A tale of two planners

I’m sending the posh planner back.

Yup, the gorgeous striped beast that has been sat in a box waiting patiently to be wrapped for my birthday.

The one that I’ve wanted since *forever* and have not stopped going on about.

The thing is, I’d like to have the sort of life that the posh planner represents: I’d like things to be immaculate and beautifully presented all the time, but they’re just not.

I’d like to pop pretty pictures in it and photograph it for Instagram, but my organisation doesn’t work like that.

My little planner is always full of crossings-out, half-baked ideas, scribbled phone numbers and sketches.

It’s practical, scruffy and unassuming: in fact, it’s a lot like me.

I’ve been feeling a bit down on myself recently for not being the sort of person I wish I were.

I’ve turned down exciting offers and felt overwhelmed by the simplest of things and it’s all left me feeling a bit disappointed in myself.

But deep down, I know that I am who I am.

I’m the free printables girl. I’m the ‘make it out of cheese wrappers’ lass. I’m the layout-recycling bird and that’s all okay.

I think it’s tempting to question our chosen path when we see others soaring through their lives and achieving great things.

I question my choice of living small, spending my days filled with keeping house and quiet pursuits.

I wonder where this lack of ambition could possibly take me and forget that there’s beauty in quietness and that freedom is the most valuable gift.

I beat myself up that I’m not able to offer more at church; that I’m out of my depth so quickly with even the shortest social interaction.

I wonder why everyone else seems to find it all so easy.

But I am what I am and you are what you are.

We are what we are and the trick is to look at who we’ve been made to be and see how even those simple ‘loaves and fishes’ offerings can be used by God.

I’m starting to ask how I can stay that scruffy little planner, but still be beautiful and useful.

I’m wondering whether what I bring to the party – a smile of welcome, a hug, a kind word – isn’t more than enough and everything that’s being asked of me right now.

19 thoughts on “A tale of two planners

  1. Gosh, I’m in tears now, you’ve touched a nerve. But I can do the next small thing and try to leave the big stuff to God. You are so speaking wisdom into my life right now.

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  2. Lor

    Jeepers!! I have pretty boxed things that have never been opened because I simply can’t figure out how to use them as they “should” be used. It had never occurred to me that maybe I am not figuring it out because I am not meant to, no matter how badly I want to. Thanks for sharing your challenges and thoughts!

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  3. Hanlie

    Thank you so much for this Suze. I only found you two days ago but it feels like I know you. Your realness and your beautiful creations REALLY speak to me. Wowwww! You don’t know how much it means to me to read these words as I’ve wondered many times why am I not MORE. Yes I know all of us are not super woman but it’s hard not to compare. I’m a plane Jane house hen who can’t be bothered to be social and to have my little family under one roof is all I need, plus a daily dose of creativeness. And it was SO nice to be reminded again that that’s okay…..

    I send you love as I’m off to watch some more of your videos ❤️

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  4. Oh, this comment has made me so happy – not that I’ve made you teary friend, but that where I’m at is perhaps where you are too: let’s do that next right thing together xxx


  5. Oh another comment that cheers my heart! Thank you, lovely Hanlie for taking the time to write this and for your honesty too. I appreciate you and love to hear that you’re another home bird who is – deep down – very happy to be so 🙂 xxx


  6. Lesley Crane

    Thanks Suse! I’m just like you, a little home body always have been. Social situations were always difficult but are now painful. I have major health issues that keep me from most socializing and I’m always asking God “ why, what can I possibly add to life whilst being like this! “ Scrapbooking is my ray of sunshine and sometimes even that is hard! I love reading your honest posts and seeing that yes others are struggling. Life is not perfect but I trust God is holding my hand through it all and making my faith stronger!

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  7. Wow! I have been struggling with these same issues for awhile now. Is the me that I really am “enough”? Intellectually I know we all have fears of fitting in, yet emotionally it is reassuring to hear someone else ask the question.

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  8. Ah, thank you so much for commenting, therese! Yes, I think we all have times when we don’t feel quite ‘enough’ for whatever reason.

    I tend to loop around – go through times of feeling, “What I am is exactly enough!” then dip a bit and wonder why everyone is making it look so easy. 😉 xxx


  9. Somehow the yearnings of our mothers and grandmothers to have more choices have morphed into this pressure to be more, do more, achieve more… this is not the result I believe they were struggling to achieve. Due to illness, I too am learning limits to social interaction, service to others beyond my family. I’m trying to remember that this is a season and look for Jesus in all of it.

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  10. I bet a lot of people would look at you and think you were “soaring through life”. I admire your style, your “living simple” life style, your choice to live quietly and your joy at doing the things you choose to do. I don’t see lack of ambition. You’re ambitious in your pursuit of God and pleasing him. Isn’t that a FANTASTIC goal!? You’re ambitious in your desire for your daughter to be happy and healthy.
    On the day you wrote this blog post, you weren’t seeing the whole picture, maybe? God made you, he made you exactly how you are and that’s kinda awesome, if you ask me.

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  11. I love this comment! Thank you ever so much.

    As for soaring through life…ooh, don’t know about that! I hope my openness in this blog shows a little more of the reality and struggles than my pretty IG feed ever can.

    I do see that the pursuit of God and His plans for my life is the ultimate and most meaningful goal… perhaps sometimes (“in these social media days!”) it’s all too easy to box up ‘success’ as looking a little different and I sometimes beat myself up a little for not always living up to the potential I feel I should have.

    It may be an age thing… things that didn’t phase me as a youngster send me into a complete tailspin now.

    When I was a teen, I spent two weeks in France with a family I’d never met and was forced to speak French the entire week: apparently not a problem for the younger me!

    I lived in central London for years when I worked in publishing, but these days feel overwhelmed by even one day in a city.

    So it’s a little frustrating to me now when I’m invited to travel to exciting retreats and events and I turn them down, because I’m just not that flexible girl anymore.

    It’s perhaps about accepting who I am, while still letting myself be (ever-so-gently!) stretched.

    Thanks again, lovely – I’ll copy your comment out for those blue days 😉 xxx

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  12. Maybe it is, partially, an age thing. But I see that as a positive area of growth. There are so many things I would have done in my 20s that I wouldn’t want to do today. We like different things in different seasons of life and that’s not a bad thing.
    Soaring through life doesn’t mean everything’s perfect. That’s impossible.

    I love my life right now. I love everything about it. It’s the life I dreamed about as a young girl. Even though my husband may lose his job soon, my Mom has cancer, my Dad has dementia, my teens are going through teen stuff, I need to lose weight. All that stuff is here everyday, BUT… My Mom laughed and had great fun at an Easter dinner yesterday. Daddy ate his favorite food and couldn’t have been happier. My husband has 3 job interviews this week. I hugged my boys and told them how much I love them and they hugged me back. I might be stuck being a little too curvy and that’s ok too.

    We’re all “soaring” in our own way.

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  13. Anonymous

    Thank-you for sharing that, it hit home and also made me feel “right” about my own choice for the simple quieter life. I love my little life, as a stay at home mom, who works very part time teaching fitness classes and has time to scrapbook each day, and snuggle with my dogs, and take care of my family. We don’t have a “grand life” but it is an amazing and wonderfully blessed life ❤

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