It seems that no matter how rough life may be at the time, there are always bright spots to be found and marked if we just look for them. The important thing is that we develop the habit of having "eyes to see" them.
While in NC, I was able to reconnect with many friends that Frank and I haven't seen in months and years. Tragic circumstances; good to be back in touch. I was also able to spend time with almost all of his family. It is a great blessing that Mom Hawley and I actually do enjoy one another's company.
Joyce Hawley is the quintessential southern belle! When Mom addresses me, my two-syllable name suddenly adds about twelve more syllables and a distinctive sing-song melody. (Think "Steel Magnolias" on steroids.) And I'm not sure if this is a unique "southern grandma habit" or not but she definitely has an entire cabinet in her kitchen dedicated solely to the housing of sugar of all sorts. Little Debbie reigns as queen of that cabinet!
My flights home were uneventful and on time, thank the Lord. But there was an even bigger matter that needs to be appreciated. When I finally got home and started getting ready for bed, I realized that my bracelet was missing. Now this isn't just any piece of costume jewelry (of which I have many. Smile.) No, this is my one, 10k gold, 50th birthday gift from the whole family bracelet.
A diligent search ensued!
You know how it is when your evening or morning routine is interrupted by travel. Nothing is where it's supposed to be. I usually find myself circling the bedroom searching for needed items in much the same way Bella circles when chasing her tail. Hmmmmm.
We were all looking, trying to stay calm but very aware that the loss of this bracelet would be extremely sad after the week I'd already had. The car, both suitcases, my purse, counters, my jewelry box......nothing! Suddenly, Frank mentioned calling the restaurant in Davenport where we had stopped after he picked me up in Orlando.
"Hi, we were there around 7:00 for dinner. Our waitress was Shirley and I've lost a very important gold bracelet." Before I could launch into a description the manager said, "Yeah, we have it! It's in my office; someone turned it in about two hours ago."
THANK YOU, LORD!!
Meagan and Nathan jumped into the car immediately and made a bee-line to Cracker Barrel. If it hadn't been so late, I would have gone myself and hugged Shirley, Tony the manager, the bus boy, the lady at the check-out, other customers...............
I was able to fall asleep with gratitude in my heart, a smile on my face and a special bracelet safely tucked away in my jewelry box. Whew. Miracles need to be marked; especially during difficult times. They remind us that God hears prayers and that we are never forgotten to Him!
(Several people asked that I post the prayer I wrote for the celebration service last Thursday. That can be found on the actual blog-site. Just type in sherihawley.com or Embrace the Grace.)