This morning was the first day all week that Little A and I didn’t have an errand to run or something specific on the schedule. I told her about our lack of plans last night, and she immediately asked with a big, excited grin if we could go to a local indoor bouncy play area. It’s one of our family’s favorite places to go for birthday parties and open play time during the week.
Her anticipation built up all morning after we dropped L off at school. We had a bit of time to hang out at home before the play area would open, but finally it was time to go. I made sure that both of us had a decent snack before going, so we would have lots of energy for all the sliding, jumping, bouncing, crawling, and playing we’d both be doing.
The inflatable arena was delightfully empty since it was a play time for just pre-schoolers. Two other little girls and their parents were there, meaning each child could have an entire bouncy area all to herself if she wanted!
We bounced, twirled, and played joyfully for about ten minutes. Then…”Mommy, my tummy hurts.” I figured a quick drink of water and sitting still for a minute would help and we’d be back to bouncing in no time.
This time, though, the stomach ache got worse by the minute. Then, she actually started crying! I’ve never seen Little A cry over a tummy ache before. I’ve also never seen her willingly leave this favorite place when I told her we should go if she was feeling that poorly.
Ten minutes later, we were home. The crying had stopped, but she said it still hurt. She also said it had never hurt like that before. I gave her some medicine to soothe her belly, read some books, had a good snuggle, and got her settled in bed. She’s asleep now, and I’m hoping she’ll wake up feeling great.
All of this got me thinking about the plans we make on a larger scale, that seem perfectly right and well thought out at the time….and then they just don’t work out for one reason or another. My decision to leave the play area and head home was a no-brainer. She clearly was in pain and wouldn’t enjoy staying there. Going home–changing our situation–would be the best way to get some relief.
Our choices aren’t always that easy with the bigger things. We think things through, we ask friends and family for advice, we wisely seek God for direction. Sometimes, though, even the best laid plans just don’t work out the way we thought and hoped they might.
At what point do we say a door has closed? At what point do we start looking for another way? Do we go forward in confidence or are we plagued with doubt? Obviously I’m thinking of issues bigger than stomach-aches and play time! How we handle the littler things, though, often gives us a clue about how we will handle the bigger things. If we are truly aligned with God, and we earnestly want His will for our lives (even if it means setting aside our own desires for something unseen, yet better), we will always be open to midstream changes, and faithful that other opportunities will become available.
My hope for myself and my family is that we keep our ears and hearts open to our heavenly Father. If He thinks something needs to stop, start, or change, then let us follow in faith! I’ve had enough years of trusting Him to know that He wants good things in our lives. I know that doesn’t mean my life will be free of troubles; no, I’ve had disappointments, heartaches, sorrows, grief, too. But I know that better things are to come if I keep hoping in Him.
How do you handle unexpected glitches or changes in life?
Do you trust God’s plans for you? What is keeping you from doing so, if you don’t?
“Now listen, you who say, ‘Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money.’ Why, you do no even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. Instead, you ought to say, ‘If it is the Lord’s will, we will live and do this or that.'” –wise words from the book of James, ch. 4, verses 13-15