I like the concept of finding happy surprises. The best things are unexpected, like a gift for no reason. My mother in law came up with the name of our store that we lost in the earthquake. It was Rose In The Woods. Later on Good Morning America, I told Charles Gibons that it had turned out to be a Rose In The Rubble. When he was interviewing my daughter and I, the morning after.  I still remember the feeling of finding something beautiful in all that followed.

One huge one was that my daughter had survived it. If you follow this blog at all, you have read about her wanting to wait in our new Explorer that had been flattened by the roof that slid down on all the parked cars below…. I remember thinking stuff can be replaced but thank you Lord for saving my baby!

Life is not easy. People are not always kind and sometimes we don’t stop to consider where the other guy came from or why they are who they are. I have been pretty hurt by a few people in my own life. It is the times when I have stopped to make the effort to get to know their history that I have been rewarded with a thing of unexpected beauty so beyond my expectations. To understand their hurts from the ground up! Lately, I have taken the time to understand some major people in my past and it has been the most freeing experience I have ever gone through. Forgiveness and understanding have amazing medicinal powers and the miracles that follow are intoxicating.

As I grow older, I find blessings in the most unexpected places. This blog is one of them! In my time of need for prayer or friendship, a soft place to fall, support for my writing or just  a lot of encourgment…. I never dreamt that I would find it here… the place I go to store my ramblings!

After I lost my store, the spa where I work hired me as an Event Coordinator and when the economy took that turn we all are so aware of, my position along with my boss was removed from my place of employment. Though I am grateful they found another position  for me and kept me on, I had to take a pay cut and learn how to become financially creative. Which is how I began to be the retail “Buyer” for the spa. It gave me my “retail fix” and provided us with the extra income I had lost. It is kind of a win/win situation for us both. I do all the work, buying, displaying and they get a $$ cut. It has been a blessing because I know the area and the clientelle and what they like from owning my store, in turn, I have been successful at creating a revenue for myself and the spa.

I have a co-worker at work…  Who in the beginning, I have to admit that I missed her good points. TOTALLY overlooked them!!! Smile~ I only saw the annoying ones coming head on in front of me like a Mac Truck.  She is sometimes abrupt and opinionated and loud and  sometimes a little defensive when you remind her to use her “inside voice.” She is a bit  controlling…. and can be a know it all at times….


I have been working on trying to see the good in everyone, slowing down and finding beauty in a very unexpected place, and really taking time to understand others. I have learned in my efforts that she is just a very insecure young woman. Since I have befriended her, she has shared with me that she doesn’t feel very many people at work like her and she has dealt with those feelings pretty much, all of her life. I have found that…. she has a  big heart and that she is funny and sweet, a very hard worker when appreciated, helpful and very talented, especially at displaying all the retail I have brought in. It is funny, just a few months ago… I might have been annoyed that she just barreled in and “took over” without asking me if I would like her assistance. I came in one day and everything I had brought in the day before was all rearranged.

I was kind of fit to be tied until….. The Lord grabbed my shirt tails and reeled me in a bit!!! I could almost hear Him tell me to slow down and look at her heart. And you know what I saw? Not a busy body thinking she could do a better job than me. But a loving friend that had true talent in displaying the things I brought in, and willing to do it for me. And you know another thing?  God has a sense of humor! He made me see that she is better than me at doing it!

And then HE gave me a gift. A friend. Someone who cares about the details… sure maybe the details she thinks are important, but she does care. And maybe some of those annoying thing that  I saw were things I have seen in myself… Because… I know that sometimes when I get really excited I can be known to talk a little loud too… and you know, I have learned she does  know a little about a lot of things and when I gave her the time of day she has taught me a lot….

Mostly about being a friend….because she is a good one.

I love it when I find friends like that. So unexpectedly. It makes me realize how much I miss by being judgmental rather than compasionate. But when I let God open the door to my heart just a little bit… he opens the floodgates of joy and gives me a littley tiny glimpse of what heaven will be like!

Understanding a perosn’s thoughts is as hard as getting water from a deep well. But someone with understanding can find wisdom there.         Proverbs 21:5

25 thoughts on “A thing of Beauty in an unexpected place

  1. I didn’t read this, I just clicked “Like” because it amuses me to give people that false sense that they are good and what can a little dopamine hurt? Yeah, I just spread the love everywhere I go. The other thing I could do is just rip through a bunch of posts clicking “Next” or “Previous” so someone gets a bunch of page hits. I swear that happens sometimes although I can’t figure out why.

    I have noticed in my life that sometimes people have unreasonable convictions and it took me a long time to figure out that something tragic or otherwise powerful happened to them at some point in their life and they are desperate to prevent the wrong that happened to them. I remember one time someone got very loud and belligerent with me at work and it turned out they thought I was doing something with a machine that caused them to lose part of a finger. They weren’t being an asshole, they were trying to protect me.

    I thought of that in the context of people having oddly strong opinions about something and I now always take the time to find out why they have that opinion, and I don’t mention that I suspect something happened to them or a loved one, I just ask why they think differently than what I’m doing or saying and then my whole view of them usually changes.

    1. I am soooo lost! lol. But that’s okay… you call me on that all the time… But when I was going to Marriage counseling last year… my Therapist told me… : “I like you Diane… I always wonder… where is she going with this and yet you never fail… if we let you get there, you always find your way back to the point you were trying to make!”
      So not sure what you meant about clicking LIKE… maybe you were coming clean with me… that as you were reading this, you realized that you clicked LIKE because there you were? Having already liked it?
      Anywaaay… your example of the guy who lost part of his finger… resonates and you GET what I meant in my ramblings here…. If we take the time to get past the first reaction and dig a little deeper, we can always find something good in everyone. Or at least understand where they are coming from if we get to know where the came from! 😉

  2. Nothing wrong in being selfish at times and it’s also very easy to misjudge people .. because of the first impression’ Learned many years ago .. that the 3 first minute of all the meetings we have in our life .. at home .. at work .. anywhere .. is the most important – and the result of the meeting with be based on the 3 minutes. I strongly believe it that. So misjudging sometime all depends in what state we were when we met the person for the first time.

    1. I can buy that the first 3 minutes are important but I think that I get it wrong a lot in the beginning. Usually the people that don’t hit me right… the ones that cause my judgemental antenas to automatically raise are the ones I end up loving and the ones I connect with right away are the ones I end up kind of being sorry that I was so open in the beginning… I read in another blog a metaphor about being careful about the things that you share and how it is kind of like trying to get toothpaste back in a tube! Loved that! THAT is me in so many cases! Argh! I am very careful most of the time in who I choose to really share stuff with but then WHAM… I get sucked in and I usually always end up sorry. And then there is the other side of the coin where i am wary of somone because they are different from my norm of friends and they end up being life long ones!

  3. Diane…don’t we all get in the way at times (some of US more than others) but how gracious of God to give us another chance…time after time! Just this weekend I was in the company of a pretty sour person…someone a couple of other ladies in our group didn’t want to be near because of her loudness and loud perfume. Of course, I got next to her because I felt sorry for her and yes, she coughed in my face a couple of times and she was pretty loud and interrupted a lot. I asked her questions to get to know her and she seemed to warm up to me…staring a lot and asking questions and guess what? The next day her cousin called me and apologized for not letting me know that she’s very closed and has anger issues. Okay, I said and was stunned at her next comment….this woman told her I asked too many questions. I hung up and had to laugh! You see, even when we try…when we have the best of intentions, things aren’t always received as intended but still we try! Ah, I feel better…having released that! Yes, still we try!!! xoxo

    1. I was not expecting the ending!!!!!!! Grrr… I guess… anyone can love the ones we connect to… I guess the trick is… trying to love the ones that whose snap is broken… I mean the zipper is stuck dude type people….. lol

  4. I loved this! Proof that we all wanna be heard but are sometimes too loud about it. hehe I love that you heard from the Lord and validated her….that’s someone’s child! Bless you sis!

    1. Ahh Arlene, Thank you.
      Sometimes I am so selfish… and who knows even annoying myself… smirk
      Maybe I see more of myself in the people who annoy me the most. All we ever want is to be validated and loved. And what a better way to let them know about The Lord’s love by trying to be an example ourselves… my problem is I miss a LOT of opportunities by getting in the way!!!!

  5. People always tell me that I love to be right; but I explain to them that I get so much more from being wrong. I love teaching people but I may love learning more. I don’t always search for light in the dark but I do encourage those who are dark to find light. Its good that you was able to see beauty in her and admit what was ugly in you. You enhanced her dream that day and allow her to believe again. Her work was finally appreciated and ambition was finally rewarded. Y’all both grew that day, no longer seeds but flowers. From the day you lost y’all shop but was grateful to have your daughter….you adapted the key to happiness; which was seeing what you had and not what you have lost. That has transformed you from good to great!!!!

    1. Brash…
      Could I just carry you around in my pocket? I love your thought process! I love that you are the kind of friend that I could take to try on clothes and you would tell me if I looked fat or good and I could believe you! lol.
      Makes me also know that you are one of the best ones out there to help me EDIT my writing and my life! I am loving your feedback! And not cuzzz just you called me great! 😉

      1. I would definitely tell you if you look fat in something but I bet my life that your fat is different than my fat….Awwww aren’t you sweet; I am one of the great ones out there, because I am honest enough to express my thoughts but attentive enough to understand your needs. You have been a pleasure to respond to; its your clever way of giving someone a hug through your responds. You have became something extra in life to look forward too. I know its the honeymoon stage and we aren’t even talking about background but it has been a pleasure. Have you checked out any of my piece lately….Your feedback would be great. I love when two people from different worlds, sea to the middle!!!!

        1. As I was reading… a grin spread across my face… can ya guess about where? When I read about the honeymoon phase… I sooo GET what you are talking about. I have people in my life… when I so KNOW when the honeymoon phase is sooo over! lol.

          1. I am from the train of thought that the honeymoon stage should be at the end….I dig deep first and get to know a person’s core. Then, once we can deal with each others worse, we are prepared to enjoy each others best. Why put on a mask when you can truly reveal yourself. People should be proud of everything they are and shouldn’t do things they wouldn’t want to talk about. I like “choice” everything out of the table; allow me to pick what I’d like to digest. I don’t want to fall in love with the lie, I rather hate the truth. Honesty is very attractive whether i like it or not!!!!

  6. Diane, you touch on several powerful lessons here. One is learning to forgive and the other is to stop judging others. For me personally, forgiveness has been a huge struggle. But I realized that my bitterness was hurting me more anybody else. There is nothing more freeing than releasing those who have caused you pain. As always, insightful post!

    1. I have held some lifetime grudges… and have recently forgiven and been so set free. I have been reading the book The Prodigal God in our small group and it has been very enlightening. It talks about how we have focused on the forgivenss part way too much… Jesus was really telling that story to the Pharasees trying to explain how the OLDER brother missed out on so much because of both his unforgivness and judgment. He missed the whole party. When the father tried to go out and talk him into coming back in…It gives us something to think about anyway…

  7. CM, hi there is no other way to put it your writing is revealing yet inspiring, You along with one or two others really know how to bring some perspective to life and make it all seem so damn worthwhile even in the face of tumultuous times and moments when we want to feel like giving up. I can say that you and my dear friend KK have such a bright disposition on life. I know that when I need a pick me up and a laugh I can return to your blogs and get that. When I need insight or an infusion of talent I can look at some of my fellow poets and bloggers and find that.
    Thank you for sharing your life and your stories with all of us.

    BTW I have nominated you for “One Lovely Blog Award. Good Luck and keep smiling.

    1. TSOT~
      You will never know how people like you are my inspiration! God sends you just wnen I need that shot of inspiration that you just gave me!!! I am so glad you are in my world! I don’t need to be a best selling author when I get reviews like that! One at a time is just fine with me. Because my goal is to find readers like you that feel that way and keeps me inspired to keep trying! YOU my friend are my inspirations and you have a lot of talent in your wonderful writing yourself.
      By the way thank you so much for the award! I am honored!

      1. Cmom you are so very welcome and sorry for the late return post been so busy at work and trying to play catch up there and on here. I really do value your words and your honesty in them. I look forward to reading more of your post.

  8. Great self observations! I don’t think you’re alone, either. Someone recently made a comment…sometimes God puts challenging people in your life so that you can be their blessing. Sometimes, if we open our eyes wide enough, we find out that they’ve become our blessing, too! Thanks for the reminder.

  9. Love this I can see my own self in there.. People always say nothing in life is free, but I beg to differ… Friendships, a kind word, a smile, and even a hug are all free to give and receive. God loves you girl and so do I! Be blessed today and always…

  10. You guys are so awesome… as I edit… you guys are all “liking” my post… my loyal friends! I love you! I am off to clean and pepare for our small group dinner! Just scoured out the fridge…but can’t help coming back here and checking in every so often! Thank you for taking the time to read my ramblings.

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