In the movie Finding Forrestor, Sean Connery's character, Mr. Forrestor, gives his young prodigy some advice for wooing a girl's heart: give an unexpected gift at an unexpected time. 

Perhaps this is not just good advice for wooing hearts; maybe it is good advice for all who want to show their love and care for others.  Giving gifts when we are supposed to--at birthdays, Christmas, and life events (wedding, baby showers)--is nice.  Giving people the things they ask for and need at these times is also nice.  Yet, giving an expected gift at an expected time lacks the power of surprise gift. 

The gifts I remember most throughout my life have always been the ones I didn't expect.  My dad once gave my his Bible, a totally unexpected Christmas gift.  My mom and dad together gave me the first piece of jewlery my dad gave to my mom when I turned 13.  I've had two people cancel loans after I borrowed money from them and before I could pay it back to them.  Someone else gave me flowers for no reason.  My brother cleaned the apartment when I didn't ask him too.  And so the list goes . . . both significant and insignificant items. . . but the gifts that shine greatest in my treasure trove of memories are the ones which were unexpected.

Since God's ways are higher than our ways and His thoughts so much better and wiser than ours, life is full of unexpected gifts at unexpected times.  My parents were given a son 13 years after their second daughter (and after being told my a doctor they would probably have no more children)!  I find myself speaking Chinese and living in Taiwan when 10 years ago I hated foreign languages and I didn't even know where Taiwan was on the globe.  My sister recently married a man she met on a crime scene (they both work in law enforcement).  And so the list contines.  Unexpected gifts.  Surprises by the Master. 

But God's love and peace and grace and mercy also take me by surprise.  There are days when I find myself joyful when there are no material, physical reasons to be happy.  At times like this I find myself surprised by joy.  There are times in life when by all outward apperances I should be a nervous wreck, yet because of God's grace my heart and mind are at total rest and void of worries.  At times like this I am surpised by peace.  There are times when I should be loney and bored but instead I am content.  At times like this I find myself surprised by His great love for me.  At other times, I am surprised by how the Holy Spirit works in me or how He works through me.  And so the list contines.  Unexpected gifts.  Surprises by the Master. 

Really, I suppose I should not be surprised by these things.  But, in all honesty, I always am.  God's goodness and grace are neverending sources of surprises. 

So, perhaps the beatuty of a surprise is in it's unexpected nature.  For, you see, there is no better way to woo a young woman's heart than with an unexpected gift at an unexpected time.

This post was submitted to the Carnival of Beauty sponsored by Sallie at A Gracious Home
This week the theme is The Beauty of Surprises and is hosted by me right here at Following an Unknown Path.  Join us next week for The Beauty of Reaching Out.


  1. I enjoyed reading this so much!! You helped open my eyes to some of God's gifts that I have not considered gifts before. What a nice surprise!

  2. Amanda - I sent you a submission, but we're having problems with our email. If you didn't get it, let me know. It is on my site. Thanks!

  3. I love to give gifts, and one of my favorite things is to find a gift that will suit someone perfectly and to send it at an unexpected time. The sheer excitement of the surprise is fabulous to me.

  4. Amanda, what a very enjoyable post to read about the unexpected gifts the Lord provides. (I wanted to participate for this week's theme but just never got my mind thinking on what exactly to contribute.) You did a great job (and I especially liked the ending about wooing a lady with an unexpected gift :).) Now I'm off to read the other entries.

  5. I really enjoyed this article....great job! One thought I'd like to add about unexpected gifts is...sometimes I don't realize the unexpected thing is a gift until much later. At the time, the unexpected thing happens it feels like an interruption or detour, but later I see how it was really a gift from God. I guess that would be what we call a blessing in disguise? How different my life would be if I would percieve those unexpected things as "gifts" instead of interruptions or detours! Love ya, Mom


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