What if Plan D is better than Plan A?

“Wow. Didn’t expect this much snow.” Dan and I hadn’t brought our snowshoes. Because our intent was to hike. In hiking boots.


A good foot of fresh powder

Plan A was a trek out to Todd Lake from the Dutchman Flat parking area. But the trailhead hadn’t been cleared of snow. 


Mt. Bachelor in the background of Todd Lake

Plan B was to pick up the trail from Mt Bachelor parking area. But it was closed.

Plan C was to schlep up to the lake in the tracks of 4-wheel drive vehicles where we warmed our hands over mugs of Chai tea and shared our lunch with the gray jays and traipsed the perimeter of the lake in a crusty path as the sun shone in between bursts of clouds. And it was a glorious “Plan C” day. 


Gray jays begging for lunch

While we’re on the subject of plans …

Staying single was my Plan A. Widowhood was a content place. I was my own person.

Some time passed and the opportunity to date presented itself. Plan B and then Plan C as I stepped into that scary minefield. 

It didn’t take long to burrow back into Plan A. Singleness. Really, the easiest route.

I didn’t need permission from anyone to go wherever and whenever. I could write for long hours and forget to eat lunch and then have popcorn for dinner.

But then Plan D presented itself (“D” as in Dan).

Doing life with someone who’s easy to do life with. The delight of taking adventures together. The joy of helping people in hard places … because we’ve experienced hard places.

God wrote Plan D and it was a better story line than I could have ever imagined.

These words from a letter to the ancient church in Corinth:

As it is written, ‘What no eye has seen, what no ear has heard, and what no human mind has conceived’—the things God has prepared for those who love him. – 1 Corinthians 2:9

What if?

What if we can learn to accept the fact that not all our first plans are necessarily for our good? What if God’s understanding of what’s best for us is more far-reaching than our own understanding? What if God’s Plan C—or D, or M, or Z—could be so much better than our Plan A?

We can. It is. It could.

This wisdom from Claire Cook:

If Plan A didn’t work, the alphabet has 25 more letters.

Last week’s Plan A was a hike from Dutchman Flat to Todd Lake.

Plan B was the same destination, but a different route.

Plan C was a snowshoe trek around a mountain lake in the cold and wild beauty—without snowshoes.

Funny how that happens, but this snowy adventure will be one of our favorite memories for a long time to come.

Side note: My honey carved our initials in the snow. And then he finished it off with a heart.

“Racking up the points, Lawry,” I said with a grin.

Dan: “I might need them someday.”



Are you a refresher?


What hasn’t been cancelled?


  1. Kathi Denton

    Marlys – I love how you are so happy. You always have had a smile, but now you radiate joy! When you come to Boise next time, I want to meet this man who makes you radiate such joy.
    Kathi Denton

  2. Tanya Neelon

    I continue to forward your weekly blog to my friends around the country because EVERYONE NEEDS A PICK ME UP
    and you do it beautifully!!!

  3. Celina Villa

    Aw. I love this.

  4. Melody

    Loved this! Thank you!

  5. Julie

    Marlys, you have always been an adventure lover and an encourager to those around you! Your kids emulate that adventuresome spirit!
    And obviously your Dan seems to love it!
    What a fun blog. I enjoyed it as I always do!
    Blessings, sweet friend!

  6. Peter

    There is the ‘take each day as it comes’, the knowing that ‘there is a time for everything’ and ‘living life to the full’… we should not worry about tomorrow, it takes care of it’s self… so reading this is ‘love in action’. Thank you, good on you both. Our love to you & yours, from me & mine. God Bless, Bx P & family

  7. Beautifully said, Marlys, and I can so relate! My plan was to stay married to my first husband until parted by death. Divorce was a whole different letter! Although scary, I hoped to remarry someday and along came Kelly, letter K! What a blessing from God to live life with someone who loves and appreciates you and can adjust with you when the unexpected happens. And yet, carve you initials and a heart in the snow. 🙂


    I ‘ve been.thinking alot along those lines latley…. I just need to keep my focus/refocus on GOD’s plan A and stop making plans B – Z`10√. None of the 10 billion plans I make ever seem to work out…. probably for a good reason…. Now to find out what plan A was/is/will be….

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