But God had a plan

2 Timothy 1:9 For God saved us and called us to live a holy life. He did this, not because we deserved it, but because that was his plan from before the beginning of time—to show us his grace through Christ Jesus.

How are you at planning? This question makes me smile when I think of Karis. She made extensive plans, many of which she wasn’t able to follow through on.  But that didn’t keep her from planning her next adventure, outing, meal (though she could seldom eat, she LOVED planning crazy menus!), or project. Here’s an example from her journal:

Oct 13, 2008 I got out of the hospital yesterday [from a bowel obstruction] and was just walking down beautiful South Pacific Avenue  thinking of making cookies for each of the neighbors as a way of thanking them for their gardens and getting to know them. I’ll also go on Craigslist and E-bay to look for a better stationary bike. I want to participate in the Friday night group at Jay’s, as well as the women’s group and the Bible study on Wednesday at Alan’s. I’ll have to check out Refugee Services and RAND Corps and UPMC and the Post Gazette for jobs and work on my translation and my thesis and my novel that starts at the corner of Liberty and Gross and ends at the corner of Friendship and Gross Streets.

How many of these things was she able to accomplish? Virtually none of them. But she continued in ensuing entries to brainstorm how best to help slum children in Brazil, creation of a system of children’s libraries there, what was needed in order to revolutionize the Brazilian medical system, and her desire to comb old folks’ homes to capture people’s stories before they were lost.

Karis loved making things for people’s birthdays or Christmas, with all good intentions for completing them on time. Since so often she didn’t manage to do so, she celebrated birthday “weeks.” Sometimes she was able to complete her gift within the week. But eventually, birthday weeks turned into birthday months. Our family has birthdays in January, February, March, April, May, July, August, November, and December. That’s a lot of celebrating! Exactly the way Karis loved to live her life–celebrating each other all the time.

When I woke up this morning, thinking “Today is the tenth day of Christmas” (lords a leaping, anyone?) I realized I could pull a Karis: I could still say Merry Christmas to you, despite my plan to have said it much sooner. And Happy New Year! I hope you (and I) find time to celebrate God’s grace through Jesus every day of 2019! And I’m so glad that when God makes plans, he fulfills them! Even for Karis’s life . . .

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