The other night my brother Mike, sister Sam, friend Jeff, Brooke and I were all sitting around the table talking to my brother Mike about this girl that he likes. I don't know if the smile on his face could have been any bigger as he talked about this girl. They've just started "dating" and he is so excited about it, which was making all of us excited too, just hearing him talk about her. Then one of us asked jokingly when he was going to propose and he said, "We have to date a year before that happens" and I laughed, out loud. Mike asked what was so funny, and everyone else just stared at me. And here is why that is so funny to me...

We love making plans. We love knowing what is going to happen before it happens. We love telling people what is going to happen in our lives. We talk about the schools we are going to go to, which will lead to the job that we have.. which will lead to the wife/husband we will meet/marry... which will lead to the nice house we have... which will lead to the kids we have.. which will lead to the schools our kids go to which will lead, which will lead, which will lead....

We live in this endless cycle of planning everything for ourselves. Now, before I go on, I want to say that I am not against planning in any way! But I think our planning has gotten out of control, selfish and detached from God. I think we decide at an early age what our life plans are and tell God to take a back seat to those plans. Instead of constantly going to the Creator for the plan, we tell Him the plan and then act like its from Him. Instead of listening to God and asking Him if/when we should get engaged we tell Him, and everyone else, that it will happen in a year.

On my third date with Brooke we were sitting in a hammock in her parent's backyard and I told her, "I love you." NOT PART OF MY PLAN. That's only part of your plan if you want to sound like a crazy stalker, but I couldn't help it. I knew this was the woman I would love forever and I couldn't keep it in. I had to say it. I didn't plan to say it but it just came out as if I was living out a plan that wasn't mine. Brooke casually looked over to me and said, "I know." She said it back a few days later, and because I wasn't living in this pre-made plan of dating for such-and-such amount of time, we were married within a year of meeting. Now don't read this and think, "Let's get married next week. That's my plan!", because it may not be. I had been in a few really bad relationships before I met Brooke and I kept trying to force everything. Force love, force romance, force the idea of being with someone, and kept telling people that God sent this girl to me. It was only when I decided that I wasn't going to force anything and just surrender to the will of God that Brooke showed up. We went on our first date to McDonalds. (Yeah - McDonalds, I am not ashamed. Dollar sundaes will always hold a special place in my heart).

Not only do we try to camouflage our plan as God's plan, but when our plans go wrong, we blame God. When we don't get that job, into that school, or break up with that guy, we ask God why he would abandon us in the midst of "His" plan.

It is in the moment that our plan falls through that we need to stop and listen. Instead of going back to our plan and trying to force it to happen, we need to look up to God and submit. We need to hold out our hands and hearts and say, "Use me God. Guide me and open my heart to listen to your plan." It is not easy to give up on our plans. Some of us have had them for so long that they've become our identity. They might even be good, honest, humble plans. But if they aren't Gods, they aren't the best. God's worst plan will be better than your best plan. I don't know what the plan that you have had your whole life is. It could be a certain job, an age that you wanted things to happen, a guy or girl. It could be a lot of things and in time they may be in your plan, but don't force them. Listen to the Creator of all things and His plan for you. It's not always the easiest plan to live out, but it will be the best and most fulfilling thing - and your life will be changed because of it!

One of the reasons I started thinking about this is beceause one of the next walk in love. shirts is based off this verse : "For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, β€œplans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." - Jeremiah 29:11. Notice in the verse that HE knows the plans that HE has for you, not He knows the plans that you have for you. Listen for His plan and submit to it. Your life will be filled with hope and a future.

*Here is another iPhone background and sneak peek of a shirt from our next collection designed by my super talented friend Stephen. Here is his site : The Apple Factory