Be one of the rare few

Returning Home by Otto Karl Kirberg (1850-1926) Public domain via Wikimedia Commons

Returning Home by Otto Karl Kirberg,(1850-1926) Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

“Never despise the mundane.  Embrace it. Unwrap it like a gift. And be one of the rare few who looks deeper than just the surface.  See something more in the everyday. It’s there.” – Lysa TerKeurst

I’m a practical person in most respects, so I tend to give gifts that are useful or inexpensive modestly priced.  I enjoy taking a humble present and wrapping it in gorgeous paper with a lovely fabric bow.  While some might see this as false advertising, it’s really just my way of adding to the fun.  I’ve noticed that most of us like surprises, even little ones, and the trimmings add to the suspense.

I suspect it’s also a sort of reverse twist on a phenomenon that seems at least a little bit regrettable: too often, the most precious and priceless aspects of our lives are camouflaged, hiding in plain sight behind unremarkable appearances.

Have you ever injured your thumb or foot, and found yourself realizing how much you have taken it for granted?  It happens with many blessings, I think. Whether it’s a really comfortable pair of shoes, a sturdy and reliable appliance, or an old car that never fails to get us to our destination, we are surrounded every day by things that make our lives easier and more pleasant– things we scarcely ever notice until they are no longer available to us.

Even more truly, we are blessed with aspects of the natural world that require only our attention to bring us joy.  A quick walk to the mailbox can show us a tiny wildflower or a spider’s intricate web, sparkling with dew.  Ordinary animals, both indoors and out, warm our hearts and put smiles on our faces.  And some of the most endearing and fascinating people are the least flashy or glamorous.

There is almost always more to anything than meets the eye at first glance.  What will we see beneath the surface today?  So much is there, waiting for us to notice and celebrate.

This post was first published seven years ago today. The original post, comments and photo are linked, along with two other related posts, below. These links to related posts, and their thumbnail photos, do not appear in the blog feed; they are only visible when viewing the individual posts by clicking on each one. I have no idea why, nor do I know how they choose the related posts. That’s just the way WordPress does things.


  1. Judy

    I enlarged this charming painting so that I could better absorb all the details the artist captured in this happy moment in a family so long ago. Then I looked up some of his other paintings and I think that this one would be my favorite. It tells a story and takes us to that place and time. We can almost smell the food cooking in the fireplace and the smoke from the father’s pipe. Wonderful!

    Thank you for finding this painting and sharing it, and also for your reminder to notice and appreciate more deeply the everyday things that surround us. It’s all too easy for me to get caught up by everyday busyness and worries.

    • Judy, I’m so glad you enjoyed the painting! I have become really fascinated by how much wonderful art is out there, undiscovered by most (including me) and much of it old enough to be in the public domain. There are also abundant, fabulous photographs freely shared by amateur and professional photographers. Wikimedia Commons and Unsplash are great places to explore if you enjoy such works.

  2. Good morning, Julia!
    I am terrible at wrapping gifts. I don’t mean that the final product looks terrible, although that may be partly true, it’s just that I don’t bother. So I appreciate your blog today, as it has reminded me that I can actually wrap the two gifts that I had planned to give some friends soon. I have the wrapping paper and bows,I need to just do it! Thanks for the suggestion.

    • Susan, too bad you don’t live closer. I could be your permanent gift-wrapping resource! I have often considered offering my services to neighbors, just because I enjoy doing it so much (I learned it from my Daddy, who was great at wrapping gifts creatively). But I realized I would have to set limits somehow, and wasn’t sure how to do it. You might learn to enjoy the process if you think of it as a creative activity and not just a task.

      • I’m sure you’re right, that if I look at gift wrapping as an opportunity to create rather than an obligatory unnecessary part of the gift-giving process, I would certainly enjoy it more. I will try to remember that, this season.

        • Yes– perhaps in gift wrapping, as in the gifts themselves, it truly is the thought that counts.

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