When Things Don't Go As Planned

The frustration had been building all day. I have had at least one child home from school for the past week. Between snow days and a concussion, my plans for the past seven days have been blown to smithereens. Yesterday, my husband worked from home, too.

My freelance work is piling up. I have a big project that has deadlines in a couple of weeks. Between the complaints of "I'm bored" from the daughter with the concussion to the cries of "play with me" from my younger daughter to the music my husband was playing downstairs while he worked, my day to catch up was simply becoming a big ball of pent-up frustration.

So I did what every mom does on occasion. I lost it. When my husband told me he was going for a run in the snow just as I was fixing dinner, I let the frustration boil over. I upset my husband, I made my daughter feel like getting hit in the head was her fault and I generally made everyone feel as miserable as I was feeling.

Dinner was a fairly silent, miserable affair. I needed to deal with the root of my frustration -- anger over interrupted plans, worry over my daughter's injury, frustration with the neediness of everyone in my family. But first, I needed to apologize.

Did I have some legitimate complaints? Absolutely. Did I deal with them appropriately? Absolutely not.

I'm not generally a Type A personality. I don't often react poorly to plans being changed. I'm a spur-of-the-moment, go-with-the-flow kind of girl. But day after day after day of interrupted plans was just too much for me. Because I forgot one thing. Those minutes in my day don't actually belong to me. They belong to God. To avoid frustration, I have to let Him order my days because He knows the commitments I have, He knows the needs of my family, He knows my need for solitude.

That to-do list sitting on my table needs to be presented to God before I start checking things off the list. I need to let Him order my days. My plans are OK, but God's plans are great. Ephesians 5:15-17 says "Pay careful attention, then, to how you walk—not as unwise people but as wise—making the most of the time, because the days are evil. So don’t be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is."

I want to walk as a wise person. I want to make the most of the time I have. I want to understand what God's will is for me -- every day. My days become a ball of frustration when I try to order them without checking in with God. There are days when my kids need to be more important than work. There are days when ministering to a friend needs to be more important than the project I volunteered for. And there are days when work needs to be the priority. Figuring out when those days are isn't my job, it's God's. I just have to be available to listen to what He says and follow through.

When I give up my own plans and let God order my days, that frustrated feeling goes away. God's plan includes enough time to get everything done. I just have to follow it.