Navigating the labyrinth of life.

Over an hour ago, I was preparing to add tags and hit publish on this post when…

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…this happened.

My oldest daughter, trying to be helpful, was pulling out the top drawer of the dishwasher to empty it, when suddenly the wheels popped off and everything came crashing down. The dishwasher has betrayed me in this way once before, so I know it was an accident. Broken shards of glass littered the floor, and a refrain of apologies  streamed from the other room.

Such is life. This ties in serendipitously with the purpose of the post:

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Welcome to life—a constant stream of unexpected twists and turns, frustrating interruptions, and derailments.

This leads me to a small string of questions for you:

Do you recall what you were doing on or around new years day? Did you have a mental or written list of “resolutions” or “goals” you wished to see achieved in 2016? What happened to your list?

Have you made any headway or are you scratching your head trying to remember which resolutions you composed?

I had a lovely list of goals as I entered into a year in which I had no idea where we would be or what we would be doing…

…then, like the crashing collapse of the dishwasher drawer, the unexpected happened.

(You might be wondering if I still have that lovely little list…)

My list is still taped to the clipboard we used during the move to hold our moving receipts and other critical paperwork. The goals I had set were of great importance to me and I didn’t want this list to be lost. In spite of the existing chaos, I was determined to stay on track. I had intended to put it up on my new bathroom mirror, but I keep forgetting! Survival has been the order of the day since February.

February and early March saw us making life-altering decisions, frantically clearing out (and packing) our stuff, making gradual separations, and preparing our home to sell. March, April, May and June have consisted largely of helping three kids adjust to all things new (new state, new home, new friends, new church family, new schedule), attempting to get our realtor to actually do his job, unpacking boxes, getting two sets of bills paid on time, and trying to manage an ever-changing budget.

June saw a 58-day escrow close on our old house and the beginning of yet another job.

It’s been a wild ride for us.

…But wait, there’s more!

A couple weeks ago, I received an email from Windows on the Water in Morro Bay offering us free dessert to celebrate our anniversary. As I read it, I felt my stomach drop.

Our anniversary!!!

Uh-oh.

We had celebrated ten anniversaries together. How on earth could I have forgotten the eleventh?! I was even more surprised to discover that both of us had completely forgotten. Wow. Does that happen to anybody else???

Well, here we are in July. It’s been quite the year thus far and it’s not over yet…

Has yours been equally unpredictable?

It’s time to refocus!

I reluctantly pulled out my clipboard today to glance at my list, thinking that I might have to hang my head in shame. Out of the seven goals I had set for myself, I checked two off the list, two are on track to completion, and two are currently being set back in motion now that our life is re-establishing a regular rhythm.

Six out of seven. Not bad!

The last one—memorizing 6 chapters this year—hasn’t been touched since… um… sometime in February… or maybe March… could’ve been April. I was eleven verses into Hebrews 12 when I slipped into survival mode. I have five and a half months to complete this goal. It may be possible if I throw myself back into it!

Establishing and maintaining daily reading and prayer habits has been going very well. I completed my day-to-day reading through the Bible plan about two weeks ago. I read Proverbs and Psalms for a couple days then started the ESV One-Year Bible.

If you are still reading this post, rest assured that my rambling discourse does have a purpose.

When we make goals and do our best to stick to them, we will be closer to attaining our dreams than if we had chosen to “wing it.” My life has been turned inside out and upside down since January, and yet, I haven’t strayed far from my goals for the year. Like budgeting or goal-setting, making a plan is always the best choice. Even when life turns wild, enough vestiges of your work will still be in place in order to carry out plan B.

This has much to do with our walk with God. Consider what Paul wrote to the Philippians:

Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.

Let those of us who are mature think this way, and if in anything you think otherwise, God will reveal that also to you.

~ Philippians 3.13-15, ESV

Paul had a goal, and he pursued it with laser-like focus. We should have the same ultimate goal—becoming more like Christ in order to be united with Him in heaven when this life is over. Achieving macro goals begins with establishing micro goals. Does that mean everything goes according to your plans? No, God usually has a better way to get us from point A to point B. Consider interruptions or disappointments as His divine appointments.

If you haven’t made goals this year, there’s no time like the present!

 

How are you coming along on your goals/resolutions? Has anybody else been yelling, “plot twist!!” more than once this year?


If you need a starting point for setting goals, check out these posts:

From my blog:

From Michael Hyatt’s blog:

 

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17 thoughts on “Navigating the labyrinth of life.

  1. insanitybytes22 July 15, 2016 / 06:46

    LOL! Well said. I really like the idea of a plot twist.

    Hubby and I did once forget our anniversary, or rather we suddenly remembered it late the night before. That’s a crazy feeling and than, “how annoying, this will mess up our schedule.” 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Elihu July 15, 2016 / 07:14

      Haha! Yes! It was a scramble to figure out what we ought to do, although we did have a week to figure out. What’s even funnier though is that we almost forgot AGAIN the day before.

      What year did you guys almost forget your anniversary?

      Like

    • Elihu July 15, 2016 / 07:15

      Thank you, Vincent for sharing my post, even if it was a bit rambling. Hope you are doing well.

      God be with you!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Vincent S Artale Jr July 15, 2016 / 08:34

        You’re very welcome Elihu! Dealing with diverticulitis has been a challenge this week. But doing better! God bless you and yours as well!

        Liked by 1 person

      • Elihu July 15, 2016 / 10:05

        How awful! Diverticulitis is such a huge challenge. I’m praying for relief for you.

        Like

  2. Tricia July 15, 2016 / 07:56

    I like that phrase, “plot twist”, think I will adopt it too! I have had a lot of changes this past year, one which also invovled a move. I too had a folder stuffed with impiortant imortant things and now over a month later I still can’t find it.

    Great message, thanks for sharing!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Elihu July 15, 2016 / 07:59

      How frustrating! I’ve got a pile of papers that magically went missing as well. They’re probably in one of the last three boxes that have yet to be unpacked!

      I hope your year proceeds with fewer plot twists and more peace. God be with you.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Tricia July 15, 2016 / 08:03

        Same good wishes to you as well Elihu. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Dee Dee July 15, 2016 / 08:36

    I too like the phrase Plot Twist! And delays are God’s divine appointments.
    Psalms 31:14-15a
    But as for me I trust in you O Lord;
    I say you are my God. My times are in You hand.

    Sorry about your dishwasher. It must have really scared your daughter!!!!
    Appreciate the post as it helps me to refocus. Thank you !!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Elihu July 15, 2016 / 10:04

      I was trying to remember that quote when I was writing, but I couldn’t recall the exact wording. My poor little girl was scared. I felt badly for her.

      I’m glad you enjoyed the post. Have a great weekend!

      Like

  4. Stacy di Anna July 17, 2016 / 08:21

    Plot twist — a phrase of comfort I can easily remember to pull out when necessary! Compliments for managing so much in this season and still filling others with inspiration through your work. Cheers!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Elihu July 21, 2016 / 06:36

      Thank you, Stacy! You are very kind. 😀

      Like

  5. marijo1245 July 28, 2016 / 22:17

    Oh yes…I am well (way too well) acquainted with the plot twist, so much I gave up on making a plot. Consequently, I am here and not there. And yes, we have forgotten many anniversaries (sad to say…I’m doing good to even remember the actual date). I have found if I can just focus on God all the details of my life’s story just fall into place. For me, it’s the only way I can make sense of this journey I call life! Life is a treasure…all the broken shatters on the floor of our stories, all the twists and turns along the way lead back to one thing and one thing alone…God is ultimately in charge of our story. For that, I am eternally grateful!

    Thank you oh so much for the moments spent in prayer…unleashing Heaven on this earth through each breath offered!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Elihu July 29, 2016 / 05:11

      Well said! I am discovering that there is a whole lot of truth in the “seek ye first the kingdom” statement. Many of “my” dreams have been shattered so that God can build better ones. I always appreciate your comments, MariJo. God bless you!

      Liked by 1 person

      • marijo1245 July 29, 2016 / 05:32

        God’s will is perfect…He is the one and only thing we can count on this life!

        Liked by 1 person

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