Why You Should Embrace the Unexpected

Embrace the Unexpected!

If there’s one lesson I’ve learned in life (and then had to learn over and over and over again), it’s to embrace the unexpected.

We all have dreams growing up—I dreamed of marrying a man with the last name of Baker and having 13 children. Instead, I married a wonderful man from Cuba and have two children (and really, God knew what he was doing—I didn’t do well with the whole pregnant and baby thing).

I thought I wanted to be a lawyer when I grew up. I’m a teacher instead. But I’ve been blessed to work at private Christian schools where I can form life-long friendships with my students. Now we work at a school and have about 52 children full time in addition to our biological children and all of our ‘kids’ from previous schools (our family reunion in heaven will be amazing).

This last weekend, Pedro and I planned a getaway to his favorite place on earth—Sedona, AZ. For this first time in months, just the two of us would spend time together mountain biking and exploring.

It rained. Not just a little, but a lot. We had fun anyway. We spent the first day running errands to romantic places such as Costco and the doctor’s office. Late in the afternoon, we decided to hike anyway—despite the rain (it had slacked off to a gentle drizzle).

I grabbed my waterproof camera and we set off to explore a new trail. Because of the rain, I left my ‘good camera’—the DSLR with the wide selection of lenses that weighs about 30 pounds back in the car. For the first time in a long time, I didn’t annoy Pedro with my constant stopping to take pictures and then getting too far behind him. Instead, I’d snap a shot or two or three (ok, maybe five or six), shove the camera in my pocket and jog to catch up with him. I learned something in the process—I can take good photos with a point-and-shoot camera, too.

Bell Rock

Yellow flowers

Bell Rock


Sedona Spring-6

Sedona Spring-2

Our second day we went on a long mountain bike ride and I continued to learn about the powers of my new bicycle (it has 29-inch wheels, which basically means that I can keep up with Pedro without having to work twice as hard). We stopped occasionally to soak in the view (and snap a few more photos), and for the first time in forever, I kept up with him the whole ride and we ended up back at the truck right as the rain stated to fall again.Trek Mt. Bike

After lunch, we decided to hike on another new trail (Sedona has scads of hiking and biking trails). When we arrived at the parking lot, Pedro decided on a nap to the rhythm of the rain. After forty-five minutes, he felt rested and the rain had let up, so we went for another hike and saw more beauty.

Sedona Spring

Agave Plant

The unexpected produced memories, lessons and enough beauty to revive and rejuvenate us for the last three and a half weeks of the school year. We may plan, but only God makes us able to live it and enjoy what he knows we need.

Embrace the unexpected—you just might discover that those quirks and changes to your plans turn out to be grace notes from a God who wants to rest your weary soul.

Embracing the unexpected leads to blessings; lamenting it leads to dissatisfaction. Click To Tweet

Anita currently teaches English to 7th-12th graders. She describes herself as a ‘recovering cancer caregiver’ who gives thanks daily that her husband has been cancer-free for ten years.

Please note: We reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

  • Anita- This is why I click on your links whenever I see them. Thank you for reminding me that God’s in control- and has the very best plans laid out for my life. I need to practice saying yes when the unexpected comes my way. Beautiful post, friend.

  • Anita, your photography is beautiful! Truly God’s beauty and splendor are shown in these pictures! It looks like you had an amazing time!
    Michelle recently posted…CrowdMy Profile

  • First of all, those are AMAZING pictures. Second, I am SOOO happy you were able to find the blessings in your time together and enjoy the weather and the beauty it provided and of course the time spent together. It sounds like you had an awesome time because things didnt go as planned! God is amazing and knows exactly what we need when we need it! <3
    Marisa recently posted…When You Never Get to Meet Your BabyMy Profile

  • These are beautiful! Breathtaking! I love how active you guys are. I am sure it was a tough call leaving your good camera, but I would have done the same thing. It’s too risky with the moisture. The pics still turned out great anyway. By the way Sedona is the best! We fell in love with the place when we went there back in 2005 and named our daughter after the city when she was born in 2010.
    Messy Mom recently posted…Are Breasts the New Shoulders?My Profile

    • Thank you, Natalie :). That’s so cool that you named your daughter after Sedona! It is a beautiful, beautiful place.

  • I love this! The pictures are stunning. And I love the picture of Dad taking a picture of that awesome rock-mountain. This is a lesson I keep learning, too…I love to plan, and I need to learn how to embrace it when plans go differently than I assumed they would. 🙂
    Laura recently posted…Five Tips On Getting Things DoneMy Profile

  • You have watered my curiosity and interest in the desert! Thank you for these lovely photos.
    Susan Shipe recently posted…tasty tuesday: broccoli-quinoa casseroleMy Profile

  • Anita, I loved this! Your pictures made me feel like I was right there. You’re right, you can take wonderful pictures with your point and shoot 🙂 I’m glad you had such a great vacation! Blessings to you!
    Gayl recently posted…Slowing the PaceMy Profile

  • This is wonderful – all of it! The lesson and all those wonderful pictures.
    Wendy recently posted…Falling off the wagon – Falling into GraceMy Profile

  • Glad you got to spend some time together. All I have ever owned is a point-and-shoot camera and my phone. You reminded me that I can take just as good of pictures with my phone and/or point and shoot. Thanks for that reminder friend! Gorgeous photos!

  • Anita-These pictures were stunning. I definitely need to travel and explore more to see what the rest of the world or even the USA has to offer. I love taking pictures and hiking. The beauty is nothing like I have ever seen before. Blessed you shared this with all of us!
    Mary Geisen recently posted…On This DayMy Profile

  • This pictures are lovely! I will indeed embrace the unexpected today!

  • Anita, Anita…I love Sedona and your photos remind me of the beauty of that area. I have not been there in many years but the last time was with my precious mother as we were driving across country to take her back to San Diego to live (from Washington, DC where I taught and she lived with me for a year and a half. She loved DC.) Anyway, I have fond memories of Sedona.
    Back to your post…the unexpected can be scary but I am learning as I grow older to be okay risking for today is today and it may be my last day. We just don’t know and I don’t want to miss God because I was afraid. Thanks for blessing me tonight.
    Caring through Christ, ~ linda
    ~ linda recently posted…Fruit of the Spirit – ColorfullyMy Profile

    • It’s always nice to run into another Sedona enthusiast! It truly is a beautiful place–I’ve never seen it in all its spring grandeur before–just stunning.
      Anita Ojeda recently posted…Why You Should Embrace the UnexpectedMy Profile

  • Your pictures are breathtaking!! Richard always was the photographer on our trips. I used to tease him about his other woman (the camera). She was always in the way. She slowed him down quite a bit too. And I griped about her off and on. Now I am so glad to have the pictures. Thanks for the reminders you always have for me!!
    Paula recently posted…Yelling Can Be Good for the SoulMy Profile

  • Your pictures are stunning – The whole earth is filled with His glory! (Isaiah 6:3). We’re from NC but we’ve traveled to Sedona twice. Such a beautiful place. I read from Philippians 4 this morning about God’s promises to meet our every need and supply peace in any circumstance. Your words are so fitting with these truths. Thank you for encouraging me to slow my pace and be mindful of grace notes today!
    Renee Ratcliffe recently posted…Don’t Draw the LineMy Profile

  • Wow! Thank you for bringing me back home. I was raised in the Pinal Mountains, Arizona. Miss it and you could work for Arizona Highways. Blessings ~Chris

    • Aw, thanks for the complement, Chris :). I’m glad I could bring a little home to you!

  • Oswald Chambers calls this “gracious uncertainty”. God is even in the wrenches in our day weaving them with His grace and perfect plans. It can be hard to remember that though, when we feel like are plans are upended. Thank you for the reminder. So glad God blessed your getaway- I’ve always wanted to visit Sedona and your photos make me want to go more!
    Tiffany recently posted…Why Your Short Skirt and Cleavage Won’t Offend MeMy Profile

  • Wow! You took some amazing pictures! They are beautiful! Thank you for sharing them with us and thank you for reminding me to be okay with the unexpected. The unexpected can have some beautiful results! 🙂
    Rachel Quigley recently posted…What To Do When I Have to WaitMy Profile

    • Thank you, Rachel :). It’s not easy embracing the unexpected, but you’re right–the results are amazing!

  • Hi. Stopping by from His Story.
    Such a great post. Brought to mind many moments when it would have been much easier to complain an miss the glory of His timing. And many times I have missed it, as well.
    Great photos, as well.
    Love your heart.
    Daune (Pronounced Dawn) Smith recently posted…To Live Free Or Fearful? THAT Is The Question.My Profile

    • Thank you for stopping by Daune (and for the pronunciation guide for your name ;)).

  • As a teacher of seventh graders, I needed this reminder this week. Thank you. And thanks for the beautiful pictures too.
    Debbie Putman recently posted…Surrender Means Seek HimMy Profile

    • Bravo for you! Seventh and eighth grades are tough years for kids–and they need loving people to help guide them through!

  • I could tell by your title that this post would be for me, Anita. 🙂 I was just having this conversation last night with a friend about how we have to be open to the mystery, even though the unknown can be scary.

    Jeff and I visited Sedona a few years back and fell in love with it too. So glad you and Pedro (albeit not Baker) got to visit. 🙂 Your photos are marvelous!
    Lisa notes recently posted…What I’m into for May 2015My Profile

    • :). It’s hard to embrace the unexpected–especially if you’ve had a lot of unexpected in your life. Pedro’s glad I didn’t marry a man named Baker, too ;).

  • Wow incredible pictures! This will be a trip you will talk about for years! 🙂
    Sarah Donegan recently posted…Choose to LoveMy Profile