The year I planned, the year I got

On this day a year ago, I had no idea that this place I now call home even existed.

I didn’t foresee chickens in my yard, or rabbits in my barn.

The year I planned, the year I got

I didn’t foresee two kids spending their Thursday mornings enrolled in a Classical Conversations community or me tutoring.

I knew my kids would grow, but I had no idea how much.

I had my ideas. I had my visions. I had the comfortable spaces mapped out in my heart, and I planned to go there, to do the things that I saw.

And then 2016 happened. I’m not talking crazy elections or celebrity deaths or anything quite so seismic. I’m looking back on a year whose path I could never quite see around the bend, that snaked into new territory, that stretched me beyond what I anticipated.

Like every year.

Seriously, isn’t that the truth?

Every year. Every year we plan and we dream and the calendar flips over and we’re pretty sure we know what’s next. Good stuff, right? Always good stuff.

No one says, “This year, I hope my grandfather dies after a miserable stint in a nursing home.” But that was my February of 2013. The one God planned, even though I did not. No one says, “This is the year we get kicked out of a country!” But God ordained that to be the defining moment of 2014 for my family. Twenty-fifteen was a second c-section instead of a VBAC. And last year? Last year we moved to a farm in Tennessee.

Not my plans.

But God’s plans. For His glory.

I sat in church yesterday, New Year’s Day 2017, and watched Simon happily swing his hand-me-down Star Wars sneakers under his chair, and I realized that he will remember this year. Whatever the year brings, it will leave him with actual memories rather than impressions. I wondered if this will be the year he has his first swimming lesson, or if we’ll hatch a batch of our own chicks and he’ll get to watch the eggs wiggle in an incubator. I wondered if God will bless him with another younger sibling, or maybe if we’ll spend a weekend exploring a state park that he’ll never forget. I can look forward and plan and assume, but I don’t know what 2017 holds for him, for us.

Only God does.

The good, the bad, the unexpected. All of it. In His hands, not ours.