It was Monday morning, and I breathed a sigh of relief as my boys boarded the school bus. After pouring myself a cup of coffee, I wrote a to do list for my day; work, a quick trip to the gym, errands, meal prep, more work.
“Go, me! I’m so organized and efficient!” (Insert self-congratulatory pat on the back here.)
I was just starting to hit my work stride, when I received a message from my sons’ school; school is canceled for the day, due to a gas leak. Come get your kids…like, right now.
Maybe some moms cheered for extra time to spend with their little angels; I’m not that mom. While I love my little men more than I can express, I had a to do list that was going to get done, darn it.
So, while my boys had a great day playing in the snow and watching movies, I spent the day in frustration. I couldn’t seem to concentrate on my work, as I had constant interruptions to help with building a snowman. But I also couldn’t concentrate on having fun because I was beating myself up for not getting enough work done. Can anyone relate?
That night I had a massive headache; I prayed that God would help me to be more present the next time my best laid plans needed to be laid aside. Three days later, He provided just that – six inches of snow in central Illinois – another mid-November snow day.
I was determined this day would be better for all of us. I drew some parameters – the boys could play video games or watch television while I did a couple of hours of work – then I would be present. I asked them to make a list of non-screen-related snow day activities, and we would do them when I was finished. Later, I cooked a special brunch and we got busy crossing things off that list, rather than my usual to-do list; snowball fight, board games, drinking hot cocoa. I must admit, their list was a whole lot more fun than mine!
As the Bible teaches, “The human heart plans the way, but the Lord directs the steps” (Proverbs 16:9). Like an unforeseen snow day, sometimes our life plans change; perhaps an illness robs us of our independence, or a job loss forces us to forge a new path. I pray that God will help me remember the lesson of the second snow day; to surrender to new possibilities and blessings that come from the unexpected.