Hello, everyone, I hope your week has been going well so far! I would like to introduce you to another one of our contributors to the blog. Some of you might know Sarah Jacobsen already, but I thought it would be good to do a get to know your portion.
Sarah is a mother of two energetic boys and has a passion for the Lord as well as a passion for writing. I’ve gotten to know her more and moreover the past couple of months and she has been such an encouragement to me. This is her first of hopefully many additions to the blog and I think it’s a great one. Thanks for reading
“The plans of the heart belong to man, But the answer of the tongue is from the Lord. All the ways of a man are pure in his own eyes, But the Lord weighs the spirit. Commit your work to the Lord, And your plans will be established.” 1
Plans, ways, works, plans.
I’m not a planner by nature. Sure, it all sounds good; writing goals, making lists, checking off to-do’s. (Yay, for cute office supplies that make me feel productive!) But my type b, right brain, loosy-goosy, artsy-fartsy nature tends to forget where I set the lists, substitute the to-do’s with the ta-da’s, and sigh wistfully at the goals rather than work towards them. At least, I thought that’s how I worked.
Turns out, I’m not as type b as I thought. My goals are simply the less common type. Rather than running marathons or getting a degree, mine center around creative endeavors.
Just this afternoon, I made a list of goals for my writing.
While I’m nowhere near publishing any of my creative fiction yet, I hope to someday be able to. Writing makes my heart sing. I read nearly every “how to write” book I can get my hands on. I dissect any fiction I consume. I dream up new storylines throughout my day. I’ve even been known to have conversations with myself in the car to practice dialogue and to pull random faces to make sure I described them accurately. And I write… a lot. So, today I decided I needed to break this enormous beast down into some practical goals.
And at the top of the page, are these three verses, Proverbs 16:1-3.
I have these things I want to do. But I have to give them to God. I can’t just wing it and hope that it all works out. I have to tame my creative brain and follow what my Father is hinting at here. Plan. Break it down. Don’t just fly by the seat of your pants every day.
And running parallel with that is giving those plans over to God. I make plans in my heart, but God is the one who says whether or not they are suitable (v.1). I think my goals look great, but He’s the one who weighs my heart and motives in them (v.2). And the only way that these things will really come to satisfying fruition, is by committing them to Him (v.3).
By the way… Commit = pledge, bind, entrust, & (my favorite) to consign to custody. Give Him your goals so wholeheartedly, so completely, that if they don’t work out, well, you know that’s just Him shutting the door. Let these goals, whether they are big year-long goals or just for this week, be pledged and consigned so entirely that if they work out, you will see that it only happened because of them belonging to Him. Commit it to Him.
So how do I commit my plans to Him? Is it just a mental acknowledgment?
Well, maybe it starts there. As I write down my goals, I can tell Him, right then, “Lord, I want to accomplish this. And I want to do it for You. For Your glory. If You see this through, may it be an honor to who You are and an acknowledgment of who I am as Your child.”
That’s praying about it. So, I guess we could call that point number 1. Pray about your goals, as you write them.
Done! Now what? Do I count that ‘to-do’ done, check the box, and get on with the nitty gritty?
Nope! (I bet you were thinking the same, cuz you’re smart like that.) Remember that tiny verse in the New Testament?
1 Thessalonians 5:17 “Pray without ceasing,”
Yeah. Don’t stop. Every time you start to work on that goal, take a breath and give it to Him again. When I boot up the computer, I need to pray again. When you head out for a jog, pray again. When you leave for your next class, pray again. It doesn’t have to be huge and long and intense, though it certainly can be if you want to. Just pray again.
If we can do these 2 things, we’ve will have started out on the right foot, and we will be constantly softening and molding our hearts to accept God’s will with our goals.
Honest confession: Do I do these things? Have I taken my desires to write a novel (or seven) to the Lord each and every day that I write? No. In fact, if I’m being totally transparent here, there have been times that I have settled down into my rocking chair and thought, “I only have a few minutes while the house is quiet. I’m just going to hurry up and get some writing done and I’ll find time to pray and read my Bible later.” Stupid girl. Wouldn’t you know it, those are the days that the creative muse stays locked away or, if I do find the words, the time spent putting them down just doesn’t feel like enough, leaving me unsatisfied and crabby. Go figure.
As a child of the Living God, my joy is found in Him. And while accomplishing these big goals may look all bright and shiny, tempting me with the satisfaction of my own hard work, they won’t be if I do it apart from Him. He’s the One I’m living this life for.
And yes, I fully understand that writing fictional novels aren’t an eternal treasure to be stored up (I doubt anyone will be hunting for a new sci-fi in heaven). Yet, using the creative brain He’s built into me to put down words that I’ve prayed over doesn’t seem like a waste. It’s given me another reason to go to Him. Goals that are limited to this dusty earth (writing, running, degrees, or whatever) don’t have to be restricted to this physical life when they drive you into closer communion with our Great Father.
So, make your plans, be them left-brained or right, enormous or not so big, daunting or exhilarating, and lay them all out before your Heavenly Father with your heart wide open. Commit, not to making them happen, but to do them for His glory and honor. That is where satisfaction and joy are found.