My mind runs away from me most days like a sugared up five year old at Disneyland, aimlessly ricocheting from one attraction to the next without a sense of purposeful motion. Jumping from anxieties about work, to home, up to marriage and family, back to hobbies, and over to never-ending things to do… pretty soon my mind has strung a web of worries, and I experience a “paralysis of analysis” and find myself neither at peace nor productive.
When my sweet cousin Mandie introduced me to her “LifePlanner” (a colorful planner build for adult life), it was a game changer… It brought a bit of order to the chaos of transitioning from college to “real” grown up life. I’ve always been the girl who would deeply grieve the loss of summer when the back-to-school lists came out and the nursery started replacing the summer lilies with chrysanthemums. But somehow, my Lisa Frank folders (yes, I’m aging myself now) and my color coordinated supplies always got me secretly excited to start the new year fresh and organized.
As an adult, I still get overly excited about the idea of a new start at the beginning of the year. I about lost my marbles last year when my Erin Condren Planner took until mid-February to arrive! This year, I am trying a new “bullet system” in my planners (yes, I have like 3) to keep my mind on track and myself focused on accomplishing tasks at hand… so far, so good! (I love my Lifeplanner and Wellness Journal… seriously, if you want to try them, you can use my referral link to save $10 [which gets you the wellness journal for FREE])
Every season in life, God seems to whisper new insights and lessons about life to me through my many struggles/ experiences. This year, He’s been teaching me some valuable truths through the elementary process of writing down my thoughts in planner form.
My greatest sin is worry. Since I was a child, this has been a battle I have continued to fight (and am finding victory over). In Second Corinthians 10:5, we are told to “take captive every thought and make it obedient to Christ.” Worry is the noise-cancelling headphones that try to drown out God’s Word and promises in my life.
The simple act of writing things I can do down in a planner is helping me gain daily wins over worry… because I can only write down things I CAN DO… Every checkbox I make and complete is a tangible victory over something that would’ve otherwise ruminated indefinitely in my head. I cannot change others with my list, solve world hunger, make people get along, magically wish away saddlebags.
But I can write down things that I CAN do. I cannot change people, but I can pray for them. I cannot create peace in the Middle East, but I can extend an olive branch to a coworker by writing them a note of encouragement. At 5’9″ and twenty-some years old, my hopes of being an olympic gymnast are unrealistic , but I can pack my workout gear and go to the gym that day.
Slowly by acting upon the small things I can do, and releasing the things I cannot control to God, I am finding peace. Ironically, by taking control of the small (seemingly insignificant) choices in my life, I have let go of the bigger stressors, understanding that I can only do so much. Things we can control, we need to walk in obedience and self-discipline. Things that we cannot control, we need to walk in faith and release to God.
As excited as I am to decorate and untangle my interwoven thoughts with a chromatic kaleidoscope of pens and washi-tape, I am most eager in how God in going to change my heart this year through intentionality and humility.
Praying you all have a wonderful new start to the new year and that 2016 in a time of growth and change!
“She’s up before dawn, preparing breakfast
for her family and organizing her day.”
Proverbs 31:15 (MSG)