I tried a new recipe that I had to double for our family. I added the butter, sugar and eggs, but it didn't look quite right. I still kept going and added the next few ingredients. When I was finishing up, I realized that somewhere along the way I stopped doubling the ingredients. So, I went back and added extra to some of the last few ingredients, but I wasn't really sure what I had doubled and what I hadn't. It was a mess. I really just needed to start over, but I was determined to finish that batch.
There are many things in my life that play out the same way. I have an idea what I want a birthday to look like, but the events get off track. I have trained my child how to act appropriately when we are at a store, but he melts down anyway.
At times like those, I have two choices: I can dig my heels in and insist that we plow ahead or I can stop and look at the situation through the lens of opportunity. It could be an opportunity to try something new, listen to a new perspective, let someone express love their way, let someone else lead the way, or just let my children know how important they are to me.
When we plow ahead with our plans and our expectations, regardless of what is going on , we may miss beautiful opportunities God has for us. I love what Isaiah 55:8 says:
"My thoughts are nothing like your thoughts," says the Lord. "And my ways are far beyond anything you could imagine." (NLT)
I may think I have something great planned. I may believe I am on the right track. But I've learned a thing or two from a failed recipe, an off-track birthday party, and a few trauma-induced trips to Target. When I stop and give my plans to God, he makes my plans even better than anything I could have ever dreamed up on my own.