I spent some time on New Year’s Day looking at all the wonderful collages of everyone’s #bestnine memories. Some clever app developer, putting together all of our best liked moments in one perfectly symmetric picture. Brilliant! We hold our breath to see what comes out, and “poof!” we have a collection of the best parts of our year.

I did mine, thought for awhile if it was an accurate representation and then joined the millions of other people and posted my snapshot of 2018.

But then (and blame it on the excessive sugar consumed this season), I wondered what my #worstnine would look like?

Is there an app for that?

To be honest, I’m formulating the grid right now in my mind. The state of my at-home clothes. Relationship rejection. Wrestling through calling and purpose. The health of my beloved mom. Messes and stress I’ve found myself in.

My perfectly-manicured life unhinged and real. What you don’t see behind my perfect-posed, much-loved and filtered #bestnine pictures.

I love my #bestnine.

But I know a #worstnine exists too.

You can’t have a best without the worst. 

But here’s the thing, it amazes me that no matter the circumstances, there is always something to be thankful for. Alternately, in the worst moments, there’s been a faith and grace that has always carried through. Making what is worse, an opportunity for best. 

Maybe there should be a #middlenine?

In the middle of the best and the worst, is the even plane of real life. Where you have to learn to balance, where you go up the hills and down the valleys and you try to find that place where there’s stability and hope to make it through each day.

Where the worst doesn’t take you down in one swoop.

And the best doesn’t make you think your an invincible superhero.

Life in either extreme isn’t healthy.

We have the worst days.

We have the best days.

And what makes up the rest of the time are the days in between. 

Those are the days that I want to make count this year. Those are the days where I do most of my living. 

I’ll live aiming for best, but determined to make it through whatever the worst throws at me.

Walking with joy through the middle of it all. When I look at my #bestnine I remember each moment, and what was happening during those days and hours that engulf those memories. Family time, amazing kids and memories, goal set and met, time well spent pursuing passion and dreams. I’m reminded that some of those best moments came out of some of the hardest. In the background of some of the #bestnine were some of the circumstances of the #worstnine. Each perfectly-posed picture has a story that surrounds it. A reminder that joy comes in the morning, and steps of dancing can come after seasons of tears.

No matter the season, I’ve never been forgotten or alone on either side. 

Our best and our worst are part of each other. 

My best days, are made better when I’ve come through the worse. 

My worst days have hope because I believe for the best. 

Every valley and mountain a part of the journey.

So, this year I’ll embrace it all.

#bestnine

#worstnine

Everything in between.