When Things Don’t Go As Planned


As busy individuals, we all can appreciate the value of planning. We make plans every day, whether it’s what we’re going to wear, what we’ll eat for lunch, or how we’ll get from point A to point B. In fact, we’re so accustomed to making plans that we often don’t know how to respond or react when things don’t turn out the way we planned.

When Mary was approached by the angel Gabriel and told that she had been chosen to be the mother of Christ, it’s hard to comprehend how she must have felt. Likely, Mary had her own plan for the course of her life, but God had a greater plan. God’s plan wasn’t what we might see as convenient, comfortable, nor comprehensible. His plan wasn’t on human terms nor timing. On the contrary, His plan was perfect.

“And Mary said, ‘Behold, I am the servant of the Lord; let it be according to your word’” (Luke 1:38, ESV).

The Lord had been promised. And now, the Lord was proclaimed to Mary. As shocking as it must have been for Mary, she chose to trust the Lord’s plan. And God worked in and through Mary to fulfill His great promise.

Consider your own life. As Christ has been proclaimed as the one who “offered for all time a single sacrifice for sins” (Hebrews 10:12), have you embraced Him as your Savior? As you’ve witnessed God’s hand working in the midst of your own life, have you—like Mary—given Him your complete trust in His greater plan for your life? Whatever your own plans may be, always trust God’s perfect plan.


3 Ways to Conquer Busyness


It’s not uncommon these days to hear the phrase, “Ain’t nobody got time for that!” And not just in the comical way. It’s because people are legitimately too busy. Balancing time between what’s truly important and what’s secondary is a difficult task. Busyness can get the best of us when we least expect it.

A lack of responsible time management can destroy relationships, damage reputations, and detour plans. In the end, a few simple adjustments to your to-do list can change everything.

So how can we develop a proper and healthy balance of our tasks and activities?

Here are three healthy ways we can tailor our time:

1) Unplug. Time is precious–especially when relationships are involved. One of the greatest thieves of the clock is technology. Email, social media, TV, and so forth–they’re robbing us of real life. And guess what? They can wait. When it’s time to be face-to-face with others, pull the plug. You can do it! And the more you do it, the more you’ll crave it.

2) Reorganize. Since we’re creatures of habit, we often get caught up in regular routine patterns without changing things up on occasion. If your schedule is too full, consider reorganizing a few things to free up some time for what matters most. Maybe that involves getting up an hour earlier to plan ahead. Or it might require enlisting someone to help you develop some clear scheduling boundaries. Regardless, shake up your routine and take back some of your extra time.

3) Take Inventory. If your schedule is full, it’s necessary to take inventory from time to time. Consider what’s missing and what is in abundance. Is it time to remove something from your daily or weekly schedule? Is it time to make some substitutions? Whatever the case, a regular evaluation of your to-do list can truly be one of the most healthy tasks you can take on.

Don’t let your loved ones, your health, or your sanity suffer due to poor time management skills. A little bit of focus goes a long way.

Here are a few words of wisdom regarding time management:

“Pay careful attention, then, to how you walk–not as unwise people but as wise–making the most of the time, because the days are evil” (Ephesians 5:15-16).

“The future is ‘something which everyone reaches at the rate of sixty minutes an hour, whatever he does, whoever he is.'” – C.S. Lewis

“It is not what a man does that determines whether his work is sacred or secular, it is why he does it.” – A.W. Tozer