Five Minute Friday scribblings, God, Plan

Send: Sending Memos to God

Peter and jelly fish

By +Jeanne Takenaka @JeanneTakenaka

My Five Minute Friday prompt this week is—SEND. This largely unedited “rough draft” form of writing stretches this perfectionist, in the best of ways. I write for five minutes on a given topic. If you’re interested in learning more about 5-Minute Fridays, check out our hostess, Kate Motaung’s site. Or, click on the link at the bottom of this post. As you read my simpler Friday posts, I hope you’ll join in the conversation!

SEND

I pressed the “Send” button on the email note. How exciting that a spot opened up for me to chaperone on my son’s field trip to the aquarium!

Two days later I received a note from my boy’s teacher. “Mrs. Takenaka, if I don’t hear from you by noon today, I’ll have to give your spot to another parent.”

What?!

Striped fish

My heart thudded as I read that note. How could she not have received my excited words from two days before?

For some reason, the address I sent it from doesn’t like the address the note was going to. I’ve tried a couple times since then to send her emails from that address. They always disappear into the ether somewhere.

How many times has this happened in life? I think I’m going to be doing something and send the “memo” to God. Either He doesn’t receive it. Or he laughs at it.

Yeah, I think He may laugh at the plans I tell Him I’m making for a given day.

I’m slowly learning to lean into Him, and ask for His input into the plans I have for a day. Rather than sending Him a list of all I’d like to accomplish.

Peter under aquarium

When the car dies just as I’m ready to run errands? How will I respond? As a frustrated brat, or as a daughter who says, “Okay, God. How shall I spend this time instead?”

Yes, this happened . . . yesterday. No, I didn’t initially respond with that calm yielding to His plans.

But, I learned a lesson.

As I figure out my One Word Breathe for the year, one thing God’s teaching me is to not be so set on accomplishing my to-do’s for a given day. Instead, to ask what His priorities are for me.

Instead of sending Him my agenda, I’m working to write to-do’s in pencil and leave space in my days for Him to fill in as He sees best.

Yes, I attended the field trip, and it was a fun-filled (and exhausting) day. If I hadn’t re-sent that email from a different address, I would have missed watching my son’s delight over sting rays and looking at sea animals from under their aquariums.

Reaching for a stingray

Sometimes I need to push a different Send button. Other times? I need to simply be still.

What about you? How do you handle the divine interruptions that sometimes derails your planned-out days? 

Visit Kate Motaung’s Five Minute Friday post: Send.

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16 thoughts on “Send: Sending Memos to God”

  1. Wow, that is definitely an area of my life I am working on. I like to be super organized and have things go just as planned. When something comes along to change my plans, I go into panic mode. I like what you said about sometimes pushing a different send button and asking God what His priorities are for me that day instead of my own. Thank you for sharing such wisdom! Blessings friend, Carrie (your one up neighbor today at FMF)

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    1. I suspected I might not be the only one who deals with controlling-my-life issues. 🙂 I don’t remember every day to ask God for His priorities in my day, but I’m getting better. 🙂 Thanks so much for stopping by!

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    1. I have times where tears and frustration (or a few sarcastic remarks) are my default as well. It seems like sometimes kicking and screaming (on our part) is the only way we get to where we can see God’s hand working in our lives. Sometimes after the fact. 🙂 I’m working on that too. 🙂

      Have a wonderful weekend!

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  2. Nice post!

    Although…I don’t think God laughs at us; I think He laughs WITH us, in sympathy when our plans just can’t work out.

    I was pretty well-trained never to expect things to go as planned, so I always, consciously or subconsciously, have one or more contingencies for the sub-tasks making up the whole. Admittedly, there are some things that are critical-path items, and they just have to work, or the whole enterprise fails.

    I do hear whispers from God, but no real sense of overall direction. Nothing in lights saying “You are to be a WRITER!”, for instance.

    So I have to take a lot on faith and interpretation, and give my best assessment of His desires.

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    1. This all makes sense, Andrew. And, I think you’re right. God doesn’t laugh at us, especially not mocking us. He does laugh with us, and I suspect, I may just make him shake His head with a fatherly smile, saying, “Jeanne, Jeanne . . . ” on occasion. 🙂

      Your training was smart training. Although I’m a lot better with contingencies (as in when my vehicle broke down yesterday–lots of other stuff to work on while I waited for AAA), I still have that naive idea that things should go as I planned them. Silly, I know.

      For what it’s worth, I don’t often hear Him say, “Jeanne, you shall do _____________.” But, I do find that when I’ve left space in my day, and my heart is open, He’s able to direct my steps through that day, usually through things that happen, or by impressions I have (i.e. to write an encouraging note to someone, or some other action). If that makes sense.

      I’m praying for you this weekend!

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  3. I liked your post today, Jeanne! You certainly know that I’ve experienced that over the past few years. I’ve been on the journey to walk more thoughtfully and slowly (not my former way of life, for sure!) in each day’s plans and decisions. I still have a lot to learn though. I have a pattern (perhaps I can break it in this new year) of feeling wonderful on Monday and packing the events, lessons, chores, etc. in so much that by Wednesday I am paying for it. (It’s just so good to feel wonderful, I get a little over-excited, apparently!)

    But hearing, then walking, seems like it must be the key for me.

    Thank you, friend. Love!

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    1. I find myself in those sorts of patterns too. For me it’s staying up too late because I feel I must get “that one last thing” completed before I go to bed. After enough nights of this, it’s very hard to go to bed earlier again. 🙂

      Here’s to finding the balance of space in our days and still accomplishing tasks required of us. 🙂

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  4. I love the idea of God laughing – and I believe He does. And He really must laugh at us when we think that we have it all figured out and that we have a much better plan then He does. Thank you for a real life reminder that sometimes the send button needs to be “refreshed” and sometimes never pushed. Blessings to you.

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  5. I felt a prick of convictions when I read your words, “God’s teaching me … to not be so set on accomplishing my to-do’s for a given day.” At my first church, we used to always say, “We’re flexible around here – you have to be to stay sane.” It just occurred to me I don’t say that where I work now and it seems to me I’m a little less flexible!

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  6. Honestly, if I don’t know or don’t have the perspective that the interruption is “divine,” I kind of panic when my plans get derailed. With young children and all their stuff, setbacks can snowball and avalanche before I get a chance to duck and cover. But God reminds me when I’m feeling overwhelmed of what’s important and what’s not. So I shake it off and keep going :-).

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    1. I love this, Tanara. There are times when everything in life overwhelms me too. Having my plans derailed is a tough detour to handle. But, I’m learning to deal with it, and like you (and Andrew) mentioned, to keep going.

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