A few years ago Disney Vacation Club had a slogan; “The Best Kept Secret.” Secrets are so hard to keep, but the surprise is so worth the wait. Anyone who knows me knows how hard it is for me to keep a secret. Well, that is when the news is good. I can hold on to bad news forever. I mean how fun is it to spread gloom? But happy stuff? It’s so hard to hold in. To see the joy and excitement of sharing something good is a challenge to refrain from. But I do when needed, because there’s nothing I love more than a surprise.
So what’s so special about a surprise? Well, let’s look back to some scriptures which hold some amazing surprises.
Jesus turned the water into wine. There’s so much I love about this passage, like it was fine wine, none of that soda pop wine, but especially because it was about how much our Heavenly Father cares for the details in our life. It would have been socially embarrassing for this couple to run out of wine, but the Lord surprised them and met their need on their incredibly special day. (John 2:1-11)
Another surprise was the feeding of 5,000. Don’t you know those disciples were concerned when Jesus blessed the five loaves and two fish? But man. How surprised were they when they not only fed thousands of people but also had twelve baskets of leftovers? (Matthew 14:15-21)
And then there is the parting of The Red Sea. Can you imagine the Israelites getting to the shoreline? Pharaoh and his army hot on their trail. A body of water before them. Don’t you know their hearts were beating out of their chest? The adrenaline pumping through their bodies. And then Moses takes his staff and parts that water with an aisle of opportunity and safety before them. What a surprise! (Exodus 14:10-31)
Now these stories may not surprise you today, but they should. They should get you super excited just like the moment they occurred. These stories may have settled into our spirits as something common. Growing up with these stories, hearing this our entire lives, may cause us to lose sight of how impressive these miracles are and cause us to forget they were surprises.
My take away is that God loves to surprise his children. And just as He has surprised us countless times over, so we love to surprise the children He gave to us. The joy is all ours to see the excitement on our children’s faces. It blesses us to surprise them. And we gave it our best shot these past several months.
Seven months ago we made reservations to visit Disney World. Six months ago we booked all of our Disney World Dining. Over a month ago we chose all of our FastPass+ selections. All the while our children didn’t know a thing.
Brandon had this fabulous idea to keep it a secret and surprise them the morning of our departure. Let me tell you, he’s the reserved character in this relationship; therefore, it’s not nearly as difficult for him to keep things to himself as it is for me, the one who loves to talk about everything. But this last week he felt the challenge too.
It took a lot of planning…and discipline not to say a word. Typically, we do a 30-day countdown calendar. We get a poster board at Wal-Mart, lay out the grid and Brandon adds specific artwork relative to where we are going. But not this time. This time, we came up with an elaborate plan and packed up without them knowing. Our story went like this….
‘Twas the night before vacation and the Meadows children had no clue! I said, “Come on guys. We’ve got to get to bed. I signed up to work extra tomorrow because they are short a few nurses. Grandma can’t keep you all, so Dad is going to drop you off at Nana’s in the morning on his way to work. You’ll have to get up early because he’s got to get to the office for a meeting.”
In the preceding days, I utilized their time at school to hoard away clothes in our safe room closet. They were packed a week before we left. The most difficult part was to play it cool when inside I was screaming, “We’re going to Disney World!!!!”
All great surprises are worth waiting for, because the memory of the joy it brings lasts a lifetime.
Our children have had a Disney vacation nearly every year of their life, but we imagine the year they got one, that they didn’t think they were getting one, will be one they treasure throughout their years. We hope they feel overjoyed, we hope they feel loved and special, we hope they soak up every ounce of fun each surprise life has to offer.
And we hope, in it all, they see Jesus, the One who came full of surprises. Because who would’ve thought a King would come in a manger? Big surprise. And the surprises kept coming. And they continue on today. He has this AMAZING plan, and we don’t even know all the details. He reveals it in His perfect timing.
My husband and I planned a trip we knew our kids would enjoy. We waited to reveal it when it would mean the most. And we were blessed to bless them. What joy it gave us. The same joy I pray we bring to our Heavenly Father when He surprises us!
He has the best kept secrets!
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Sure love being able to replay this moment. It was definitely worth the wait.
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