Backup Plan

In the fall of 1992, I learned what it meant to have a back-up plan. It was called a “sub” plan. If my classroom couldn’t be covered due to illness or other reasons a substitute would be called. So much time was spent on this plan. Even more than my own daily lessons as I wanted the sub to have everything that was needed. You could say I was overprepared.

K.L. Hale

My friends and readers: Below are excerpts from a memoir/devotional that may take me a lifetime to complete. I’m putting pieces of these together to create this post, “Backup Plan”. As always, I thank you for your friendship and support.

Most Likely to Succeed

I was voted “Most Likely to Succeed” in my Senior class (don’t be impressed I have awesome friends and there were less than 40 in my class). It makes me giggle. They had faith in me! To be cliché I’ll ask the age-old question, what defines success? To some it’s a life filled with a spouse, child(ren), successful jobs, a two-car garage, maybe a pet, church membership, and a 3 bedroom-2 bath- ranch home. To others the house may need to be larger and display finer décor and perhaps, an expensive car to drive. It seemed my 20’s was predictably paved for me. You’ll need to do “more” Karla to be successful. The pressure took a toll. My psyche lied to me; therefore, I was in denial. Did I have a back-up plan?


We all make them. Some good, some bad. At a time of a great fall in my life (and literally off two wheels) technology was taking over. I remember worrying about keeping kids “safe” from the internet. I can still hear the AOL dialing in and wondering what secret would this sound hold? How would life be impacted? To keep on succeeding I ignored my bruised self. The backup plan was bumpy and unpredictable. But eventually it seemed smoothly paved. All the while my greatest success was still in two boys. The school was also filled with young minds and bodies seeking both guidance and independence interchangeably. It didn’t seem there needed to be another backup plan.

Technology and time

Technology advanced quicker than others’ judgements. Suddenly, life flipped like a flapjack. Lives were dangerously compared when everything went “on-line.” Students were learning more than I could. Being a techy, I kept up the best I could and succeeded in gaining traction. Time flew–especially motherhood as I knew it. Conformity makes you question every “could have been,” “should have been,” or “must be.” 

The paved path seemed plagued with potholes. If you haven’t hit one, it’s a miracle. Health challenges hit and halted the hustle and even my hindsight. What’s my backup plan?

What seemed to define me was gone. Everything I thought about future success (kids and grandkids nearby, traveling, career advancing) was different than reality. My backup plan became a mobile home and an excitement about seeking out loved ones, love, and what seemed like success—the back-up plan?

Health and healing

Healing had to come. I could feel it. It’s NOT that I didn’t want to live. Just NOT in pain. Success and a back up plan would always include somebody else. How could I succeed at a back-up plan by myself?

A friend recently shared that you must put your own oxygen mask on before you can help others. I’ve heard this many times from flight attendants. My back-up plan became HIS PLAN. Through HIS plans I CREATED new possibilities, dreams, pothole repairs, and healing choices.

CHANGE…and more change

We all find comfort in routines–the knowing of what to expect. But change is going to happen. So how do you cling to the things you don’t want to change and still experience growth? What if your routine hurts the ones you love? Maybe you don’t seek growth and are just surviving. Perhaps the routine is the only thing you can control. NOT conforming to the world isn’t an excuse to remain in an unhealthy and hidden pattern. Is it? How do we stay set apart, but still impact others? What change will grow your faith? I love holding on to traditions and memories of the past. However, you can become swallowed in swirling thoughts and never move forward. Particularly if you’re someone like me and after all these years, struggle with the empty seats around a family table. But still, I MUST CHANGE. At times, you must separate yourself to seek comfort in your TODAY. Make a new memory! The Pandemic changed us. It changed me. If your rug feels ripped from under you or you are suddenly faced with something new, what’s your back-up plan? To say God has it all is comforting; but he does expect us to make efforts (and hopefully a lifetime of faith doesn’t disappear when things get the toughest). God isn’t going to change…but will you?

Have faith 🤍

Success! You're on the list.

77 thoughts on “Backup Plan

  1. Very well written! Life is full of potholes for sure. Just when we think things are sailing along smoothly one pops up unexpectedly.
    Family and Faith are essential in a good back up plan! Thank you for sharing this.

    Liked by 1 person


    I absolutely love your honesty in this post. We all start out with the ideal life in mind, but road blocks become apparent at an early age. With the technology of today, we’re faced with all kinds of possibilities and problems as well. My post today about communication touches on that subject. Being adaptable is one of God’s gifts to us. Being willing to do so is our choice. You seem to reach for the good in every situation and that is a blessed start. Our world, our politics, our technology, our lives are all subject to change, but God never does. We can count on his consistency. Love you, Karla.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Happy Wednesday precious, Kathy. Thank you so much for this thoughtful response. My life has seen its fair share of changes. I wouldn’t call it “lucky”. But I’ve made choices. And like you said, “we’re all faced with kinds of possibilities and problems.” The only person I can change is me. I’m so glad that God’s love never changes. And I’m so happy to be adaptable! I love you, too. I’m taking time to read a bit so I’ll jump to your place.🤍💛🙏

      Liked by 1 person

  3. As always, this is a wonderful post, Karla. I was voted “Most Embarrassable”☺️.
    I believe true success is doing as much as you can with God’s gift while you are here on earth 🌏.
    Take care. 🤗❤️🙏

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you, Chief! Nice vote! ☺️ I know we can all win that one at times, just like my “most likely”. We’re all a success for surviving! I believe as you on using God’s gifts. I think some don’t use them or don’t know how gifted they really are. Sad 😞. You and yours take care too! ♥️🤗🙏🏻

      Liked by 1 person

  4. We need to be open to change because it is the one thing that is inevitable. Every day is a new day and we have a chance to choose for good or bad. Sometimes we do both. If I were to base my success on the judgement of others then I am a complete failure. That’s going by most criteria. But I am a success in who I am, that is what matters to me.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Beautiful, Pam. 💛I appreciate you and your attitude. You’re an encouragement. And I think a huge success~and like you, as long as we believe it about ourselves it matters the most. I believe it too. ♥️

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Lots of good things to think about here. According to President Zelensky in his speech to US Congress this morning, ‘success’ is to survive. I think he’s onto something. God speed to the brave Ukrainians and thank you for your post.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thank you so much. I believe he’s on to it, too. I had found a post I shared in which he stated, in this paraphrase, “Do not hang my picture on the wall as a President or famous man. Hang a pic of your children and think of them before you make decisions. Yes, survival is success. We have much to learn from them. Thank you for your thoughtful response and support. 😊

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I love how you share the truest parts of yourself and your life-lived-out! And I feel you have found the BEST plan – beyond what you could have ever hoped for!! Hugs to your classmates for indeed picking you as the “most successful” – a wise choice indeed! (*Side note: I was voted “Most School Spirit”! Giggles.)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Dawn, you are too sweet! I’m an “open book” and am happy to help anyone. We’re all on a journey and I’m past any point of sweeping things under a rug and not living a truth with freedom. I could totally see you as the one with the most school spirit. Yippee! Ah,…good ol’ school memories. I could get a giggle award at times~for the most inappropriate place to giggle, too! 💛🙃😉

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Loved this Karla. Choices – we all make them and I think we have to give up the idea that they are good or bad but rather good and bad – those who focus on creating the best outcome that we can with wherever we land are the ones that thrive – you strike me as someone who does that.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Karla, your mention of sub plans brought back a wave of memories! Wasn’t it so much work just to take a day off? So much it didn’t feel worth it! ☹️ Best wishes on your memoir. 👏🏻 I have a feeling you will finish sooner than you think. ✍🏻 😄

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I applaud your openness and honesty in talking about your life and the things you have faced. Seeing that we share common hurdles and misgivings help us to come together as a society. Your perspective sheds a great light on what all human lives face. And your words of comfort and faith can be a balm to others who struggle. Even if it takes a lifetime, your words will be left behind for generations yet to come. If you tell me you are happy, I will consider that the greatest success. Well written, my friend. Much love! 💖

    Liked by 1 person

    1. What a thoughtful and supportive response, my friend. I believe that being open is the only way to help others. We all have struggles. But keeping close to those who are joyful, as well as honest and accepting of their reality, will help! Rather than stay in a toxic and unhealthy place you have to move forward. Some may not if they’re not forced by life or they are in fear. By letting go I can embrace what’s truly meant for me. And if I stay out of God’s way and let him work, then I’ll be a success. There’s a joy inside me that I will no longer allow circumstances to extinguish. I’m happy! Much love to you! ♥️


  10. Insightful! “Make a new memory” – Change wasn’t something I liked most part of my life. But in the past few years I have had many changes and God has been helping me choose faith even in the changes that seems way out of my control. 🙌🏼

    Liked by 1 person

  11. The only thing that kept me moving was fear. Needing to do this or that, expectations from me or others. But the day I saw my fears, truly understand what had built them…I let it all go. Simply because I was just trying to hide the pain of not feeling loved in that go, go ,go…but the fear was what was blocking it. When I truly saw it and understood that it was just a child feeling that rejection (in whatever form it took) from those we loved and looked up to…it lost its power over me…I let it go. And all that ‘need’ to be, do, want…all went out the door. And this is God’s plan. Like all other emotions we will not truly appreciate happiness unless we experience sadness too, and on through all of our emotions. Well the fears are those ‘conditions’ we place on our love, understand the fear and we will let all those conditions go…and the only thing left is ‘unconditional love’. We will have experienced conditional so that we will appreciate exactly what unconditional is…and the one thing we all take back with us…that beautiful understanding that He freely gave us. A great post Karla, you have trod that path, felt that path, and each and every step brings your heart closer and closer to the full meaning of that destination. Have faith in you dear lady, His love is gently, quietly sharing that path with you ❤️ 🙏🏽 🦋

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Your way with words, Mark, always touches my heart. You get it. And the heart in me DOESN’T want others to fully get it; I don’t want others to feel or go through that which brings you to the bottom. But truly, as you say, you don’t understand the fullness of happiness until you know the satiety of sadness. I do have faith in God, and he has faith in me. Thank you for your faith, Mark! It’s a testimony to all of us! Sending hugs and prayers from across the ocean! 💚🙏🌈

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thank you kind lady, accepted with the love it is given…and blessings returned in kind. We all have our own inner journey, but thankfully we can all ‘feel’ another in their struggles so that the empathy that we are can at least give a cuddle, that inner compassion for a journey we all take and shared in many ways. Have a beautiful day dear lady, a smile and a hug given across the waves…pass it on 😀 ❤️ 🙏🏽 🦋

        Liked by 1 person

  12. So beautifully written Karla!
    I love the sunflower picture and your beautiful Quotes.
    Love this “I ignored my bruised self. The backup plan was bumpy and unpredictable.”
    Lift does change and we get to choose. Life continues to surprise in ways we wish it wouldn’t but still we rise. Lovely to be here and have a great Sunday my friend! 💖🌻

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Beautiful writing Karla, honest, open, true to your heart. You are such an inspiration to me. Get that memoir/devotional written. I need it on my nightstand! It would be better than a light. Love and hugs to you my friend, C

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, C, for this beautiful response. It’s humbling. It may take a few years (unless I just do a once a week type focus in this devotional style). My blog contains all the meat in this. It’s exciting~AND another childrens book brewing. I’m pacing myself. Now when will YOURS be on my nightstand? Love and hugs to you, too! 💛♥️😘🤗

      Liked by 1 person

  14. Karla; Tried again and STILL can’t get my comment to post on your site.

    What I wanted to say is, this speaks to me SO clearly! I have lived with plans, back-up plans, and back-up plans to my back-up plans. And then I finally learned that, when those all fall apart, there is the One True Plan standing behind it all saying, “Don’t fear. I’ve got you.” I look forward to reading the entire memoir when it has “cooked” enough.

    – Russell

    On Wed, Mar 16, 2022 at 8:14 AM Flannel with Faith wrote:

    > K.L. Hale posted: ” In the fall of 1992, I learned what it meant to have a > back-up plan. It was called a “sub” plan. If my classroom couldn’t be > covered due to illness or other reasons a substitute would be called. So > much time was spent on this plan. Even more than my own ” >


    1. Russell, thank you so much for your support and encouraging words! I’m so sorry about the comment issue. I sure wish I understood what was happening. There is so much I still don’t understand about WordPress! I’ll be on my PC later and will try to decipher it myself! Happy Resurrection Weekend! Our plan maker lives!


  15. Powerful testament! Our life journey fills with highs and lows, moments filled with success and failure, and traveling in darkness in search of light. Without faith in the Lord, my own life would be hanging by the barest of threads. Peace be with you Karla!

    Liked by 1 person

  16. A free weeks ago my grandad died. It was a bit out of the blue as up until then he had been healthy enough, still driving, and volunteering as he had been for years. I began to lament the time I hadn’t spent in his presence soaking up all the stories he would tell and sharing many more cups of tea than we already did.

    Grandad loved us three grandkids more than a little bit, and will be proud of us as we continue on our journey through this life. I hope to create new memories as you do wonderfully have reminded me, and continue to spend valuable time with my parents, my aunt, and my brother and sister as grandad always encouraged us to do. ❤️

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hamish, my friend, I’m so sorry for your loss. Your Grandad sounds like such an amazing man. His love for all of you will be continued in your own legacy of love that you will leave for others. Soak up every moment you can with family my dear friend. I recently received a life-altering diagnosis, but I’m believing in the power of Christ and relishing in every good memory ~old and new. Love and hugs, Karla 💪🏻🙏🏻💛

      Liked by 1 person

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