“We humans make plans, but the Lord has the final word.” – Proverbs 16:1
I have a confession to make…
I’m in love with my paper planner.
I love that it is full of pretty and colorful pages on nice paper. I love that it is a literal blank page symbol of my week and all the potential it holds. I love using my planner so much because I love anticipation. By writing down what I’m going to do that week and the plans I’ve made, I can look forward to them and for me, that’s half the fun (maybe more!). In addition to the fun plans, my planner is also where I record all my to-dos. All my lists and thoughts and ideas that fill up in my brain and I fear I’ll forget. It’s such a relief to have them recorded somewhere safe and somewhere close so I stop thinking and worrying about them and only revisit when needed.
And in spite of all these perks, this month I realized I need a break from my planner. Although it was serving all the purposes above, I realized it was becoming something else as well. Rather than being a symbol of the clean slate of my upcoming week, it became filled with obligations and expectations. Rather than relieving anxiety, it was creating it. Rather than being a tool for my life, it was becoming how I measured my worth and the worth of my life.
Isn’t it sad how quickly we can turn the things we love into an idol that robs us of joy?
So, I’m taking a break from my planner. Instead, I’m carrying around a journal. Rather than a filled out schedule before my week’s even begun, I’m carrying around blank pages that I can fill in response to the week. The blank pages are a reminder that I don’t need to be (and in reality can’t be) in control all the time. They remind me that my plans need to be written in pencil rather than marker. They remind me that God wants to write my story and he’s a much better author than me. This is extremely freeing but at the same time a bit terrifying. I realized God is calling me to a season of letting go and just this small step of not carrying around my script for life is helping me obey.
I’m not saying goodbye to my paper planner forever (or at least I secretly hope not :o). But I am re-learning some rhythms that I hope will grow my trust and flexibility.
Each month I try to record the little glimpses of joy infused in my life. Here are my glimpses from July:
- Checking out more books than I could carry right as the library is closing
- Seeing all my favorite people for my birthday
- Doing only what I want to do on my birthday (no plans, no expectations!)
- Playing tennis again
- My own office with a window
- In less than an hour, having Stella on the furniture and wrapped around our fingers
- Binging a good show (two seasons in one week! take that HBO trial)
- Seeing ostriches, zebras and camels race
- Seeing the inside of US Bank Stadium for the first time (and being illegally escorted through it)
- Watching fireworks all around me at Target Field
- Being able to help out family during a tough time
- Succeeding and having fun at the work event I was stressing about all summer!
- Rafting down the river and making fun of terrible kayakers.