What a crazy whirlwind the past few days.
It started with a phone call that my grandma had mere days left to live, and then toss in a severe snow storm or two, sick kids, winter break, an ER visit, parent/teacher conferences, two hockey tournaments, my daughter’s 10th birthday, plus a writing deadline…and my life has been one crazy conconction of chaos and confusion.
Can anyone relate?
What in the world do we do when “life stuff” happens, our agenda is thrown out the window, and we’re suddenly faced with a day/week/season that looks all together different than what we had planned?
I was thinking about this as I spent another morning watching “Shark Tank” with my middle schooler Benj. (Our favorite sick day tradition). Today is Day 3 of Benj’s bad cold (and his friend’s mom called today to say her son has strep. Ugh. Did I mention they just had a sleepover?). Add in snow days, etc.. and Benj hasn’t been to school in 8 days.
This mama is going stir crazy. This isn’t how my week was supposed to turn out.
So what in the world do we do when a “detour” comes up?
1. Admit we can’t do it all.
As soon as I saw the “detour” sign in my future, I knew I had to let go of some stuff.
- I called my editor and asked for an extension. His response, “Cindy, life trumps deadlines everytime.” Whew!
- I sent a note to a ministry partner and told her I couldn’t contribute an article this month.
- I let the emails go.
- I accepted a relative’s offer to help with the girls.
- I let the Christmas tree on the porch go another week, and served DiGiornno pizza for dinner…again.
You get the idea. When detours come our way, we must admit we can’t do it all.
2. Be intentional with our schedule.
As much as I knew I couldn’t do some things, I also knew I had to be intentional and keep some events in our calendar.
Like my daughter’s birthday. My daughter Amanda had her heart set on a few requests for her birthday, and given her temperament, I knew NOT doing these things after she had been looking forward to it, would be a big step backwards.
I was intentional in honoring my previous commitment to her.
Did she get it and thank me and now we’ll all live happily ever after? Not so much. But I know, and it was the right thing, and I’d do it again (even if it meant this non-baker was up late last night making 24 dirt cups.)
3. Choose joy.
My pastor always says, “You’re going to choose something, why not choose joy?”
It’s true. I had a choice today. Either I could go on the detour and find the joy in the ride, or be a grump about it all day long and ruin it for everyone. You know what I decided?! I would surrender my plan, and I was choosing joy.
And I did – I’ve enjoyed every minute of hanging out with Benj, watching Shark Tank and random game shows. In the midst of his sickness, I am full of peace and patience and joy. (Thank You, God!)
I thought of other “detours” that God has brought my way.
- Thinking my life would go one way, and then a phone call, and suddenly my life was on a drastically different path.
- Planning for a job opportunity to last forever, and then the sense my call was at home.
- Watching friendships and relationships head in a different direction than the “direct course” we had wanted.
Life is full of detours, isn’t it??
My dad was given a pretty big detour a few years ago. His company announced they were closing up shop and moving to Mexico. Definitely a deviation from the direct course he had planned! My dad was thrown a detour.
What about for you?? Have you encountered a “detour” recently?
- Maybe it was an unexpected health concern or illness?
- Relationship trouble?
- Job loss or job change or financial challenge?
- Maybe in the midst of traveling down the path of life, you somehow turned the corner onto a detour filled with hurts and loss and unexplainable sadness.
My hope is that for each one of us we will look for and find the joy in the detour.
So let’s fasten our seatbelts, take our hands off the steering wheel, admit we can’t do it all, be intentional with our choices, and sit back and enjoy the ride ~ wherever He may take us!
P.S. I may or may not have printed off this old note from my daugther to remember what she really thinks. Remember # 2 – Be intentional. Be intentional in reminding yourself you are making a difference.