Parting Words From The WORD…A Change of Plans

Laughing Jesus by Robert Wilson, Sr.

Laughing Jesus by Robert Wilson, Sr.

As some of you know, this year has been a busy one. Beyond the usual writing and speaking demands, Gary and I are honored to be able to love on his precious parents as they need more care. Needless to say, my days are full.

So on those rare days when I’m home all day and can attack my business To-Do list, I have a big list. A really big list.

I had such a day recently. No meetings. No errands. No responsibilities other than work. All…day…long. I couldn’t wait to hit that list. I was going to get so much done!

Then the phone rang. Instead of hitting my list, I put it down and hit the road.

Don’t get me wrong. I wanted to do what needed to be done. It just hadn’t been in my plans, so it felt more like an interruption.

This past Tuesday I opened my copy of Jesus Calling and turned to the day’s devotion. On this predetermined day, God chose to use Sarah Young’s words to break my heart.

In respect to Sarah Young and the copyright of her devotion, I won’t use her words, but here is the gist of what she envisioned Jesus saying:

Vonda, you’re one rebellious woman. You think your plans are so important, and you become frustrated when something happens to change your day. If you truly believe and trust in my sovereignty–as you say you do–why can’t you consider the change in plans come from Me? Who do you think you are?

My heart broke as I read her beautifully-written words. She was right. Who did I think I was?

My devotion time that morning was spent confessing my sin and praising God for His attention to the minute details of my life…regardless of what I might have planned. And just for the record, I’ve had to recall that lesson several times since Tuesday.

Am I the only one?

Many are the plans in a man’s heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails. Proverbs 19:21

I pray God’s blessing on the work of your hands and your hearts,

Vonda

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  • Glenda Mills

    Oh I can relate Vonda! Lots of interruptions this week, leaving me feeling unproductive and impatient because my goals were not accomplished.
    But my husband reminded me that time spent with my daughter one day and a couple of days with grandchildren are priority. He’s right. Thanks for sharing Vonda.

    • Yes, those times do take priority–and we want them to! So why do we feel frustrated when those wonderful opportunities are in God’s plans? Makes no sense, does it?

  • You’re not the only one, Vonda. I’m right there with you. Each morning I say to God, “My times are in your hands” but then as soon as something interrupts my plans, I get all bent out of shape. I’m working on it, though, and hope that one day my reactions will catch up to my words of trust!

    • Yes, that’s what I need–for my reactions to catch up to my words of trust! Thanks for sharing it!

  • You’re so right, Vonda. And I’m guilty of the very same thing. Thanks for your honesty. It’ll speak to so many of us, I’m sure. xoxo

    • I think it’s because we feel so much responsibility in so many areas and we want to fulfill our (or their) expectation. But reality is, we can’t do it all and do it all well. This devotion reminded me to ask Him to be in charge of my schedule…and to help me accept His decisions!

  • Ellen Gee

    Thank you Vonda for these timely words.

    • And thank you for stopping by, Ellen. I know you know about caring for others. It’s not easy, but I would never want to give it up! I’m thankful I can be here, not only for my family, but for others God places in my path.

  • Deborah Bates Cavitt

    Your lesson is well taught as my life is upside down. Hugs and prayers. I have a mother in a Dementia place, a sister who is 400 miles away in ICU, and I am lost as what to do next.

    • Oh my, Deborah. I’m so sorry! I’m praying now that God gives you wisdom and discernment for the best way to help your family. So many opportunities, and so little time. Blessings as you continue to bless others.

      • Deborah Bates Cavitt

        Thanks so much.

  • Tammy Whitehurst

    Good Morning! (Tipping my coffee cup at you now.) I needed this one as well. I have to remember busyness is not a spiritual gift. As much as I would like to think it is at times. It is not. Be still is a tough one for me, but when I discipline myself to do that very thing–I am restored, refreshed, and renewed.

    Much love to you sweet friend. ((((BigHug))))

    • And good morning to you, Tammy! I was actually having my first cup as I read your note a while ago, so I tipped my cup back atcha! “Busyness is not a spiritual gift.”–Love that reminder! But you’re right, being still takes focus, meditation, and opening our minds to what He has to tell us. God certainly doesn’t run by my schedule or To-Do list!

  • kimberly long

    Oh my, that devotional hits me hard every time. Those of us who are big planners—aka: gift of administration—are more prone to hate interruptions and have to work harder at seeing God’s hand in it. So yes, even in my gift, I need tempering. Vonda, thank you for reminding me to not only allow, but also to look for God’s “interceptions” in my plans today.

    • “Gift of administration”–I’ve NEVER thought of it that way! Although I think those with the actual gift are much more organized about their busyness than I am, I do recognize that I have insight and sensitivity in some areas that others don’t have. Just as others have gifts that I KNOW I don’t have! We all need to ask the Father to help us not only discover our gifts, but learn to utilize them in the way that honors Him the most. Thanks for helping me think through that!

      • kimberly long

        You definitely have the gift of administration Vonda! How could you plan and organize the speaker’s conferences and other things if you didn’t have it? And administrate your own speaking engagements also? Maybe this helps explain why you also have a hard time with interruptions. But you are such a people person, so you probably do a lot better than my task-oriented brain. ; ) I even get upset sometimes when I have to stop my work to go potty … again! Lol.

        • Oh Kimberly, I’m so glad to see that you, too, get frustrated when you have to stop to go potty! I’ve even said just think how much work I could get done if we had Foley catheters for writers! Hahaha!

  • I’ve recently had some changes in my life where I don’t have as much free time. It’s frustrating because it interferes with my writing. However, I know that God has planned this season for me in order that I can pour into the life of someone dear to me. I have to remind myself that it’s not about me, but about His plans for my life and the lives of others.

    Thanks for this reminder today, Vonda.

    • Yes, like you, I love pouring into others’ lives as well. I just am having to learn to let go of what I think it’s supposed to look like! Thank you for reminding me!

  • Judith Robl

    Oh, Vonda, this is a lesson I’ve had to learn and re-learn time and again. I’d like to boast that I’m getting better at letting my to-do list take second place in my days, but it’s still a struggle. The thing I’m learning is to let go with grace. Grace, grace, grace. And not to get testy about the interruptions to my plans. Operative word is “learning” – an on going process.

    Thank you for this reminder. May God enlarge your tender heart. And may he bless you and Gary and his precious parents.

    • Learn and relearn time and again…yep, that’s me. As I grow, I admit that some things become less of an issue, and others remain the same, even when I’m seeking His will! Just shows us that we’re in good company. And we’re in good company. Jesus’ dear friend, Peter, struggled with his impulsiveness, even after Jesus’ resurrection!

      Praise God for His grace…grace…grace with us!