Making Plans and Right ChoicesGail Cawley Showalter
First – The decision
Run it through a process. Ask yourself:
- What is the origin or need for a decision?
- Do I have intuitive reservation or hesitation about it?
- Am I believing thoughts that are counter productive in my situation?
- What are the possibilities of different choices?
- How might my personality type play a part in my decision? How does my distinct way of being affect my decision-making?
Second – Gather information.
I’m often amazed by how people jump into making a decision based on their feelings or impulses. Asking questions doesn’t cost a cent. Answers to questions provide information that make planning and decision making easier. When you gain facts about your situation you are better able to make right choices. Now a day’s information on every subject is at our fingertips, literally. Once you gather information from a variety of sources, including trusted friends and family, you can analyze your options.
Third – List Pros and Cons
In real life no decisions are totally without some questions. Most have pros and cons. It helps to list them. Simply make two columns, one with heading Pros and the other with Cons. When both sides are written you can read and see your options clearly on the page. Don’t hesitate to ask others for input. Trusted friends and family may see things you miss.
Finally – review and pray. Look over what you have learned by gathering your thoughts and information. Ask God to direct your path.
We plan the way we want to live, But only God makes us able to live it.
– Proverbs 16:9
Do I need a plan?
After you have made a decision you may need a plan. Planning can be simple or complex depending on the situation. Once again look at your unique personal qualities. Always, always put it down on paper. Use a list or mind mapping. It doesn’t matter so much how you do it, just that you do. Sleep on it. Do not act impulsively.
~ ~ ~
When my children were nine, seven, and six years old, I made the decision to return to college. I was a teacher and the only avenue for higher income was to have a higher-level degree. It seemed like an adventure. Then I looked at the whole road map. The thought of moving three children to another city, locating daycare, and a place to live for three months in the summer, and paying for it all was an overwhelming leap of faith. So I just took one baby step at a time.
The process was not all smooth travels. There were some potholes along the way.
You will know you are on the right path when your steps are blessed.Gail holds a degree from Lamar University in Speech and a Master’s from the University of Texas. She married Sam after raising three children as a single mother. She was an educator in regular and special education for eighteen years, finishing her professional career as a Braille teacher. In 2007 She founded SMORE for Women. SMORE is a nonprofit association whose goal is Single Moms, Overjoyed, Rejuvenated, and Empowered. Gail leads a SMORE Sunday Group here at Calder and manages the ministry that offers DAYS of Blessing and Retreats for single mothers. SMORE has a website at www.smoreforwomen.org and Gail writes a blog at www.smoreforwomenblog.org . Gail’s stories have been published in several Christian books and magazines.
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Thanks so much, Nicole! You may not realize how your posts inspire me.
Thanks for these great tips on wise decision making, Gail. I love the version of Proverbs 16:9 you posted as well. Very inspiring. I love your blog, and your posts give me the necessary encouragement for the up and down journey of single parenting.