2013 held many stressful situations, life altering events, and loneliness... a shaky bottom at best! There were many times I felt the bottom was going to drop out from under me. I was back and forth between the States and Moscow a lot for six months of that year. Living overseas is a different kind of "normal", but that year was beyond even our "normal".
It was after returning to Moscow that I looked down while walking to the kids' school and saw a heart in the pavement below my feet. I was so excited and overwhelmed because seeing that heart felt like a message to me. A message of LOVE. I felt like it was God telling me that He was with me and everything would be alright. Seeing that heart gave me the encouragement I needed to keep going.
Since that time I've opened my eyes to finding hearts around me. I don't alter the surroundings (ok, I admit I've moved a twig or leaf occasionally so I could see the heart better), but accept it as I find it. Oh, I've been tempted to make it look more heart-like at times. I always refrain because somehow that doesn't seem right. It's like editing a letter from a friend to make it sound more like what you want to hear... it takes the authenticity away.
Many of "my" hearts are discovered while walking my dog. But they are everywhere! From rocks and trees to chipped paint and flowers... even trash discarded on the street sometimes forms a heart. Each time I see one I still feel excitement and LOVE. I still smile wide and feel like a child receiving a gift. And to me they are a gift... each and every one.
I have pictured here some of my favorite hearts. It's interesting that all of them were taken in that first month I began discovering hearts. I do have other favorites, but somehow these stood out when choosing which ones to include. If you would like to see more of my hearts you can go to the hearts page and Instagram.