Give Us This Day Our Daily Bread (and peanut butter and bananas and honey)

I was very recently asked my opinion on the “10 year plan” which at this point in my life is comical because my plans always change. Always. But they asked me, so now I’ll share my thoughts.

I’ve always been a ‘planner’ type and loved carving out those 5 and 10 year plans when I was younger. I’m sure if I remember correctly my 7th grade year would have looked something like this:

·      I want to be a Junior High Pastor (Grade 6-8)

·      I want to be a Christian Music Artist

·      I want to be an assistant to a youth pastor

·      I want a puppy

·      Be a racecar driver

  ((All Of The THINGS))

Contemporary music artist… this is fun, lets fast forward a bit to my 5-10 year plan at around 17 years old:

·      I want a Bachelors Degree in Business Management

·      I want to write a book

·      I want to be a worship leader/in a band 

·      I want to work at a church

·      Be a racecar driver

 

Now, have any of these ended the way I thought they would?

Absolutely not.

My “Junior High Pastor” experience was formed into 7 years of leading WIRED (The Monday after school fellowship/message/game event for 6, 7 and 8th graders between me being 15-21 years old. My “Christian Music” experience was lived out in writing songs and helping to lead at youth, college ministry and various house churches; and continues here in Aussie. I ended up being Assistant to the Youth Pastor and got a puppy so I did that right!                                                                

((madpropsLaina))

            My “Bachelors in Business Management” was learned at Chili’s in Broken Arrow and Pryor, Oklahoma by actually BEING a manager. My writing and publishing has increased to a consistent weekly process for the last 12ish weeks and I have a goal set to outline my book soon. My racecar driving ended up looking like more speeding tickets than I can count or care to remember. 

            My last 10 year plan started with my management position at Chili’s – I had every intention of working management for 5ish years (between 21-26) then move to Ireland and be able to pay for three years of theology school AND travel a year on top of that (I was going to save a LOT of money in those 5 years). I honestly was never expecting to end up cutting that short by 3 ½ years to move to Australia –

 Like, flip. What?! I live in Australia.

What is incredible is that all these dreams I’ve been given and desires I have had were lived out in such a way that they were all far greater that I could have imagined. They WEREN’T what I was expecting but as I’m living through my planned out days realizing how foolish black ink can really be I see that 5/10 year plans kind of suck.

            I function better in “I like this, I enjoy doing this, I’m going to take the open doors that are in line with this thought and direction” I think it’s good to set achievable goals and things you’d like to accomplish and give timelines and due dates, but to say “I’m going to be living here with this job and this much responsibility on my plate and this much free time and this much income” well, that (for me) isn’t practical.

            It doesn’t make sense. Maybe it works for some people but I pretty much have an agreement with G-d whenever I fill out a week of my planner than whatever He wants and whenever He wants to interrupt with whatever He wants me to do or say or path to take – He has permission to alter my schedule. I’ve just had far too many plans fail because they weren’t big enough.

            You see, I was raised in a culture of abundance and G-d has done entirely too much for me. The potential fall here is to see the abundance and somehow assume it’s deserved. At this point we pervert it and it becomes EXCESS. This has been one of the more difficult mindsets to break in my life if we are being totally honest. I am learning and training myself to realize that I have been given enough for today. My blessings and abilities are there to be used in my waking and before I go to sleep. I have EVERYTHING that I NEED so why would I let ANYTHING that is sitting in my hands to use – just sit.

I was given today my daily bread but what happens when I see the bread and think, “Yeah, naturally there is bread because I need it, I’ve earned this bread… so on top of this bread I think I should have some peanut butter and bananas as well. After all if I could have provided the bread than somehow I can make these delicious toppings happen as well” But you see, this is where we start to view our gifts and talents as excess… we see it as something earned and more than we need. What if we believed that G-d answered our prayers for daily bread and then we looked at our blessings and counted them as that instead of looking at all we have and seeing the ‘cherry on top’ mentality?

Your ice cream is sweet enough.

Recently in a pout-fest with my housemate via texting I was wondering what on earth I was doing here. She graciously reminded me,

“You prayed for this, you paid for this and now you are here. Isn’t that enough? Even if you never know isn’t this answered prayer enough?”

I’ve gotten to do everything I’ve ever wanted to do it just hasn’t always looked the same. I got here by doing well with what I was handed; and it is my daily prayer that I continue to see everything I have as daily bread. As something to be used today because tomorrow I’m going to need more and it might not look the same.

Proverbs 16:9 “In their hearts humans plan their course, but the LORD establishes their steps.”

So, do what you will… but good luck with that.

I hope I live in a way that sees my blessings as abundance and something to be used, I’ve been given a lot and my heart has had loads of fulfillment in the seasons I’ve walked through. But, it was only there to build upon and not to see as “Oh check out my awesome toast that I bought”. Get over yourself.

but also, I love you all. 

In Time, Child

I find irony in a #ThinkBackThursday about ‘Timing’… so please enjoy my silent chuckle and my smile as I share with you my thoughts. 5 March 2014


There is so much importance in timing.

It’s something we avoid from elementary school: There are tasks we have to do daily – some are bigger, some are smaller but it’s when we overlook the important ones to pick something easier that we can sometimes miss out on the reward of obedience.

Step two is easier and more immediately rewarding even though, if we had taken step one AND THEN TWO we would have gotten more out of step two (track with me). We would have been wiser and more equipped for what we had to do. There is also the issue of skipping steps and never returning to square one because you got distracted and are now “busy”.

“G-d, step one is harder and I really just don’t want to. So I know you’ve given me every sign in the world that leads there… but step two is also beneficial for others so I’m just gonna go ahead and move forward.

Look, G-d! I’m being productive! I got this.”

WRONG.You very much DON’T have this.


 There is so much importance on timing and yes, while you can spend your time doing beneficial things for others, what painful, stripping, purifying, life changing step are you not taking? You can move forward, that’s the scary part. And you WILL be used if you’re willing, which is terrifying. Half hearted leaders wandering around who refuse to get their crap together and worse, they won’t let anyone else know that they are broken.

I’ve done it long enough to know when I’m taking the second step just to distract myself from the first.

I might not know you well enough to call it out, but you do. That’s why I write. Well that and I’m a super nerdy homeschooled kid who happens to express herself best through writing… And usually I write because G-d is dealing with me, and social media is public accountability.

((Really I just enjoy it))

So I pray G-d messes you up as much as He is messing with me. Take the first steps. Take the hard steps. Yes “But, life will be easier if I can just get______” but your reward is in obedience.

There are people on the other side of that – and you’re cheating yourself and them if you skip to what is easy.

I wrote a letter. Have fun with your day.

:: In time, Child, healing is coming and a love so deep will appear.
In time, Child, your wounds won’t bleed and you’ll grow out of all of your fears.
In time, Child, though now it’s hard, the sun will shine and bring joy. For in this time, Child, you’re learning to cope and most of all, trust in the LORD” ::