Plans Have a Way of Changing

Before the semester began, I was asked to take over three additional classes when another professor went out on maternity leave. The transition was scheduled to happen later in November, and all the arrangements had been made.

I got a call on Monday morning, however, as I was driving to work. She had given birth, via emergency c-section, over the weekend. Could I take over right away?

This fall has brought about several changes for me and my family. For starters, I’ve gone back to work. I love it, but it has also meant saying “no” to some other things that I have previously been a part of. On several occasions, I have been tempted to try and “fit it all in” by just adding my new work schedule to my regular routine.

However, each time I considered doing this, I felt this nudging, deep down. Over and over again, I heard a still, small voice: Keep it simple. Admittedly, this is hard for me. I like to think that I can juggle everything just fine.

Thankfully, God knows what I need even more than I do. Every time I almost signed up my kids for another activity, I felt that same nudge. Every time I considered signing up for a blogging conference that was happening this week, I felt that same nudge.

Keep it simple.

“In his heart a man plans his course,
but the Lord determines his steps” (Proverbs 16:9).

I am a planner. I like to plan my course, and sometimes I overestimate what I can reasonably do. But God has been working on me for a while now to keep things simple.

So I learned an important lesson this week. The more we keep it simple, the better able we are to shift our course whenever our own plans change. And since plans have a way of changing, we might as well be ready.

This week was full, with meeting new students and accommodating a new schedule, but it really was okay. And it reminded me of an important truth:

“All the days ordained for me were written in your book
before one of them came to be” (Psalm 139:16).

Oh, how we like to think we are in charge of our days. But our Maker has ordained them all. Each and every one. Whatever comes as a surprise to us, never surprises Him.

Knowing this truth brings such peace and assurance, especially when babies are born “early.”

If you would, please pray for Baby N. who is experiencing some normal preemie issues. We know that God is Lord of All. And pray also, that I would continue to radically pursue a simpler life. I really believe there’s something to it.

Keep it simple.


Have you experienced a change of plans recently?

8 thoughts on “Plans Have a Way of Changing

  1. What wisdom! Rare in such a driven time. God bless you, and keep enabling you to keep it simple! Savoring your thoughts and words in your blog posts. (And thanks for visiting my site. I'm struck by the similarity of the names we chose for our websites, and thoughts we've expressed there.)

  2. Marsha: Wow. I hope you are able to find some rest.

    Matthew: I love how you put that. Yes, sometimes the call is to “keep it simple,” and sometimes it's a call to “leap into an unknown full of complexities.”

  3. And meet with God, daily. Let Him direct your steps. He'll tell you when to keep it simple and when to dive into the surging complexity of relationships and schedules. It's a deep sea, but He's a faithful guide. You've already been listening, I can tell.

    Just hang on.

    And blessings for both you and N. (Our needs — from babies to professionals — don't change all that much, do they?)

  4. Yes, I have experienced a radical change of plans over the past few months. I received a call at 7:00 a.m. on July 16th to attend to a family illness.

    I left having no idea I would never again live in the home I had lived in for over twenty years.

    I literally “walked out of my life” 3 and a half months ago, and now life just day to day. As you say, God knew the need, and I am just trundling along from day to day.

    Glad you are “keeping it simple.”
    Blessings to you.

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