I'm learning in this unusual season of care-giving a life lesson I hope I'll never forget.

As a type-A-box-checker, I love a list, a plan, a logical progression of things. I love to know what's coming, and will come up with a plan for any and everything. (Can anyone relate?)

Problem is, this creates all kinds of personal stress--because as often as not, life doesn't go the way I'd like it to. Then I get frustrated, and might go try plan B, which may or may not work. Then, I might even get sick!  (Stress does that, you know.)

Of course, the Lord has been working with me for a long time about this besetting sin. (Yes, I'd call it a sin because if I'm managing things, guess Who isn't?)  I've learned often in the past—and keep forgetting—the value of "letting go and letting God.”

But this season of my life has required a "letting go" way beyond anything I've ever lived. I've been walking not only on the unfamiliar ground of care-giving, but there are very few days that go according to 'schedule.'

So what I'm learning is this. When I charge into my day with my plan and thought carefully laid out, it may or may not work.  If it doesn't, which is often, things just go south.

BUT...when I begin my day asking the Lord to orchestrate and order every part of it, and then LEAVE IT with Him, guess what?  I have a peaceful day filled with little God-touches that show how happy He is to take care of everything.

It'll be small things. I'm scrambling to find something for dinner and I discover a meal's worth of something in the freezer. I can't see how I can fit X into my schedule today, then it's canceled. Or my to-do list looms huge at the start of the day, but by late afternoon everything somehow got done and I can’t account for it.

A fresh lesson in this letting-go-letting-God happened recently. We were finally able to take a much needed mini-vacation to San Diego, and I had spent three full evenings online (read: waste of time) trying to find the right hotel at the right price in the right location. By late the third evening, not finding what we needed, I was exhausted and fighting a headache. In frustration, I finally prayed, "Lord, I just can’t spend any more time on this. You have the perfect place for us to stay, so I'm turning this whole thing over to You. Please arrange whatever is best."

A short while later, my husband remembered a special deal he’d forgotten about, found it online, and had our reservations done in short order--the straight, simple, perfect answer. Wonderful! I could have saved myself a lot of frustration.

So that's what I think daily living by grace is all about. Living in the ability and power of Jesus in every situation, no matter how small. Stopping and committing each need to Him, trusting Him to give the wisdom, provision, direction, whatever, then waiting for Him to take care of it. And thanking Him for yet another evidence of His very personal love and utter faithfulness.

I'm learning. Just think what a life lived every day in this freedom would look like! It’s my new aim.