Expecting The Unexpected


My husband and I will be celebrating our 6th Christmas…with kids. As much as we may attempt planning out our month of activities, the unexpected must be expected. Something will go wrong and most definitely right at the moment that mommy desperately needs events go oh just right. 

That’s why I’ve embraced the idea of simply expecting the unexpected. Because, God is right in the center of the unexpected. The unplanned. The uncertain. 

A few years ago, Christmas fell on a Sunday. I was incredibly weak due to the intense chemo treatment. My legs shook violently with each step I dared to take. The floor was cold. I was cold. This was the only Christmas to date that I had not planned for and simply allowed events and needs to fall where they did. 

Something incredible happened when I let go of my control over my family’s Christmas. You see, Christmas still came. 

The tree was beautifully decorated by daddy and the boys. In front of the tree sat gifts, most purchased from family and friends. Each gift had a name that belonged to one of our boys. Here I sat and watched as all of us eagerly awaited the revealing of the gift contents. Although I had no energy, my eyes widened as my boys jumped around with excitement. Play dough. A small, handheld motorcycle. Thomas The Train. A red wagon brought over just days earlier from a friend. 

As we sat moments later in the debris of wrapping paper, it felt so incredibly humbling seeing Christmas occur moment by moment without any effort done by me.

I wasn’t ready, but Christmas came anyway. 

I had nothing to offer, but Christmas could care less.

Yet, after church and eating with a few friends, I was sure glad Christmas found me in this completely humbling place. 

A place where all I could do is expect the unexpected. When you cannot prepare, you lose the ability to really expect anything. You simply live in the moment, breathing in the presence of God with each conversation, with each tear of wrapping paper, with each smile and with the gleam of every Christmas light. 

Since that Christmas, I’ve never been able to plan every moment out again. Yes, we have our traditions (which I’ll be sharing about this month!) but there is a great need to allow God to completely takeover our attempt at His Son’s birthday. For most of the world missed the King’s coming, because they were not expecting the unexpected. They were looking for a king, born in a holy place…a palace but not a stable. God speaks through our unplanned and humbled moments dear friends. I challenge you to take time right now to quiet your heart and really take a closer look at your Christmas calendar. 

Leave room for the unexpected and expect God to humble you this Christmas

[tweetthis]Leave room for the unexpected and expect God to humble you this Christmas. [/tweetthis]

Bethany is an ICF trained Certified Professional Christian Life Coach (Christian Coach Institute Graduate), Motivational and Inspirational Speaker, mentor to women and an author. Bethany defines herself as a child of God who loves to use her passion for change to inspire others. She has overcome disabilities, wading through the trials and rewards of marriage and motherhood. She enjoys being a wife to Steve for 10 years and mother to three boys (ages 7, 5 and 2). She is a double brain cancer survivor, a 9 year veteran in the field of youth and children's ministry and has published poetry, featured blog posts for numerous ministry websites and children's ministry curriculum contributions. Bethany is currently working on her first book to be released this Fall as well as various freelancing projects. Bethany always welcomes new coaching clients and speaking opportunities!

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16 thoughts on “Expecting The Unexpected

  1. Oh to be able to do this easily, Bethany! You left me with tears; your words going straight to my heart and soul. Yes, when we “Leave room for the unexpected and expect God to humble (us) this Christmas”, we do find Him where he has been all along. I can’t say “I’ve been there” just where you were on that Christmas Sunday; but have had many Christmases when I just didn’t “feel” it…I planned for it; but didn’t have “the Christmas feeling. Thank you for opening your heart and sharing; I pray I can be open to His unexpected treasures!!

    • Your words touched me too dear friend! I enjoy just sharing my crazy experiences…I’m still amazed at how God uses our stories to impact others. Trusting Him!

  2. I love this post, Bethany! What a wonderful reminder at Christmastime, but also for every other day of the year. Sometimes we need to learn to embrace letting go just a little and watch God in the midst of our circumstances. Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts with us.

  3. Oh, Bethany, I love this! I am trying to embrace a balance of being more intentional about maintaining our traditions even from the mission field this year and yet not getting to attached to MY agenda. I am going to take “expect the unexpected” as my mantra for achieving that balance. Last year, one child had an emergency appendectomy the third week of Advent. I could handle a little less excitement this year.

  4. There’s a very good lesson to be learned from your post, Bethany. I know that sometimes I need to allow that lesson to sink into my thick skull! I admire how easily you adapt to “expecting the unexpected” and just “breathe in the presence of God.” What a wonderful way for you to experience what God can do for you on His Son’s birthday – and He can do it without your help! I pray I never forget this in my own experiences. Merry Christmas to you and yours!

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