When Good Intentions Fail

What a week!

We met up with both boys and our daughter-in-love for a week of camp. (Not camping, our “cabin” had indoor plumbing) We all sat around talking and eating and playing games. There were many campfires, lots of shooting guns, and some pitiful fishing adventures.

After a full week of revelry, an 11-hour drive home, and more pitstops at Micky D’s than I care to admit, we arrived home late at night. Exhausted, I dumped buckets of tie-dye projects and a ton of damp, sand-filled, smoky clothes in the house and went to bed.

The next day, I was up before dawn to speak at a conference. After two packed days of speaking, I returned home only to face piles of fermenting laundry, the science projects in the fridge, and the 10,000 emails in my inbox.

Lord, have mercy!

When I go away for a time of refreshment, especially one designed to connect with God, I am often inspired to change everything that is wrong with me.

When I’m removed from the hustle and bustle and my phone, the traffic and the constant pings on my laptop, I crazily believe it’s possible to have a daily hour-long quiet time in my (as yet to be built) private prayer closet.

I’m convinced I can daily pray for everyone I know, every elected official in the  US, and all the missionaries listed in the church directory.

When I am away from wi-fi and face to face with the creation of my Creator, I fall in love with God’s Word in such a way that makes me want to memorize the entire New Testament.

But then I get home and the house is a disaster area or the deadline on a writing project is moved up or I get a call from someone who is sick and needs my attention and I have a choice.

You need an alternative plan.

I can let ALL my good intentions and grand plans go swirling down the proverbial drain or I can revise my plans. 

A more attainable goal might be to establish a quiet time every day, but give myself permission to flex the time or shorten the slot.

I probably won’t pray for everyone every day, but I can pray for some every day.

I definitely want to memorize Scripture, but perhaps a more reasonable pace would be a verse a week … or a verse a month!

Progress, not perfection

When you are inspired to make spiritual improvements on your journey to trust God and follow Jesus, do what you can and don’t worry about foiled intentions. Keep tweaking the plan.

Progress, not perfection is what God is watching for.

What is your best advice for adjusting your exceptions or modifying your intentions in a positive way? Leave me a comment and let me know.

Scripture refresher: The thief’s purpose is to steal and kill and destroy. My purpose is to give them a rich and satisfying life. (John 10:10, NLT)

Prayer: Jesus, be bigger than my circumstances, my emotions, and the messy people situations that test my ability to keep my focus on you and your promise of a rich and satisfying life. Overcome my enemy and help me to love you and love others as you love them. God, everywhere I look, let me see you at work. Lead me into the life I’ve been missing. I know that you love me. I want to follow you. Amen. 



  1. Sandy Allen on July 29, 2019 at 12:15 pm

    What a great way to get connected with God. I have volunteered at church camp for a week at a time for a number of years and what a rude awakening when you leave that atmosphere. I just try to remember the many memories that were made.

    • Robyn Dykstra on July 30, 2019 at 4:27 pm

      Amen to that, Sandy! 🙂

  2. Carol Kerry on July 29, 2019 at 1:36 pm

    My best intentions most often get swallowed up by our television. Our house is small and there really is no place for quiet time when the TV is on, which is always on. When my husband has left the house to work out, I choose that time as my quiet time. It isn’t always the same time of day or even the same days each week; but when I can, I choose to spend those times with God and my Bible.
    Carol K

    • Robyn Dykstra on July 30, 2019 at 4:27 pm

      Hi Carol,
      How creative you are! Not only do you keep the peace with your man, but your quiet time stays fresh with all the changes in times. Well done. You inspire me!

  3. Risa Blyer on July 29, 2019 at 6:18 pm

    Thank you! Yes, one foot in front of the other, keep moving forward in seeking God. It is progress, not perfection. I listen to the local christian radio channel in the car, and in the kitchen. I pray off and on during the day as specific thoughts come to my mind. I attend church every Sunday and a bible study class weekly. When I have a few moments each day, I read my bible, or a devotional, or a scripture I receive in my email, sometimes I have more time than others. I have memorized one scripture passage and recite that in my mind. I just recently began turning my negative worrying thoughts into prayers, praises and positive thoughts of God, trusting He will help me through the situations and relationships that are hard to handle and I don’t like! God bless you

    • Robyn Dykstra on July 30, 2019 at 4:25 pm

      Hi Risa,
      I love hearing how you find the time to connect with God. I especially love this sentence …” just recently began turning my negative worrying thoughts into prayers, praises and positive thoughts of God, trusting He will help me through the situations and relationships that are hard to handle and I don’t like!”
      Thanks so much for writing.

  4. Carole Wedge on July 29, 2019 at 8:44 pm

    Hi Robyn,
    Thank you for sharing your vacation time with me and your awesome pictures!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Yes, I can see that you especially with your speaking engagements and seminars it has to be overwhelming at times!!!!!!!!!! So glad that you took the time away that you so greatly deserve!!!!!!!!!!!
    I also appreciate your encouraging prayers and scriptures that you share.
    You are truly amazing how the good Lord uses you!!!!!!
    Carole Wedge

    • Robyn Dykstra on July 30, 2019 at 4:23 pm

      Thank you Carole, Your encouragement is sweet!

  5. Patti Veld. Community Christian Reformed Roselawn, IN on July 30, 2019 at 11:57 am

    Good Morning Robin!!

  6. Fran Turpin on August 3, 2019 at 12:41 am

    Read your story again and as always I thank God for your testimony. I met you at WOL FL.

    • Robyn Dykstra on August 3, 2019 at 4:21 pm

      Hi Fran,
      Thanks so much for your encouragement!

  7. Larissa Fluegel on August 3, 2019 at 4:29 pm

    Thank you so much for posting this!! The prayer is awesome and right on (of course I am going to copy and keep it), the photos are exquisite (that fire!) and the message so enriching! I know this might be stretching a bit but this came to mind as I read this post: There is this thing this guy said to me one day that so enlightened me and turned my life and that of my kids around for better. Words that, to this day reverberate in my head, i.e., “figure out what is it that you want -the ideal, no limitations-, go for it and let God fill in the gaps (the words as I rememebr them). Those words flipped a switch in my head AND heart from a mindset of poverty to a mindset of abundance, realizing that, Hey! I have got a Father/creator/provider/protector, who owns the universe, literally, the owner of the cattle of a thousdand hills, loving and generous with my best interest in mind who wants to give me the best of all and who will ‘fill in the gaps!” Wow! Living as if this were true (which it is) has blessed me immensely. Anyway, for some reason, your post reminded me of that, where it says, “do what you can and don’t worry about foiled intentions.”. Thank you and thank Dave!! And I am so glad you did family camp!

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