When God Doesn’t Follow Your Plans

(Or “Blog Post 1.5”😉 )

I wrote my first post on this blog – about beginning something new – in October of 2019. It was a year and a half later before I wrote post #2!

Talk about a time when God doesn’t follow your plans!

There was so much unexpected between those two posts.

When I felt God leading me to start blogging, I dove in. I was a little unsure of how it would all go down, but I faced my fears as I described in that first post. I devoured info about website creation, writing, publicizing on Pinterest and elsewhere and started the habit of writing more regularly.

I spent hours developing a website from the ground up, picking a color scheme and visualizing my target audience.

In the midst of all that, we suddenly fell into financial hardship.

When life looks different than you expected.

Oh, how I wrestled with what God was doing.

I had seen blogging as a way to make some income, eventually. But it takes significant time. Was I supposed to continue this endeavor when we desperately needed money now?

That first-post prayer of “I trust you. This is your deal” was still the right course, but it suddenly took on a whole new depth.

I eventually set blogging aside and started looking for odd jobs to help with finances.

The change in focus was not all bad. It led to a part-time job with some friends that continues today…and that I really enjoy!

But as the months passed, and my one blog post grew cold, I realized I had stuffed down a lot of emotion and grief about what happened.

Processing unmet expectations.

“Lord, I believe you called me to start that journey and I trusted you.

How could you bring it to this?”

I felt angry at times that I had invested so much and now it sat, seemingly meaningless. I had shared the journey with some close friends, and I now felt embarrassed and silly. I didn’t understand.

It was grief in a surprising place.

I didn’t know how to come to peace with it.


But like Job, who let go of several losses exceedingly greater than mine, I realized I needed to let go of pride and how I wanted things to go and return to what I know.

“I trust you; this is your deal.”

I still believe God was leading me in the beginning. But He didn’t give me a timeline.

He didn’t show me how it would go.

He didn’t even say I needed a color scheme!

With space and time, I realized that I needed to give up my hold on how this should look.

I also realized that perhaps I needed to return more simply. I ditched the self-created (and time-consuming!) web builder program from before and switched to a free easier-to-manage theme.

I let go of my expectations. I stopped pouting and began again.

When at first you don’t succeed, regroup and start again.

I didn’t even mention that 5 months after my first post, COVID-19 hit us like a smack in the face.

This created many situations for us ALL where we were left saying, “This is not how I expected this to go down.”

Image Author Unknown

Do you have an area where you need to step back, reflect, and separate out what God is saying to you and what He isn’t?

His ways are good.

When God doesn’t follow your plans, He can be trusted.

If you’re struck, asking “What happened?”, take your heart to the Father and regroup. He will help you find peace and start again.

If one of your unmet expectations involves job loss, read my post about that here. Also, follow me on Facebook and Pinterest to see the latest posts!

Then the Lord answered Job from the whirlwind:
“Who is this that questions my wisdom
with such ignorant words?
Brace yourself like a man,
because I have some questions for you,
and you must answer them.
“Where were you when I laid the foundations of the earth?
Tell me, if you know so much.
Who determined its dimensions
and stretched out the surveying line?
What supports its foundations,
and who laid its cornerstone
as the morning stars sang together
and all the angels shouted for joy?

Job 38:1-7

Who makes the rain fall on barren land,
in a desert where no one lives?
Who sends rain to satisfy the parched ground
and make the tender grass spring up?

Job 38:26-27

When you’re facing job loss, know that God is faithful even through the pain.

As I’m writing this, my husband is about to lose his job.

Our family, which includes two young boys, runs off his income. I bring in a little “bonus money” working part-time.

Life often takes turns we do not want or expect.

The office where he works is unexpectedly having to close, which means the days of employment are quickly counting down. For all we know, tomorrow could be the last day.

Anthony and I never would have guessed this would be our story, but this will be our third time facing unemployment in our married lives.

The last time, only a little over a year ago, was one of the hardest seasons of my life, likely Anthony’s as well. Even though we experienced generosity again and again through those around us, still the weeks gruelled on and there were so many times when I felt we were alone or unseen in our struggle.

I remember the day I walked into our kids’ school to pick up a box of holiday food gifted by others. There I stood, in front of staff who knew me, as I waited for someone to retrieve the box. I was embarrassed and so humbled by our situation that I cried as I later drove out of the parking lot.

I remember all the times I had to tell my kids no. For months, it seemed it was always no. Yearbooks, art gifts, book fairs, school shirts, restaurant trips, special trips…they were all “no”.

I remember the struggle with guilt and exhaustion. When money is tight, you can’t afford most conveniences. We both worked odd jobs. Guilt over knowing my husband carried the weight of finding full-time employment and wondering if I was doing enough to support him.

God’s Grace is There

Yet, with the struggle came a greater experience of God’s faithfulness and grace. I watched in awe as my husband did whatever it took to provide for our family. He delivered food, searched for contract work in IT and even faced cold, rain and charging dogs working long hours delivering for Amazon. He was and is amazing and evidence of God’s grace in providing for our family. God also surprised us in so many ways, little and big. Whether it be free fruit included in a grocery order or an anonymous gift of money from someone in our church family.

We had shared the journey with our kids and looked for ways God provided. We had to tell them that we would not be able to buy Christmas gifts that year. By God’s grace, they handled it well. (It helped that Grandma & Grandpa still had gifts for them!) The week before Christmas, however, we received a larger financial gift from our church family. What a blessing it was! We were able to buy gifts for the kids after all, and the money allowed us to pay for gas for our trip to see family and to buy snacks along the way.

Through that season, we didn’t get everything we wanted, but God DID provide for every need and a few little extras along the way. We only had one late payment during this season! We learned to be more grateful for things we had previously taken for granted.

During that time, Anthony and I were humbled enough to be able to accept a significant decrease in salary when God did provide steady employment again.

This one may sound like a negative, but we came to trust that God needed to bring us there in order to accept His good plan, even when it would look different than our plans. We’ve learned along the way that we don’t have to understand all the “whys”…we can still trust that God is good and His ways are better than what we could think up on our own.

So, as we approach yet another season that we would not choose, we have more experience from which to glean. I have more confidence that we will be ok. All we have to do is trust. Keep trusting. Joyce Meyer once said trusting in God is a privilege we have. We, as God’s kids, have the privilege to not worry; we have the choice. It doesn’t mean it’s easy…my faith will still have its wobbly moments (it already has)…but God is steady.

He will not leave us.

He is faithful.

Do you have a story, big or small, of God’s faithfulness in your trials? I’d love to hear it in the comments below.

“For I know the thoughts and plans that I have for you, says the Lord, thoughts and plans for welfare and peace and not for evil, to give you hope in your final outcome. Then you will call upon Me, and you will come and pray to Me, and I will hear and heed you. Then you will seek Me, inquire for, and require Me [as a vital necessity] and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart.”

Jeremiah 29:11-13 (Amplified Bible, Classic Edition)

“Let your character or moral disposition be free from love of money [including greed, avarice, lust, and craving for earthly possessions] and be satisfied with your present [circumstances and with what you have]; for He [God] Himself has said, I will not in any way fail you nor give you up nor leave you without support. I [will] not, I [will] not, I [will] not in any degree leave you helpless nor forsake nor let [you] down (relax My hold on you)! [Assuredly not!] So we take comfort and are encouraged and confidently and boldly say, The Lord is my Helper; I will not be seized with alarm [I will not fear or dread or be terrified]. What can man do to me?”

Hebrews 13:5-6 (Amplified Bible, Classic Edition)

Overcome Fear & Start Something New!

(My 1st Post!)

I’ve had some bad beginnings.

Like my lip sync debut my freshman year in college. We practiced for days to do a song and dance routine to “Blister in the Sun” by Violent Femmes. (NOT an endorsement – haha!) It was to be in front of the WHOLE school. At the beginning of our performance…somewhere between swinging left and stepping right…I froze and forgot all the dance moves!

It was humiliating.

Especially later when my dance partner gave me the side-eye and said, “You totally blanked.” Ugh.

But there have been some great beginnings too.

Like motherhood.

I remember, some 9 years ago, I was shopping at Kohl’s with my hubby. One of us seriously needed some new undies – we won’t say who. Somehow, in the midst of undie-shopping, I ended up on the phone with one of my dear friends, wondering aloud if I was ready to have kids. (How I ended up having such an important life discussion in Kohl’s, I don’t know!)

I wanted to start a family, but I was scared. I didn’t feel ready.

And you know what? I wasn’t.

Who can be?

But we started our family anyway. And it has brought about a whole new kind of wonderful in our lives. THAT was an amazing beginning.

100% of Successes Involve Actually BEGINNING the New Thing 😉

What about you?

Do you have something new you are facing?

Are there fears that hold you back?

You’re not alone. I can relate. The truth is new ventures may flop. But they may also turn into wonderful successes! You will never know unless you begin.

Sometimes beginnings feel like trying to climb up a mountain through mud. You can’t see the top. Your feet keep slipping backward, and you often wonder if your efforts are worth it.

Right now, I am in the midst of another new beginning. Writing this first blog post.

Without. A. Blog.

Yep, you read that right. As I am writing this, I have a domain that is a blank slate.

Did you notice the word “Grace” at the top of this webpage? Oh boy do I need it.

I knew that blogging would be hard work. But I sensed that God was leading me to do it and asking me to trust Him with the details.

A 7-Word Prayer That Will Help You Take the First Steps

So here I am, three weeks in to preparing to launch this blog.

Oh my goodness.

There is a LOT to learn. And it takes some money to start, of course. I’m waiting on that as I type this. I’m getting set up on social media and, today, after trying and failing 3 times to get a certain social media business account set up, my head started spinning.

Of course, that meant I needed to eat some cereal and pray. (Alright, alright, the cereal wasn’t necessary.)

Pin this Image

I talked to God about how I need His Grace. I need Him to give me the knowledge and understanding required to make this succeed. I need Him to provide the money. Then I told Him, “I trust you. This is your deal.”

And I took the next step. I began writing this post.

“I trust you. This is your deal.”

Those two sentences have helped me keep pushing forward with this new beginning.

I made the decision to trust that He will work it all out. I decided to keep moving forward. And even though I have already begun researching and prepping for this blog, beginning writing is the scariest part. But here I am…by God’s grace…writing to you.

What thing is on your mind to begin? I’d love to hear. Share it in the comments below!

Expect Insecurities, But Keep Going

The last 3 weeks I have had so many insecurities tempt me in my personal “new beginning”.

  • Can I really do this?
  • What if I spend all this money and time and fail?
  • What if I end up being a hypocrite?
  • What if I don’t have enough to write about?
  • What if my MOM reads this? (Hi mom! 👋 )

In the past I would have let some of those thoughts haunt me and worry me for days…or even make me quit.

But you know what? By God’s grace, I have not allowed any of those “bullet trains” to continue down the track. I have stopped each thought process and declared to God that I trust Him.

“I trust you. This is your deal.”

It has allowed me to keep going.

To be hopeful.

To move through fear and begin.

The one thing at which I’m truly an expert is needing Jesus. But that is enough. And it is enough for you too.

Let’s quit letting the enemy of our lives steal our courage, our hope, our joy, our fun…or keep us from forging ahead with new beginnings. Let’s do this….motherhood, marriage, homemaking, healthy living, whatever good thing it is…by the Grace of God.

I look forward to walking this road with you!

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Thank you for being here.

And…welcome to Grace & Coffee Cups!


“But God said to me, My grace (My favor and loving-kindness and mercy) is enough for you [sufficient against any danger and enables you to bear the trouble manfully]; for My strength and power are made perfect (fulfilled and completed) and show themselves most effective in [your] weakness. Therefore, I will all the more gladly glory in my weaknesses and infirmities, that the strength and power of Christ (the Messiah) may rest (yes, may pitch a tent over and dwell) upon me!”

2 Corinthians 12:9