God's Surprises

November. Not my favorite month of the year. Darkness draws in as days shorten. Temperatures drop. The furnace hums. Coats, scarves and hats hang from the hall tree. I’m constantly wrapped in an alpaca blanket, trying to stay warm.

I love the glories of fall foliage, but some of us (me included!) suffer from SAD—Seasonal Affective Disorder—so this can be a tough time of year.


No wonder verses 12-19 of Psalm 90 blessed my socks off in my prayer group this week!

Oh! Teach us to live well! Teach us to live wisely and well…Surprise us with love at daybreak

Yes, Lord! I love surprises! Surprise me every day! One glimpse is enough!

Just this past week, I found your love reverberating through each and every day, Monday through Sunday…

A gorgeous sunrise.

Bright zinnias in the field, survivors of the drought and frost.

Joel, breaking his usual silence to speak in full sentences.

A smile on another son's face after a season of depression.

Time spent outdoors with my middle son and his first-born; beautiful, blue-eyed, smiling Jaxon. My heart melts just thinking of him!

My husband coming in the door with a beautiful bouquet of flowers, for no reason other than he loves me.

Missionary friends, who have been traveling, showing up unexpectedly for prayer group last night.

Oh Lord, you surprise me with your love all the time, but I so often choose to peer into the shadows; remembering, rehearsing, all of the hard stuff, all of the struggles and the pain.

Let your servants see what you’re best at—the ways you rule and bless your children.

Open my eyes to your blessings surrounding me and my family today.

And let the loveliness of our Lord, our God, rest on us…

Even as I struggle with the deepening darkness of November, let the loveliness of your light rest upon me. Your light, Lord, dispels all darkness and depression and fear. May your loveliness rest on me like my trusty alpaca blanket—soft and light and warm.

…confirm the work that we do. Oh, yes. Affirm the work that we do!

You, above all others, Lord, know suffering. You walked this earth. You know what it is to live through changing seasons, through grief, through physical pain. You know my struggles of parenting a son with autism. I need your confirmation, Lord. I need your affirmation that I am the exact right person for this particular job; that just as I am blessed that Joel is my son, he is blessed that I am his mother (and that this is true for all of my children!).

Teach me to live well, Lord. Teach me to remember your blessings. Let me experience your loveliness. Remind me to keep my eyes open for your wonderful surprises!

Reflection Question:

Look back over your week. Where has God surprised you in the past several days? Consider writing a prayer of thanksgiving in your journal, or simply listing those surprises on a piece of paper and tucking it into your Bible as a reminder.