Surprise, Surprise! I Was Caught by One

Know What to Expect

She is following me.

I take a right into my bedroom. She does, too. I walk into my bathroom. She toddles behind me.

I’m not surprised. When her parents are here, she’s all about holding on to mom and dad.

But they aren’t here this weekend. And when she stays with us, I’m her person. I like that. I’ve come to expect it.

I open the top drawer in my bathroom and pull out the toothpaste. As I brush my teeth, she watches me. But only for a few seconds.

She has other plans.

Unbeknownst to Me

She pulls on the bottom drawer in the bathroom, the one she can reach. It opens easily for her. I keep extras there: emery boards, dental floss, bobby pins.

But what she pulls out is not what I keep there.

Her hands go directly for the two items that don’t belong. A plastic white puzzle piece and a plastic blue puzzle piece.

She grabs them from the drawer, turns around, and walks out. She got what she came for.

I’m left alone to laugh and laugh. She had placed those puzzles pieces there another day, unbeknownst to me.

But she hadn’t forgotten she’d put them there. She remembered.

She has surprised me.


Be Surprised

She’ll continue to surprise me.

If she can surprise me at sixteen-months-old, when I think my youngest granddaughter is predictable, how much more will she surprise me at ten years old? At seventeen? At twenty-four, if I’m still around, Lord willing?

Everyone contains surprises. Just when we think we have someone figured out, they’ll do something unexpected.

And we’ll be surprised.

I love being delighted by God’s surprises. He doles them out when I least expect them. His surprises are good ones, only the best from God. Sometimes they come through coincidences or through nature or through a toddling little grandchild.

And sometimes he even lets us surprise ourselves.

I want to remain open for surprises.Β 

How will God surprise me today?

How often are you caught by surprise? When’s the last time you surprised yourself? Share your thoughts in the comments.

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42 thoughts on “Surprise, Surprise! I Was Caught by One

  1. Lynn D. Morrissey

    Darling, Lisa! Yes, children surprise us at every turn, especially when we underestimate them. My husband surprised me the other day with a gorgeous bouquet of peachy roses. Due to COVID, he’d been avoiding stores, but now, fully vaccinated (another pleasant surprise!), and going to the store early, he purchased these for me. God has surprised me (both pleasantly and “un”), and yet unpleasant surprises (from my perspective at the time), are meant to draw me closer to Him, in trust and dependency. COVID-19 was one such surprise. Yet through it all, God has surprised me with His lavish care and tenderness, and with things like Zoom calls and Bible studies. While I miss doing these things in person, because I have a really bizarre dizzy condition, it has been helpful simply to “see” people from my computer vantage point. And *you,* dear one ALWAYS surprise me with the topics about which you choose to write, and by your creativity.
    Thankful for you!

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      Your words always have a way of encouraging me to the bottom of my heart, Lynn. They hit deep again this morning when I read your comment. I love reading of your surprises and of your positive attitude through the more challenging things as well.

      I got my second covid shot this morning! I’ve been very surprised that I was able to get it as soon as I have, and also very thankful! So far, so good!

  2. Theresa Boedeker

    So funny. Cute story. Children can be such a delight of surprises. I know if I am open to surprises, I get surprised multiple times a day. The key, being open and looking for them. Surprises remind me of humor. Something that causes us to laugh is often a surprise. And then there are subtle surprises. Like watching a bird preen itself, loosen a feather, scratch it’s head with the feather, and then twirl it round and round in it’s mouth until it dropped it and moved onto something else. That happened yesterday.

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      “I know if I am open to surprises, I get surprised multiple times a day.” I agree that is key, Theresa. There are some days that I’m not as open to surprises, and thus don’t notice them, when God may be dropping them all around me! ha. I love your example of the bird. You have a gift of observation and I appreciate you sharing it.

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      Amen to that, Martha! I was surprised this afternoon with a Facetime call with my 3-year-old granddaughter. She was so excited to tell me that she had her “first big girl shower” yesterday (after her bath). πŸ™‚

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      There have been times when I was afraid of what God’s surprises might be, but the older I get, the more I know that his surprises are always good, even if they don’t appear that way at the very beginning. They’ll always turn that way. I wish ALL surprises were good from everybody! ha. But I know they’re not. People and situations don’t always surprise us in good ways. But God does. I’m thankful we can depend on him.

  3. Maryleigh

    Your story went straight to my heart I think after having raised 5 sons, the grandgirls surprise me with their passions and gentleness, their love for teas and mouse houses and their thrill over the scary parts of The Wind in the Willows. God surprises me all the time. It reminds me of how my boys could never sneak up on me – still can’t. God does that to me – sneaks up on me for an unlooked for hug!

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      This is fun to read since we’re about to enter the reverse situation! Our first grandson is due near the end of May. After having only daughters and then granddaughters, this entry of a boy into the family is bound to bring lots of surprises with it! πŸ™‚ I can’t wait.

  4. Laurie

    I love how you turn a grandma’s surprise and delight at her young granddaughter’s antics into a wonderful lesson about being willing to be surprised by God. Those unexpected “pennies from heaven” are all around us, ready to delight us. We sometimes have to look for them, but they are there!

  5. Trudy

    Thank you for the heartwarming smiles, Lisa. Those are precious moments to remember. πŸ™‚ God’s surprises in whatever form can be so energizing, can’t they? Love and blessings to you!

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      I’ve found that the little ones can sometimes bring the biggest surprises. And sometimes the best surprises too. πŸ™‚ Hope you have a wonderful week full of good surprises, Trudy!

  6. Corinne Rodrigues

    This made me think of my niece who would bring her little scribbles and art and put them under the mattress in my parents’ home to keep them safe from her destructive younger brother! Children are full of surprises – as are we all.
    Thank God that He keeps surprising us!

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      Ha. What a cute thing for your niece to do, Corinne! πŸ™‚ Children are so creative. I wish we wouldn’t lose that trait quite as strongly as some of us do (speaking of myself).

  7. Lynn

    Stay open to the unexpected, is something I’d like to adapt more to my everyday life! God’s unexpected gifts are a daily happenings when we stay present, isn’t it? I do like good surprises that can make me laugh and laugh like yours!

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      Thanks, Debbie. I wonder how God has surprised you today! I need to reflect on how he has surprised me as well on this beautiful spring day here in Alabama.

  8. Joanne Viola

    I love the wonderful surprises each of our granddaughters has brought to our lives. And I am most grateful for the ways God surprises me time and time again by His grace and mercy! Lovely post!

  9. Susan+Shipe

    Our granddaughter IS 24 and we were an integral part of her life from the beginning. At 5 she began spending summers with us and oh the joy! Today, she continues to bring great joy to our lives. As does our almost 18 y/o grandson! It only gets better, Lisa.

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      Oh, how fun to have had your granddaughter in the summers! I look forward to extended times like that with my grandkids. Right now they are 3 and 1, so time away from parents is limited. And my energy to care for littles is also limited to only several days at a time. πŸ™‚ I love hearing that it keeps getting better and better. Thanks, Susan!

  10. Pam Ecrement

    I LOVE this story, Lisa! It reminds me of when our youngest granddaughter (now 18) was much younger and visiting at our house. After she left I couldn’t find a set of coasters that sat on a table in our family room. I called and talked to her mom and then her on the phone and discovered she thought it would be fun to hide them. She put them far back under the bed in the guest bedroom up against the wall where the headboard was and we NEVER would have found them without her help. She thought it was fun and we still laugh about it.

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      What a great story, Pam. I’m sure you have gotten quite a few laughs through the years from that escapade! It’s a good thing she remembered where she put the coasters. πŸ™‚

  11. Linda Stoll

    After spending time with our grandkiddos the past few weeks, this post made me smile. Maybe the biggest surprise is that our oldest is graduating from high school. Where did the years go? And how do we recover all the months apart this past year?

    In two years, all six will be teenagers. Oh my my …

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      Oh wow, you are in some interesting years with your grands, Linda! I’m so glad you were able to spend time with them lately. What a blessing. Jeff and I have had both our vaccines now, and are waiting for our 2 weeks to be up, then I can visit with my grands again with no worries! I’ve still seen them during the past year, but it’s always been a risk, and I’ve limited my overnight visits.

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      Yes, when my youngest daughter stops by or when either of my daughters even call me, I’ll drop whatever I’m doing to enjoy the surprise visit! I suppose my own parents felt the same way, and it makes me wish I had done it more often when I had the chance. πŸ™

  12. Donna B Reidland

    My 18-month old great-grandson has been staying with us (along with his momma). It is delightful to see all that they are learning and doing and surprising us with at this age. Thanks for sharing your surprising story! πŸ™‚

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      Oh, how fun to have a great grandson stay with you, Donna! I don’t know if I’ll make it long enough to see my great-grands. ha. But I hope I will. My youngest granddaughter is 18 months. They are quite busy and quite fun at that age!

  13. Anita Ojeda

    This made me smile! My grandson constantly surprises me :). May we accept surprises (both positive and not so wonderful) with grace and sweetness, knowing that nothing surprises God, and he has our back.

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      I wish I could say I welcome those “not so wonderful” surprises with grace and sweetness but oftentimes I don’t. I appreciate you planting that seed in me again though, Anita. And I love that God always has our back, regardless of what seems surprising to us, he is prepared.

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      It still makes me laugh when I think about it. She is our “matter-of-fact” granddaughter (so far, anyway). No drama; just takes care of business. πŸ™‚

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