Plans and Unpredictability

I love a plan.

Sometimes I abstractedly think that I’d love to just drift from one meal to the next, lazily sliding through the day. In reality, even before little people came along, I have always enjoyed knowing what’s coming and that there is some sort of activity, outing or event around which to shape the day.

Early on in our marriage, Jonathan and I realised that our different expectations of how a ‘day off’ was to be spent would mean some sort of compromise – enough time spent on the sofa lazing to satisfy one, with an outing of some sort planned for the other.

Add in small children to the equation, and my beloved plan became essential as I sought to get from one end of the day to the next as a stay-at-home mum. Chuck the current lockdown complications into the mix, and I find myself desperately cobbling together numerous home-based, time-filling plans.

The plans are peppered with attempts at creative crafting (not my strong suit), encouragements to get moving with the Wicks phenomenon, persuasion into the great outdoors of our garden (whatever our fluctuating winter-spring temperatures) and various FaceTime-ing moments with family and friends. The Sunday evening before the week begins is often spent trawling the internet for inspiration, and inevitably feeling inadequate as I glimpse those instagramming wonder mums with their craft compliant children loving lockdown life.

My sister insists that these creative things are about the process rather than the result, and to be fair to her, I think the boys’ level of enjoyment is dependent on anything but what we actually produce at the end of their ten-minute attention span for all such things.

As we venture into the week before Easter, my heart sinks a little as I ponder whether to jump into the world of chicks, nests and all the rest using the contents of our recycling bin.

But then I remember the little moments of joy in the midst of the mess: Rufus’ delight at the very idea of making a rocket which released astronaut ambitions before we’d even stuck anything together; Billy’s unbounded enjoyment in washing the paintbrushes rather than doing the painting. Unpredictable moments that can’t be planned, and haphazardly pop up in the no-man’s land between this and that on my precious plan.

So…we go into Monday with a plan, but one which I’m holding onto loosely, ready to roll with those unexpected moments. And I’m reminded that on a bigger scale, the Lord may well surprise us with what He is doing in us and through us this week – we enter the week with a plan, but open-handed, ready to roll with the bigger, better thing that our creator God may have in mind.

P.s. As we go into our fourth week of lockdown, be under no illusions that said plan is anything special – I definitely went big too early on my limited supply of fun activities!


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