An Open Letter to My Planner

An Open Letter to My Planner

Dear planner,

I know our defalt. Scribbled-full pages. Hour-by-hour appointments and obligations. A quick spot for a friend here, time for a sandwiched-in conversation there. I know how adrenaline rushes as your spaces fill, and I know that it is here that you send me messages of approval and significance. 

And I also know that 2020 has rocked your game. 

It has highlighted the role of the eraser, removing plans left and right. Good plans. Great plans. Significant plans. Erased away. Vanished.

It has highlighted the role of the question mark. It’s the punctuation slipped at the end of most items jotted (in pencil) between your pages. 

It has highlighted the role of the blank page. The stark difference between life pre-shutdown and leading into stay-at-home order is startling. 

It has been frustrating, discouraging, difficult, and confusing, this rise of the eraser, question mark, and blank page. It has unmasked the control freak within me, highlighted the way I grasp for the significance your full page can offer.

And it’s also been strangely freeing. 

So when some of this cloud lifts and life resumes to at least a shadow of what we knew, how are we gonna respond?

Do we default back to what we knew? To the safe, comfortable, value-distributing factory of a full, busy life?

Here’s an idea: what if we didn’t?

What if we didn’t default? What if we didn’t find our value in the page full of plans? What if we didn’t fill our day so full that the only chance of meaningful conversation is sandwiched in the five minutes between getting home from work and starting dinner prep?

What if didn’t equate busyness as a badge of honor? 

What if we didn’t give up the full eight-hour nights of sleep we’ve been getting? What if we didn’t surrender those lingering mornings on the porch? What if we didn’t set aside the new-found daily ritual of chatting with the neighbor while tinkering with our flowers outside the gate? What if we didn’t cross family bedtime stories off the to-do list, just because now everyone has the freedom to go their separate ways?

2020 has marked us all. What if we allowed the mark to grow us? To fashion us into slower, kinder, softer people? 

It has not been easy, this erasing, question marking, and blank paging. And I know we’re all ready for it to pass. 

But what if we didn’t waste it? What if we looked at the blank page, planned in the valuable, good, true work that God has prepared for us to do? And then, what if we left the rest in His hands, rather than striving to be everything to all men? 

He already is, everything to all men, that is.  So we don’t have to be. 

So, dear planner, what if we didn’t go back to how it all was?

What if we found something better? 

I’m game. Let’s try.

Sincerely yours,

Your friend with the pen (or, shall I say, pencil)

What parts of the 2020 life do you want to integrate into your life going forward?

1 Comment

  1. Danielle Wheeler September 10, 2020

    Love this letter, Maria. Activities are ramping back up to near full speed in my area and it feels shocking to my system. I want to shout it from the rooftops, “But what if we didn’t?!” Praying for discernment for all of us to know what to add back in and what to leave out. Because space is just so… spacious!

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