Surprise, Surprise, Surprise!

life's surprises

I love surprises!  Let me clarify.  I love good surprises:-).

I woke up to a wonderful surprise today, a gift of time.  I teach music at an after school program on Wednesday afternoons, but because of the weather, school was cancelled today.  Which means the after school program was cancelled.  Woo-hoo!

Don’t misunderstand.  I love teaching at AMP, the Bridge of Grace after school Arts and Music Program.  But….when you aren’t expecting the extra time and you have a very looooong “to do” list, it was a wonderful surprise!

And one of the things on my list for weeks and weeks has been to……blog!

So, the first surprise is……I’m writing again!  It’s been way too long, which tells you my life is full.  Full of good things, wonderful things, surprising things!

In case you hadn’t noticed, 2018 is over.  In the history books, but still a very recent memory.  I love the process of looking back and seeing how God worked in my life, what “good and perfect gifts” He gave.  So, here’s my look back at 2018………

God surprised me.  At the beginning of the year 2018, I had no idea what the year might bring.  None of us do!

While the girls (our daughters) were here over Christmas, we had a “tea time” together.  A time for just the “girls” (no “boys” allowed) to enjoy good tea and great conversation.

To stimulate our conversation, I asked each daughter to write down a question or subject they wanted us to discuss.  One of my favorite questions was “What title would you give this year if you wrote a book about it?”  Some of the answers were:  Stuck in the Middle, The Little Engine That Could, or Start, Stop. Start, Stop, and Pole, Pole (which means Slowly, but Surely in some African language).

My answer?  Surprise! Surprise! Surprise!  (said in Gomer Pyle’s voice).  So many unexpected things happened in 2018, like:

…..An invitation to vacation with friends in Tucson, AZ in mid-February.  We accepted, of course!  This trip allowed me to see my first mother-in-law one last time.

…..Finding out we are going to be grandparents for the first time!  (coming in early June)

…..Where the journey of blogging took me, personal and spiritual growth in so many ways:-).

…..Trips to the Asheville, NC, Sanibel Island, FL, Sleeping Bear Dunes, MI, Nashville, TN, and Blue Ridge/Woodstock, GA. (Yes, we did all of that in one year!  Did you know we love to travel?!)

…..New friendships with sisters in Christ.

…..Opportunities to share the ABCD’s of becoming a Christ-follower.

…..Voluntarily getting up at 5:00am every Monday to attend a women’s Discipled by Jesus group!

…..Teaching music in an after-school Fine Arts enrichment program at the church my dad pastored for 10 years!  (I’m teaching kids who attend the elementary school I attended.  Say what?!  Coming full circle.  Crazy how God works!)

…..God orchestrating a friendship with a neighbor who has ovarian cancer.

…..Answered prayer to very specific prayer requests.  God answers prayer, folks!!

I’m excited to see what surprises God has in store for me in 2019!  I can make my plans.  Set my goals.  But ultimately, I don’t have control of my days.  God does.  And as I walk in obedience to His voice and allow Him to work in me and through me, amazing, yes, SURPRISING things can and will happen!

I would like to leave you with a prayer God gave me for 2019, Paul’s prayer for the Philippians, me and you:

“And this is my prayer: that your love will abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, so that you may discern what is best, and may be pure and blameless until the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ-to the glory and praise of God.”  Philippians 1:9-11

May God SURPRISE you with His good and perfect gifts in 2019!


6 thoughts on “Surprise, Surprise, Surprise!

  1. Boy oh boy was this refreshing!! I am so happy for you Karen. For His gifts in your life. Your full life that rests in Christ!! And the Lord’s word spoke to me that “with knowledge and insight (from Jesus), we can discern what is best”. Not just what is good, but best. Praise be to the Father! I want him to show me best. And I want to follow Best. Thanks again for sharing friend.


  2. From Florida! I enjoyed this blog so much and saw myself as one of your surprises, “new friends in Christ!” The whole delightful certainty of God surprising us in 2019 is so very gratifying. I spent the whole day all around Pensacola with my beautiful granddaughter who is twenty-two dreaming with her on her approaching June wedding. There were surprises for us. I love you Karen Renae. Keep blogging please.


  3. Karen, I am so glad you are back. I missed your writings. I loved this. I have to agree that God is full of surprises. Some of them are truly out of the blue and then others we expect God to come through in but there is a part of us that just isn’t sure…just being honest. So, grateful for a God that can be trusted and is faithful. So, excited for 2019 and all of the predicted, planned surprises God has for us.


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