Change My Plans

“OH NO! You pottied in your bed!, Sarah yelled loudly from her room.

It was almost midnight and we were just finishing watching a movie as a family.

I looked at Kendall and said, “Would you mind?”

With that, Kendall ran upstairs to check on Sarah.


I waited a few seconds and called up, “Did she potty?”

No response, so I got up from the couch to check and there was Kendall at the top of the stairs throwing a comforter, sheets, and mattress protector rolled into a ball over the railing. I caught them and by that time David had jumped up and took them from my hands and headed downstairs to put them in the wash.

Kendall showered Sarah and I made a fresh bed only to discover her pillows were soaked with urine, so I race downstairs to the basement searching for old pillows for her to use.

This is not how I planned to spend my time before bed.

Sarah just has a way of having me change my plans.

This morning David was on a call but texted me that he could hear that the washer was unbalanced. As soon as I walked into the laundry area, I was hit with a terrible smell.

Wow, she really had strong urine last night, I thought as I fixed the wash load. (We had to do a couple of loads due to her comforter, sheets, pillows, etc.)

David later put the wash in the dryer.

Tonight, Kendall and I went for a walk and when I came back inside David called me downstairs. His tone didn’t sound good. As I headed downstairs, David called me into the laundry area and pointed to the dryer. The dryer door was open, and it was covered…. COVERED in poop.  Inside the drum was worse.

“Sarah must have pooped in her bed, too.”

After pulling out the sheets from the dryer and finding balls of poop, yes, I concur that is exactly what happened! So gross!!

Needless to say, bleach and disinfectant were heavily used as I scrubbed and wiped. I disinfected seams and ridges and every little hole of the dryer vents. I can honestly say I have never stuck my head into my dryer drum before tonight.

This is not how I planned to spend my evening.

Sarah just has a way of having me change my plans.


At Christmas time as we drove to Florida, David and I discussed the upcoming year with Sarah. Jack would be leaving for college out of state in August, Kendall will be back at college, Jim recently got an electrician’s job and was working full time…what are we going to do with Sarah? Who would be home to get her off her bus? What do we do on the days she has no school or half days? David is working or traveling and is not always available. Also, as you know from my last blog, Sarah’s behaviors have been only getting worse. This past school year has been so challenging. We are not sure if it is the new adult program, new responsibilities, new teacher, etc., but she has been really struggling. This past school year is in the ‘Top 3’ of the worst years behaviorally (Not a list you want to experience!). She is demanding more attention for her care. (We are looking at group homes but that is still another 8-10 years out.) I spoke to my bosses about my situation with Sarah a few times and asked them to join me in prayer. Then the COVID-19 quarantine happened, and I am handling her on-line education (The teacher emails work each day for her to complete). We continued to pray, and it came down to the fact that right now in this point of our Sarah journey, she needs more of me. Balancing work, Sarah’s care, and Sarah’s schooling was getting too much. I was struggling as I didn’t have the margin or energy to give her what she needs, so I decided to step back from work and focus on her.

Not what I had planned.

Sarah just has a way of having me change my plans.

I have heard the illustration/poem before that our lives are like a tapestry and God is the Master Weaver. From the underside of the fabric things just do not make sense. Splashes of color and changing of threads make for a muddled abstract design, but once you see the other side, you see the beautiful pattern that was created. There is purpose and a point. There is beauty, dimension, and depth created from disappointments, sorrows, and changes of plans when mixed with joy, laughter, and happiness.

Yes, Sarah just has a way of having me change my plans, but I am grateful and trust the One who holds the threads of my life.


Isaiah 55:8, “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the Lord.


Thank you for your continued prayers! What a journey!!

14 thoughts on “Change My Plans

  1. Jane T

    You are possibly the most incredible woman I know. Every unwanted challenge you encounter, you approach with the grace of God, acknowledging Him, in good times and bad. You are vulnerable and transparent, not sugar coating anything, and in the process, letting God’s glory shine through for others to see. Thank you for resetting my focus on Him.
    Love and prayers, Jane

    1. Love you, Jane! I am so deeply thankful for your encouragement! I have a letter you sent me years ago in my kitchen cabinet that I pull out to read. Your words continue to encourage me to keep running. Deeply grateful for you! ❤

  2. Laura Imlach

    You are making such a wise decision. I appreciate your sensitivity to the Lord’s leading, and your unending reliance on His strength for endurance. You amaze me, sister, and I adore you.

  3. Sue Windle

    Jill and family,
    The tapestry you are creating and living must be absolutely gorgeous! The continued deeds of love you give to Sarah are amazing. You continue to show others what the love of God towards others should be like.

    1. Bless you, Sue, for saying that! There are days I don’t feel it, but I do feel the prayers. I know it is because of prayers of my friends and loved ones that uphold us, especially on hard days. Truly grateful for you!! ❤


    Dear Jill, Thank you for sharing this with us. We do pray–for all of you. The rough days just don’t seem to end. Love, Roger and Andrea

    1. I love you both very, very much! I was just telling Mom how grateful for our time together last summer. Please know that we are praying for you as well. Sending my love to you!

  5. Janet R. Eagan

    So sorry Jilly didn’t know you were struggling so. Reminds me to pray more for your family. I will be more faithful in praying for Sarah. Love, Jan. SRBC

  6. Pam Harrison

    Thank you for sharing your life with us! I am in a very similar situation, including leaving my job to be home with our son. You are an amazing mom! Praying for wisdom, strength, and peace for all of your family as you face the challenges of life.

    1. Oh Pam, I am so sorry! That must have been a tough decision. This journey is hard, but I am thankful for the fellowship as we walk this road. You are amazing mom, too!!! Truly!! I hope your transition goes well and that you have a peace from the Lord as you start this new chapter. Hugs to you, my friend! ❤

  7. What a powerful blog, Jill! Jesus shines through your life and your words. Your willingness to be vulnerable draws us close to you and to the Lord. I’m praying God will give you the strength and the grace for each day. Love you, friend!

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