When It Doesn’t Go As Planned.

As I write this.. nothing about today went as planned. Well there is the exception of doing devos with Matt this morning at Starbucks – that was planned, but for an hour earlier. So I am just finishing up at work (an hour later than I wanted to) with probably half as much completed (the printer has malfunctioned in a very catastrophic fashion). So the bulletins haven’t printed, none of my projects went to print and so much more. I am currently waiting for a movie to render after having to resize all the slides (my fault, completely). What a day! Did I mention I forgot my lunch?

When things don’t go as planned it can be incredibly frustrating. Someone once told me, Blessed are the flexible for they are never bent out of shape. Can I be honest? I hate that saying! But I know it is true. Control freaks hate it but it is TRUE! The truth of the matter is that I can set plans in to motion with the best of intentions but sometimes they were simply not what God wanted for that day. Now I am not saying that God zapped our printer- that is clearly the work of the enemy (veiled sarcasm) – but He did plan on me having a reaction to it. I never really have control of what happens regardless of plans but I have control of how I react. And sometimes, my plans are not nearly as cool as God’s plans.

Now as I write this, my movie just finished rendering and the sun came out. I’m going to finish loading it up and walk out side and do a little twirl. Embracing the slight and pleasant change in the plan.

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Are You Listening?

One of the key ways that I know that someone isn’t listening to me or that what I am saying isn’t important to them is when they call me “Gwen.” It is a tell-tale sign that they aren’t really getting what I am putting down. Most people know that a pet peeve of mine is unauthorized nicknames, Gwen being top at the list. My name is Gwyneth. Now I fully understand that my name can be hard to hear. Sometimes the “TH” is hard to hear. I am also aware that people learn by comparing things to something familiar, interpreting information to fit an already comfortable set of data. So Gwen comes out. It becomes more complicated after correction and the Gwen still sticks around. I have to ask myself… are they listening? Do they hear me?

When someone isn’t listening, I tend to share much less. So much of what I want to express gets shut down. Now I am guessing I am not the only one who feels this way. There are some who will go on anyway and those who aren’t listening will suffer other ways. I was supposed to do that?

I have to practice listening. Listening to people. Listening to God. Listening to Matt. It is as difficult as reading directions for me. But it is vital to my role as a wife, communicator, pastor, leader, friend and mentor. If you are walking around doing any of these and you are not listening… I guarantee you will hit a roadblock or pitfall and the casualties may be tragic. As I practice, I realize that we are all on a journey. Most of us are selfish and so listening is difficult. So we may have a few apologies to go around because we didn’t listen while someone told us their life story. Fortunately there are a lot of articles, books and blogs about leadership & listening. So listen away!