MO is at Black Rock Coffee in Hurst (New place — NOT Black Riffle), smooth dark roast is in the cup, silence is on the playlist, and God is in the room handing out surprises.

I didn't know him, but he was all smiles, and it was contagious. So, I had to smile too. "I just found $20," he announced. It was just laying there, in plain sight."

His story reminded me that a couple of years ago, I found $20 trapped under a McDonald's bag full of trash outside Walmart. I picked up the bag and placed it in the trashcan, and the money just fell out... I still remember the day. It made me smile then and now. Hummmmm.

Surprise finds are always memorable.

It was a rainy May afternoon in 2014. I was standing by the mailbox, rummaging through the stack.

We had the usual assortment of coupon cards, special offers from State Farm Insurance, Pizza Inn, Silver Cleaners, cruise ship booklets, and invitations to take hearing tests. Mixed in were the expected windowed envelopes, bills, and statements... But, among the stack was a small letter-sized envelope with no return address, just enough written on it to get it to our house. It was mysterious and unusual.

Inside was a single piece of stationery in a smaller envelope. The simple note read, "I've been blessed, and God wants me to bless you." No signature. The unsealed smaller envelope contained three $100 bills.

Big Surprise!

Everything about that day changed in an instant. And I still remember the unrestrained and sudden shout, "Thank You, Jesus!” Only God and I knew how much we needed those three Benjamins.

It was a godsend, a gift sent in secret... an unexpected surprise. And, although I didn't notice then, I know now that it made God smile.

I understand his viewpoint; I just choose to live by a different drumbeat.

I have a friend who once told me, "I try my best to eliminate surprises from life. They take my eyes off the goal." But unfortunately, his company still didn’t survive bankruptcy.

Maybe he needed a new goal? Hummmmm.

I understand his viewpoint; I just choose to live by a different drumbeat. At this point in life, I take each surprise as a God thing, a lesson to learn, and a reason to smile — there are days when smiles are just what's needed. So, I intend to be the surprise and give surprises; that's even better than getting them.

Thank You, Jesus, for the stranger and the smile...

And for this new early morning coffee option — it's a surprise.