A long-ago trip to Florida changed my life.

It’s not often that I can point to one event and say it made me look at the world in a different way, but this vacation did that, helping me open my eyes to miracles in my life.

Before my Florida trip, if you’d asked me if I believed in miracles, I’d have replied: Of course, they wereWe weren’t in an area with kosher options in the Bible. In fact, I was asked that once at a party where we were all playing an ice-breaker game designed to stimulate discussion. “Do you believe in miracles, and if so, have you experienced them in your own life?” my card read. “Yes,” I replied, but I couldn’t think of a concrete, real miracle. “I guess being alive is a miracle,” I answered in what I thought was a lame reply. I feel very differently today.

My Florida experience wasn’t earth-shaking. It’s not much of a story. It was years ago when my children were very young. We’d arrived in Florida on a Friday morning; our first day there would be on Shabbat. Knowing that we wouldn’t have much time to prepare, I’d brought with us food for our first two days: challah and cake, bread rolls, chicken and cold cuts. We picked up grape juice and fruit from a local market after we landed.

Florida has amazing kosher food, but we weren’t in an area with kosher options. Our vacation spot was more of the “getting away from it all” rural variety. My husband got our kids ready to play outside while I unpacked. My young son, eyeing our food, asked what we’d be eating. “Chicken and salad for dinner,” I replied, “and lots of cold-cut sandwiches for lunch.” I showed him the salami I’d brought all the way from home.

To my horror, tears welled up in his eyes. “I hate meat!” he wailed. Soon, his sister and younger brother were crying hysterically, too. “We don’t like meat! We won’t eat meat!” they wailed. Picture a room full of crying kids all under the age of 8, and you’ll get the picture. I asked them what they wanted to eat. “Cheese sandwiches!” they all cried in union. “We want cheese!”

My heart plummeted. Kosher cheese isn’t easy to find in the best of circumstances. Plus, Shabbat was rapidly approaching. In desperation, I walked down the road to the only shop nearby: a small convenience store that stocked items like soda, beer and beef jerky. Doubtfully, I peered into their miniature freezer case. Two containers of milk shared space with a couple of pints of ice-cream and—I stopped in my tracks—four large packets of kosher cheese. Not just any kosher cheese: the chalav Yisrael kosher cheese that was the exact favorite of my children back home. I couldn’t believe it. Finding it here, in this country convenience store, miles from any Jewish community seemed exactly like ... a miracle.

“Thank you G‑d,” I whispered as I brought everything to the cashier.

My kids munched on cheese sandwiches all Shabbat, and I couldn’t help thinking about the amazing coincidence. I remembered something my rabbi told me: When he was young, he’d rushed to his teacher with his own story of an amazing coincidences, and how no one but G‑d could have arranged them. “Are you telling me,” his teacher asked with a smile, “that you only just realized that G‑d runs the world?” If G‑d arranges amazing occurrences, I suddenly realized that surely He’s responsible for seemingly ordinary events as well.

I started looking at more and more experiences as thingsWe can’t know what G‑d is intending for us that were deliberately arranged by the Divine. It helped me appreciate the many blessings in my life, as well as the hardships. We can’t know what G‑d is intending for us or why we’re given our particular circumstances, but recognizing that we’re each given the tools we need in order to fulfill our own individual tasks helped me appreciate the world much more. If G‑d made a miracle for me with the kosher cheese, then everything else—my kids, my life, my family, even qualities like my nearsightedness and tone-deafness—also comes from the Divine. It’s an awesome realization.

This might seem like a lot to learn from a few packets of cheese, but I’ve tried to remember it and share this insight with my children through the years. Recently, my daughter echoed this lesson. She wanted to get her ears pierced and went to a popular store only to find that they were plagued with problems: one day they were unexpectedly closed, another day an unusual crowd meant that they were fully booked, a third day the person who pierces ears hadn’t come in. “It’s like G‑d doesn’t mean for this to happen for me right now,” my daughter observed. She didn’t pretend to understand the bigger picture about why things so obviously weren’t working out, but I was overjoyed that she so naturally understood that G‑d was involved in her life.

Rabbi Menachem Mendel Morgensztern, who lived in the 19th century in the Polish town of Kotzk and is known as the Kotzker Rebbe, famously observed: “Whoever doesn’t see G‑d everywhere does not see Him anywhere.” Each facet of this beautiful diamond that is our lives is carved by our Creator. Sometimes, events remind us of this and help us gain the clarity we need to see G‑d’s hand in our lives. We call these miracles. And if we’re fortunate enough, they can remind us that everything else in our lives—the boring, the bland, the ordinary—is a miracle, too.