New Series: Living an Intentional Life Minus the Stress: Need a Plan



Disclaimer: Yes, I recently wrote about the value of just being with Jesus (January 15 blog). At times we need time to rest. Then we need to live the life God has for us while staying at the feet of Christ. It’s a challenging lifestyle and it’s the topic of my new blog series. 


Recently a friend and I discussed our college classes. She is pursuing a certificate in theology (as part of her master’s program). I, of course, am a student at Moody Bible Institute. She asked me, “So, Brenda, how many hours a week do you give to your school work.” I stammered, “Well, uh, I kept track last semester, but I can’t remember. I have a new schedule, but, uh. . .I don’t really know.”

I felt foolish. I say I know and live my priorities, but when asked the specifics, I was speechless. If I’m going to achieve the goals God has set before me, I need a plan and I need to work it.

About a year and a half ago, I was planning Kelsey’s wedding. I am not an event planner nor is Kelsey so we floundered big time. We had the big pieces in places, but with only weeks to go we were overwhelmed with the nitty-gritty details. I finally had the sense to call my sister, Lisa. She loves putting events together. She eats details for breakfast.

When we first talked she asked, “How do you see the day going?” I gave her a general idea. She asked specific questions about specific parts of the day. I answered, “I don’t know. It will just flow.” I will never forget her proclamation of truth, “It won’t happen unless we plan for it happen.” Wow! I had never thought like that before.

Life is in the details. God is into details as well. Just look at how the human brain works (I’m studying this in psychology). So many details involved in its form and function. When God created man He didn’t say, “Close enough. I’ll figure him out as I go.” He paid attention to detail so we would be the amazing creations we are today.

While I have prayerfully decided my priorities, I need a plan to achieve them. I found one helpful tool to help me reclaim the hours in my day. I customized Michael Hyatt’s ideal week schedule to work for my life  (

I have days committed to writing. I have days committed to school and family. I have time scheduled for errands and coffee with friends.

As Lisa said, “It won’t happen unless I plan for it.” We can have the best plans, even God’s priorities for our lives with a heart committed to wholly living for God, but if we don’t have a plan how we will do it, it won’t happen.

If you’re not as productive as you are capable of, Michael Hyatt’s schedule might be a good place to start.

If you’re finances are in a mess, do what Gene and I did yesterday. We took financial inventory of  our current financial situation—what’s actually coming in and where it’s going. Then we discussed what we could and couldn’t afford and how we would meet our financial goals. Remodeling our bathroom can’t happen tomorrow, but it can happen this year. That made me happy.

I am working on my goals of school, writing, and getting off the few pounds that have found their way back to my belly. However, I’m not getting back on the crazy hamster-wheel. Anything good that comes from my life only comes by God working through me. It’s not all up to me even though I have a part.

I’m staying at the feet of Christ.

What are one or two areas you need to “plan so it will happen”?

Next week: What to do with Setbacks and Surprises

Brenda Garrison is an author and speaker who empowers women with the confidence to live their calling. Brenda is currently pursuing a Bachelor of Science Degree in Ministry Leadership with a Concentration in Women’s Ministry at Moody Bible Institute. She and her husband, Gene, are the parents of three young adult daughters and live near Metamora, IL.

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