Thriving in a Plan B Life

The other day I wanted to throw something.  Or have a pity party that would involve eating lots of Patticake (from YUM!) with Cookie Dough ice cream.

And I couldn’t figure out why.

Until the late afternoon when it hit me.  I was cranky because I felt out of control.

Can you relate?  Maybe just a little bit?

You’ve had days like this when you were planning an outside activity and it’s minus seventy billion degrees,

and a friend who’s made a commitment to be somewhere backs out,

and a kid gets sick, and that thing that was promised is late,

and people don’t realize how lucky they are to have you around.

Big stuff and little stuff can throw us.

A lost job.

A freak accident.

Public criticism

Bottom line?  You feel powerless and you feel like you’re living a Plan B life, and you don’t like it.

Not one bit.

It feels like everyone else in the universe has power and they’re using it to wreck your day.  Can I get an “Amen!”?

But what if…

What if it’s not a matter of being powerless, but rather who or what we’re giving the power to make or break our day?

Years ago we heard a speaker who did a lot of air travel and so, inevitably encountered many out-of-control frustrations of delays, weather re-routes, and cancellations.  His refrain, which John and I often say to each other was, “You can cancel my flight, but you can’t cancel my day!”

What if, instead of growling and stomping (figuratively at least) and threatening to move to Tahiti like “Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day”, we asked,

Lord what are You up to that wasn’t a part of my Plan A today?”

What seems like our Plan A catastrophe, may be God’s Plan B opportunity.

So this is the spiritual practice I’m trying to engage in when I feel frustrated that everyone in the world didn’t get the memo that they were supposed to follow my plan.

I’m trying to ask, “Lord what are you up to? What do You want to form in me?” and then live with an attitude of expectancy for how God will redeem my disappointment.

This is NOT easy beans and I am such a work in process! Can you relate? The key for me, is paying attention and reflecting with God at the end of the day on what His answer to the questions may have been.

Paul, a follower of Jesus in the Bible would be nodding his head if he were alive today. Beaten, ship-wrecked, jailed, maligned while trying to spread the Gospel….He could relate to Plan B! Here’s what he wrote:

So here’s what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him…God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you. Romans 12:1-2 MSG

What is helpful to you when things aren’t going according to your plan? 


  1. I usually see God’s hand in Plan B in the rear view mirror. It helps me to reflect back on those times when the Plan B I did not choose willingly was exactly what was best in the long run.

  2. Great post Laura! Thanks! Needed to hear this one today!

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