This time of year seems like everything is a big deal. Big goals. Big dreams. Big Plans. In a way, I kind of like it. I am a forward thinking person. I love love love to look ahead in life. Not that I can see anything.
But along with looking ahead comes the danger of planning too far ahead. Often what we look forward to is usually the result of something we have planned ourselves. A trip, an adventure, or possibly an inward goal such as weight loss, sobriety, freedom from a bad habit.
My husband and I have a wonderful trip abroad planned this year. So we plan.
You set aside the dates.
You plan the trip securing your airfare and lodging.
You plan the excursions so you see everything you possibly can.
You plan how your home and business will keep running when you are gone.
You plan the mail being held and who will feed the animals while you are gone.
You check the weather and the events you're attending so you know what to pack. (This one requires a little extra effort on my part.)
Everything is in place, but that doesn’t mean a thing. Our plans could change in a heartbeat.
About four years ago, we were going on a ski trip to Colorado where my husband had meetings. Olivia and I were going to ski and we were really excited. It is a lot of work to plan for a ski trip and still have that dang suitcase weigh in under fifty pounds! Nearly impossible, but it can be done.
There was a big storm to hit Michigan around 9:00 am that morning. Being that our flight was two hours earlier than the ETA of the storm, we assumed we were going to beat it. We got on the plane and the pilot announced he was going to get us out of there asap and the storm wouldn’t be affecting us. Then, he announced there was a light on that maintenance needed to come look at, but it wouldn’t delay us much. As we sat on the plane waiting, the snow began to fall. An hour later it was a blizzard. They let us off the plane back into the airport to make other arrangements. Yeah, right. The airport was chaos and we were told it would be at least 3 days before we could get out. Meaning - no trip for us.
We left the airport in single file. Me, stomping in the lead with an incredibly pissed off look on my face, Olivia shuffling behind me with a sad, disappointed expression and Craig following up the end looking like the guy who wishes he could be anywhere else but going home with these two. I know how this looked because we were caught on a News 8 camera that played that clip all day about the sudden blizzard and the many stranded passengers at the airport. By the end of the day or about the 20th time we saw it, we were laughing at ourselves. Still bummed, but laughing.
This week we are in that same place for the same meetings. No delays. No Olivia, and also no ski gear along. Call me crazy but I just want to chill out and drink coffee in front of a roaring fire with my book and computer for a few days.
For any trip, I have to do a little more planning on a personal note. How to stay sober on these trips - which really isn’t a problem anymore, but I do know I should never consider myself “safe.” I will always be an addict. Maybe you don’t notice if you’re not an alcoholic, but booze is everywhere!
I'm blessed we get to travel so much, but there was a time in my life where I thought those days were over because I couldn’t control my drinking. The only way I could go along with my husband was to do it sober. I’m glad, so glad I made that choice. Along with just simply enjoying myself, I have met an incredible group of women that know my situation and are so supportive. They have become some of my dearest friends. If I was still drinking, I guarantee I wouldn’t be getting to know anyone unless they wanted to party with me. It’s better this way.
So, my plans have changed over the years. It's not about the happy hours or where the nearest liquor store is. Waking up terrified I might have said or done something embarrassing the night before. No, it's about the people I get to spend time with, the time alone that is rewarding, and extra time with my hubby.
I serve a Big God. I love being a part of something that is bigger than me. I know that he is in charge of all my plans. I can make all the plans I want, but God might have a different one.
It's like a disclaimer. These “plans are subject to change” if God has a different plan - I have to accept that.
I never planned to be an alcoholic. My daughter and son-in-law never planned on having a son with a heart defect. My parents never planned on losing their son. The list goes on and on. Those things all still hurt and are hard to understand, but I have to keep the faith. I know God never leaves us and will walk along side when our plans are changed. It's not up to us to know the plan while we’re here on earth. Most of the time, I am grateful for that. Aren’t you?
Peace on your weekend,