Stephanie Rische

Stubbing My Toe on Grace

Surprise Me! October 29, 2013

Filed under: Family — Stephanie Rische @ 8:03 am
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I love going places with my sister where there is ordering of any sort involved. That’s because almost without fail, when she places her order, she drops the line “Surprise me” at some point in the conversation.


If she’s getting a cappuccino and the barista asks what flavor she’d like, Meghan will give her trademark dimpled grin and say, “Surprise me!” If she’s ordering a salad and is offered various dressing options, her response is the same: “Surprise me!” If I’m getting her something to drink out of Mom’s fridge, I can almost guarantee her refrain will echo once again: “Surprise me!”


I always stare at her, wide eyed. “What if you get something you don’t like?”


She just flashes a grin at me and shrugs. “That’s part of the fun of the surprise.”


Me, I’m a planner. I like to map it all out, write a script. I cling to the illusion of control. Truth be told, I’d rather do the surprising than the being surprised.


But this sister of mine, she lives with her arms wide open. She embraces life, holds out her hands to accept the surprises God has for her, just the way she does with her coffee.


So when the time approached for Meghan’s baby to born, I should have expected that this surprise-loving sister of mine would make room for as many surprises as possible.


“Girl or boy?” I asked over the phone, breathless, after her ultrasound.


“We’re going to be surprised!” she said, and I could hear the smile in her voice.


“What names are you thinking about?”


“We’re keeping it a surprise!”


And of course, the details of the birth itself were a surprise. Two days before her due date, Meghan went to the doctor. “You’re progressing right along,” he said. “It should be any day now.”


But the next day nothing happened. And nothing the next day either, or the day after, or the whole week after.


And then, ten days past her due date, just when the doctor was ready to speed things along, surprise! The baby decided to make a grand appearance. And the new mom and dad unwrapped their surprise package right there in their hospital room…a little gift of a girl named Addie Mae.




And when I first looked into the face of that sweet surprise, I wondered what other surprises God might have up his sleeve. What do I miss out on when I try to make the plan and script it all out myself?


This little girl, this eight-pound bundle, she is teaching me already. Her life whispers, as soft as breathing, This is life! This is joy! This is a whole new world of divine surprises.




So here I am, God, with my eyes squeezed shut and my arms wide open. Surprise me.




12 Responses to “Surprise Me!”

  1. tiffanie Says:

    thanks for this sweet perspective, stephanie! and congrats to auntie stephie!

  2. Kay Says:

    Dear Stephanie, I always smile after reading one of your posts. I am a person who always prefers to surprise someone else, instead of being surprised myself.the faith it takes to just close your eyes and open your arms wide is still growing in me.maybe one of these days it will become automatic! Thanks so much for your wonderful words.and continue to enjoy those new baby girl hugs!

  3. Pati Bradstreet Says:

    Oh Stephanie what a lucky baby Addie is to have you as her Aunt! Thanks for the surprise!!
    Pati Bradstreet

  4. Oh my heart look at you and that precious baby girl!! The best most beautiful and beloved kind of surprises. How blessed they are to have you as an aunt!!

  5. Nancy Rische Says:

    What a beautiful surprise. I haven’t been too much of one for surprises but I am learning. God always has surprises up His sleeve. I hope I am ready for them. (But really how can you be ready for a surprise?) Enjoy Aunt Eppie and Uncle Dude.

  6. Carol Says:

    Surprise me….i love that. I am a planner, i have to write everything down, if going on a long trip i even prepare a packing list right down to the number of t’shirts for myself, daughter and husband, even the food we will carry on the journey!!!

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