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We are in the midst of my son’s high school baseball season. During the months of April and May, he has four to five games a week. Needless to say, the evenings are a bit busy. When you add the unpredictability of the weather, available umpires and field conditions, our schedule is ever changing. 

I think teenagers hear the adults around them about as well as Charlie Brown hears his teacher! Then, the said teenager doesn’t always remember to communicate to said parent about game changes!

I was sitting at a ball game when a couple of other moms were talking about the next evening’s game. I thought it was an away game. They were talking about it being a home game. As politely as I could, I asked, “What did you say? I thought the game was away?” No, the schedule changed and it was a home game. Ok then. Glad I was eavesdropping!

A few days later, the coach’s wife called to ask if my daughter would babysit their kids during the game that night? What game?? Yep, once again, the schedule changed and I was not informed. In fact, my son never did let me know that change of plans. Glad my daughter babysits the coach’s kids!

This past weekend, my son had an away double header. The whole week, my plans were to go and spend the day watching baseball and visit an ice cream shop my friend had told me about. Friday afternoon my daughter says, “Oh, by the way, I have an FFA banquet tomorrow (Saturday) at 3 pm.” I’m sorry, what? How long have you known about this and why are you just now telling me? Sigh…. 

WIth the constant flux of the baseball schedule and unexpected events, my plans keep changing at a moments notice. I know I’m not the only one that this happens to. Many of the baseball moms have had the same discussion several times. 

Change of plans seems to be the story of my life. Kids, in general, are unpredictable. How many of you had to change what you were wearing at the last minute because your infant spit up on you on the way out the door. Have you had to leave a full grocery cart at the store because your toddler decided to have a temper tantrum at the worst possible moment? A key quality in being a successful teacher is the ability to be flexible and know that the day’s lessons may or may not turn out the way you thought they would. A student throwing up in your classroom initiates a mass exodus until it can be cleaned up! Or the unexpected fire drill in the middle of a math lesson. 

Unexpected changes of plans are a part of our daily lives. As much as they drive me crazy, I can’t plan the unexpected.

Where were you and what were you doing in 2016? Me? I was teaching 5th and 6th grade Special Education. During this time of year, I was wrapping up conferences with parents. I was finishing out the school year and made plans for improvements for the upcoming year. That was until one of the admins came and informed me of a change of plans. Due to funding (dreaded words by all), they were reorganizing the special education department. They were having the current 1st-4th grade special education teacher be the 2nd – 6th grade special education teacher. Okay then. Once that bombshell sunk in, I took a breath and thought, change of plans, now what?

How about 2011? What and where were you? I decided to stay at home with my kids while they were infants and toddlers until they were all old enough to be in school. If I did my math correctly, the 2010-2011 school year, they would have been in kindergarten, 1st and 2nd grade. Once all my kids were in school, I was going to return to work part-time. You would have thought I’d go back to teaching. Me too. Change of plans! A dear friend approached me and asked if I’d be an office manager for a business they were buying. Well, that’s not what I expected, but, sure, why not. Let’s give it a go!

Now I’m really going to test your memory! Where were you and what were you doing in 2001? My late husband and I had been married for four years. The last two years we had been wanting to start a family and now dealing with infertility. Change of plans. I had to concede and be at peace with the idea that my classroom of twenty-five 6th grade students were the only “kids” I was going to have.

I have not met anyone who has said,”I am exactly where I said I’d be 20 years ago.” I’m pretty sure all of you are shaking your heads knowing that a series of plans changing over the years has led you where you are now. 

Twenty years ago, I thought I’d be teaching and ready to celebrate twenty years in education. As of today, I’ve worked eight years as a classroom teacher. 

Ten years ago, I was ready to head back into education. I had missed the students and being a part of their learning. Plans changed to me working part-time as an office manager. Didn’t see that one coming.

Five years ago, I was back in the swing of teaching full time at the school my kids attended. So few teachers have the opportunity to work in the same school district as their own kids. I was fortunate to have that opportunity even though my kids may not have been too excited about it! I reminded them daily I have eyes everywhere!!

Five years ago is not that long ago. If someone would have told me then, that in five years I’d be a single mom raising three teenagers, I would have said you are nuts and I had better not be!! Change of plans!

You would think that having to change my plans so often, I’d get used to it and would be able to go with the flow a lot easier. Not so much. When my daughter mentioned she had a program the next day about the same time my son had a baseball game, I closed my eyes and had to take a minute. What I thought my day was going to look like, completely changed. I had to wrap my head around the fact there was a change of plans. Then, I had to figure out how those plans were going to change and what my day was going to look like.

In the end, it all worked out. I was able to get a few things completed around the house that I would not have been able to do if I were gone all day and my daughter and I spent some much needed time together. It was nothing like I had initially thought, it turned out even better.

My days of dealing with infertility has helped me reach out to moms in the same circumstances and offer comfort. Being an office manager ten years ago has opened doors for me today that has provided for our family. Being a widow and a single parent has allowed me opportunities to offer comfort and peace during the awkward stages of grief and single parenting. Plans change; some on purpose, some catch you completely off guard. No matter how much work we put into planning or not planning, life happens and plans change. How do you handle a change of plans? Are you easy going and can go with the flow? When plans change, does it throw you for a loop and you start to unravel? I’m a little bit of both and somewhere in between! I do my best to go with the flow, wrap my mind around the changes and try not to get frazzled. Sometimes it works, sometimes not. 

At the end of the day, I realized that my plans had flaws and the change of plans were His way of keeping me on track. At the moment, I may not have been able to see it. Over time, as I look back, His plans were, are and always will be so much better than my own. 

Next time your plans change, contemplate this; how can I glorify God instead of being bitter and angry? Ask God to show you the positive and push aside the negative as your plans change. 

Thanks for sharing a moment with me. We are in this together, changing plans with Him.

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