At times, I just sit back and chuckle. By the time I was 18 I thought I had my life figured out for the next decade or so. My plans went something like this. Graduate from high school, go to college, and move to a big city and get a job. I wasn’t interested in marriage or children; I wanted to make a lot of money and climb the career ladder.

So what happened? During my college years, I met a fellow who happened to live in a small town. It was even smaller than my town of Sugar Hill, Georgia, which was a small town in the 1970s. These days it’s hard to imagine two lane roads and pastures for miles in that part of the state.

Shortly after graduating college, Chris and I got married. So I had a new plan. Sugar Hill was beginning to grow, so we could build a life there. I was completely happy with the notion of living out our dreams there.

While we lived in Gwinnett, we’d visit family who lived in Maysville. With each visit, I began to experience a solitude the closer I got to the Banks/Jackson County line. I’d jump out of the car, take a deep breath and the stress of life seemed a million miles away. Maysville offered me a respite; it was such a calmling feeling to look over the rolling hillside and watch the sun go down on the horizon. Once we decided to have children, I knew without a doubt they deserved to be raised in this beautiful community, and that’s exactly what happened.

So what! I didn’t become a big city career chaser. So what? I didn’t live out what I thought were my dreams in the thriving metropolitan area of Gwinnett County.

Now let’s look ahead 30 plus years. We’ve raised our children and Chris and I are sitting right smack in the middle of our empty nest. I’ve always loved to travel. Now’s the time; we can fly off into the wild blue yonder without so many responsibilities. Yet again, I thought I had a good handle on our next chapter. We are both still working, but we can taste retirement. So let’s travel during the holidays, and soon we can do more than that. Let’s stay a while in one of those places where we’ve longed to meet the locals.

Let’s spend a couple of years in Alaska. Why not even venture into UnAlaska? They need teachers, and they offer housing to those who are willing to come. We’ve talked of venturing into Yellowstone during the coldest part of the year.

Yet again, I know the Lord has to smile at me for my best made plans. So what happened? This little fella, Nate, came into Grammy and Paw Paw’s life and the grasser is so much greener in the middle of a small town in south Georgia. I’d say this chapter is the best chapter so far.

Our average day is not one that we’ll read about in travel magazines. We may start the day snuggling under a blanket and watching Fireman Sam, or we could make French toast for breakfast. We may climb into his fort and have crackers and cereal bars for a snack, or take pine needles and spin them around our fingers. We may sing our made up songs about the sun and clouds during the day, and we will switch to bellowing about the moon and stars at night. When we call it a day, I think we both wait with anticipation to see what tomorrow brings.

In 2019, God really took it up a notch when Nate’s sister, Rylee Ann, was born. At two months, we are still in awe of God’s masterpiece. She smiles, she coos, and kicks those feet back and forth.

I wonder what God has in store as this little beauty grows and learns with each passing day. I don’t think I’ll make any plans; I’ve learned a very important lesson. God’s plans are greater than I could ever imagine, and for that I am truly grateful.

Sherry Lewis is pastor of New Beginnings Worship Center.

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