Every year Julie and I write down our plans for the next year. Plans change, priorities change, things come up but it gives us something to shoot for. For example, we may say we want to put $X toward savings every paycheck, buy a milking machine, buy a shotgun and expand into a new market on the farm. Every year the shotgun gets pushed off. Like I’m supposed to be happy with the guns I’ve got or something. We remain open to changes in our plans.
Many are the plans in a man’s heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails.
Our 2013 list is not yet final but includes a shotgun (again), exercise our option on the remaining 40, fix the roof on the back addition, seed clover in the pasture, buy as many as 8 beef cows (shorthorns would be awesome!), set up a Facebook page for Chism Heritage Farm and a few other personal and financial goals. I would also like to try raising quail this year, though they are not cheap and require a high-protein feed. During our summer lull I would like to pick up 50-100 of them from our friends at Cackle Hatchery and see what it’s all about. This will also be the year of planting trees. I plan to plant many more trees than I cut down and I have to cut down a lot of thorny things out there. But, though all of these things are good they may not be the best thing for me. All of these are subject to the will of God. I have no idea what tomorrow will bring. He does.
In his heart a man plans his course, but the Lord determines his steps.
Don’t resolve to lose weight this year or give up chocolate or promise yourself to write a post every stinking day to your family farm blog. Avoid guilt-driven goals. Consider things you can measure and actually complete. Things you know you need to do but won’t if it is not written down somewhere staring you in the face every day. Make plans that are their own reward. Don’t congratulate yourself for losing 5 pounds by eating a cupcake. Prevent yourself from mowing the pasture and lower your food bill by getting some cows. Then lose weight by managing the cows. Then eat the cupcake!
‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future’.
We list out our plans. We pray that our plans are inspired by God and not by greed. We work toward our plans. Sometimes God redirects our work. Sometimes things just come up. Even if you don’t believe in God, it’s far better to take a moment to think about where you are trying to go rather than allow yourself to drift aimlessly. So here’s a quote from Alice in Wonderland for those who don’t share my beliefs.
The Cat only grinned when it saw Alice. It looked good- natured, she thought: still it had VERY long claws and a great many teeth, so she felt that it ought to be treated with respect.
`Cheshire Puss,’ she began, rather timidly, as she did not at all know whether it would like the name: however, it only grinned a little wider. `Come, it’s pleased so far,’ thought Alice, and she went on. `Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here?’
`That depends a good deal on where you want to get to,’ said the Cat.
`I don’t much care where–‘ said Alice.
`Then it doesn’t matter which way you go,’ said the Cat.
`–so long as I get SOMEWHERE,’ Alice added as an explanation.
`Oh, you’re sure to do that,’ said the Cat, `if you only walk long enough.’
We maintain our plan. We have direction. We reference, update and maintain our plan. We take steps each day to achieve our goals. Even a little at a time.
What’s on your list for 2013?