Have you ever planned a family vacation?

I was so excited for our trip this past January. It would be the first time we had ever stayed at a resort. It was the first time we would all be flying. Those are some huge firsts for our family of 6.

I had really talked this trip up. I was ready. My family was going to have such a fun time courtesy of this Type A mom. They would be thanking me while we there for all the planning I had done in preparation.

And then… nothing went as planned. I forgot my son’s antibiotic for his ear infection. Our airline had a problem with my plane ticket. The baby threw up when we landed in Orlando (and then proceeded over the next few days to have some of the biggest diaper blowouts I have ever been privy to out of all four kids.) Our credit card information was stolen, I could go on. My plans were out the window.

I was angry. A few times I’m pretty sure I let my family know it. All my planning, all my work.

Isn’t that how we sometimes feel about Sunday mornings when they don’t go as planned? Have you ever caught yourself thinking…

“Why does this family keep dropping off the bag for their 2-year old with NOTHING labeled? I’ve asked them so many times to label this sippy cup!”

“Why are we already out of the supplies for the lesson? I’ve told them we need more every week.”

“The same family wants me to release their preschooler to them with NO security tag every week. Why can’t they keep up with it?”

All week we study our curriculum for Sunday mornings. And sometimes we hold onto it so tight. So tight that we expect everyone else to feel the tension that we feel, the desire to have the PLAN go off without a hitch.

Something I learned from our last family vacation was that not all trips look like the pictures on the brochure. And truthfully, even though our trip didn’t go as perfectly planned, it didn’t mean we had a bad trip. This trip was different. And I had a choice: to get frustrated things weren’t going my way, or go with the flow and allow things to go God’s way. I could hold on tight to the plan, or I could let it go (cue the Frozen soundtrack).

We have a responsibility as small group leaders to pray and plan throughout the week. But we’re working with preschoolers. And their parents who are probably struggling to get their toddler to the church building on time each week. God wants us to rely on Him for the plan. I don’t want to be a parent or a leader who holds on so tight to MY plan. I want to be a someone who says, “I have prepared and planned this week. Here you go, God. You can have my plan. I’m going hold on tight to You and trust that You have this Sunday. I’m going to believe if things don’t go according to plan, You have a bigger plan at work. I’m going to give grace, and I’m going to receive grace.”

Are you holding on too tight to your Sunday morning plan?


By Kelly Stockdale

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