You can make many plans,
    but the Lord’s purpose will prevail.
Proverbs 19:21 (NLT)

I’m a planner by temperament, birth order, and enneagram number. I make lists. I fill in a calendar on my computer which syncs to all my devices. I don’t wait until the last minute to buy presents…my granddaughters have learned to send Nana birthday/Christmas lists early. If something needs, to get done, I get up and do it.

When I read blogs asking what has been learned during this time of COVID and lockdown, my immediate answer is nothing. Disappointment comes to mind rather than lessons learned or life changes made. Trips scheduled months in advance for birthdays, graduations, and holidays had to be cancelled. There was nothing harder for me than hitting that delete key. And as I contemplate why, it is because I had huge expectations that were now in the trash.

I have often commented that expectations are killers. The weeks before Christmas with decorations filling the house, presents hidden until the big day, cookies lining the counter ready for guests…those are the best. But then, the day after Christmas happens and reality sets in. Have those expectations been lived up to? The house is strewn with wrapping paper, gifts to be returned sit in a sack by the door, the kitchen is a mess. Was it worth it? Was it fun?

God has not been absent throughout this year. He prods me when I read His Word to listen to His plans. I now have time to make those phone calls, have coffee with friends, enjoy small gatherings in homes, appreciate the texts, FaceTime, and emails from family and friends. Slow down. Look around me when I walk Rusty at the beauty of the desert. I’ve learned to make changes in the way I do things that would never have crossed my mind but necessary due to the restrictions, especially as I consider the small ladies Bible study that I facilitate.

I’m ready, as I think we all are, to begin to return to a more open society. I’ve been jabbed twice. But I don’t want to go back to a rat race that ignores people in an effort to get it done. Productivity is highly praised in our culture but sometimes at great cost.

I remember telling my young granddaughter some years ago after a prized figurine had been accidentally broken by her sister, that people are more important than things.

Hopefully, we have all learned that lesson this year.