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Shirley Temple A six-year-old girl tap dances her way to fame during the Great Depression, becomes best friends with a middle-aged black man in an era of racial segregation and gives hope to a nation during one of its darkest periods. Her success secret: she was a blank slate, making it easy to learn complicated things. She grows up and becomes a global diplomat, actress and mother. It’s not likely, but that’s Shirley Temple’s story in a nutshell.

A young widow leaves her own idolatrous country, friends and family to accompany her poverty stricken mother-in-law on her journey home. To feed the two of them, the daughter-in-law takes the lowliest job she can get, meets the good man who runs the place and lies down next to him one night, presenting herself as his possible bride. He marries her and they have a baby boy who makes her the great grandmother of King David, and eventually, an ancestor to the greatest king ever born, Jesus Christ. Her success secret: when hope was nowhere in sight, she chose divine sanctuary over human comfort. It’s an unlikely story, but that’s the result of Ruth’s roller coaster life.

Apple smoothieOn first blush, the thought of apple juice, a little milk and a ½ cup of yogurt with a dash of cinnamon didn’t sound like a great smoothie formula, but it made a delicious breakfast this morning. It’s an odd combination, but I liked it!

purple broochI couldn’t picture what I’d ever wear with this wonderfully gaudy brooch from the 70s, but purple and teal were the perfect contrast to my green wool jacket, which I need for warmth. It’s minus three in Indy today!

That’s today’s post—a reminder that something miraculous can come from tragedies, trivial choices, unexpected combinations and unlikely people. Wherever you are, whatever you’re doing—remember this: your life isn’t trivial. It’s part of a huge, magnificent story. Write it well, my friend!

Looking backward, I recognize a sea of good that came from life’s toughest blows. What about you? What’s the best thing that’s happened to you because of some great calamity in your life?

P.S. In honor of Shirley Temple’s life, here’s the recipe for the drink that bears her name:

A tall glace filled with ice
Fill with Ginger Ale or lemon-lime soda
A dash of grenadine
Garnish with a cherry

Drink with joy and zest!

Life is short. Wear the good stuff.