This post was written for an online discussion group over at Kate Motaung’s place. We are working our way through On Being a Writer by Ann Kroeker & Charity Singleton Craig. This entry was prompted by
Chapter 10: PLAN— I am intentional about next steps
Hmmm…. [Please excuse me while I wince for a moment.]
I must admit: this is a hard one for me.
You see, I have a severe aversion to planning.
After processing through this with God a bunch yesterday, I realized I am afraid that planning something somehow implies a rigidity, an unwillingness to listen to God when the plan gets interrupted, a resistance to bend or adapt “my plan” as life takes its unexpected twists and turns.
And I have a twisty-turny life.
We all do, right?
Life is messy. Just when I think I’ve got something figured out and I now know how to navigate this season of my life, something new happens or I meet someone new or plans change at the last minute— and the bag gets mixed up again, now requiring me to learn and figure it out all over again.
I used to be a big control-freak. I used to want my day to go just so and my work to go just so… and my husband to act just so… and my kids and myself to behave just so…
But I soon realized that things don’t go “just so” very often.
So, as a survival mechanism, I eventually had to adopt a go-with-the-flow kind of attitude.
I had to learn to roll with the punches. Or the spitup on my shoulder. Or the lack of a shower. Or the sick toddler who prevented me from being able to go to work that day.
Basically, what I’m trying to say is this: planning isn’t my strong suit. I’m definitely more of a tumbleweed kind of a gal.
But the thing is… I am realizing (after hashing it out with God and my journal yesterday)… that I don’t need to be afraid of planning. There is a such thing as letting the Holy Spirit guide my planning process.
There is a such thing as planning in a healthy, God-centered, even flexible way.
It’s okay. I can do this.
Even if I’ve seen “planning” done poorly in the past…
Even if I’ve planned poorly in the past and let myself get out of balance or misdirected…
Even if I don’t feel like “planning” is my strength…
The truth is: I can plan. I can seek the Lord and ask Him to show me a bit of the path in front of me so that I can prioritize my today in preparation for my tomorrow. I’ve done it before. And, by God’s grace, I can do it again.
And so… as a result of this chapter’s message and the insight and wisdom it offers my tumbleweedy self, I took a big step yesterday and asked God to give me bit of the vision He has for my future— specifically, for the future of my writing. Although it was terribly scary for me to dare to ask the question, I did it!
I asked Him “Lord… what do You want to do in and through my writing in the future?”
And do you know what? He actually answered me! He actually told little ole’ timid me a bit about what He wants me to research and conversations He wants me to have and folks He wants me to connect with and directions He wants to take me.
What about you?
Are you an organized, long-term planner when it comes to your writing, or are you a bit more like a tumbleweed, rolling along with the wind? How has planning ahead served you well?
Please feel free to share your comments or your own journey in the comment section below.