Expecting the unexpected

“There is only one kind of shock worse than the totally unexpected: the expected for which one has refused to prepare.”
― Mary Renault

“The expected always happens”
― Benjamin Disraeli

(an unexpected visitor rising up from the woods / Julie Cook / 2015)

It was early Sunday morning. . .my husband was outside as I was still in, cleaning up the kitchen.
Suddenly. . .out of nowhere, there is a voracious, deep engulfing sound reverberating from some place out and up.
“What in the world is he doing” I wondered as the cat flew past me racing into the house in a pure panic.

“GET THE CAMERA” I hear reaching up through the closed windows.
Racing outside to the shouts of my husband and the mysterious intermittent dinosauresque blast of sound.
Careening my neck and squinting my eyes I peer toward the woods. . .
Woods. . .
We live on 5 acres of what was once pure pasture surrounded by woods. What is it that is seemingly so large, so massive and so ravenous sounding which is about to come forth from the cover of dense woods to devour us. . .shades of Jurassic Park play through my mind. . .a T Rex, perhaps a wicked little valasoraptor is about to break through the trees, racing toward my direction. . .

When from out of nowhere, the tip of a hot air ballon peeks above the tree tops.

I don’t know. . .I don’t think I want to know. . .how, why. . .where does a hot air ballon come from in the middle of the woods in the middle of the countryside. . .who knew. . .

Which brings us to today and my visit to Dads. . .

I had departed early for Atlanta this morning feeling pretty good about everything. . .the weather was great with a bright beautiful sun rising brilliantly in a deep blue summer-like sky. . .the traffic for a Monday morning was delightfully manageable and heck, I had seen a hot air balloon at my house the morning prior, this was a great day and it was to be a simple easy visit with nothing pressing. . .no major decisions, no crisis. . .

One might say that’s what I get for “assuming” all is well, for being complacent or simply for being lost in the joys of Spring. . .silly me. . .

Too long of a story to express.
There are no words. . .
It was the twilight zone meets a breaking heart
A “you’ve got to be kidding me” kind of day. . .

Just know that it was the type of day that left me driving home, in tears, debating
stopping traffic on both sides of I20, climbing on top of my car and simply screaming for the world to stop. . .

I was a girl scout.
I know all about being prepared.
I’m a mother. . .
A career long educator—teenagers for heaven’s sake!
I know all about the plan B’s of life
So why did I not see today coming?
Why do I continue to think things will be predictable, calm, routine. . .
These two people have dementia, as well as a host of maladies besetting
bodies that are betraying the owners. . .

Expect the unexpected.

God prepares us for that.
We are strangers in a strange land.
We are the apparent enemy of the state, as we are the heirs apparent to the glory of the Son.
We are the adopted sons and daughters, not of this world, but of God almighty. .
And yes, we know all about the unexpected and yet it is to the expected, the known promise to which we cling. . .as I look to comfort myself with the notion that I must continue looking for those unexpected balloons of wonderment rising up from the dark woods of my life. . .

Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to such and such a city, and spend a year there and engage in business and make a profit.” Yet you do not know what your life will be like tomorrow. You are just a vapor that appears for a little while and then vanishes away. Instead, you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we will live and also do this or that.” But as it is, you boast in your arrogance; all such boasting is evil. Therefore, to one who knows the right thing to do and does not do it, to him it is sin.
James 4:13-15

10 comments on “Expecting the unexpected

  1. Lisa says:

    I’VE HAD A DAY LIKE THAT! :p Really encouraging, again. 🙂

  2. David says:

    We get the occasional hot air balloon popping up by us so I know the rush for the camera well Julie. Sorry to hear you had such a difficult day on Monday.

    Sometimes my ‘worst’ days take place after my ‘best’ quiet times. I can remember saying to God after one such quiet time, “wow! what was that about?” His very audible reply: “To prepare you for the day you are about to face.”

    Blessings, David

  3. Lynda says:

    Oh Julie my friend! I’m so sorry that you are having to manage this at a distance and cope with traffic as well as the people whom you love. But I take such comfort in your comment to David – that you know you are not alone. Bless you.

  4. Oh I love hot air balloons. That same thing happened to me a couple of years ago. It was a Sunday afternoon, I was sitting on the ground weeding in a flowerbed and I heard that noise exactly as you described it. For a minute I couldn’t imagine what it was and then I heard laughter from above as it glided over and I knew. I jumped up and ran in to get my camera and got back in time to get a few shots. Usually there’ll be several at a time, but this was a lone one or at least it was the only one close to my house. I’m so sorry you were blindsided and had such a miserable day. I actually used to roll my car windows down and scream out my fustrations when my day was like that. Somehow it did make it a bit better. Yes, Lynda is so right. You are never alone.
    I pray that you feel the Lord’s arms around you now and that your day has softened the day’s badness. Love and hugs, N 🙂 ❤

  5. lljostes says:

    What a roller coaster you are riding this week, Julie! May God be your seatbelt and keep you ever close to Him. A big hug ~ Laura

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