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The Best and Worst of Times

Written by Vicki Hinze

On December 23, 2010


WARNING:  This is a no-edit zone…

I wasn’t the first to say it but that doesn’t make it any less true.  It’s been a wicked and wondrous few months–especially the last two weeks.

The wondrous:  I’ve spent a lot of time with my angels.  For those of you not yet grans, lemme tell you, you have a grand treat in store.  There’s something magnificent in seeing a little one genuinely delighted to see you.  One thrilled to be with you.  One who, though she’s spent the entire day with you, phones soon after leaving to tell you she loves you one more time.

More Wondrous:  We were under a barrage of tornado warnings but were spared any hits or damage from the hurricane.  The levees held in New Orleans and my childhood home wasn’t flooded as experts feared it would be.  I took a trip down memory lane online, back to my old neighborhood and mentally back to my youth.  It was bittersweet.  A lot of fond memories, but a lot sadness for those who are no longer with me, too.  I went back to year one online, and that too is a wonder.  The memories triggered were surprising, too–life, my friends, is in the little things.  They most matter.

Even more wondrous:  The entire extended family is safe.  All were in the path of the storm, some very vulnerable, but everyone is well and safe.  Very grateful for that.

Even more wondrous still:  I’m writing through events and loving it!  My heart is so into the Crossroads series, and Forget Me Not is just going so well.  It’s the first time in years I’ve written wholly on instinct, and I am as eager as a tot to see what happens next.  It’s wonderful.

The wicked:  I’ve lost two special people lately, and that’s never easy.  Even when you know they’re heavenbound and okay.  It’s purely selfish–I miss them.

In the last three days the hurricane usurped life.  Shopping for the storm, left me stranded away from home–car broke down.  Fortunately my darling daughter plays rescuer, and the added bonus was I got even more unexpected time with the angels.

I guess the whole point in sharing these ordinary and mundane experiences is to share that there are unexpected blessings in the wondrous and in the wicked.

I suppose some would focus on just the loss.  But I also relived a lot of great memories with my two friends.  We’ve been through a lot together.  Some things funny, some just there and offering support when one or the other needed it.  How can being reminded of the good make you only see the bad?

I suppose some would focus on the car breaking down.  But it picked a convenient place–at the Toyota dealership. 🙂  I mean, as breakdowns go, that was pretty painless.  And while I waited for my rescue angel, I sat in a cool building and watched part of a ball game.  Terrific interception–which reminded  me that God intercedes for us all the time.  He did for me that day.  I could just as easily been stranded in the middle of nowhere–the opportunity was less than a couple miles away.  And yet I didn’t.  That didn’t happen.  I’m grateful for that.  For seeing that little touch of God’s hand.

Now it was hard to find anything positive in the tornado warnings that went on all day yesterday, I’ll admit.  But Hubby and I looked outside and with the door open, we could hear the rain and it was strong and steady and sure.  Not horizontal and the wind was blowing but wasn’t much more than a stiff breeze.  The leaves weren’t whipping about just rustling.  And what came to mind was hoping everyone was okay.  Then out of nowhere, this flash of memory comes to me.  I was about seven or maybe a little older.  At home with my folks, and it was raining so hard.  No thunder and lightning, and I was very excited.  Why?  Mom gave me  permission to shampoo my hair out in the rain.  So swimsuit on, I grabbed the shampoo and a towel and played in the rain, shampooing my hair.  I laughed the whole time.

Maybe that’s just life.  Maybe it’s all bittersweet.  We have our joys and our trials but our merciful Father gives us touches of the wondrous things mixed in with those tough ones so that they are bittersweet.

Maybe if we didn’t recall some good in the tough, we’d fail to see the true value in everything.  Maybe we wouldn’t see that He truly meant it when He promised we’d never be given more than we can handle.

It’s been a tough few weeks.  But it’s been peppered with moments of bliss and fond memories, too.  A lesson driven home is to look for the value in all that happens.  God is all about justice and justice is about balance.  In His wisdom, he gives us both, often together, to ease and comfort during trials, to remind us of plights during joyful times so we don’t become distant and callous.

And, in case you’re wondering, yes.  I did have to fight the urge to not grab the shampoo and head out into the rain . . .

I guess that makes all times the best and worst of times.  Need to think on that a bit…



c2008, Vicki Hinze


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