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I wanted to share with you this lovely view of the mountains that surrounds the valley we live it.

They’re looking a little dried up this time of year. Oh? You can’t see them? Hmm… You mean you don’t think they’re really there? Well sometimes you have to look below the surface of things to find the true beauty and lessons underneath. They ARE actually there. Right behind all that smoke from the fires that are burning in the western neck of the woods.

A similar experience happened to me just the other day. I think it may have been Martha over at Martha Reynolds Writes (but darn if I can remember — so if it was YOU, remind me!) who was talking at Christmas last year about choosing a word as a theme for your life for the year. I thought that was a really cool idea. And since I was kind of in the dumps about having difficulties getting ready for Christmas with this autoimmune thing, I thought it just might lift my spirits. So I waited for just a bit to see what word hung around in my mind, and sure enough, she was right. During the sermon at church one Sunday it just stood out to me — JOY. And every time I turned around I was seeing that word somewhere. So JOY became my watchword for the year.

About that same time I was caught up in reading about starfish and how if they lose one of their arms, another will grow back. I really felt like God, the Creator, the Higher Power, or whatever you want to call it, was telling me to persevere, that everything would come out right in the end. Then one day when I was shopping, I ran across a lovely starfish necklace and earring set. I bought it as a reminder of that assurance. (I’m a HUGE believer in signposts in a person’s life.)

Well, a few days ago his nibs and I were shopping at Hobby Lobby, and as we headed for the check-out stand, there on a display rack was this wooden magnet on a piece of board about six inches long painted with sunflowers and the words CHOOSE JOY. No longer surprised when I run across that word, I put it in my cart. It was only a couple bucks, and I loved it. I felt it was a real affirmation of what I had been focusing on the last eight months.

But then, as we stood at the cash register something ELSE caught my eye. It was a beautiful pair of starfish earrings, all sparkly and divine! And as I reached for them I realized I didn’t have quite enough money to buy both. I thought about the magnet in my basket and what it said. I knew if I bought the magnet and put it on the fridge, it would be a daily reminder of my goal. I had to make a choice. I chose JOY.

On the way home his nibs and I stopped for a spot of lunch, and as he got out of the car, he almost stepped on something shiny. He picked it up, asked me to hold out my hand, and said, “You made the right choice.” And he dropped a starfish earring into my palm. I can’t tell you the JOY that radiated from my core as I realized God was mindful of even THAT seemingly insignificant struggle. If something is important to us, it’s important to God.

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Sometimes things are just not what they seem. Sometimes they are gifts in disguise. The trick is to look beneath, behind, above, around until you see the beauty and miracles God has put in your life. Albert Einstein said:

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What miracles of you seen in YOUR life lately???

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Picture Source:
Mountains — moi
Starfish Earring — moi
Einstein Quote — AZ Quotes