This morning, having woken several times through the night to the sound of pouring rain, I decided that what I really wanted to do was start the washing, make myself porridge, and head back down to eat said porridge in bed whilst perusing Facebook and writing in my journal. That sounded like a delightfully restful morning. It sounded like a plan.
I really like a plan. Sometimes it’s a PLAN and sometimes just a plan, but I love to have one. I wake up and say ‘what am I going to do today?’ and then I list it in my list book and then I do it. When Mum and Dad were so ill earlier this year, the plans we came up with were a life line for me. I couldn’t control much but I could come up with a plan.
When DH and I first got married, this love of structure became a bit of a problem. DH is a spontaneous person, and I am not so much. I would work a full day at the bank, finish exhausted, climb into the car and ask DH ‘what’s for tea?’ and he would say, ‘Whatever I pull out of the freezer when I get home.’ I couldn’t understand it! If he really loved me he would obviously be thinking enough to plan tea. ‘He must not really love me,’ I would think, ‘something is seriously wrong here!’
But of course, nothing was wrong. I credit the Myers-Briggs personality test with saving our marriage. We just happened to do the test as part of a training course we were leading and the results showed that I needed my life to be pre-planned, while he valued spontaneity. Finally, it became clear. It wasn’t that he hated me, he just wasn’t the type to plan ahead. It just wasn’t in his nature.
Now that we’ve been married more than twenty years, we have grown together a bit but we still have to be careful of each other in this regard. If there’s something that needs planning (say, a wedding anniversary celebration, or a holiday) then I’m your man. And if he decides in a mad fit to go for a five hour bush walk then I am happy to let that happen too and sometimes I even go along. He has helped me loosen up and I have helped his life run on slightly smoother rails.
Anyway, back to this morning. Having made a delightful plan for the morning, I moved upstairs, put some oats on to soak in water, started the washing machine, and then looked in the fridge for some milk. And this is where it fell apart. There was no milk! Now, usually this would not be a problem because DH drinks long-life lactose-free skinny milk and there’s always some in the pantry and I would normally have gone with that. But while I’m on this ‘boring food only’ diet, skinny milk is not allowed. So I couldn’t have porridge. (I suppose I could have made the porridge using only water but it wouldn’t have been the same.)
I could have asked DH to get me some milk and gone back to sulk in bed but I didn’t. I changed my plan. Yes, you heard correctly, it is possible! I changed my plan. I ate toast and egg instead. And you know what? It was delicious!
As I sat at the kitchen table looking out on the rain and enjoying my delicious breakfast, I prayed. And I got the feeling that today was going to be like my breakfast – different to what I had planned, but still delicious.
And so far it has been. DH has fixed the starter motor in my little car and I was able to take her out for a spin. The car and I went for a wander around Tinderbox to get to know each other again after a couple of weeks. Tinderbox is an amazingly beautiful place! I had a great time!
Then I went grocery shopping and bought milk and bread and, you know, pears and spuds and slabs of meat for my boring diet. So I’m set for the week ahead – the boys might have to go shopping again later. And now I’m drinking a lovely coffee and I think for my lunch I will eat some porridge – who says it only has to be a breakfast food?
I am slowly learning that, while my plans may be good, sometimes God has a plan that is better. And that I can relax and go with something different, but delicious.