"Do not those who plot evil go astray? But those who plan what is good find love and faithfulness." Proverbs 14:22 (NIV)
Do you ever find yourself daydreaming about the wonderful ways you'll celebrate the next special day on the calendar?
That usually happens for me when I go on Pinterest and see beautiful photos of food, crafts, decorations, and gifts. I imagine myself taking time to create the little extra touches that turn ordinary days into memorable ones. But then I look around me and the reality of an over-crowded life squashes my dreams.
There have been too many special days that whooshed by me, leaving me with regret and wishing I'd stopped and enjoyed more moments. Too many times I should have paused to do good for someone.
Increasingly I sense God asking me to be more intentional with my days. Maybe it's because of many years that are a blur now. As I look into the faces of children growing up too quickly, of parents aging, of friends packing to move, I often want time to stop so I can breathe in the holiness of the days God has given.
Remember this moment, my heart whispers. Remember what this feels like.
It's too common for me to look back and wish the simple moments had been celebrated more. That there'd been a few more pauses. More times when I'd said "you matter" with my actions.
Not the big flashy moments. Not the expensive trips. But the humble quiet times that declare what we treasure. Our values. What makes us us. The everyday moments are the ones treasured in the hearts of those we love.
Some women excel at these special moments. They turn from their computers and whip up an experience that leaves everyone feeling loved. Not me. Although I love special times, I'm not spontaneous.
How do these moments happen for me? I have to plan for them. Not the moments themselves, but the opportunity for them to happen.
Proverbs 14:22 shows us the importance of planning: "But those who plan what is good find love and faithfulness." This verse inspires me to plan good things for those dear to me. And in doing so, we will experience God's love and faithfulness in greater measure. What a great promise from God's Word.
Christmas is an ideal time for me to put this into practice. If I'm not careful, December can pass me by without any special notice. I might get something done, but it will be obligatory rather than a celebration of Christ's birth and a time to show His love.
So this month I'm working on a plan. It's not set in stone, but it is a list of things that are important to my family and me.
For example, my husband wants to cook a special breakfast treat called scrapple, a Pennsylvania Dutch sausage his father made. I'd like to read Advent devotions as a family to ponder the meaning of Christmas. My plan also includes opportunities to spend time as a family and reach out to others.
So I'll pencil ideas in my spiral notebook, write out shopping lists, and research dates and times to add events and phone calls with friends. Planning to do good takes time, but I've learned when I plan my priorities, they get done.
This month I'm taking some time to schedule what matters most ‐ time honoring God and remembering His gift, time with those I love, and time sharing God's blessings with others. And in January, I'll start planning again.
Heavenly Father, You model intentional love. You planned to send Jesus to earth and You planned a way for me to live with You forever. Help me to plan the same intentional love to those I care about. In Jesus' Name, Amen.
Reflect and Respond: What's one thing you want to do this month? Write it on your calendar and to-do list.
Do you resist planning? Why do you think that is?
Power Verse: Psalm 90:12, "Teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom." (NIV)
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Proverbs 31 Ministries 630 Team Rd., Suite 100 Matthews, NC 28105 www.Proverbs31.org