Harder Family

Harder Family

Monday, July 6, 2015

The Planner

Psalm 143:8 "Let the morning bring me word of Your unfailing love, for I have put my trust in You. Show me the way I should go, for to You I entrust my life."

Proverbs 19:21 "Many are the plans in a person’s heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails."

I've always been a planner. When I started college, I had all of my semesters mapped out. I loved having my list of classes and feeling accomplished marking them off the list. When Wayne met me, I was working part-time and taking 21 units (side note: yes, I have always been one to push myself too far. Wayne has been working on that "character flaw" for 16 years. I don't do anyone any good burnt out. Hard work isn't bad, but I tend to push too far). Needless to say, I lived with lots of to-do lists. It was the only way to stay focused on the tasks that needed to be accomplished and do well in school. 

This planning mentality has carried with me for many years. I even married someone who was a planner. He wasn't much different then me in mapping out his college years, he just didn't take an insane 21 units. To help you understand where we are coming from, Wayne and I made a list about 5 years ago on a trip. We wrote down what our plans/goals were for the next month, six months, 1 year, 5 years, and 10 years. We revisited the list a year later and analyzed how we were doing on that list. At one point we were talking about possibly moving and made a list of places we were considering. We made a spreadsheet with a weighted scale of things that were important to us (proximity to family, church, weather, etc). I guess that is the accountants in us, we can't help but be a little nuts with our spreadsheets. If I am completely honest with all of you, I even had a spreadsheet tracking how much breast milk I was pumping after I had Abigail because she wouldn't nurse. I was paranoid that I was failing her as a mother, so I made a spreadsheet. Planning, lists, spreadsheets were an integral part of my life.

Fast forward to the past 5 months and all of my planning capabilities have been tossed out the window. I can hardly plan a day, let alone a week, month or year! (Note: being organized/planner has helped with medicine and Wayne's appointments, but that is all.) This has been one of the hardest things to allow God to pry from my fingers. If I'm honest, my plans and spreadsheets help me feel in control. God wanted me to give all control to Him. I thought I had given all control to Him, but He has shown me over the past few months just how much I really held onto my life and my plans. The most comforting thought in submitting to God's will and plans is found in Jeremiah 29:11-13 "For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart." 

It is amazing that God has had a sovereign plan laid out since the beginning of time, and yet He invites us to call on Him and He will listen to us. We can actually find Him and know Him when we seek Him with ALL of our heart. How amazing is that? God wants, and actually invites us, to have a deep relationship with Him.

So how does a planner like me let go to God? I want to say with full abandon, but that would be lying. It is a daily struggle to let go of my plans, hopes and dreams of the future to God. The "realistic" side of us has kicked in at times when we have had hard discussions about the future (life insurance, income, where I'd move-worse case scenario conversations). The worst conversation we had was when we talked about what kind of funeral/memorial service Wayne would want to have. Now, we know that God is ultimately in control of the timing for Wayne's life, but the "planner" in me had to know what he wanted. I mean, I wouldn't want to mess that up right? God gently reminded me tonight as I was blogging that He is in control of all of that as well. Proverbs 16:9 says, "In their hearts humans plan their course, but the Lord establishes their steps."

Another area God has been working on in me is my plans to make Wayne healthy through things I can do. I don't think there is anything wrong with eating healthier and we have made a few adjustments to our healthy eating habits, but, I know some people put all their hope in food, supplements, etc. The more I research, yes the planner in me loves this aspect, the more I find conflicting information. Some people say no sugar or meat, and others said their spouse/parent followed a strict diet and still had the cancer return, so let them enjoy life without being strict. We have opted for a balanced approach. We aren't going strict, but we have made a few adjustments to things at home. Here are a few things that we have changed or added to Wayne's diet since it can't hurt to try: 
1. We've been limiting our sugar intake. We haven't removed sugar, we are just trying to eat less of it (note: for Wayne's birthday he has requested vanilla ice cream with caramel sauce and chocolate chips and he is getting as much as he wants-that's balance); 
2. Limit processed foods; 
3. Buy organic whenever possible; 
4. Wayne takes supplements: omega oils, turmeric, and a probiotic; 
5. We rub frankincense essential oil on Wayne's head every night and diffuse essential oils at random times; 
6. Wayne drinks a smoothie every morning following the Budwig Diet recommendations for eating organic cottage cheese and flax seed oil; 
7. I am working on removing many chemical products from the house-not going extreme, but trying new things like Thieves Cleaning solution. 

I don't put all my weight in these things, but I also don't think it hurts to try. Ultimately, I have to trust God. We could do everything that "man" says will save Wayne and it wouldn't if that isn't God's will. Wayne's life, really all of our lives, are in God's hands. The best thing we can do is strive to live for God so that He gets all the glory. God wants me to depend entirely on Him for Wayne's health. That is an area I daily have to surrender to Him...sometimes with a reluctant hand (or both hands). Envision someone having to pry your hand off of something one finger at a time...that is what I am like at times with God. When I do surrender and give it all to Him, things run so much better. Why do I struggle to let go when ultimately I know it is going in to better hands? Good question, maybe I'll go make a spreadsheet an analyze that for the evening...

Review of the past two days:

Micaela woke up crying on Sunday that her ear hurt. She had a slight fever for two days before that so I took her into CVS. She ended up having both swimmer's ear and an inner ear infection. After some antibiotics, she is already back to her normal self.

Park #1: "Zipline Park"

Abigail and her friend Emma

Waiting their turn for the zipline

Micaela on the zipline

Joella didn't like the zipline at all, even with Grace's help

Sophia, on the other hand, loved it 

Sisters, or as they call each other "best buddy"

Chick'Fil'A: Ice Cream Treat/Break from the heat

Park #2: The "Rocket Ship" Park

Joella in the red slide

Sisters and friends...can you tell it was warm out today?

The planner has another fun day "planned" tomorrow. We are going to see "Inside Out". Just remind me if I start getting to caught up in planning to give it to the Lord, the best planner of all. Remind me to spend my time seeking Him instead of making my own plans.

Jeremiah 29:11-13 "For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart." 

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