Random Meets Remarkable

I snapped this photo with my cell phone as I was on my way to town a couple of months ago…

Women Fishing

That’s two women fishing together out there on the point, and I just thought it was such a fun thing to ride by and see. I pulled my car over, and called out to them through my window: “Y’all look so cute! Can I take your picture?” They both laughed and looked back at the lake, so I snapped a couple of pictures and we exchanged waves as I drove away.

I think I must have smiled for the next five miles straight because of those gals. :) It’s just not something you see every day, ya know?

But don’t you love it when that happens?!

You’re just “doing life”, and all of a sudden you find yourself in the middle of a moment that feels so random-meets-remarkable? Those things have such a crazy powerful and positive effect on me.

A few years ago, my mom and I took a road trip together. We drove several thousand miles from start to finish, and we had lots of great conversations along the way. We visited family in Minnesota, and stayed at Camp Wandawega in Wisconsin on the way back home. I’ll cherish those memories forever! Even the little tiny one that springs right to the front of my mind every time I think about that trip. It doesn’t have anything to do with where we stayed, or who we visited. It’s not one that I could’ve planned, and like the fishing friends, I didn’t even see it coming until I was right there experiencing it.

I can’t remember what state we were in, but my Mom and I were seated at a table near the ‘Pay Here’ counter at KFC. I could see the register over my Mom’s shoulder. We were talking about who-knows-what, when out of the corner of my ear, I tuned in to a conversation between the cashier and a satisfied customer.

The cashier was a sweet little thing, maybe in her late-60s or so.

The customer looked like he was in his 40s, and I remember thinking he looked like a hard-workin’ man.

The customer told the cashier that he just had to come back up and tell her how much he enjoyed his meal. “It was just absolutely delicious, and you guys outdid yourselves today!“, he raved.

The cashier beamed from ear to ear as she reached for his tray and told him she was so glad he enjoyed it.

Like moisture when it’s humid, I could literally feel happiness in the air right then. I fought hard to not get up and hug ‘em both- ha! (Note: I do not always win the battle against the bear hug.)

My eyes welled up as they went about their ways, and I loved sharing with my Mom what had just happened over her shoulder.

Funny how hearing somebody say something nice to someone else can not only make their day, but it can also make your day, too. :)

Those kinds of moments are happening all around us, all the time. Ones that make us feel lucky, and alive…and like Gifts if we slow down long enough to let our hearts tether to them.

Amazing how fishing friends and a fast food joint can do that. :)

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  1. Myra says

    Thank you for reminding us that God plants blessings for us and they are like treasures for us to discover. Have enjoyed reading your blog for awhile now and wanted to say thanks!

    • Layla says

      And- BOOM! You made my day!!!! Thank you for saying that, Claire. I’m smiling from ear to ear right now! :-)

  2. Susan says

    A treat to read your post this morning! What I know for sure is that joy may happen to your face but it always happens to your heart! Praising God for these kinds of moments…..

    • Layla says

      Thank you, Susan! I love what you said about joy happening to your heart! I’m praising God for yours this morning! :-D

  3. Paula says

    Lovely story! I love moments like that too. I went into a clothing store the other day and there was a middle aged woman asking for the manager’s phone number (because they weren’t there). This was a store where most of the staff where young girls and for some reason I assumed she had a complaint. But no. She wanted to call because she wanted to rave about the great service she had that day. She had to wait around for a while to get the number but she stayed and waited. You could see the girls were so happy, since they’re probably used to hearing complaints all the time, now their hard work finally paid off.
    Have a lovely day Layla! :)

  4. says

    I love beautiful stories like these and notice conversations like that, too. I think there are stories all around us like that if we stop to look. Thanks so much for sharing. You seem like the sweetest person:)

  5. says

    Just beautiful! Thank you for retelling those beautiful stories. It reminds us to be on the lookout–God truly is everywhere!

  6. Sandy says

    How wonderful! I’ll probably never get to meet you in person, Layla, but you feel like my soulmate (probably everybody feels that about you!). Your post just made my day and it reminds me that we may be “the only Jesus someone gets to meet today”. Bless you!

  7. says

    I love moments like those! We were at the zoo the other day and hopped on the tilt a whirl and this girl who is about 10 got on the cart across from us by herself. She said “I can’t wait to go fast!” My Mr (who isn’t the most comfortable around kids) said “if you want to spin real fast, lay your head back and it’ll go fast! I know.” (He knew from severe motion sickness from it 2 weeks prior!) As we rode, we could hear her screaming with glee and spinning like a madwoman. When we were done she yelled “thank for the advice! I’m going again!” and she did. As we walked away he said “that was cute.” So was he. :)

  8. Carrie - Curate | by Carrie Corson says

    My Mom always says you just never know when you are making a memory that will last a lifetime:). It’s the simple & sweet unexpected moments like this that make the best memories. I can always count on you to be random & remarkable just when I need it most:). Thanks for sharing your remarkable spirit with us Layla!

  9. says

    You have to be one of the sweetest people in the blogosphere! I am always so inspired by your postings, whether it’s home decor or something as kind as this. Thank you for always being such a positive force in a sometimes negative world. I can always count on The Lettered Cottage to make me smile :)

  10. says

    Layla, that picture is awesome. you should make prints of it. I would totally want one. I agree…..it’s the little moments that take your breath away.


  11. Laurie says

    Your beautiful and hazy fishing photo really does look like a lovely painting full of soft light! I love your story of every day kindnesses — they make all the difference in this life. Love is patient, love is kind… Billy Graham’s wonderful wife Ruth Bell Graham once commented that the greatest reason that people fail in life is not due to obstacles but due to a lack of encouragement. I love your blog Layla!

  12. says

    Loved this! YOU, just had the same effect on me; sharing this and spreading the joy. You are able to write in such a way that transports your reader right into this incredibly sweet memory and experience, to make it feel like we could have been there too. Thanks for the wonderful morning brightener! :) I’ve been following your blog for a few months when I happened upon it – so glad I did. It’s one of the few blogs I follow regularly and utterly love to read your heart about adoption, about projects, your creativity and eye for beauty in the world around you & how you carry that throughout your vision for making a house a home, is like a breath of fresh air. It’s contagious, for sure inspiring. ;) Thanks for sharing pieces of your life and home on this blog – wish I could meet you in real life & give ya a big hug! :) For now, hugs from the Willamette valley area of Oregon.

    • Layla says

      Katie, you are so sweet!! :-D Your comment just made me feel so good! Hugging you right back from Pike Road, Alabama! :-D

  13. says

    i know this feeling. oh how i know this feeling!
    like pure joy, bursting from my heart.
    and i love it.
    wish more people could grasp that there is amazing all around us, but they need to stop thinking of themselves and enjoy the goodness in others as well as the simple pleasures of life.
    this post put so many of my feelings into words. wonderful, layla. thank you!

    • Layla says

      I love it, too. And I ALWAYS love seeing “hello haha harf” pop up in my comment thread, too! :-D #daymaker

  14. Rebekah says

    And now they have brightened my day too! You can never measure the affects of kind words/actions. Thank you for sharing, Layla!

  15. Denise says

    Thank you so much for sharing this today!!! You have truly inspired me to listen to what goes on around me and really take it all in. :-)

    • Layla says

      Thank you for commenting, Denise! Hope you have an awesome day taking it all in, and loving it all out! :-D

  16. Christienne says

    Yes!! Kinda like last night when I went to pickup pizza at the local pizza joint ’round these parts… and on my way out, hands full of stuff for the family… a little girl held the door open for me so I didn’t have to drop anything. I thought, how nice that this little young lady was taught at an early age to be courteous to people. THEN… the group of “seniors” that were in front of her who I learned were WITH her, turned to see what was holding her up. The “senior” gentlemen took one look at me and said “Where’re we eating?!” and filled with such joy from the little lady I kept it going and said “MY house of course, just follow ME!”.

    Everyone had a good laugh and it was a moment that left us all feeling GOOD. All from a simple gesture to hold the door for someone!!

  17. Lora says

    Thank you..So often we’re so wrapped up in our own life and problems we do forget to “stop and smell the roses”..Random meets remarkable is a sweet smelling rose!

  18. shelby says

    you have NO IDEA how much I needed to hear your sweet heart in this. I have been a total grump this week feeling taken advantage of and you helped me to realize perspective is key, what lens do I view life, people through. The Lord used you today girl! Thanks ;)

  19. says

    What a lovely, uplifting post! I am a new visitor to your blog but I will be back. My own blog (fairly new) is about “finding joy in everyday life” and just so you know, I found a little joy right here, today, on your blog! Blessings! Lina

  20. Sandy says

    One of my dear friends talks to every service person we encounter…by the end of the conversation she has totally validated them as a person…usually by telling them the meaning of their name and asking them interesting questions. The waiter a couple of days ago said..wow, I wish all of my customers were like you!! Thanks for sharing your story!

  21. says

    This is such a good story. Shows you how a few minutes or even seconds out of your day can stay with people for years. When people feel positive…they pass on positive things to other people. :-)

  22. says

    I am so like this. I will witness or hear the smallest thing and it just makes me smile. It makes me think all is good in the world, that life is good, God is good. Just little things. I also want to nose in and tell someone how sweet it all is!

  23. says

    so true!!
    i love that you were captured by the random and the remarkable. that’s god. right there. in a nutshell! ( as if he needs to be nutshelled but you know what i mean)

  24. Lisa W. says


    I gotta say this POST really made me smile. As I am reading it I thought “OMG she really gets it, SHE see’s things like I do!” Exspecially when you ask those gals to take their picture. I am a project lifer (Becky Higgens scrapbooking method) anywho last fall while out to dinner with my bff’s as we always do for our birthdays. We were walking out of J Alexanders (a lovely restaurant to eat at:) and the four of us spotted these five older women walking out in front of us.

    We were just tickled beyond words. As my one friend said OH my does that not remind you of us in 40 years. We will still be going out to dinner together. Now there is only four of us. but it really tugged our heartstrings as we lost a best friend a few years ago. YEA only at 45 years old. So now there is only us four.

    It tugged our heartstrings so profoundly that we watched them for a moment getting to their cars, and saying their goodbye’s that we actually walked up to them and ask them if we could please take their picture with all of them together AND why we wanted to do so. Now not all of them were thrilled, actually the one little old lady said. “NO Ruth they are just trying to sell us something!”

    We laughed SO hard and then explained that we are all best friends and that we ALWAYS go out to dinner for each of our birthdays, and that we “do” project life and take a picture a day AND would really like them to be our picture of the day.

    Well they said they would and we were beyond thrilled as you know.

    So this post really brought back that memory and I just had to share. I know this was kinda a looooong comment, sorry…but I just felt I had to share. As again I read your blog faithfully and I can just tell you “get” all the little things,..and “see” like I see things. It just really does make your day. So thank you for this post. YOU always make my day, this one just really tugged on the old heartstrings and like everyday I think of our lost friend that we miss so terribly. Life is hard, but isn’t it just the little things that really are the BIG things.

    Lisa Walters

  25. Cassie says

    Have you ever read the book “1000 gifts” by Ann Voskamp? That book is teaching me so much about how recognizing and acknowledging the gifts God gives us everyday, even in the extra-ordinary moments, helps us live in joy and recognize the extravagant love our God lavishes on us. Love that and loved your post today!!! :) Thanks for the reminder!

  26. Ashley says

    I’m smiling as I type this. Thanks for bringing a little extra sunshine to my day and passing on those moments. :)

  27. Shelley says

    Loved reading this. :). Reminded me of a fast food moment my husband and I had. My mother in law had been in the hospital with an extended illness. We were spending yet another weekend going to the hospital. We stopped for lunch and witnessed a wonderful exchange of conversation between the male cashier and an elderly lady. Don’t even remember their conversation but it was just such an uplifting moment in what was a very difficult time for us. Even when things are at their worst God gives us blessings if we just take the time to notice. Didn ‘t mean to write a book and I rarely comment on blogs but this post just brought a smile to my face
    Love your heart and your blog!!

  28. Dolores says

    It is always so nice to just be going through life and see a smile. Just a random smile. I try to remember this when I think I see someone who can use a smile. It almost always makes a world of difference.
    Thanks for the reminder and the smile!

  29. says

    Remember the song, “It only takes a spark to get a fire going”……….you want to pass it on”. So true, happiness and kindness is the best kind of contagious and can cure a host of ills. Thanks for the reminder……I try to brighten the moment when checking out at the store, etc. You never know what seeds you might be planting in someone’s heart with a kind word or action. Blessings to you and Kevin Layla and your upcoming adoption, so happy to hear you are farther along in the process….and it is a process for sure. We have a granddaughter from China and we love her so much!

  30. Lisa says

    Thank you for reminding us of these special moments. My soul becomes warm and happy when I encounter these experiences. I believe God plants these beautiful moments in our lives for a reason. Just as He did for you so that you could share with us how God is everywhere.

  31. Bari says

    Your post today reminded me of random goodness and happiness on a day when I needed reminding. Thank you for sharing.

  32. Patti says

    Loved your stories today! I read your blog all the time & today you really made my heart smile! The photo reminded me of my mom & her sister & I loved how they parked under the shade of the tree. Thank you for sharing !!

  33. Christine @ Practical Decor says

    This post had me feeling all warm and fuzzy for a second and then it had me feeling a little sad, because I seek moments like this every day to cling to their positivity and I feel like in NYC, it just doesnt happen that much anymore :(. I know that’s not true, but lately everyone is so grumpy! I’d love to see a happy moment, or just a moment where someone is SATISFIED with something. Oh well. Maybe it’s just the hot weather. :)

  34. Louise says

    Isn’t it funny! It doesn’t cost one cent to give a compliment, but the feelings of happiness after receiving one are priceless! Love that! Such sweet stories. Thanks, as always, for sharing!

  35. says

    Love your photograph – it reminds me of an Impressionist painting!

    I love those moments when people are at their best; it fills my heart and you definitely carry that with you when times are tough. I keep a paper journal of moments like the one you had.

  36. says

    It truly is the little things isn’t it? As the saying goes…’how we live our days is how we live our lives’. Or something like that :).

    That’s a beautiful picture Layla! Makes me wonder why I bought a dslr! lol

    Thanks for bringing sunshine to my day with your awesome spirit!

  37. Bernie says

    My hubby and I just got back from a 6000 mile car trip from Fl. to PEI, Canada. While in Charlottetown, PEI, we were standing on the sidewalk, looking at a map, trying to decide where to eat dinner. An older couple came up to us and asked if they could be of assistance. We told them we were trying to get our bearings and find a place that was open for dinner (it was Canada Day). They had a few suggestions, and we asked about a Pub we’d heard about. They said they lived right across the street and did we “mind” if they showed us the way. We walked and talked with them for about six blocks until we reached our destinations. I am blessed to say, we had LOTS of encounters like this on our trip!

  38. Venita says

    I just love this post, made me smile. I, too, soak up all those warm wonderful moments sprinkled throughout my days. Thanks for sharing : ).

  39. Kathy Johnson says

    Love this story! Stopping and taking the time to appreciate the beauty of a day or the kindness in strangers is the key to finding true happiness. Thanks for the reminder!

  40. Linda says

    Your Fishing Friends photo looks like a painting! A Soft and dreamy and perfect spring day. I would love to see that image every day. Would you consider selling prints for framing?

  41. says

    I had one of those moments today! We were driving to see my great aunt, and along the way a girl was holding up a sign in another vehicle. The sign said, “Have a great day!” and she was trying to get everyone’s attention as she drove past. It was such an awesome, sweet moment that someone would take the time to wish a stranger a great day! We need to do that more often :)

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