Sunday, December 23, 2012


I like to make plans. My large family provides plenty of practice, whether it be lesson plans, little league, birthday celebrations, or graduation parties.  But, do we as parents plan past today?  Maybe we look at next week’s, next month’s, or next year’s calendar.  I would be lost without my Google calendar.   However, I feel that Christian moms and dads have an amazing privilege to challenge  our kids to look past today and past themselves to the plans that God is laying out for tomorrow.  I know that we are only human without the foreknowledge of any moment in our life.  Each breath we take is a gift of grace from the Lord.  Yet, I have seen too many who flounder and often miss some very exciting opportunities in their life because they failed to set out a plan.
I hold no expertise in the matter, nor do I claim to have figured it all out.  I am excited, though, to talk with my kids often about what they see as a plan for their life.  It goes far past high school or even college.  It supersedes a future paycheck or a list of accomplishments.   I am blessed to watch my kids pursue a path that includes ministry in life’s work.  One child is studying to be an engineer with a plan to take her skills to the orphanages in Africa.  Another is setting her academic plan to be ready to enter college in a few years with the ultimate goal of Biblical archeology.  My son has a long term plan to be an obstetrician with the plan of being able to minister to young and unwed moms.  No plan is higher or nobler than another.  No plan is set in stone.  But, they have a plan.
My kids are normal kids.  They love sports.  They love family.  They play hard.  They laugh.  They enjoy pizza, popcorn, and old TV shows.  But they also love God, and they know that He has a plan for their life.  I have told them often that they can do anything, but the most important thing is that they are doing what God wants them to do.  My job as their mom is to walk along side of them and guide their education, sharpen their character, and nurture them in the truth of God and His Word.  By God’s grace they will follow. 
I see too many high school students who are entering college with no purpose or plan.  I realize that is more the norm, but does it really need to be that way?  How can we do a better job to send our kids into college excited about what God is doing and going to do with their life? What can be done in our schools to hone our kids’ skills and focus them in a direction that would give them a plan? 
I do not know the answer.  Every child is different.  God made them unique.  In our family, we have been working since each child has been little to identify their strengths and weaknesses, their likes and dislikes, and their fears and accomplishments.  Character has been priority with the backdrop of Biblical truth. We have made many mistakes and have missed many opportunities to grow and learn, but looking at the long term plan for each of our kids has been the blueprint for our parenting.   
I am encouraged by God’s words. 
Proverbs 16:3  Commit your work to the LORD, and your plans will be established.
Proverbs 16:9  The heart of man plans his ways, but the LORD establishes his steps.
Proverbs 19: 21  Many are the plans in the mind of a man, but it is the purpose of the LORD that will stand.
Job 42:2  (In Job’s response to the LORD)  I know that you can do all things and that no purpose of yours can be thwarted.

I have had conversations with my middle kids lately about plans.  Our foster son clings to Jeremiah 29:11 dearly.  He longs for a future and a hope.  In one of our talks about God’s plan, we laid out His plan that began in the garden and was fulfilled at the cross.  God is a God of order and purpose; He is our God with a plan. We are part of that.  I want my kids to embrace that and look to their future with excitement. 
I do not always like what God has planned for our life.  He allows hurt.  He carries us through pain.  He does not promise ease or comfort.  His plan may take a very long time and have us work with very difficult people.  Sometimes he is silent regarding the next step in the plan. In the end, his plan is perfect. 
I was sitting in the van waiting for some children to finish at an activity, and God blessed me with this acronym. 
P – Pursue with purpose
L – Let God do his thing
A – Accept change as part of the plan
N – No is an acceptable answer
S – Set your mind on things above

I need to frame this and post it in our house.  Planning for tomorrow is important, but not more important than knowing the God who holds tomorrow.  We have many activities planned, and I am often accused of having too much planned.  Lord, help me to look to tomorrow with purpose to fulfill your plan.  Help me to teach my kids that any success in the events of their life is dependent on the character of their hearts.  Help me to see your plan more clearly and guide my kids to live purposefully in your plan.

No comments: