Tag Archives: Sydney

Surprise me, God

     At this phase of my life journey, one of my favorite prayers is simply, “Surprise me, God!”

     This type of praying is still rather unique for me because I tend to be somewhat of a control freak who hasn’t liked surprises of any kind until perhaps the past couple years.

     A couple weekends ago, Ron and I surprised our older daughter and her family when we showed up at the Texas Roadhouse in Eugene, Oregon. Angie, Jonny, Mackenzie and Sydney with her boyfriend, Vic, were preparing to eat dinner prior to attending our grandson’s first home game playing hockey with the Eugene Generals. We’d told only Mackenzie—the family’s premier secret-keeper—our plans.

     Our delightful weekend served to remind me that sometimes God’s surprise includes precious fun-filled times with friends and family! Here the entire family celebrates with a spiffed-up Jackson, who made us all jump up and shout a short time earlier when he scored a spectacular goal.

Surprise Me, God

Sometimes God’s surprise includes precious fun-filled times with

friends and family!


     One week after our family surprise, Ron and I enjoyed a Friday lunch together followed by a walk along the beach. When we arrived home, Ron realized he’d lost his new, specially formulated and very expensive glasses. He left immediately to re-trace his route.

     No, the glasses hadn’t been found at the restaurant, he was told.

     He didn’t see them in the lot where we’d parked.

     (Of course, the entire time he was searching, both Ron and his wife who’d remained at home were praying.)

     My husband’s final stop was at the lake where he had knelt in the sandy beach to take photos. The man who’d been donning his wetsuit at the same time we were walking and taking pictures, had returned from his swim and commented, “Where did these come from?” just as Ron arrived next to the fellow’s beach towel to inquire whether he’d seen a pair of glasses. There, clasped in the questioning man’s hands, were Ron’s [new, specially formulated, very expensive] spectacles!

     This stressful incident reminded me that sometimes God’s surprise comes in the form of a gracious and merciful discovery!

C:\Users\Susan Reeve\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows\INetCache\Content.Word\Surprise Me - Beach.jpg

     I enjoy looking at ways the Bible tells how God surprised different people. These examples come immediately to mind this morning as I write this blog post.

     Joseph, who, like the little boy, Alexander, in the children’s book, had known more than his share of “terrible, horrible, no good, very bad days,”[1] was quite suddenly surprised by God when he was released from an Egyptian prison and catapulted to second in command of the Egyptian government in only a short period of time. (For Joseph’s story see Genesis Chapter 37-50)

     Moses, who after 40 years, undoubtedly felt resigned to a future of tending sheep in the Midian Desert, was surprised by God through the encounter of a burning bush. God’s updated marching orders sent Moses to lead a band of over a million folks with slavery-instituted mindsets to a land God promised to their ancestors hundreds of years earlier. (See Exodus 3.)

     A teenage girl, Mary, surprised when an angel told her she would give birth to the long-awaited Messiah. (See Luke 1:26-56)

     A ragtag group of shepherds, surprised when a band of angels announced the birth of the Messiah. (See Luck 2:8-20)

     A group of grieving women surprised once again by an angel. This time, they were assured their beloved friend and teacher, Jesus, was no longer in the tomb but had risen, even as he’d promised. (See Matthew 28:1-10)

     I once heard a minister say words that resonated at the time and continue to return to my memory as truth:

     “God never acts quickly, but God always acts suddenly.”

     Today, as I conclude, I’m praying for each person reading this post..

     Dear God, please surprise this reader with one of Your good gifts! You know each need, each prayer, each heart. Surprise in a way that’s unique and causes him or her to recognize Your kindness in the surprise.


Sue Reeve

  1. To listen to this delightful children’s book, visit https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h6rp0SZX7l


Bidding Farewell to a Trustworthy Car…

     Recently, I learned my oldest granddaughter’s beloved car, which she’d named Pearl, had been declared beyond repair.

     This past spring when we attended her college graduation, Sydney told me she felt certain prayer had been the power that kept Pearl running until she graduated. She was hoping prayer might keep her running a little bit longer, but unfortunately, Pearl was unable to hang in there for quite as long as Sydney had hoped.

     Our granddaughter spent her last two years of college studying at University of Nevada in Reno. Her first winter in Reno was extra snowy and quite a shock to our California-grand girl. Pearl didn’t let Syd down, though, as she slid around, learning to navigate in the snow.

     Pearl carried Sydney safely over the infamous 7,000-foot-high Donner Pass on more than one occasion so she wouldn’t miss family celebrations.

     Pearl transported our granddaughter and her friends during happy times and, also, carried her through some sad and stressful seasons.

     I have no intention of saying something silly right now like, “RIP, Pearl, in that Great Junkyard in the Sky!” Certainly, a good car can become a good friend, but I realize its mechanical design has no eternal value.

     Sydney’s recent loss, though, brought to my memory a time when I needed to part with a very special vehicle, and a portion of my heart relates to Sydney’s sadness over losing Pearl.

     Several years ago, my husband, Ron, told me he thought it was time to bid adieu to my Toyota Camry. Its odometer registered over 242,000 miles, and the trustworthy vehicle was showing increasing signs of wear and tear. Sadly, I said, “Good-bye” to the little green car that frequently had felt as holy as a beautiful cathedral, a sacred sanctuary where my spirit joined with the God of the Universe.

     After parting with my green Camry—a vehicle I never named—I wrote a story about my special experience with the car. I will share that story with you in the two upcoming Listening on the Journey… posts.

     I hope you’ll enjoy the story. And, I hope Sydney will enjoy her new transportation buddy, this sweet Hyundai Santa Fe Sport!

C:\Users\Susan Reeve\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows\INetCache\Content.Word\IMG950170 (002).jpg

     Wherever your journey is taking you today, I pray God will bless you…

Sue Reeve

Sue Reeve


Happy Birthday, Dearest Granddaughters…

Image result for quotes about granddaughters and grandmothers

     I became a grandma for the first time on November 22nd. The wonder of watching Sydney Marie make her grand entrance from my daughter’s womb into a, wide, waiting, welcoming world is one etched forever in my mind. That day, my heart expanded with a love I never imagined possible.

     Then, two years and one day later, November 23rd—Thanksgiving Day that year—my capacity to love expanded even more when my second granddaughter, Mackenzie Kathryn, made her debut.

     In today’s Listening on the Journey… blog post, I’d like to celebrate these two amazing young women.

     Sydney is an exuberant extrovert.


     Mackenzie is a deep-thinking, sometimes somber, introvert.


     Each is beautiful inside and outside.


Practicing outer beauty at Mimi’s house!

     Each is smart. Both will graduate from college in 2017—Sydney from University of Nevada Reno and Mackenzie from University of California Santa Cruz.

     Each has a unique, delightful—sometimes quirky—sometimes goofy—sense of humor.


Clowning around during a trip we took with Sydney, Mackenzie and Jackson to Williamsburg, VA and Washington, D.C. Oh, what memories we made!

Each cares about and is loyal to family.


Junior bridesmaids at Auntie Sarah’s wedding.

     I’ve said it many times, but today, it feels worth repeating. My favorite life roles have been those of wife, mother and grandmother. My prayer for each one of my granddaughters is that one day, those will be included in their favorite life roles.

     Happy birthday, Sydney and Kenzie. Each of you is loved wildly by your Grandma Susie—or, as Syd has dubbed me, ‘Granny!’

     Blessings on your journeys….

     Grandma Sue Reeve