My love for plans goes far beyond just my writing. I like to plan out my day, my meals, my errands, the songs I'll play for the church offeratories, and anything else that needs to fit into my overwhelmingly hectic schedule. I try to even plan for the unexpected because I just never know when I'll get a last-minute phone call from someone requesting my time for something.
But the hardest area for me to plan is my finances. Jason gets paid hourly. If the work is there, he gets a good check. If the work's not there, well, that's when we really tighten our belts. I'm paid by the job or by the sale (in regards to my books and e-books). Again, when there's work or people are in the mood to buy books, I get a little pay. When the opposite occurs, we tighten our belts a little more. It's impossible to budget because I never know how much money will be coming in on any given week. For that reason, I have to plan. I have to look ahead and see which bills are coming, when they're coming, how much they are, and whether or not I can afford to go to the grocery store this week or wait for the next paycheck. It's a depressing procedure, for in trying to plan, I'm forced to focus on a very unpleasant reality. That focus always leads me to the same place: fear and worry.
You see, I'm still struggling to find the balance between planning for tomorrow and worrying about tomorrow. Planning is good; worrying is not. There's nothing wrong with being prepared and organized. In fact, there's everything right about it. The Bible says that God is not the author of confusion. He does things in an orderly fashion, and we are to be like Him. The key is to seek His will, plan accordingly and then leave the results up to Him. I'm okay with the first two parts, but I really struggle with the last. Even when I think I've left the results up to Him, I find myself wondering, "But what if the mortgage comes out before the next paycheck goes in?" That's where the following verse comes into play: Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ. (II Corinthians 10:5)
Bringing every thought into obedience. That means catching those sinful thoughts, those thoughts of worry and fear, and saying, "No, I will not harbor you. Get out. You have no place here." It's the process of getting our thoughts under control, which is important because when our thoughts are out of control, our emotions follow. Worrisome thoughts lead to discouragement, depression, resentment and unthankfulness, among other things. We cannot let these thoughts run wild. They must be expelled.
Before I wrap up this post, I want to make it clear that God has been good to me and my family. Despite our fluctuating income, we have never gone hungry or done without anything we need. God has always provided, and I know He will continue to do so. Yes, even when I've not been faithful to Him, He's been faithful to me. That being said, I would appreciate your prayers as I seek to find the balance between planning for tomorrow and worrying about tomorrow. My prayers will be with you as well!