When Plan A Doesn’t Work Out

Ice crystals sparkle in the air, a silent symphony to accompany the winter sunshine. My boots crunch a pattern in the new fallen snow, weaving a path as I wander through the garden checking the birdfeeders and replenishing their supply of seeds. I wish it were as easy to renew my enthusiasm as it is to top up the feeders.

The world held its breath as one year transitioned into another. Now January exhales and we begin again. Tomorrow businesses reopen after the Christmas break and children return to their classrooms. There are a few more days left in my holiday but soon my office will beckon me back to work. I’ve been writing every day, but the plans I made earlier for one of my manuscripts have been thwarted and I’m full of impatience and indecision. I need to do some re-evaluating, and that’s not what I expected to be doing as this new year shifts into motion.

Like the birds that visit my garden, I trust in God’s provision and look to him for guidance. His timing is always better than mine. I know that. But….


On my bulletin board there is a plaque sent to me by Keli Gwyn that says, “Life is all about how you handle Plan B.”  When life throws a monkey wrench into your Plan A, how do you develop Plan B?

“Fear not therefore: ye are of more value than many sparrows.” [Luke 12:7]

22 thoughts on “When Plan A Doesn’t Work Out

  1. Judith Robl says:

    You might be interested in my post on Garment of Praise today. I can highly recommend Psalm 37 when things don’t go as planned. Sometimes life seems to head from plan B to plan Q in a hurry.

    Sometimes we need simply to be still and know that He is God. Praying for yourpeace and delight.

    • Thanks, Judith. “Commit your way to the LORD; trust in him…” is the verse I hang onto. I trust that in his good time he will make the path clear to me. It’s a good lesson in patience.

  2. Erica Vetsch says:

    Love that phrase. Life is all about how you handle Plan B.

    So very true.

    My best way of coping with this is not to hang on too tightly to Plan A. 🙂

    Happy New Year!

  3. mE says:

    What’s this “thwart” thingee??? GirlFRIEND you are doing great and get yourself back to it. As I told your elder daughter I think I’ve found my problem and that I intend to start hammering at the wall it created. If I can get thru I know YOU CAN.
    J J starts classes at worksource today so I’ll have more time at the PC too. Am praying God will find THE Job for her.
    Tomarrow I’ll be waking up in my 79th year and it has been interesting 🙂

    • What can I say? I guess I’m a bit of a control freak… I like to plan things thoroughly and then work through the plan. When something unexpected derails me it takes the wind out of my sails. It’ll just take me a while to figure out a new direction. Maybe we’ll even travel that road together.

      I hope JJ enjoys her classes and finds the perfect job soon. And Happy Birthday to you, dear friend!

  4. Judith Robl says:

    Oh, my dear Carol, I didn’t have the “wrath and anger” paragraph in mind when I suggested you look at my blog. I was thinking more of the “rest patiently” paragraph. We all need that reminder from time to time.

    Putting “wrath and anger” in the same paragraph with you is an impossible thought. I cannot connect either emotion with what I know of you.

    • No problem, Judith. “Wrath and anger” aren’t generally in my vocabulary anyway. I liked the “rest patiently” part. It’s right up there with, “Wait on the Lord,” which I need to remember right now.

  5. “Fear NOT…” that sums it up, I think. Whether it’s plan A, B or Z – Fear can only hinder the progress. God is not surprised by any of the plans or paths we take. So there’s no need for fear! 🙂

  6. as for developing plan b – I don’t know that I have a cut and dry plan for developing a plan. It’s more like a hike. I have an idea of where I’m going, but there are always things on the path that might change my steps. BUT…as long as I keep my eyes open – and follow The Compass… well, you get my point. 🙂

  7. joylene says:

    Nice blog, Carol. I have one for you from Elizabeth Browning, “Love doesn’t make the world go round, love is what makes the ride worthwhile.”

  8. I hate it when that happens. Sometimes I shift into a Plan B with grace. Other times I screech to a halt and throw a tantrum into the sky. After the stress hormone stuns my body, I lose an hour or two until my mind is operational again. Then, I limp into Plan B, thanking God for His goodness.

    Thank you for sharing your thoughts. It’s comforting to know that I’m not the only one that encounters bumps in the road, or potholes, or bridges out, and must rethink the journey. Blessings to you, Carol…

  9. Tricia says:

    I’m trusting there is a reason for my distance from my novel. No matter how much I aim to get back to it, something always blocks my way. I don’t fret too much. A little maybe but not too much.

  10. Shari Green says:

    As you know, I’m working on plan B with my writing right now. It took some time to adjust to the idea (ie. to quit clutching desperately at plan A), but now I feel better about this B thing than I ever did about A. Oh, the wisdom that comes with hindsight, lol. (And yes, His timing really is always the best….)

  11. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Carol J. Garvin, Carol J. Garvin. Carol J. Garvin said: When Plan A doesn't work out: http://wp.me/phaYw-Tx #amwriting #amfrustrated […]

  12. Laura Best says:

    Sounds like a great plaque and an excellent reminder to us all. Things do seem to unfold not by our timing but by His. Sometimes we just wish He’d hurry up a bit. LOL!

  13. I hadn’t heard that one before, Joylene, although I do like Elizabeth Barrett Browning’s work. (Our last Sheltie’s registered name was “Shiralee’s Elizabeth Barrett” and we called her “Sonnet”.)

    Carol Ann, this detour isn’t causing a tantrum, just a sigh of impatience… maybe a little moan of frustration. I’m putting off figuring out the alternate route for a few days until the disappointment dissipates.

    There may indeed be a legitimate reason, Tricia, although when that happens to me I usually discover the longer I delay dealing with something the easier it gets to forget about it altogether.

    Thanks, Kristen. I like it, too.

    Shari, we see a lot in hindsight. I wish I had a bit of it right now! It might make it easier to deal with the present dilemma.

    I need the reminder, that’s for sure, Laura. And I need to develop more patience, too. Maybe this is a lesson for me.

  14. territiffany says:

    Oh I love your plaque! Working on plan B here now:)

  15. Paul Greci says:

    I’m on plan C. Your post is a great reminder of what we do and don’t have control over, and being open to the constantly changing world we live in. Thanks!! 🙂

  16. Thanks, Terri. The plaque was won in a draw on Keli Gwyn’s “Romance Writers on the Journey” blog sometime before she interviewed me. It has a prominent spot on my office bulletin board.

    Paul, someone on Twitter said he was heading into Plan Z! Now that’s scary! I tend to forget that just because I carefully made them, not all my plans are under my control. I guess this is a good lesson for me.

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