Hidden Hearts

I have somewhat of an obsession with hidden hearts.  It began when I was a child and my room was decorated with millions of tiny multi-colored hearts.  And I mean millions.  Tiny hearts in a multitude of colors on the wallpaper, larger hearts all over my bedding.  It was an 80s heart-fest, I tell you.
As an adult, I have found them in less obvious places than my rainbow colored childhood bedroom.  In nature, for example.  On each vacation we take my goal is to bring home a heart-shaped rock to add to my collection.  It helps me to remember those precious moments with my loved ones, away from the day-to-day.
Hidden hearts are usually, in my opinion, spontaeously occuring, though at times they can be intentionally placed to brighten one’s day.

 After a particularly rough day last fall (The short version: Ethan was throwing a HUGE fit in the middle of the Natural History Museum.  I told him that if he didn’t calm down, we’d have to leave.  He didn’t calm down, so we left.  He was extremely upset and was trying to punch/kick/scream as much as possible on the way out, so Jason picked him up and carried him in a way that would keep them both from getting hurt.  We knew that if we could just get him outside, we could help him calm down.  Most of the parents we passed on the way out of the museum gave us tiny “I-feel-your-pain” smiles.  We were calm, if a little embarrassed. After we got to the car, we had Ethan sit on the curb and were beginning to help him regain control when a lady screamed across the parking lot, “Do you want me to call the authorities?”  She proceeds to lecture us, belittle us, call us bad parents, threaten to call the police, etc. This went on for several minutes, during which Ethan was distracted and stopped crying and the lady was convinced that it was her calming influence which had helped him so greatly.  Jason was finally able to make her leave by repeating, “You need to go. Go now” several times. We moved on, helped Ethan and left.  I cried all the way home. That was actually not very short; I apologize.) my sweet friend and I went out for hot cocoa and a little venting time.

The server must have been very in tune (or maybe my red puffy eyes gave her a clue), because when our cocoa arrived, mine was adorned with a heart.

Later that same week (in the midst of the turmoil of waiting for Elijah’s birth), the kids and I were working on a wet-felting project with that same dear friend and her children.  In the sudsy water appeared this perfect heart:

Call it luck or fate or whatever you’d like, but it seems to me that hidden hearts tend to pop up in places when they are most needed.  I’ve seen them in the sidewalk, on days when I’m discouraged.  I’ve seen them in the clouds.  There is one on the door to my bedroom, reminding me of the love within the walls of this home.

I recently painted this grove of aspen trees and intentionally placed a small heart on one of the trees.  It’s tiny, but because I know it’s there my eyes are drawn to it every time I walk past.
Here it is up close.  

You can imagine my delight when I discovered my most favorite hidden heart of all time, on this beautiful little boy.  He has a perfect heart-shaped birthmark on his neck.  It is difficult to photograph due to the depths of chub found on said neck.  But I assure you it is there!  Next time we meet in person, I’ll show it to you.
See it right above my ring finger? 🙂

This hidden heart is like a love note from God.  It’s like He included that tiny detail on Elijah’s skin just for me.  He’s saying, “It may not have seemed like I was listening to your prayers. But behind the scenes, in ways you can’t comprehend, I was arranging things perfectly for you.  He is worth the wait, don’t you think?”

I absolutely do.

Have you seen any hidden hearts in your life lately?