someone else to do the work
  • change the routine
  • use different equipment.

I now can see light at the end of the tunnel.

A new focus in life

Today’s derailing of my plans made room for God’s plan. You see serving others isn’t always convenient. It sometimes gets in the way of “to-do” lists. Sometimes you have to give up one thing to gain another.

In explaining why I had brought a sack of odd lunch items to the school, I learned that a staff member also had a child with special needs. She needed to talk. I was able to listen and give some words of encouragement while sharing a solution we found for a specific problem. How would I have known this person had concerns if I had not gotten a call about a forgotten lunch?

Rewarding outcome- Finding joy when plans change

I left the school feeling I had been in the right place, at the right time, to do the right thing, which was something on God’s “to-do” list!

“For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord, “plans for good and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.” Jeremiah 29:11

Finding joy when plans change – a gift for you

Photo of a "to-do" list and text overlay that reads, "God's plans for me are good" and can be downloaded by the reader.

To help you remember that God’s plans are good, I want you to have the scripture card shown here.

Simply click on the image to download it. No email required.

When printed on card stock, it can easily be laminated and hung with string or ribbon.

Also see the resource page for journal pages, coloring collections, books, and music on finding hope, joy, and peace.

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