When Plans Change-Proverbs 16:9

“The heart of man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps.” ~ Proverbs 16:9 ESV

Background on Proverbs 16:9

Proverbs is such a rich book! Every line is full of truth that we could spend a lifetime unpacking. 
Proverbs 16:9 reminds us of who is really in control of our lives and actions – God!
When things don’t go the way we thought they would or the way we wanted them to, we can find comfort and assurance as Christians that God is doing something we can’t see. 

How Proverbs 16:9 Applies to Motherhood

I love the feeling of having a plan! 
Whether I’m facilitating a big event like a family vacation or a party, or just mapping out what I’m doing that day, plans make me feel confident and productive. 
However, as every mom knows, kids don’t always go along with our plans.
In fact, one of the biggest challenges I’ve faced in motherhood is handling changes to my plans because of my kids attitudes or needs. 
For example, my husband and I celebrated our seventh anniversary this past May. We had a rare date planned for the evening and were excited to go out together for the first time in a while. However, our youngest woke up with a fever that morning and all plans for the day were canceled. 
It was hard to let go of what we wanted to do and instead embrace a day taking care of a sick baby. 
Sometimes life is really hard and disappointments are real. What matters is how we react to those disappointments!

How Do I React When God Changes My Plan?
There are several common ways that people react to plans changing.

  • Anger
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Disappointment
  • Disorientation

All of these reactions are normal, but they aren’t helpful. 
It’s alright to feel any of those emotions and acknowledge that it’s hard to lose something you thought would happen. But after the initial reaction we have a choice: either to wallow in our feelings or to adjust to the change and welcome what is even though it’s different than what we expected. 
When I was up half the night on our anniversary rocking a fussy, congested baby instead of enjoying dinner and time with my husband, I had to very intentionally choose to not wallow in self-pity. 
God always has a reason for changing our plans. And there is a beautiful peace to be found when we cheerfully accept God’s will over ours. 
Instead of getting upset the next time your children disrupt your plans, try one or more of the following: 

  • Find blessing in the change. It could be as small as the fact that you won’t use up gas not going to an event! Anything that shifts your mindset to see positive in the situation. 
  • Ask God to help you see what lesson you can learn from the change. Praise Him anyway.
  • Find a positive and enjoyable thing you can still do. Eat some chocolate, drink an extra cup of coffee, or use an unexpectedly quiet night to read your favorite book. 
  • Thank God for the blessing of children. The fact that they disrupt your life means they are yours and that is a blessing!
  • Reschedule plans if possible. 
Proverbs 16:9

Does Proverbs 16:9 mean that we shouldn’t make plans?

No! In fact, just a few chapters later in Proverbs 24:27 God makes it clear that He wants us to plan our days and activities well. 

“Prepare your work outside get everything ready for yourself in the field, and after that build your house.”

~ Proverbs 24:27

God wants us to plan wisely – but He also reserves the right to change those plans and He wants us to trust Him in the change. 


Father, thank you for my children!
Thank you for choosing me to to be their mother; the one who gets to raise them and love them and be there for them through the good and the bad. 
Help me to align my will to yours, Lord. Forgive me for getting upset when I don’t get my way. Please help me to see how your will is always best for me and for my family. 
I pray that you would give me peace and joy when your plans are different than mine. Guide me in the way you want me to go, and help me to care for my family well. 
Thank you for always being with me, Lord, and for guiding my steps in Your way! Keep me on your path and don’t let me drift away from you. 
In Jesus Name, Amen

Find more Wisdom in Proverbs for Moms devotions here.

Guest Blogger Bio.

Hi, I’m Lieren! I’m a Jesus-loving girl living my childhood dream as wife to my best friend, and full time mom to our four children. I have a passion for helping women delight in the days they have with their little ones!My favorite things include getting lost in a good book, singing in the car, spontaneous adventures, and anything chocolate.

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