A magnet on my refrigerator says, “We plan. God laughs.”
I restarted blogging regularly on St. Patrick’s Day, and committed to sending you weekly emails that testify to the miracle of God’s tangible presence. Then circumstances sidelined my plan, and I learned (again!) that God loves laughter.
The magnet on my fridge beckons me to listen for and join in the laughter.
God doesn’t laugh to mock me, but to lighten me up.
God’s laughter interrupts my stressful strategizing sessions and dissipates the pressure to perform. No matter how great the challenge, impossible the task, or unlikely the goal, God laughs to ease the tension I create when attempting to plan according to my own timetable and outcomes.
Earlier this week, I made plans to the sound of laughter.
My husband and I are empty nesters who need to downsize. Our financial advisor recommends we trim the expense of maintaining our acreage, but untold stress accompanies thoughts of selling our beloved home and leaving our peaceful property after nearly 20 years of raising children, riding horses, and relaxing by the pool.
Our daughter got married in our lovely backyard, and our son recently proposed marriage in the very spot he plans to exchange vows with his future bride.
She said yes, framed by the serenity of our koi pond.
How can we leave now?
But as small business owners struggling in an unwelcome economy, how can we stay?
My husband, Steve, and I have been on a teeter totter over our home. When he conjures up plans to relocate, I dig in with hopes to remodel. When I’m up for listing the property, he’s down for postponing a move.
My daughter wants to leave California for a more affordable place to raise her family and asks us to come along. We agree that we would enjoy remaining close to our grandchildren and being more frugal in retirement.
My son wants to move home to save money for his first year of married life and asks us to stay put. We agree that we would like to help out—plus we have a wedding to host!
Teeter. Totter. Up. Down.
Never steady. Always stressed.
So, I threw up my hands and got down on my knees.
I told God I was ill equipped to plan for the future when I don’t know what the future holds. I told him I knew we were supposed to downsize but I didn’t know when. I told him that I would know what to do when peace and assurance, not stress and confusion, accompanied my decision. Then I asked, “When should we sell?”
A word popped into my head: April.
“April?” I whispered my query, head bowed.
In response, three words formed in my mind: Wait until April.
“We’re not even supposed to think about selling until after the wedding in April.” I declared my plans aloud, and peace flooded my soul.
That evening the phone rang, my daughter’s name displayed on the screen.
“Sarah!” I exclaimed. “God told me when to sell the house.”
“April,” she said.
“Did I already tell you that?” I was fairly certain I hadn’t spoken to her since before my prayer time that morning.
“No, but it makes sense. You’re not even supposed to think about selling until after Scott’s wedding.”
Hearing Sarah say the same words I had declared that morning filled me with peace and assurance.
“Well, you’re right. God said April.” Joy sprung from the relief of releasing my plans into God’s hands and I laughed out loud.
The next time you make plans, listen for God’s laughter. You might just laugh along!