Hi. My name is Adrienne, and I’m a planner.
Yes, yes I am. I am one of those people who like to have a plan or a program to adhere to.
Trying to lose weight? I want a list of exactly what I am supposed to eat and exactly which exercises I should do each day.
Trying to memorize scripture? I want a notebook with a list of verses and how often I need to memorize a new one.
Trying to write a book? I want a daily plan for the next 3 months with time blocked off on my calendar for writing each day.
Trying to raise 3 kids? I want a schedule and a program and a book that will answer every single one of my questions.
Yes, I’m a planner.
But here’s the thing with the schedule and program. When it comes to raising kids, the perfect plan doesn’t exist. Now, you can argue with me and say that you used a great sleep schedule for your baby, and I will probably agree with you. You can tell me that you have an awesome program that you use with your toddler which helps with feeding and napping and play time, and I will again probably agree with you.
But here’s the deal. Those schedules don’t work with every single child. Trust me, I know.
I used the Babywise program with both Brienne and Jonah and it worked wonders. They were amazing sleepers. (For those of you who don’t know what the Babywise program is, I encourage you to check it out.) I also have several friends who use sleep coaches to help get their babies on a good sleep schedule. I am a BIG FAN of these programs because they worked for my oldest two kids.
(You knew there was going to be a “but,” didn’t you?)
…these programs don’t work with every single child.
Vivienne. (Need I say more?) Sweet Vivienne refused to sleep, refused to nurse, refused to take a bottle, refused to nap. No matter what I tried, nothing worked. The child would wake up every. single. hour. at night. It was super fun and I was basically just a walking zombie.
We tried to let her cry it out but the problem was that she never cried herself to sleep. Never. No matter how long we let her cry, she just wouldn’t fall asleep. I have never seen anything like it.
One night I was at my wit’s end (well, I had probably already reached my wit’s end weeks before), and I got on Facebook in the middle of the night. One of my friends had recommended a book called Spirit Led Parenting because her second child wasn’t conforming to Babywise. At this point I was desperate for help so I downloaded the book to my kindle and started devouring it.
Y’all. It is so good. If you are having difficulty knowing what to do with your baby, this book offers some great advice. It’s not a plan or a program. Instead, this book encourages and teaches you to ask the Holy Spirit for guidance in parenting your infant. I’m not here with the agenda of pushing this book on any of you. What I am here to tell you is this:
Having a schedule or a plan is great, but being led by the Spirit is even better.
And this doesn’t just pertain to parenting small children. This can apply to your job or service projects, your family activities or your hobbies. It can apply to your elementary-aged child or your teenager.
So many times, I want to read a book or get advice from an “expert” rather than ask my Heavenly Father for wisdom. But when we choose to ask the Holy Spirit for guidance instead of relying on our own knowledge, He is faithful to show us what to do. Proverbs 2:6 says that “the Lord gives wisdom; from his mouth come knowledge and understanding.”
I’m a big believer in programs. I am. But before we implement some new plan with our kids or for ourselves, we should first ask the Lord to guide us and give us wisdom. His plans are so much better than ours.
Let the morning bring me word of your unfailing love,
for I have put my trust in you.
Show me the way I should go,
for to you I entrust my life.