According to my plan, the children were bathed and put to bed at their regular 7:45 time. We set their alarm clocks for 11:45pm in order to wake up "waaayyy past bedtime" and watch the ball drop on television.
We had been to Walmart Friday night to purchase hats, horns and fireworks. It was going to be the children's first experience with a midnight celebration.
At 10 I heard K calling my name in an unusual way. She doesn't have bad dreams or trouble sleeping at all, so I knew something was wrong. I ran upstairs to find her whimpering, disoriented and covered in kale and vegetable soup. (Sorry if that was too much detail.) Not a part of my plan.
The necessary clean up, teeth brushing, bed changing, laundry washing, strategic towel placing, re-tucking-in and deep cleansing shower for a grossed out Mom ensued. Then my husband got home from the hospital. Exhausted, he headed to bed and I decided to set an alarm and take an hour long nap. At 11:40 my alarm went off. I was in the boys' rooms when their alarms (new gifts, so they were thrilled to use them) sounded. Both of them started crying.
I whispered, "It's time to celebrate, remember? Don't you want to get up?"
K was resting peacefully, so I opted not to bother her.
I went back into my room and gently spoke to my husband. "It's almost midnight. The kids aren't getting up. Are you?"
I got a negative grunt in return.
Not what I had planned.
I contemplated going downstairs and turning the television on, but opted to climb back in bed instead. I laid awake in the dark and listened to 10 minutes worth of backyard fireworks with reflections of how despite our best laid intentions, sometimes things just don't come together.
We had planned to spend New Year's Day down at my Mom & Dad's in Phenix City. We were going to go on a long ride with our new bicycles on my Dad's favorite trail.
Yesterday I gassed up the car in advance.
My husband used a break between surgeries to load the bikes on the back of my car.
My Mom had made a special trip to the grocery store to make sure she had offerings for my children in addition to the traditional New Year's greens.
I had high hopes that maybe K's illness was isolated and we could still make the trip today. She woke up hungry, but chose to only drink some water at first...and it didn't stay down long.
I had to call my Mom & Dad and break the news that we were at best going to be delayed a few hours.
Not what I had planned.
And so, my children are still in pjs at 10:30am watching Tom & Jerry. I have cleaned my kitchen, tackled my never ending laundry, had an extra cup of coffee and contemplated it all. My plans didn't work out (and they were good plans) but today is apparently going to hold something different for us. It may not even be very exciting.
K is perking up after some toast. We may make it down to Mom & Dad's late this afternoon or tomorrow. We might get to make an abbreviated bike ride. We may even use those fireworks. And we may not.
I like plans. I am a big fan of goals and intentionality. I love having things to looks forward to. Yet, the cautionary whisper in my heart all morning has been this: As we make our good, well-intentioned plans and resolutions for a new month and a new year we are wise to remember that life rarely unfolds as we 'plan.'
In their hearts humans plan their course, but the LORD establishes their steps. Proverbs 16:9 NIV
Many are the plans in a man's heart, but it is the LORD's purpose that prevails. Proverbs 19:21 NIV
I cannot control the health of my child (or most other circumstances for that matter)...but I can choose to surrender my attitude to God. I can choose joy despite some disappointment. This is a lesson that extends to situations far more important/involved than New Year's Day plans--and yet, I cannot shake the irony that it would fall on a day that secularly represents such newness of hope. All over the world people are embarking on new plans today...and some, like mine, will be derailed before the clock can even strike midnight.
This would all sound so depressing if I didn't believe two things:
1) God does have a plan...even in 'silly' things like this, and
2) His plans are far better than mine, even when it is not obvious on the surface.
So, I trust Him and I surrender to Him 2012.