I’ll be the first to admit that I like to plan ahead.

When juggling home responsibilities, work, and stuff for three active kids, getting through the day sometimes requires the logistical maneuverings of a military operation. All forms signed? Basketball uniforms washed? The have-to-give-a-speech dress-up clothes ironed? Lunches and substantial after-school-pre-basketball-practce snacks packed? Class party gift exchange present wrapped and in the backpack? Carpool confirmed? Errand list in my purse? Laundry moved to the dryer? Meat for supper thawing on the counter? Laptop and notes loaded into my bag?

Guess we’re ready to tackle the day. Then the phone rings and things change.

This week’s character trait is flexibility. The willingness to change plans or ideas without getting upset. The ability to adapt to a new situation and bend without breaking.

While my physical joints are getting stiffer with the cold (certainly not because of my age!), I’m learning how to be flexible when life throws a wrench into my well-organized plans. I’m writing the to-do list in pencil. I’m getting the hang of smiling (while gritting my teeth sometimes) when my husband overrides my agenda. And when Christmas traditions and schedules shift, I’m looking for the positives and going with the flow.

Proverbs tells us that “A man’s heart plans his way, but the Lord directs his steps.” (Proverbs 16:9 NKJV) When my plans fall apart, I’m starting to consider the possibility that God is pointing me in a different direction. That perhaps there’s a lesson to be learned or priorities to be adjusted.

I’ve got plans in place for over Christmas break … but I’m willing to hold them lightly in case God has something else in mind.

What about you? Do you prefer schedules or spontaneity? Are you flexible when plans change? Does it depend on what did the interrupting? Why or why not? 

Character Matters – Flexibility
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