Friday, January 1, 2010

A New Year's Prayer




Dear Lord,

please give me —
a few friends who understand me
and yet remain my friends;
work to do, which has real value,
without which the world would feel the poorer;
a mind unafraid to travel,
even though the trail be not blazed;
an understanding heart;
a sense of humor;
time for quiet, silent meditation;
a feeling of the presence of God;
and the patience to wait for the coming of these things,
with the wisdom to know them when they come.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Twas the Night before Christmas



Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house
Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse;
The stockings were hung by the chimney with care
In hopes that St. Nicholas soon would be there;

The children were nestled all snug in their beds,
While visions of sugar-plums danced in their heads;
And mamma in her kerchief, and I in my cap,
Had just settled our brains for a long winter's nap,

When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter,
I sprang from the bed to see what was the matter.
Away to the window I flew like a flash,
Tore open the shutters and threw up the sash.

The moon on the breast of the new-fallen snow
Gave the lustre of mid-day to objects below,
When, what to my wondering eyes should appear,
But a miniature sleigh, and eight tiny reindeer,

With a little old driver, so lively and quick,
I knew in a moment it must be St. Nick.
More rapid than eagles his coursers they came,
And he whistled, and shouted, and called them by name:

Now, Dasher! now, Dancer! now, Prancer and Vixen!
On, Comet! on, Cupid! on, Donder and Blitzen!
To the top of the porch! to the top of the wall!
Now dash away! dash away! dash away all!"

As dry leaves that before the wild hurricane fly,
When they meet with an obstacle, mount to the sky;
So up to the house-top the coursers they flew,
With the sleigh full of Toys, and St. Nicholas too.

And then, in a twinkling, I heard on the roof
The prancing and pawing of each little hoof.
As I drew in my head, and was turning around,
Down the chimney St. Nicholas came with a bound.

He was dressed all in fur, from his head to his foot,
And his clothes were all tarnished with ashes and soot;
A bundle of Toys he had flung on his back,
And he looked like a peddler just opening his pack.

His eyes—how they twinkled! his dimples how merry!
His cheeks were like roses, his nose like a cherry!
His droll little mouth was drawn up like a bow,
And the beard of his chin was as white as the snow;

The stump of a pipe he held tight in his teeth,
And the smoke it encircled his head like a wreath;
He had a broad face and a little round belly,
That shook when he laughed, like a bowlful of jelly.

He was chubby and plump, a right jolly old elf,
And I laughed when I saw him, in spite of myself;
A wink of his eye and a twist of his head,
Soon gave me to know I had nothing to dread;

He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work,
And filled all the stockings; then turned with a jerk,
And laying his finger aside of his nose,
And giving a nod, up the chimney he rose;

He sprang to his sleigh, to his team gave a whistle,
And away they all flew like the down of a thistle.
But I heard him exclaim, ere he drove out of sight,
"Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good-night."

Saturday, August 1, 2009

A Little Bit of Kindness

There are times in our life when we don't take action because we feel the action is too little, that it wouldn't make a difference. However, sometimes the smallest gesture can make a huge impact on someone's life. There are many different ways we can show kindness to others, and it doesn't have to be in a big way.

The simplest of things may make the difference. A smile, a door being held open, a handwritten note, a kind word, the list can go on and on.

I was recently reading some of Aesop's fables and came across the story of The Lion and The Mouse. While this story has been around for a long time, it still has wisdom in its words. Below is the story:

One day a Lion was asleep when a little Mouse began running up and down his back; this soon wakened the Lion, who placed his huge paw upon him, and opened his big jaws to swallow him.

"Please don't," cried the little Mouse: "forgive me this time, I shall never forget it: who knows but what I may be able to do you a turn some of these days?"

The Lion was so tickled at the idea of the Mouse being able to help him that he lifted up his paw and let him go.

Some time after the Lion was caught in a trap, he pulled with all his might, but the ropes were too strong. Just then the little Mouse happened to pass by, and seeing the sad plight, in which the Lion was, went up to him, and with his sharp little teeth gnawed away the ropes, setting the Lion free.

"You once laughed at me," said the mouse. You thought I was too little to do you a good turn. But see, you owe your life to a poor little mouse."

While you may think the story is far fetched, the point I found in reading the story is not the size of the action that is important, but the difference that a small action made.

By Catherine Pulsifer, © 2007
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