When All Your Plans Fail

One by one they fall to the ground. Twenty-six letters hung so carefully, so precisely, six months ago litter the floor of our basement this morning, turning a cute addition to our school room’s decor into a thorn in my side.

Damn you, Pinterest.

I push the alphabet posters against the puddy for the umpteenth time this week and think about plans, how all of mine seem to be taking the plunge lately, too. The playdate plagued by puking. The luncheon delayed by a busted dishwasher. The writing retreat derailed by a dropped laptop.

And, like the letters, it drives me just the tiniest bit insane.

Maybe it’s because I have control issues I’m organized, I like things to be in order, and when something or someone disturbs my schedule, I freak out a lot little. Or maybe it’s because I like things to be perfect pretty. I like my fancy charts and posters and lists. I like my HGTV and decorating blogs and Pottery Barn catalogs.

But maybe I like them a little bit too much?

“Life is an illusion,” my mom always says, and maybe she’s right. Maybe I’m just wasting my time. Because if I can’t make a couple of lousy letters stick to my wall, what makes me think I can stick to a budget? Stick with my marriage? Stick with these kids and this homeschooling thing? If everything falls apart eventually, why bother trying to make life look good or work out or run smoothly?

This is where I land when I’m done hanging the letters. I feign apathy. But in a few hours, when C, G, L and V are on the ground again and no one in this house is following My Plan for the Day, I fight anger and anxiety, like cardboard fighting gravity, and I put myself in time-out before I completely crash and burn.

And in my room I read:

Learn to trust Me when things go “wrong.” Disruptions to your routine highlight your dependence on Me. Trusting acceptance of trials brings blessings that far outweight them all.

And then:

Approach this day with awareness of who is Boss. As you make plans for the day, remember that it is I who orchestrate the events of your life…On days when your plans are thwarted, be on the lookout for Me! I may be doing something important in your life, something quite different from what you expected…Simply trust Me and thank Me in advance for the good that will come out of it all. I know the plans I have for you, and they are good (Sarah Young, Jesus Calling).

And I wonder, is this what my daughter meant the other day when she said, “sometimes Plan B is better?”

But then I see this:

He has also set eternity in the hearts of men (Ecclesiastes 3:11).

And it’s right there in black and white, proof that I’m not that crazy. I know there’s a reason why I crave perfection and all its Crate-and-Barrel-y beauty:

I was created for it, from the very beginning. 

But then we had to go and get kicked out of Eden, and everything’s been unraveling ever since, so I spend most of my days running around like a lost child longing for home, and I forget to trust Him and His plan to make the world perfect again some day.

And somehow knowing this makes it okay later when the package I needed yesterday never arrives, when the date night turns disasterous, when the vowels start falling from the sky again.

Somehow I know it’s not the end of the world. But, sweet Jesus, I can’t wait until it is.


  1. As always, I loved your post! Especially since I just read the very same words the other day and was convicted and encouraged in big ways! I love Jesus Calling . . . but not as much as I love Jesus! Thanks for sharing what God’s impressing upon your heart! 🙂

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