I think Leeland was probably about 3 or 4 months old when I learned this important fact:
"You can't adjust your baby to fit your schedule. You must adjust your life to fit baby's schedule."
I distinctly remember this one day. I had decided it was time for Leeland to take a nap. I fed him a bottle and rocked him. But he screamed. I laid him down in his bed and left the room. But he screamed. I picked him up and bounced him. But he screamed. I know people say to let your baby "cry it out" but Leeland doesn't do that. The more he cries, the more worked up he gets. At this point, I had lost all patience. Leeland was supposed to be taking a nap! He was gonna nap and I was gonna clean. That was the plan for the afternoon.
I got mad and finally said to Leeland, "FINE! You don't GET to take a nap!" I picked him up out of bed, set him in the living room floor with his toys and I stepped outside to get some fresh air and recompose myself. (C'mon, I know we've all had these moments....)
I sat outside in the sunshine for just a few minutes but decided I should probably get back inside because my son was most likely still screaming his head off. I walked in the back door and what did I see? My adorable little son giving me the happiest, cutest, most beautiful smile in the world. I think he even giggled.
It was at that moment that I was reminded of the fact that all of the anger, impatience, tears and screaming (Leeland's and mine...ha!) could have been avoided if I had just picked up on his cues instead of trying to make him do what I wanted him to do. It's not really that hard. All I have to do is set aside my own selfish desires and think of him first. And you know what usually happens? I usually end up getting to do everything I wanted to do in the first place. It might have happened in a different order or at different times than I originally planned, but the day goes on and both my son and I are happy.
I realized that the same concept works with my plan and God's plan. When I take things into my own hands, and I'm thinking only of what I want to do, it usually ends up being a disaster. But if I just step back, let go, and pick up on God's cues, things all work out for the better. It may not always look the way I imagined it, and I may take a different path to get there, but in the end, it always works out better than I could have imagined.
"As for God, his way is perfect; the word of the LORD is flawless. He is a shield for all who take refuge in him. For who is God besides the LORD? And who is the Rock except our God? It is God who arms me with strength and makes my way perfect."
2 Samuel 22:31-34
"For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways," declares the LORD. "As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts."