Wednesday, January 12, 2011

For the Planners

As we are now 11 days into the new year, I suppose it is time for me to give a little contemplation to things such as goal-setting and/or resolution-making.  Admittedly, I adore list-making and am rather surprised it has taken me this long to come up with the many things I hope to accomplish throughout the duration of the upcoming year.  Perhaps I have been remiss in goal-setting for this year, because in the past I have often confused goal-setting with planning-out-my-whole-future-in-detail.

Perhaps my affinity for looking toward the future all began back in 1999 with the release of Zenon: Girl of the 21st Century.  Now that was a Disney Channel original movie if I've ever seen one.  I wanted to be her, living in her futuristic world, jamming out to Supernova Girl on a daily basis, chillin' with all my friends on the spacesta.  I remember vividly imagining NASA selling real estate properties on the moon and my family investing.  But prior to blasting off, we'd have to rent an RV and travel the continental US -- one of my other childhood dreams.  Big dreamer, right here -- walking on the moon and traveling the countryside in an RV.  I'm quite the American, if I do say so myself. 

By the time high school rolled around, my hopes/plans for the future became a somewhat more realistic...
  1. Finish high school and go to either Georgetown or Baylor.
  2. Meet the man of my dreams -- hopefully a Chad Michael Murray look-a-like.
  3. Graduate college, get married, and have a 12 children.
  4. Start a career in politics.
  5. Live in the Father of the Bride house aka "The 'Leave It to Beaver' House that everybody wants," thank you George Banks aka Steve Martin for so adequately depicting my dream home.
Now you must know, I really thought I could plan out every detail of my life, and it would be so.  It was as if I was writing a book with myself as the main character, attempting to make the best life possible for myself.  That is a bit of what life is I suppose, trying to make the best life out of the time we've been given.  Looking back, however, I could not be more thrilled that the Lord knows better than I do.  Because here's the deal... Despite all of my planning, it might be pushing it to say even one of those things will come into fruition.

1. I didn't end up going to Baylor or Georgetown but am the happiest little clam ever!

2. I have yet to meet the man of my dreams, but luckily the necessity of him resembling Chad Michael Murray has decreased substantially.  Perhaps it has just been a while since I watched A Cinderella Story, or perhaps I'd just prefer a more Adam-Brody-type these days.  Mighty attractive, isn't he???

3.  TWELVE children?? What was I thinking??

Twenty is probably a much more realistic number, now that I think about it.  That will be a really fun conversation to have with the lucky man I marry...

"So how many kids were you thinking we'd have?"
"Do you want me to tell you what I really want or what you want to hear?"
"Cait, why would you even ask that?  I want to know what you really want.  I probably already know the answer anyway..."
"Well I was thinking, maybe two. Or you know... 20."  
(hush over the kitchen table)
"20 children may be pushing it a bit."  
"But a lot of babies means a lot of ... visits from the stork ... "

(wink wink)

"Yes and while you know I'll never forego the predecessor of the stork, you must remember we will be fully providing for those 20 children for the next 40 years."
"Ya, but God can do anything you know!!! Far more than you could ever guess or request in your wildest dreams."
"Thank you, Miss The Message Remix.  You're right.  And if God wants us to have 20 children, you know I'm game."

Okay, so I understand 20 kids may be too many, maybe even 12, but four or five is definitely reasonable eh???  Then again, with a large family, it is plausible that we could become the next Von Trapp Family Singers meet urban America, singing some hip Edelwiess/Forget You mash up throughout the streets of Philly.  (Obviously the Forget You lyrics aren't particularly the most encouraging; however, maybe we could spin it into something like... Forget You Drugs, Prostitution, and the like.  I'm all about ingenuity.)

It's a possibility, right?

4. I don't want to say I will never pursue a career in politics, because 'never' is a pretty strong word.  But let's just say, it is HIGHLY unlikely.  I really don't know what I was thinking back in the day.  Probably something along the lines of -- "I love this country (America) so much, and just want to preserve the red, white, and blue the best I possibly can.  FREEDOM!!!!!"  Ah, that does still ring true in my heart of hearts; however, I feel as though I'd rather promote the general welfare through something like education or public health.  Just bein' real with ya.

5. As difficult as it may be for me to admit this, I will most likely not live in the Father of the Bride house.  Gotta face the reality sometime, I know, and I suppose today is the day.  But take one look at it, and I'd venture to guess you'll fall in love too.  (Obtained the picture off of Google Images.  Call me a creep.  I won't deny it...)

Beautiful as it may be, I feel like the Lord might be calling me elsewhere...  But I admit, every time I watch the movie, I am filled with nostalgic sentiments for this breathtaking abode.

It's easy to try and plan out our lives, I suppose.

Ever since I was a little girl I've been planning the day I meet my future husband.  Originally I was convinced I'd meet him at the grocery story.  We'd both be picking out apples, when suddenly we would happen to reach for the same one.  The rest would be history -- white picket fence and all.  Then I determined I'd meet him at a coffee shop.  They'd get our orders mixed up, and he'd ask to buy me another drink, on account of he'd already sipped some of what was mine and I'm a germ freak.  Yes, I could make up every story in the book, and yet none of them would be as wonderful as what the Lord has planned.

I'm not saying that our lives are going to look like The Holiday or You've Got Mail, even though goodness knows I've tried to fashion mine as similarly to both as possible.  Because as I'm sure you know, life is messy.  Maybe that's cliche, but it is true.  Life is hard.  There are nights we cry ourselves to sleep and mornings we don't want to get out of bed.  We fall off our bikes, skin our knees, and bandage them up only to realize in order to succeed, we have to face our fears and try again, trusting in the truth that we serve a God who seeks to prosper us, because He loves us. See Jeremiah 29:11-13.

He who created the indescribably stunning world we live in, created you.  He loves you.  Whether you try something and succeed or try and fail, He loves you the same. He knit you together in your mother's womb.  He knows the number of hairs on your head.  He delights in you.  He holds you with his right hand.  He wants to dry your tears and hold your hands through it all.  Nothing can separate you from His love.  His thoughts are higher than ours will ever be.  His ways are higher than ours.  His plans are better -- they're the best.  

Trust in the truth that while the grass withers and flowers fade, God remains the same forever.  His love for you will never change.  Trust in the truth that our plans are so menial in comparison to His.  For He is greater, stronger, and higher than any other.  Trust that "He who began a good work in you will carry it to completion until the day of Christ Jesus." (See Philippians 1:6.)

Here's the catch.  We have to let him.  

With all that being said, I suppose my goal for the upcoming months is to stop planning out my future and start living in the moment and letting the Lord's plans prevail above my own.  To trust with confident hope that the Lord's plans are greater than my own.  To live a life of love, pursuing excellence in all things.  Knowing that I will still have days that are difficult, but finding joy and in the fact that He is with me to the end of the age.  And that's a promise.


  1. Hales aka your Bestie ;)January 13, 2011 at 12:46 AM

    Looooooove this post, Cait! Beautiful, and so witty, as always ;) I love your writing! So engaging and meaningful. God is using you! Reading this made me feel like we just hung out and had a cup of Hazelnut coffee at Panera. And you know that gives me a warm and fuzzy feeling inside. :) I miss you, and love you, and can't wait to see you back at Theta!

  2. Cait. Again with the're unreal! God is using you so much as an instrument for His Truth to ring throughout the cyber world! ha. I miss you and love you so much. Thanks for sharing. And I think I need to join in with you with the whole planning my future on my own.....although I will never let go of the list making. It keeps me organized.

    Love you so much and see YOU SO SOON MY SISTER

  3. I love this post!