“The Best Laid Plans…” Five Minute Friday

I’m joining up with the #FMFPARTY Five Minute Friday group again this week! If you haven’t heard of Five Minute Friday go check out Kate Motaung’s page about it over at katemotaung.com/five-minute-friday. Blogging for Five Minutes on Friday about a specified “Prompt Topic” I have to say that only typing about a topic for 5 minutes is a HUGE stretch for me, but I’m really enjoying it.

This week the prompt is “Plan”. I’m excited to get started! So here we go…


If you’ve ever heard the phrase, “The best laid plans of mice & men often go awry.” You know the basis of my life.

I am a planner. I love lists & preparing for upcoming events. I used to be a wedding planner (that’s another post entirely in and of itself!) & I loved the entire planning process from beginning to end.

The thing is, my plans for my life & the lives of my family DO often go awry. I’m not a foolish person. I don’t just jump at every opportunity that comes up. I’m a detailed planner. When I graduated High School I “planned” to get a business degree then own my own bakery, definitely NOT what ended up happening. So why do some of my “plans” come up short?

They don’t work out when they are MY plans & not God’s.

James 4:12-15

” Look here, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we are going to a certain town and will stay there a year. We will do business there and make a profit.”  How do you know what your life will be like tomorrow? Your life is like the morning fog—it’s here a little while, then it’s gone. What you ought to say is, “If the Lord wants us to, we will live and do this or that.”

When I get an idea or start to make a plan of action I need to step back and really evaluate WHOSE plan it is. Am I coming up with this all on my own or have I truly been guided by The Lord?

This blog is a great example of that. I felt God calling me to write. Now, he originally called me to write a book (and I am), but when I got stuck in the process and was about to give up on it He pointed me toward blogging. I questioned & doubted whether it was me or God that came up with that, but after lots of prayer & searching for His answer, He has begun to open my eyes to His plan for it all.

Well, my five minutes are up! This five minute thing is CRAZY! I could probably go on forever… Hmmm… I think I’m already coming up with my next post! I’ve been inspired!

How have the “plans” you’ve made on your own changed? I would love to hear how God has moved in your life!

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Let’s Be Friends.

I’ve never been good at friendships.

I’m not saying that I’m not a good friend. I’m kind, I try to listen, when I’m out with friends I have fun. I’m just not good at starting or continuing a friendship. Sometimes I don’t neglect to contact a friend and say “Hey! Let’s get together!”. It’s not that I don’t want to do it, there’s just something that stops me.

So what hinders me? I worry about what others will think about me. A real friendship means that you have to open yourself up. “Surface” friendships, where you don’t get very deep and can just exchange pleasantries, are easy. Deep, meaningful friendships happen when you open yourself up to one another. You have to let that person in. That scares me.

I worry about people judging me. I worry that they will find out things about me that will turn them off. I worry that they will find out that my entire bedroom floor is currently covered with clothes. I worry that they will find out that sometimes I am rude. Sometimes when others are talking I’m not listening very well because I am distracted.

I worry that people will find out these things and will no longer think highly of me.

I would say my best friend is definitely my husband. Obviously, it is a good thing for him to be a best friend. Other than Jesus Christ, my relationship with my husband should be the next closest relationship that I have on this earth. It’s good for our marriage and good for our family. My husband sees me in my best and worst moments and still loves me in spite of it all. I think that is one of the reasons that he is my best friend. If I snap at him in a moment of frustration or bawl my head off because I’ve had a hard day, I know he’ll still be there and love me just the same.

Will a friend do that? That’s the heart of my personal struggle.

Lately God has been speaking to me about my problem with connecting with people. I have a lot of surface friendships but I am very weary of opening myself up to something deeper.

Eccelsiastes 4:9-10

“Two are better than one because they have a good return for their labor: If either of them falls down one can help the other up. But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up.”

To me, this is one of the reasons we are not supposed to live life alone. We CAN do things alone, but that doesn’t mean that is the best way to do it. I mean, having two arms DOES make most tasks more manageable. There are so many things in life that we can’t physically do alone.

When I read the first part of Ecclesiastes 4:10, it says that if either fall down the other can help him up. How many times do we “fall down” in our Christian walk? Every day! Every day I make mistakes, I sin. WE are sinners, and so we are going to “fall down” at some point. Having a friend, doesn’t just keep us accountable, but it also reminds us that we are not alone when we do fall. A close friend can be there to help support you in Christian Fellowship.

The second section of verse 10 says, “But pity anyone who falls and has no one to ehlp them up.”

Why should we pity them? Because, unfortunately, they have chosen to not surround themselves with people who would help. This is where I am.

God has been working on me that I need to be in closer fellowship with other women. As women, we need to be better about creating & working on close friendships.


So what does that mean? Am i going to pick up the phone tomorrow and suddenly have a new best friend? No, but there are some things that God has placed upon my heart to focus on. God wants me to work on making some of my “surface” friendships, true friendships.

First, God is calling me to step out in faith.

Yes, I am scared to open myself up to others, but my fear is not an excuse to disobey what God has called me to do. My emotions cannot determine whether or not I follow through. I have to trust that He is guiding me toward women who will care about me in spite of my faults.

Now, just because I step out in faith & obey what God has asked me to do does not mean that He has promised it will be smooth sailing. Relationships require people. People have baggage. Baggage causes problems. Even though there may be some bumps, I need to continue following God in the direction that He wants me to go.

Secondly, God has opened my eyes to the receiving end of friendship.

Friendships require us to open up and share our struggles with one another, but when a friend is opening up and sharing we must remember to listen without judgment.

One of the reasons that I struggle with connecting is because I worry about what others are going to think of me. What do we see on tv and social media? Cat fights & gossip. We see women tearing each other down & being applauded for their actions. Why are many of us weary of opening ourselves up to other women? This is why.

Matthew 7:3

“Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye?”

If we want close relationships we have to take it upon ourselves to stop silently (or for some, publicly) judging each other. Opening ourselves up is only the first step. We then have to listen & support each other without judgment or condemnation.


I am going to be working on developing closer Christian friendships, and I challenge you to do the same. I actually have someone that God has brought into my life hat I am going to call this week to get together and have lunch. I’m nervous, but excited to see what God has for this new friendship.

If you don’t have any issues with developing genuine, close Christian friendships with other women, look around you. Is there somewhat in your social circle that doesn’t seem to make connections easily? Ask God to show you someone that He wants you to connect & fellowship with.

I would love to hear what God is saying to you. Please let me know in the comments or follow me on facebook or twitter and let me know!

This was posted in the Grace & Truth Linkup & the Faith & Fellowship Blog Hop

9 Tips For a More Intentional Prayer Life

Prayer has been a major struggle for me in my walk with Christ.

Some weeks I am so good about remembering to turn to Him. I am in a constant prayerful conversation with God and it makes day to day life easier.

Other weeks, I slack. I forget to turn to God in times of need and instead I turn to my own understanding. I tell others I will pray for them and then soon forget to follow through. Those weeks are very difficult.

For the past year I’ve been trying to figure out how I can be more intentional with my conversations with God. I have come up with some ways to not only set aside time for Intentional Prayer, but also some times that I can just take advantage of time that could otherwise be wasted. I have combined all of these little “tips” here. Read through and take what you can, or what you need. I don’t do ALL of these everyday, but I’ve found ways to remind myself to continue my ongoing “conversation” with God.

1. Wake up 15 minutes earlier.
I am putting this as #1 because although this is the hardest thing for me to apply (I am NOT a morning person), it has been the best. I am not a morning devotion person because, as I said, I am NOT a morning person.  I DO like praying in the morning though. I wake up, get out of bed, go sit at my makeup table & pray. I pray for myself, my family, the people I will come in contact with, & the day in general. That’s it. I feel so much more confident about the day when I start it this way.

2. Post an up to date prayer list on your bathroom mirror.
The next thing I do in the morning is brush my teeth, which doesn’t take much brain power, so I go through a couple of specific prayer requests while brushing. Personally, I reserve this time for some specific people in my life. My mirror prayer list doesn’t change much.

3. Laminate a prayer list to put up in your shower.
This works for me because I only share my shower with my husband and we share all of our prayer concerns with each other. If you share your shower with your siblings or parents you may or may not like this option. You could make this specific prayer (like mine) or more general. This list could just say, “Parents, Siblings, Friends, Teachers…”. Something that general may not be as odd to put up in a shared space but could still prompt you to remember to pray for them.

4. Pray for people you Text or Call.
Have you ever just said a quick little prayer for someone you were texting? Prayer can be quick & still meaningful. Lately when I have to text or call someone I say a quick prayer for them as I hit “send” or “call”. It usually goes something like this, “Lord, I pray that you continue to watch over ______. Give her strength for whatever she is doing today. Amen”

5. Prayer Apps
Since we’re talking about your cell phone. Do you have an app for that? Now, this is actually one thing that I don’t have yet. I’m about to get a smart phone (I’ve been a hold out because I am a cell phone abuser… I break things) and I am definitely going to put a prayer app on my phone so I can be reminded to stop and pray for specific things. If a friend is having surgery I want to have a reminder to pray for her before it happens, not after I see on facebook that she is in the recovery room… ooops!

6. Remember to write down & save prayer requests.
This has been the hardest for me to do. I am HORRIBLE at remembering prayer requests. Again, this is why I will be getting a prayer app when I get a smart phone. The app isn’t going to instantly solve my problem though, I have to remember to type it into the app. For now I’ve been keeping a cute little notebook in my purse so I can jot down who & what to pray for. Once I started writing them down I actually realized that I was leaving out a lot of people! Between Sunday Morning Church, my Junior High girls class, my adult small group, Youth Group on Wednesday Nights, and working in the church office full time I have accumulated quite a list. I’m so glad I started writing it all down!

7. Keep a prayer journal.

This is something I have done for quite a while. I have seen prayers answered through my prayer journal. I can track my personal growth as I turn the pages. I love it. It is more than a diary. It is my heart on paper. It is my love song to God. I write down everything from frustrations, anger, worries, concerns, praise, & thanksgiving. I write down the verses I am reading for future reference, I doodle, & I write. Find a notebook that you really like. If you like it, you’ll use it. Find a great pen, one that feels good in your hand and writes easily. There are no guidelines for a prayer journal, just like there are no guidelines to personal prayer. Just do it.

8. Pray every time you wash your hands.
I know this may sound silly, but I send up a prayer of thanks to God every time I wash my hands. I like short prayers because they work with my ADD short attention span. I find something to give thanks to God for each time. Sometimes it’s for huge things, sometimes it’s little things. It doesn’t matter. I believe that prayer is a conversation & a relationship building between you and God. It can’t all be “Gimme, Gimme”, you need to thank him for the things He does for you.

9. Find a Prayer Partner.
One of the best ways to stay intentional about your prayer life is to have an accountability partner. This prayer partner can help in many ways. This can be a person that you exchange personal prayer requests with, that you pray with, or even send each other little reminders throughout the day seeing if you have each taken some time to pray. I love the idea of accountability partners, especially in prayer. There is something so wonderful about believers coming together to lift each other up to The Lord.

So, there you go! 9 tips help you be more intentional with your prayer life. Take them & figure out what works for you.

Let me know what works. Do you have anything to add? Have you found something that you would like to recommend to others? Comment below and let me know!

Rest… Ain’t Nobody Got Time For That! …But I Should!

So I’m sitting in a condo, out of town, away from home, away from work, away from kids, away from distractions. It’s CRAZY quiet because my husband and our friends that we came here with are at their conference.

I am alone with coffee and quiet.

I know that God has provided this time for me to rest. I NEVER get time like this. SERIOUSLY! This is a GIFT!

So why am I so restless? Why can’t I sit here and soak this up? Why do I feel like I need to get up and do something?

I am realizing that I DON’T KNOW HOW TO REST!

Do you rest? Do you ever take time to not do anything and just sit and reflect upon the things that God has done and is doing in your life?

We are called to rest. God talks about rest OFTEN in His Word. I mean… even God stopped and took the time to rest and He was the all powerful, almighty creator of EVERYTHING!

Made To Bloom

Made To Bloom

After God created the Heavens & the Earth he took a day to rest. GOD TOOK A WHOLE DAY TO REST… I have problems taking 30 minutes to rest!

I look around me and we all are GO, GO, GO! No one stops. Even those of us that are Christians and know that God called for us to take times to rest! We fill our hours with activities that are, when you look at them, “Good” activities. We work hard at work/school. We help our families, friends, & neighbors. We serve in church with different ministries. We volunteer with community organizations.

These are all inherently “Good” things, but even “Good” things can be used to fill up our time and distract us from the things that God wants of us and for us.

I personally have an issue with finishing a project or event and then jumping right in and looking at what’s next.

Scripture tells us in Genesis 2 that God finished what he was working on and then STOPPED. Not permanently, but for a day. He rested.

When we have finished a project, event, game, season, even a day or week. We should take some time to rest and reflect. We should thank God for the things he has done. Thank Him for what he is doing at that moment. Ask Him what he wants us to do differently in the future. Then we should rest & listen.

We can’t expect to hear an answer from The Lord if we don’t take the time to stop, quiet our minds, and listen.

I am really writing this as a lecture to myself.

My ADD mind is making a list of things that I should do right now.
1. Write another blog after this one.
2. Study for my Sunday School Class.
3. Work on writing a chapter of my book.
4. Do my nails because they look gross.
5. Pull out my agenda calendar and fill out the February month of events.

But I’m not going to.
It’s going to be hard, but I’m going to sit here, drink my coffee, read a devotional or two, and rest.

Do you think I should set a timer? 

Just Kidding!
Maybe…

Do you set aside time to rest? What does rest look like to you? Leave a comment below and tell me about it.