Broken Goals, Glorious Plans – the “starving time” of summer

I remember a time when I decided to write daily…to read news articles, blogs, and novels. I created a huge summer reading list for myself – both fiction and non-fiction. I was excited and confident about the goals I’d set for the months ahead. It was a perfect summer project, and I needed one.

Then I found out I was pregnant.

Every time I tried to read a single sentence, my eyes closed, and I awoke some time later to a closed book, my place lost, and an incredulous 10-year-old.

“Mom, you were out,” he said. “I came in here to see if I could have a snack, and you were just gone.”

Thus became the pattern of my day. Even with Martin’s two naps, I merely managed to get dressed and attempt to throw the house together in the morning and by his afternoon nap, I was in deep-sleep mode for an hour or two. It’s a good thing Ethan is pretty understanding and obedient because he was on his own. There was nothing I could do about it. If I even tried to read in the morning, I’d end up taking two naps and feel as though I’d accomplished nothing at all during the day.

I did not write. I did not read a single book on my list. I barely made it through Ethan’s swim meets and read Martin books at night. One time I even fell asleep while trying to read Martin a book before bed. I dozed for only a second, but I remember as I opened my eyes, his huge staring eyes were looking up at me, his thumb in mouth with a questioning look. “Why have you stopped? You’re quiet, Momma. Aren’t I the one who is supposed to go to sleep,” I imagined him asking behind those quizzical eyes.

And then there came the point, right around 10 weeks, where this irrational fear overtook me. It was never going to end. I would be on the couch forever. I would never feel like a human being again. But it did end. It did get better. Energy finally returned. The desire to write came back full-force, and once again, I started looking for moments to jot words down almost every day.

We are, of course, back in our school year, and Martin has dropped to one nap a day, making free-time a little less easy to come by.

Looking back on “the starving time” of the first trimester, where I was starving for sleep and my kids were starving for attention, I can now see the beauty of it all.

My goals didn’t actualize. I didn’t write or read. I couldn’t keep it together. I couldn’t stay awake. I’m surprised and shocked my children weren’t permanently damaged at some point.

Yet, somehow, I’m not surprised because God seems to know exactly what to provide in those moments. He gives the strength I need, the strength I obviously don’t have, so I can make it through another day. While I was initially disappointed that I wasn’t doing all of the things I had planned, my excitement about a new little life overpowered any bitterness trying to embed itself into my heart.

Sometimes our plans and goals are nice. They’re good goals and there is nothing wrong with them. But sometimes God comes along with a better goal, a better plan. Most of the time we fight it, we push it away, but it keeps coming. It keeps creeping up on us and overpowering us, wave after wave, and we slowly accept it, breathe it, and we eventually, hopefully, relish God’s plan for our lives.

That’s what this summer was for me. A perfectly set plan of my own laid aside for an even better plan, an even better goal, one brimming with life, and hope, and excitement.

Side note – I’ll be blogging every other week for Bellies and Babies for the duration of my pregnancy! I know this will only interest some of you readers, but I am excited to share this road with other moms out there.