10836401_10205496065826382_347504392_nI’ll never forget the all-nighters spent in that cramped apartment closet, swaying my cranky firstborn and softly desperately singing “Be Still My Soul” until my words could no longer break through my tears. We had excitedly welcomed our first baby, but the road was harder than we had anticipated:

A shocking job loss and last minute move two weeks before the baby was due.

Unexpected health issues that plagued our sweet boy since the day he was born.

The surprising struggles and sad emotions I felt in the weeks after giving birth.

Unplanned financial strain over a house in another town that wouldn’t sell.

And just when I was doubting my competency in almost every area of my life, I woke up one morning with a wailing six month old in one hand and a positive pregnancy test in the other.

“Lord, I can’t do this.”

It wasn’t the gift of another baby that grieved me. Life is absolutely a miracle from God too amazing to fully comprehendWhat weighed heavy on my heart was my doubt in my ability to walk this unexpected road well – because let’s face it, my mothering journey up to that point had left me feeling pretty weak and unqualified.

But God doesn’t call the qualified.


I already know it, so why do I so often need reminded? I’m frustrated in my own lack of faith that in the unexpected, God knows better than me. Listen, He always knows better than me.

But Mary.

Mary’s young, trusting hands were unclasped. She wasn’t paralyzed by fear when Gabriel told her she’d give birth to the Messiah. Oh, in human terms, it was shocking, unexpected, surprising, unplanned news to be sure.

But she didn’t hesitate.

She didn’t fall to the ground in a weeping, doubting mess.

She didn’t ask a million questions or raise her voice in anger, and she definitely didn’t fire back with, “Lord I can’t do this.”

No, she accepted her calling and lifted her humble voice in praise – not because she was confident in her abilities – but because she KNEW the One who had called her.

When the unexpected comes, we have two choices: we can either become paralyzed, or we can praise.


Christmas 2002.

That was the Christmas that rocked my world… in the form of an eight pound, eight ounce unexpected baby boy.

But listen, God always, always knows better than me.

God knew that I’d need bright spots on weary days, so he gave me a boy who is always the first to jump up and clean a puddle of spilled milk – even if he wasn’t the one who spilled it. He knew I’d need comic relief, so He gave me ONE child – this boy – who consistently laughs at all my bad jokes. He knew I needed to know more compassion, so He gave me a boy who challenges me to love people unreservedly. He knew I’d need fresh reminders of redemption, so He gave me this boy who accepted God’s gift of grace and never got over it. But God also knew that I needed to let go of my self-sufficiency. My pride. My control over my life. And so he gave me this boy, who has also caused me to depend on Jesus like never before.

Unexpected roads can paralyze, or cause us to praise.

The great thing? You don’t need confidence in your ability to walk your unexpected road well. You just need to KNOW the One who calls you – and then with unclasped hands – place your full confidence in Him.

God doesn’t call the qualified, but He qualifies the called.

Embracing the unexpected on {The Road to Christmas} sounds a whole lot like this:

“I am the Lord’s servant. May it be to me as you have said.” ~ Luke 1:38

Can you say it?

Father I praise You, because the unexpected road is also a road that leads to unmerited grace. You are worthy… have your way in me.

At His feet,


Because Your love is better than life, my lips will glorify You. ~ Psalm 63:3

*LET’S TALK: Are you ready to hand over your unexpected road to Jesus? As a first step, in the comments section today simply type Mary’s humble, willing plea: “I am the Lord’s servant. May it be to me as you have said.”



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