"Let the gratefulness overflow into blessing all around you. Then, it will be a really good day." Louie Schwartzberg
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Flying in the Face of the Five-Year Plan

posted by Susan Dominikovich on , ,


"Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself.  Each day has enough trouble of its own."  (Matthew 6:34)

I am not sure if this is still the trend, but it seemed a few years ago that everyone was setting up their Five-Year Plan.  Churches, schools, workplaces and individuals were encouraged to come up with their own Five-Year Plan.  Sometimes the plan included achievable goals and steps as to how to get there, but more often than not, the "plan" could have been re-named "what do I see for myself five years from now?"  In other words, a dream.  A pipe dream.

Unless it's clothing, I am not one to jump on the latest trend.  I have not read the Grey series.  I have not read Twilight.  I know enough of both these series to know they are not for me.  I do not judge them or caution anyone else about reading them.  They simply are not for me.  As far as music goes, I like what sounds good and speaks to my soul.  It doesn't matter how trendy or obscure they are.  

So no five-year plan for me.  I just let each year--each day in fact--come as they are.  Thankful that scripturally, I'm not supposed to worry about the next day anyway.

Recently I had a recollection of where I was five years ago.  Of course I don't remember details but I remember the impression of what my life was at the time, and some idea of where I thought it was going.  

Three preschoolers at home and one at school.  Our 2-year old twins were learning new skills such as Violet standing on Abby so she could reach the door handle and escape.  Madeline was shyly stepping out on her own in the world of Kindy.  And Sam was learning valuable survival skills at school.  We lived in a draughty old villa with a large garden that we adored.  It was cold.  It was damp.  But Madeline was born in that house and we put our heart and soul into renovations.  I was involved in Playcentre, joining the committee and fostering friendships with some amazing women.  Refereeing disputes between others.  Because that's what being in a committee is about.  

I curiously asked myself, if I had made myself a Five-Year Plan back then, what would it have looked like?  Perhaps something like this:

1.  Develop my passion for Early Childhood Education.  Continue with my Playcentre education and training, getting more involved with the committee and the Association.  Become a tutor and begin to work evenings with the Association.  Once the kids are all at school, tutor more.

2.  Extend the villa with a second storey/loft.

3.  Continue to train for triathlon and get fit.  

4.  ?

I can honestly say that's as far as I would have got.  Even point number 3 is a stretch.  I had been involved in a couple of triathlons and I did enjoy escaping on my bike whenever I could.  But actually begin to train and get fit?

This is how it actually goes.

1.  As the doors shut on Playcentre training, pursue the idea of re-training to become a kindy teacher.  As the doors shut on that idea, explore becoming a teacher's aide at primary school.  Because suddenly my passion for Early Childhood Education has become a passion for primary education.  Volunteer at the school in the meantime.

2.  Walk my dog.  Seriously.  Walk my lovely spoodle while listening to worship.  Lose weight and get fit.  As easy as that.

3.  Sell our draughty cold damp villa privately on TradeMe, rent it from our buyers and build on our dream 1/2 acre section.  A house with double-glazing and insulation.  Ingleside.  My dream home.

4.  Work as a reliever at my kiddeos primary school.  Discover that I am still a teacher at heart, but with young children rather than the big ugly ones.  Pursue this idea until I eventually get a .4 short-term contract at a fantastic local school.  Where I am truly loved and well respected by children, parents and staff.  My dream job.

5.  Continue singing but also start to play the piano. Stretch myself and realise I can do more on the keyboard than I ever thought possible.  Become comfortable with my voice so that I can sing and play together.  My dream gift.  

6.  Start writing.  Write the words in my heart down on the page and see where it leads.  Don't worry about perfection.  Just the heart.  My dream.  Always, my dream.

I simply could not have planned any of what is in my life at the moment.  There was no plan for such dreams.  And this doesn't even touch on my children's lives and that of my husband.

Even the friends, sad as I am to not have as much to do with those amazing Playcentre women I knew, the friends I have now have taken me by surprise and have enriched my life beyond measure.

One of these beautiful friends just sent me this verse, in a different version.  She was reaching out to me while I was in a difficult place.  She had no idea that her words would remind me and in fact inspire me with one of God's plans for me...which is to write.  

"'I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord.  "Plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future.'" (Jeremiah 29:11)

This verse brought everything together for me and so, I write.  And I feel better.

I don't need a five-year plan with God.  He's already got a plan for me.  And it's a great one.  I just have to listen carefully and do what He tells me.  It's not just a five-year plan either.  

It's an every day plan.  It's a forever plan.  It's a dream plan.  

And it's for me.


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