Monthly Archives: February 2016

What Should I Do Now? Making Plans

2:25:16 What should I do Nowby Lydia Floren

Last week in “What Should I Do Next?”, I wrote about making plans. I’m not going to lie. Planning takes time and perseverance. It is hard to make myself take a chunk of time to pray through and decide what is the best way to spend my time and resources.

But tough choices aren’t just limited to making plans.

When we face dilemmas, we ask ourselves, “What should I do now?
Many times we are faced with dilemmas in life – difficult relationships, career decisions, parenting concerns. Everything seems muddled. We can feel totally at a loss about how to respond, or which way to go. And it stresses us out. We need wisdom beyond our own understanding.

Proverbs 2 has some great insight:
“If you accept my words and store up my commands within you, turning your ear to wisdom and applying your heart to understanding, and if you call out for insight and cry aloud for understanding, and if you look for it as for silver and search for it as for hidden treasure, then you will understand the fear of the Lord and find the knowledge of God.” Prov. 2:1-5

Here’s another way to say these verses:

Steps Toward Wisdom (paraphrase of Prov. 2:1-5)

  • Accept and store up God’s word:  make a practice of exposing yourself to the truth of God’s word and God’s presence every day. Respect it. Let it sink into your heart and spirit.
  • Listen: Pay attention to how God might be speaking to you in your situation. Do your best to try to understand what He is saying in your heart through His word and His presence.
  •  ASK HIM for His perspective on your situation. Plead with Him to increase your understanding beyond what you can do on your own.
  • Search for God’s wisdom. Actively look for His insight. Let that be the most important thing to you, more important than the facts that you have gathered, your own conclusions, or the opinions others.

When you do these things, you will find the knowledge you seek about what your next steps should be. And you will experience just how amazing God is.

Remembering our highest priority keeps everything in perspective.
When we make our relationship with God our highest priority, He helps us put everything in perspective, and gives us wisdom beyond our own understanding.

Is your relationship with God your highest priority in life? How do your choices of how you spend your time and resources reflect that priority? What plans/steps can you make to better accept, listen, ask and search for God’s wisdom?

“And you will seek me and find me, when you search for me with all your heart. And I will be found by you, declares the Lord.”  Jer. 29:12

What Should I Do Next?

2:19:16 What should I do Nextby Lydia Floren

Did you know that God is a planner? He said, “I know the plans that I have for you, plans for welfare and not calamity to give you a future and a hope.” In my opinion, part of following God is learning to ask for His wisdom, and make plans.

Plans remind me of what is most important.
Every January, I take some time to pray about the coming year, review priorities, goals and commitments. and make some plans. This time of prayerful planning helps me remind myself of what is most important, and then set goals that align accordingly.

Plans keep me from getting sidetracked.
Making plans also helps me because I am easily distracted. I have lots of interests, and it is easy for me to collect projects like some people collect stray cats. I have learned that when I pray and plan at the first of the year, and then periodically revisit those plans, I am more likely to not get sidetracked. Later in the year when I am juggling a half dozen incomplete projects, and I am driving myself crazy (ok, others, too), I can refer back to this plan and have some guidance about which time commitments to continue and which to set aside.

Plans help in answering what should I do next?
Do things go according to plan? Not always – sometimes not at all. But having the reference point of a prayfully made plan really helps when I get mired down in everyday life, and keeps me focused on what is really important. It helps me answer the questions,  “What should I do next?” and “What should I do now?”

What benefits do you get from making plans? Have you prayed about any plans for this year?


2:11:16 Newlywedsby Lydia Floren

Have you ever spent time around a pair of newlyweds? Over the Christmas break, all we Florens had the privilege of hanging out with the freshly-minted Mr. and Mrs. Andrew and Monique Graaff. Andrew (or Aundrew as we like to call him) and Monique were married December 17, at their home in Johannesburg, South Africa. After spending a week honeymooning in Durban, they buzzed back home for Christmas day, and then, the next day, got on a plane to come visit with us. They had been husband and wife for a total of 8 days!

All the kids were home for the holidays, and, by the time they pulled up to our house, we were in full Floren mode. (I know, this makes some of you cringe.) Movies, football, games, teasing. Intense discussions. Friends stopping by. Lots of laughter. And of course, food – massive amounts of food.

I am sure that Monique was overwhelmed by all of our Floren-ness. Andrew, on the other hand, acted like he never left, at least when he was interacting with us.

But Andrew was definitely different. Settled. Smiling. Tender. Happy. I’ve never seen him so happy!

It was easy to see why. Monique is special. She is gentle and strong, and sensitive and friendly, smart and talented. And she is beautiful (stunning, in fact). But her beauty is so much more than her physical features. Monique is one of those rare individuals who has learned to receive God’s unconditional love, and she shines with that love (as well as the love of her adoring husband☺).

Newlyweds are in their own little world. Not rude, by any means. Just set apart. Andrew and Monique called each other “My Darling.” They exchanged tender glances. Andrew brought Monique coffee in bed. Monique served Andrew lunch. They snuggled and cuddled, and laughed and whispered. And they smiled. A lot.

Sometimes their eyes just followed each other, as they moved around the room.

You know, God’s gaze follows each of us, as we move about our lives. And He looks at us with a tenderness that can take our breath away. He wants us to live in the circle of His arms, knowing we are completely loved and cared for. Completely forgiven. Completely flawless in His eyes. We are delightful. Beautiful. Magnificent.

The more we bask in the love God offers us, the more beautiful we become. We are settled. We smile a lot. We shine, and scatter our joy like rose petals at a wedding, blessing everyone who crosses our path.

Want more?  Read the recent post “Someone”

Pray Plan Pray

2:5:16 Pray Plan Prayby Lydia Floren

On my recent trip to India, one of the leaders of IBL had these three words at the top of his whiteboard:  “Pray Plan Pray.”

I love this!  Pray first, then plan, and then pray through your plans.

You know, the New Year is just getting underway. This is an excellent time to look back and forward, and “pray plan pray.”

Here is one way you can do this:

Praying GRACE for the New Year

Give thanks for…

  • Right now.
  • Your life:  The past year.  The coming one.
  • God’s presence and His goodness.
  • All God has been doing, and all He continues to do.


  • The past.  Disappointments.  Pain.  Resentment.  Regret.  Sin.  Shame.  Guilt.
  • Expectations you have of others.  And that others might have of you.
  • The future.  Fear.  Worry.  Uncertainty.


  • Where you are right now.
  • Yourself as you are:  imperfect and in process.
  • God’s love and forgiveness.
  • God’s wisdom/direction for the coming year.
  • Responsibilities God has already given you.
  • Ownership of your life and your decisions.


  • Praying about your priorities and goals.
  • Listening for God’s direction.
  • Outlining plans for the year.
  • Deciding which one or two habits to cultivate in the coming year.


  • Each day, recognizing it for the gift that it is.
  • The process of prayerful planning.
  • God’s constant presence with you, within you – loving you, leading you, touching others through you.

Praying GRACE is a wonderful way to start the year. But however you choose to dive in to 2016, don’t forget to Pray Plan Pray.

What plans have you made for the coming year?