God, Life, Mothering, Plan

Interruption: Change in Plans

HIdden Comb

By +Jeanne Takenaka @JeanneTakenaka

“Please go comb  your hair.”

The boy rolled his eyes. “Why? I like it just like this. I never comb my hair!”

Honestly? The boy’s hair didn’t look too bad. But, it’s precisely because he never combs his hair that I asked him to do it. As his mom, was I really asking that much?

He stormed up the stairs. Things banged around the bathroom and he mumbled (loud enough for me to hear one floor down), complaining that he couldn’t find the comb.

Another indicator in my mind that it was time to comb his hair. I don’t know. Maybe it’s just the mean mom in me that thinks a boy of ten should know how to comb his hair without being asked.

Breckenridge paths

As I thought about this scene later, I realized his outburst wasn’t really about him having to comb his hair.

What he really wanted to do before we climbed into the car and headed off to school was build Legos for a few minutes.

Was my request unreasonable? No.

Was his response unfair? Yes. But now I understand it.

I interfered with his agenda. And because I’m the mom, he did it. Barely.

How many times have I had my own version of a temper tantrum because I had to do one thing when I had planned to do something entirely different?

Blue Mesa Reflections

Interrupted Reflection

Um, more times than I care to admit.

Life is full of interruptions.

I make plans, and I know how I’ll carry them out. Then something interferes with my plans, disrupting my day, my hour, my month.

How am I going to respond?

I can “put on a mad” and let everyone around me know I’m. Not. Happy.

I can ignore the interruption and work to fulfill my plans anyway (for the record, this doesn’t usually work very well).

I can try and get everyone to feel sorry for me that my plans got interrupted by someone else’s demand.

Dappled Path 1

I can accept the interruption for what it is: a detour, or a bend in the road I thought I was traveling on.

I’ve learned that when I choose this option,  unexpected blessings often wait on the other end of it.

Stone path

It’s hard for this structured girl to embrace the interruptions life hands me. I don’t usually experience peace in the moment—because I’m working through the frustration of not being able to complete my agenda on my timeframe. But peace does eventually come when I accept the change in plans.

Heart in tree

And oftentimes, I find that the lessons I learn, the benefits gleaned from the interruption were well worth “bending” for.

Autumn grasses

What happened the morning of the Comb Incident?

After combing his hair, the boy stomped to the basement for a few minutes of freedom. When it was time to leave, he was a happy boy again.

Quiet Road

He still got his way, just in a different time frame. I think God often does that in our lives. He knows our desires. He often fulfills them in ways different from what we expect. Usually in better ways than we planned out for ourselves.

What about you? How do you view interruptions? What one piece of wisdom would you offer to someone who loves operating by a plan?

7 thoughts on “Interruption: Change in Plans”

  1. One thing I learned in a previous life was that “no operational plan survives its first contact with the enemy”.

    Interruptions are simply operational friction; they happen, and will continue to happen.

    I’ve been able, lately, to decouple my emotions from my plans and agendas. It has made life a lot more pleasant.

    It came with the visceral realization that what we begin here, we carry forward in the Next Place (as long as it’s cool with God). We’re here for a reason,and the things we do, we do for a reason. If we’re square with God, that stuff will be as well.

    Taking that as a given, it’s unreasonable to assume that we need to fulfill our agenda HERE, in this life. We have all the time in Heaven. We won’t look back at the end of life with regrets; we’ll look forward to getting back to work.

    Now I can take time to listen, to read, to pray, to play (with the dogs) without the timetable always scrolling in my subconscious.

    It’ll all keep. It’s all cool.

    T’ink I need to say dat in de Island accent, mon, ‘cos dey is de folk who live it ev’ry day!


    1. Andrew, I loved this. And the reminder that plans WILL change. No matter how carefully crafted they are. Having two kids I care for every day is a daily reminder of this reality. 🙂

      And taking my emotions out my plans? I’m learning to do this. I’m learning that as I walk each step of my day with God, my plans take a back seat to His. And I’m learning to be okay with that. When the emotions aren’t involved, it’s so much easier to just flex with the flow of each day.

      And for the record, I like your Island accent. I won’t even try to imitate. 😉


  2. I love the photo of the road!
    We are dealing with our own major interruption right now. And I have this quote front and center on the fridge:
    The great thing, if one can, is to stop regarding all the unpleasant things as interruptions of one’s ‘own,’ or ‘real’ life. The truth is of course that what one calls the interruptions are precisely one’s real life — the life God is sending one day by day.
    — C. S. Lewis


    1. I love that quote by CS Lewis. And how true. Life IS the interruptions. Another saying I heard somewhere is, “Life is what happens when we’re making other plans.”

      I hope your interruption keeps you drawing closer to God. Thanks for sharing CS Lewis here today. 🙂


  3. I have my own version of temper tantrums especially in my head! I am learning to be flexible… to extend grace… to be present. I pray I am learning 🙂


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