I work really hard to protect my Wednesday afternoons at all costs.  I spend four hours at church on Wednesday evenings leading and participating in various musical groups, using an exhausting amount of time and energy.  So, I blog on Wednesday afternoons.  I enjoy the process of thinking through a topic and beating out the words on my keyboard.  In a strange way, blogging is relaxing and helps me prepare for the evening.  It’s just about perfect if I also have a cup of coffee to go with the writing.

Today, it’s not working out.

My two-year-old has recently moved into a “big boy” bed.  He’s not so sure he likes it, and he’s definitely sure he doesn’t want to take a nap in it this afternoon.

A couple of elderly relatives for whom we provide some level of care have both been in the hospital this month.  One is coming home today, somewhat unexpectedly, and I am needed to help arrange some temporary at-home care from two hours away.  One person I need to reach apparently has his phone off the hook.

My Wednesday afternoon is not turning out as planned.

In fact, those things I wanted more of in 2013?  I would say that my progress on all of them is zero.

My stress level has been through the roof for the last three weeks.  I have made the four-hour round trip drive to see our family members five times since the beginning of January.  I have started rehearsals for a children’s musical, and am prepping to co-teach this Bible study with a friend.  I have a home, a husband, and a two-year-old, all needing my attention.

I’ll bet you can relate.  Your life may not have the same stressors as mine, but most of us are over-scheduled, over-stretched, and more than a little stressed out.

Then I read Haggai 2:4b, which says, “Be strong, all you people of the land” – this is the Lord’s declaration. “Work! For I am with you” – the declaration of the Lord of Hosts.  (HCSB)

In our Sunday School lesson last Sunday, we studied this passage and were asked this question: What is the “temple” you need to return to, the work God has set you apart to do?

For this month, I believe God has asked me to set my own plans and goals aside for the work He has laid out before me.  I am honoring my parents when I care for them, even from a distance.  I am helping my sisters when I make phone calls and set up caregivers.  When I am at home, I am loving my husband and son by laying aside the things I want for me and attending to their needs.

I don’t have all of this together.  In fact, although I know these things, most days I kick and scream about not getting my own way and the things that I want in the timing that I want it.

I can plan, set goals, dream, pray – but God determines my days, and if I really believe that His ways are best, I’ll adjust as graciously as I can.  I still want this to be the year of more … but maybe it’s the year of more grace, more adjusting, more forgiving, more adapting.