One thing I have learnt (and am continuing to learn) is to expect the unexpected ... especially as a mum. Little people have the habit of catching us off guard and pushing our boundaries in all different directions.
When I started this blog, I expected to be able to write regularly every week and yet my last post was about 5 months ago. I also totally missed the 3rd anniversary of 'The Missionary Mum' last month. (My apologies to those of you who have been missing the regular updates, I think I'm back, but who knows!)
From my experience, taking the step to commit yourself to God and following the path he has for you, is more often than not, filled with the unexpected.
We can have all our own plans and agendas carefully laid out but when God, who can see the bigger picture, is in control, it rarely works out how we expect.
When I decided that working in missions was my way forward and enrolled at All Nations, I expected to go onto the mission field as a single woman. Within two weeks of term starting, I had met Mark and now we are a family of four!
When we were looking at which mission organisation to join, we expected to work in a developing country but then went on to spend three years in the States.
When we got here to Tanzania, we expected to be in Dodoma for eight years. However, our programme was closed a few months ago ... and now less than two years later, we're just about to move to Australia (another First World country)!
These are just a few of the bigger examples of where God's plans have been completely different to mine and there are countless others that I could share from my own experience and those of my friends.
While I think that I have a really good idea of what is best for me, so far God has always surprised me and come up with something different. I can honestly say that each time my plans have been changed (and that's happened a lot!), God's alternative has been amazing. Well, of course it has, he knows what's best for me!
It doesn't mean that it has been easy. In fact, on many occasions it has been more than a little uncomfortable. Embarrassingly too, learning one time doesn't mean it has made it any easier the next either.
The path has been prepared for me though and I plan to continue walking in it ... the next, 'unexpected' is always just around the corner!