Break My Plans

I mentioned a little while ago that God has been teaching me not to depend on my own plans. He’s still teaching me. As I think back over the past year, it seems like we’ve been struck by blow after blow of changed plans with only a couple of months in between each new change. I’m naturally a reflective sort of person, but over the past week I’ve found myself reflecting more than normal.

During one such reflecting time a song burst into my mind that I hadn’t heard or thought of in years. It’s called “Break My Plans” and, while the story it tells is much more serious than our own lately, the chorus hit home.

Break my plans, shape my heart
Take my will to where You are
Move my mind through Your Word
‘Til all that I am lives to love You, Lord

Since popping into my head last week it has continued to repeat. Over and over. It has become my prayer.

During church this Sunday more stories, verses and quotes filled my mind in a sequential order that we now joke of as my own special conference featuring guest speakers: Darlene Deibler Rose, Job, and Hudson Taylor. Later, C.S. Lewis shared his two cents as well.

I was struggling to sing songs of worship when things down here were feeling hard and God felt so far away. That God knows and cares didn’t feel true.

The words of Hebrews 11:1 welled up, unbeckoned, to fill my mind: “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” The evidence of things not seen. Evidence not seen – that was what I put my trust in – not in feelings or moments of ecstasy, but in the unchanging Person of Jesus Christ. Suddenly I realized I was singing:

When darkness veils His lovely face,
I rest on His unchanging grace,
In every high and stormy gale,
My anchor holds within the veil.

On Christ, the solid Rock, I stand;
All other ground is sinking sand,
All other ground is sinking sand.

I was assured that my faith rested not on feelings, not on moments of ecstasy, but on the Person of my matchless, changeless Savior, in Whom is no shadow caused by turning. In a measure I felt I understood what Job meant when he declared, “Though He slay me, yet will I trust in Him” (13:15). Job knew the character of the One in Whom he had put his trust. It was faith stripped of feelings, faith without trappings. More than ever before, I knew that I could always put my trust, my faith, in my glorious Lord.

(Darlene Deibler Rose)

“Then Job arose and tore his robe and shaved his head and fell on the ground and worshiped.”
(Job 1:20)

“But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life.”
(John 4:1)

“To know that ‘shall’ means shall, that ‘never’ means never, and that ‘thirst’ means any unsatisfied need, may be one of the greatest revelations God every made to our souls.”
(Hudson Taylor)

“We’re not necessarily doubting that God will do the best for us; we are wondering how painful the best will turn out to be.”
(C.S. Lewis)

 

Break My Plans
by This Hope

The praise songs of a nation flowed from his hand
And in a world of dark oppression he made a stand
They told him to be silent, and led him away
Ten years was the sentence, a prisoner of faith

As he waited for God’s timing
Another winter chilled the air
And when he thought of his own family
He was filled with despair
So he cried out for justice, was there any other way
But then he gave it all to Jesus, as he began to pray

Break my plans, shape my heart
Take my will to where You are
Move my mind through Your Word
‘Til all that I am lives to love You, Lord

I know I’m called to suffer and take up my cross
But sometimes I grow so fearful when I count the cost
Still my heart wants to follow, and walk in Your ways
To be counted with the faithful, Lord guide me today

With all my heart, my strength, and my soul
I will love You, God
So use my life and take complete control.

Break my plans, shape my heart
Take my will to where You are
Move my mind through Your Word
‘Til all that I am lives to love You, Lord

Changes…for the Better

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When I was a little girl, I remember coming home from church and promptly going to our rooms as we announced, “I’m going to change”. We, of course, meant that we were going to change our clothes. But my dad would often respond, “Change for the better!” Well there have been changes happening around here lately, and they have all been for the better.

First of all, I know all parents think their babies are the cutest, as they ought to think. So I know I am completely biased, but, isn’t that the most adorable picture you’ve ever seen?

Abigail has been sleeping through the night all week. The first morning we wondered if something might be wrong with her. Lydia, despite half a million attempts to get her to sleep through the night, continued to get up once a night until she was almost two. Abby has been sleeping from about 10 until about 6 or 7. Lydia doesn’t know the difference. Mommy is thrilled. And Daddy might be just a little bit concerned (will she keep gaining weight now?). Abby is over nine pounds now, and continuing to grow at a satisfying rate.

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This kid is getting bigger and bigger, and her hair is (finally) getting longer and longer. The big change for her, though, is that we’re going to be attempting potty training starting on Monday. Our first potty training attempt didn’t work out, but we are hoping the past few months have prepared Lydia a little more. We’re stocking up on “potty books” from the library and we’ve been spending a little time each day this week praying that all will go well.

And now that Abby is sleeping through the night and we’re settling into our routine, I’ve actually been able to start getting things done. After calculating that I have about half an hour extra each day to do something profitable, I made a list of all the tasks that need to get done and asked Dan to prioritize them. We prayed about it but didn’t feel any one thing was more important than another, so I’m tackling them each one day of the week. It’s only half an hour a day, but it sure makes me feel great to make some progress on long-awaited projects.

Along with tackling those projects, I’ve begun my post-baby tradition of training for a 5K. After Lydia was born I actually trained and ran a 5K, but this year I’m just doing the training. Since the whole point is to give me a workout plan and get back in shape from months and months of sitting around, I didn’t feel it necessary to spend extra money on the race part this time.

So that’s us: sleeping through the night, potty training, exercising, and getting things done.