Friday, December 22, 2017

“Faith in God includes faith in His timing”- Neal A. Maxwell


Have you ever made a perfect plan for how you knew your life should go? What happened? How often in our lives do things go as planned?  
Planning is an essential part of living. I once heard that dreaming is a form of planning. We need to dream. We need to plan. We also need to understand that there are times when God respectfully takes our plans and alters them. This can be painful and confusing. What we don’t always understand is that God’s version of the plan is perfect, and leads us down the exact path we were meant to be on. 

Our job is to recognize His hand in all things so we can have confidence in the way things are going. As I write this I realize that I’ve still got a long way to go in my own personal journey of recognizing and embracing God’s version of what my path should be, but I sure am grateful to know that the grand navigator has a perfect knowledge of my preferred destination.
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Planning is an essential part of living. I once heard that dreaming is a form of planning. We need to dream. We need to plan. We also need to understand that there are times when God respectfully takes our plans and alters them. This can be painful and confusing. What we don’t always understand is that God’s version of the plan is perfect, and leads us down the exact path we were meant to be on.  Our job is to recognize His hand in all things so we can have confidence in the way things are going. As I write this I realize that I’ve still got a long way to go in my own personal journey of recognizing and embracing God’s version of what my path should be, but I sure am grateful to know that the grand navigator has a perfect knowledge of my preferred destination.

For many years I’ve been decorating weddings at various venues. I love taking an ordinary space and making it into something extraordinary. A couple of years ago Derek suggested that our family should open up our own wedding venue to use my love of decorating and also to give our many children an opportunity to work. While driving home from Canada we talked about our dream and how we would pull it off. After the trip was over Derek likely forgot about our conversation but I couldn’t get the idea out of my mind. 
The next year and a half was was much occupied with bearing and nurturing the twins. After they turned a year old I revisited our dream of opening a wedding venue. I was expecting Benjamin but decided to search for a possible location until he was born at which time I would be able to focus on him.
After months of researching real estate trends and prices per square foot both for renting and buying local properties I felt confidence in making an offer on a lovely little building. My offer was denied because the land was tied into a larger piece of very valuable real estate that they didn’t want to separate. I went on in my search and had many more failed attempts at securing a building.  
Just before I was to have Benjamin there was a beautiful lot I was trying to buy to build our venue on. The property wasn’t zoned as commercial and the process to switch it over was quite involved and costly and wasn’t a sure bet. 
After praying about it I felt like I just needed to focus on having the baby. Then when Benjamin was only 3 weeks old my sister Becky came in town and while she was in town we saw a property that I immediately knew I would want for our wedding venue. 
The fact that I would finally find the right venue when I had a 3-week old baby made no sense to me. In order to secure the property we had to commit to it or lose it. It broke my heart to take on the pressure of starting a new business when all I wanted to do was to focus on and love my last baby. Also, how in the world would I find the time or energy to do all I needed to do while being up at night with a newborn? Each time I faced doubt about these issues I reminded myself of the hundreds of prayers we had offered asking for guidance for our family business dreams. 
If we had faith enough to ask for heavens help in getting a place, we needed to have faith that God’s timing for the project was also par of His plan. I received a blessing that promised I would have the stamina to do what was required of me for my family and for the business and miraculously I did! In extreme cases we worked past midnight and came home to a baby that needed to be fed for his late-night feeding. 
Working alongside my boys was pure magic to me. At home there is so much noise and so many big and small needs that need to be met that I feel like I just go into survival mode and try to feed the mouths and put out all the fires. But when I would take one or two boys over with me to work then instantly all that noise was gone and it was just us working together for something good. 
 

They learned how to use a chopsaw, a gigsaw, and a nail gun as we put up shiplap and a pallet wall. Together we measure, painted, nailed and unpacked furniture. It was sweet to see how we transformed that space into something beautiful but the sweetest transformation that took place was not seen with the eye. It happened inside us as we could feel less contention and more love working toward a common goal. 


Benjamin was such a sweetheart to come along and rest in his car seat while we worked. David made a website from scratch using html which he learned in school, Keller invented a more efficient way of installing shiplap using 2 ladders instead of one, Adelaide helped me to prepare the letters to hang outside and unpacked dozens of chiavari wedding chairs. Wes stayed up until 2:30 the week of the grand opening to assist me in final touches and Adam became a master of power tools at the age of 9. 

Now that our place is open I don’t know what will lie ahead in our journey. 
           

During this season as we celebrate the miracle of the birth of our Savior, I am reminded of a talk I heard about God planning millions of years ahead of time for a single star to shine down on the stable at Bethlehem on the very night of Christ's birth and that if God can orchestrate this detail so many years in advance then certainly the details of our lives are also very much a part of His grand plan.


Martin Luther said: "I know not the way God leads me, but well do I know my Guide." May we ever know Him and ever trust in His supreme guidance.l

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