One of the pieces of “sage” wisdom—which is different from hunter green or celadon, as we all know, and not even close to kiwi—that I give young moms is “Write your schedule on your calendar in pencil. That way it won’t be so annoying when you have to erase it because of the kids’ flu/ear infection/pink eye/head lice/field trip/allergy appointment/soccer tournament/snow day.”
I usually say it in fewer words, but the point is that I got in the habit early: Consider everything written in pencil, because it rarely stays the way you thought it would.
We planned for our first much-needed week-long vacation with our one-year-old daughter at a family-friendly but rustic resort on a northwoods lake that had enough beach for me and enough fish for my husband. The darling one-year-old developed a fever so high that we spent the first night of the vacation in the northwoods emergency room, packed up the cabin the second day, drove home sponging the still-fevered child, visited our hometown emergency room, and gave up anything that looked remotely like rest or sleep until her dangerously high fever finally broke and the virus wandered off.
As any work-at-home mom will tell you, when a husband leaves for work asking, “What do you plan to do today, honey?” the woman is tempted to answer, “What does it matter? Something will come up to change those plans. I can tell you what I hope to get done today. Check in later to see how that went.”
After a way too long battle with Lyme disease and a ten-day hospitalization for high-powered antibiotics every four hours around the clock, I came home prepared to restart my life. Lyme disease had stolen so much of it for the previous three years. At my post-hospitalization check-up, the doctor asked how I was feeling. “Strange,” I said, swallowing hard. “I think I’m pregnant.” Many of the Lyme disease symptoms remained and were now joined by tell-tale morning sickness.
Eight and a half months later, our third child was born…nine years after our second child. At one point we had two teens and a toddler in the same house. Pencil. Write everything in pencil.
I’m logging my schedule in my smartphone these days. For some reason, hitting delete isn’t as painful as wearing out an eraser. But over time I came to see that the unplanned can be as huggable as a newborn with my artistic side and my husband’s dreamy eyes.
There’s almost always something to embrace in the unplanned. A new adventure. A soul-challenge that turns out to be soul-strengthening. A story to tell. A reason to cling all the harder to the God who is never surprised.
What have you found to embrace in the unplanned?
When have you embraced the unplanned? Click to Tweet
Don’t write your plans in indelible ink. Click to Tweet
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Ruchti’s release, When the Morning Glory Blooms, is a novel of three eras of stories born from the unplanned, and embraceable grace found in the tangles. You can connect with her and learn about her other books and upcoming projects at www.cynthiaruchti.com or www.facebook.com/cynthiaru
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