Perfect Pen Plans

by Alice H. Murray

“‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord …”

(Jeremiah 29:11a , NIV)


In elementary school, I reclined against the weeping willow tree in my front yard. Notebook in my lap and pen in hand, I furiously scribbled my story. Thin leaves adorning the tree’s dangling branches shielded me from the physical world. I retreated into my own mental world, the one in which my story characters lived.

I took a break and gazed at the sunshine beaming through the green curtain surrounding me. Life was good. And I expected it to get even better. I had big plans for my future. I intended to travel the world writing stories about exotic locations. While more realistic than becoming president or an astronaut, this dream still did not come true.

Older me still embraced my writing dream, but the plan required alteration. Traipsing around the globe with a husband, two kids, and two pets in tow would prove difficult. So, I adjusted my plan to remain at home while writing a book about my adventures as an adoption attorney. I just knew my creative baby would be a bestseller, but for some reason agents and publishers did not share my enthusiasm.

Still convinced I had a book in me, I developed writing Plan C. Since faith and humor remained my signature traits, why not combine them to write a book of humorous devotionals? But the joke was on me. When I submitted my manuscript, no one else embraced the concept.

Despite my objectives for publishing success, God had his own plans. Out of nowhere, a writing opportunity dropped into my lap. While doing some research for work, I came across an idea for a book. I wasn’t sure this project would go anywhere. But within a few short months, I was stunned to receive an email announcing an offer of publication. What? Not a coincidence, this letter provided clear evidence of God’s perfect plan for me as a writer. His plans are always better than mine.

Lord, please forgive me for being so presumptuous as to think my plan, for writing or anything else, is the best for me. Thank you for your perfect plans for my life. Amen.


Alice H. Murray is an adoption attorney who has practiced law in Florida for over 30 years.
While being a lawyer is her profession, Alice’s passion is writing. Her work has appeared in
compilation books such as Chicken Soup for the Soul, newspapers, magazines, and various
online sites. Alice also posts a weekly blog at

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