When You Can’t Make Life Work

Ever since last weeks post on priorities, I’ve been better at brushing my teeth before 10 o’clock in the morning. I love how when I write about something it sticks way better than when I just think it. Writing resonates with me and helps me process and think. So, I’m glad you’re here and at this space. It’s where I think out loud and learn to dance. It’s where I hope you muse out loud, “Hey, me too!” and become brave to take the next dance step…


When I was 5, learning to tie my shoes was a challenge. Once somebody showed me the neat little ‘chase the bunny around the tree’ trick and even after practicing the bunny race, it still was challenging to master the fine art of tying.

One bright sunny day I was in the kitchen sitting on the bottom step by the stairs. It was one of those steps that opened and in it mom kept the onions and potatoes. My brothers were outside playing but not me because my shoes weren’t tied and I was frustrated trying. The laces refused to cooperate.

Suddenly a song popped into my head and all I can remember from it now is “Do your best. Do your best. (da da daaa da da – something. . . ) and Jesus will do the rest.”

This was one of my earliest memories of relating to God. I prayed He would finish tying my shoes. I had done my best and begged him to finish just like in the song. No amount of hot tears, stomping my feet or pounding my onion seat would bend God’s arm any closer to earth to tie my darn shoes. Taking a bite out of a raw onion would have seemed easier to me in that moment.

As most stories end when your 5, mom came and saved the day. She tied my shoes. Probably brightened my spirits by ‘chasing the bunny around the tree’. What would we do with out mothers. They’re saving little people all the time.

God disappointed that day 25 years ago. And, guess what? He still disappoints. When I have a plan and it doesn’t go as planed I feel God let down. The hardest part is when my plan that God didn’t fulfill wasn’t even a bad plan. It was a good one. Like dreaming to marry the man of my 17-year-old dreams or wanting to be a teacher for 10 years but the door closing at 3, or when I started an amazing girls ministry but it came to a screeching halt after only a short season or more recent dreams to have another baby.

God’s plan isn’t always our plan. It’s a hard lesson to learn. I’m still learning it and I’m in my nice ripening 30’s. So if you’re 19 and reading this take heart – even older people like me struggle to understand God more.

The hard part is believing God is still good even when our ‘good’ plans don’t succeed.


Now that I’m married to Jason, I can see how it wasn’t God’s plan to marry my hot crush from my teens. Back then I couldn’t see or understand things about my life and it’s still that way today but I’m trying to be ok with that because I can trust God. I trusted him with whom I married. Jason is the one for me. I know it. Some days it might not feel that way or I might not treat him like it but it’s God’s plan we are married and it’s good.

I can also tie my shoes now. Woohoo! I did learn and I’m trying to remember to not demand God to fix my life anymore. Instead when life gets hard I’m asking God for faith to move into the moment. Instead of asking for God to take the situation away or make it better but faith and courage while in it because I know I can’t handle it.

I’m also trusting God with my love of teaching. Maybe someday that season will re-open but for now I’m at home with my teeming toddler. I’ve also considered the fact that maybe that desire will never land in my lap or if so maybe in a different way than most obvious to me and to be at rest with that.

Can I be ok with God’s different plan? Can I trust how God is writing my story?


There’s a certain amount of accepting the fog which I’ve come settle for. You see, I used to demand God to shoot it to me straight. I’m direct. I like direct goals and objectives. It’s taken me 30 years to come to grips with my reality that God has never yielded to my way of conversing. Looking back I see a trail of how God has tenderly showed me each next step when the time came. He never explained why or how it all works together, just the next step. He’s still doing that with me today.

He’s God. I’m his servant. I am here, in my little life to bring Him glory. May you’re going through something that you prayed long and hard about and it’s not making any sense. Like a child who you struggle to reach, or a parent whose been difficult to relate to or maybe your spouse putting pressure on you. We don’t have to understand everything or see in detail how this mess all works out. Just trust Him. Today. Right here in the fog. Right now.


Isiah 55:8-9

“My thoughts are nothing like your thoughts,” says the LORD.
“And my ways are far beyond anything you could imagine.
For just as the heavens are higher than the earth,
so my ways are higher than your ways
and my thoughts higher than your thoughts.

I’d love to hear your thoughts! May God have your heart through the fog today!


8 thoughts on “When You Can’t Make Life Work

  1. Love your words, as always. So true for me as well! I can remember several periods of waiting — way longer than I wanted to. And it never made sense until after the waiting was finally over. One thing that occurred to me while reading your sweet story about tying shoes – how often does God use us mamas to answer the prayers our kids are praying? Kind of a cool thought – he clearly answered your prayer that day by sending your mom out to help you. 🙂


  2. I think is the best post you’ve written so far; you really dug deep for this one. I’ve had several of the begging “please answer my prayers [like I want you to]” moments in my life, but I can already look back and be thankful that they didn’t turn out like I wanted. Right now, I think my biggest struggle is trusting God in anticipation of the next “big, bad moment” while waiting for answers to my current prayers. Kinda like when the dentist says, “Relax. I’m going to give you a shot,” and you’re like “…Did you just give me the directions in the right order??” ^_^ It’s a matter of perspective, I suppose!


    1. Thanks, Gabby! You’re so sweet. It did feel like a sacred post when I published it, anyway.
      “big, bad moment”? I’m i right in assuming you feel like God is going to bring ‘bad’ things into your life soon? I hope not but I guess it’s always good to be open to it and not expect life to be a bed of roses. Sometimes I tell myself that tomorrow could be worse just to be grateful for today 😄


  3. I have definitely learned that God’s way is definitely way better then anything I could dream up on my own. No’s in some places, led us to doors we would of never opened on our own agenda. “In their hearts humans plan their course, but the LORD establishes their steps.” Proverbs 16:9


    1. I’m still struggling to say at this point that Gods way is better. I just want to say different because it honestly doesn’t always feel better. Maybe someday I’ll get there! 😉
      Love the verse. It fits so, so we’ll.


  4. Deep and good thoughts! There are times when I’m so grateful His plans were different than mine and sometimes I still wonder why – why didn’t it go that way? Learning to rest that He is good and trust that He knew what He was doing to write the past and it will be good and He is writing a good future.


    1. Thank you, Charis, for sharing. Not everyone opens themselves up to desiring to know God more in their pain. Instead they live in the land of entitlement of God giving them the blessed life. I really like your desire to rest (love that word) and trust Gods leading. May God continue to rock your world in unreliable ways to draw you closer and closer to Him!


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