Wednesday, May 19, 2021

Can I let God surprise me?

"Mom, can I have a little bit of kombucha with my applesauce?" My four-year-old grinned widely as he clung to the fridge door. 

I could not believe what was happening. 

When grocery shopping, it's not unusual for my kids to dance in front of the refrigerated case that holds kombucha, asking if we can buy some. And, it's quite common for my kids to run across the house, hollering "CAN I PLEASE HAVE SOME KOMBUCHA?!" the second they hear me open a bottle. 

I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice--I mean, kombucha.

The two-year-old generally will only drink a couple of sips, but my four-year-old will sit there and happily drink kombucha until his cup is empty. I am guessing that he only likes it because I've told him how much sugar is used to make it, but who knows? Maybe he's just really, really into drinking a fermented, probiotic rich beverage that contains multitudes of organisms in every sip. I don't know. 

I just loved the color and mix of textures in this big bush at the park. 

I currently find myself with kids who don't understand what soda is, but they will come running for kombucha. I dream of someday owning backyard chickens and diving into sourdough bread. I drank homemade beet kvass with breakfast the other day. We have recently begun driving to a small urban farm each week to pick up fresh vegetables and look longingly at the dozens of chickens that live there.  

Even just five years ago, I never imagined that any of this would be in my reality or my dreams. 

Life has, in many ways, surprised me. 

Old family photos remind me that people change, but they aren't the only ones who change.  Circumstances shift, family cultures develop, and our very homes may look different as the months and years go by. We grow, we change, and new opportunities come. Old opportunities slip away. 

We may feel sad that life doesn't look like it once did. It's important to acknowledge our feelings and be honest with how we are being affected. Yet, it's also important to practice hope and keep our eyes turned towards God; to remember that He is at work, even when things look very different from what we expected. And to remember that our God is in the business of surprises. 

If you open up your Bible, you'll find that from Jacob to Moses, from Mary to Paul, and all the spaces in between, God has worked in an unexpected manner. He is constantly using unlikely people and methods to accomplish His work, and He brings intense goodness out of hard situations and brokenness.

I recently mentioned to my husband that my life as a stay-at-home-mom is one of constant recalibration. 

No matter what plans I have made for the day, a child having a bathroom accident, throwing a tantrum, spontaneously coming down with a fever, or any variety of unpredictable events will cause our entire schedule to change. This is just a normal part of family life, but it's mentally exhausting at times--especially when small humans are constantly asking what the new plan for the day is. Furthermore, I really like being in control, so to suddenly see my best laid plans fall apart is not fun. 

But, God is always at work. I may get to see an exciting surprise happen when our plans fail, or I may not. But regardless of whether or not I ever get to see good fruits come, I can practice deep trust in God. I have to remember that He is in control, and that even if He doesn't ordain something to happen, He permits it to happen for a reason--and that He works in and through all situations. 

As I look at our summertime calendar rapidly fill up, I have the growing realization that no matter how much I want our plans to happen, some--or all--of them may fall apart. That's just family life, and that's pandemic life. So, as I think about the things that may or may not happen in the coming months, I'm trying to open myself up to be surprised by God.

My first attempt at making beet kvass! It was
very salty and tangy, but refreshing. Now that I've 
dipped my toes into fermentation, I feel a little less scared to someday
try fermenting kombucha-we shall see what the summer holds!

Can I look with wonder and awe at what He is sending me each day? 

If my dreams for the summer months come crashing down, can I trust that God is in control?

No matter what we all are enduring, let's turn towards God and remember that He is tirelessly at work in our lives. So, let's take a deep breath, look with wonder at the life He has given us, and persevere. And maybe drink some kombucha, because it always seems to make the day brighter-at least, according to my kids. 


  1. This post really resonated with me! It felt like divine timing :) Thank you for these great reminders.

    1. I am so glad to hear that, Elisabeth! God is so good :) You are very welcome; thanks for reading!

  2. I always enjoy your reflections, AnneMarie! And now I am convinced that I need to pick up some kombucha when grocery shopping later. Haha.