What my Mother taught me

"If you're going to kill each other, do it outside. I just finished cleaning!"

"You better pray that will come out of the carpet."

"If you don't straighten up, I'm going to knock you into the middle of next week!"

"Because I said so, that's why."

"Make sure you wear clean underwear in case you're in an accident."

"Keep laughing and I'll give you something to cry about."

"Shut your mouth and eat your supper!"

"Will you look at the dirt on the back of your neck."

"You'll sit there until all that spinach is finished."

"It looks as if a tornado swept through your room."

"If I yelled because I saw a meteor coming towards you, would you listen then?"

"If I've told you once, I've told you a million times - don't exaggerate!"

"I brought you into this world, and I can take you out."

"Stop acting like your father."

"There are millions of less fortunate children in the world who don't have wonderful parents like you do."


Letting go...

To "let go" does not mean to stop caring.
It means I can't do it for someone else.

To "let go" is not to cut myself off.
It's the realization that I can't control another.

To "let go" is to admit powerlessness,
which means the outcome is not in my hands, but in God's.

To "let go" is not to try to change or blame another.
It's to make the most possible out of myself.

To "let go" is not to care for, but care about.

To "let go" is not to fix, but to be supportive.

To "let go" is not to judge,
but to allow another to be a human being, as we all sin.

To "let go" is not to be in the middle, arranging all the outcomes,
but to allow others to affect their own destinies.

To "let go" is not to deny, but to accept.

To "let go" is not to nag, scold, fuss, or argue;
but instead to search out my own shortcomings and correct them.

To "let go" is not to adjust everything to my desires,
but to take each day as it comes and cherish myself in it.

To "let go" is not to regret the past,
but to live for today and grow for the future.

To "let go" is to fear less and to love more.

Portrait of a Friend

I can't give solutions to all of life's problems, doubts, or fears. But I can listen to you, and together we can seek answers.

I can't change your past with all its heartache and pain, nor the future with its untold stories. But I can be there now when you need me to care.

I can't keep your feet from stumbling. I can only offer my hand that you may grasp it and not fall.

Your joys, triumphs, successes, and happiness are not mine. Yet I can share in your laughter and joy.

Your decisions in life are not mine to make, nor to judge. I can only support you, encourage you, and help you when you ask.

I can't give you boundaries which I have determined for you. But I can give you the room to change, room to grow, room to be yourself.

I can't keep your heart from breaking and hurting. But I can cry with you and help you pick up the pieces and put them back in place.

I can't tell you who you are. I can only love you and be your friend.

Heart Prints

Whatever our hands touch
We leave fingerprints!
On walls, on furniture.
On doorknobs, dishes, books,
As we touch we leave our identity.

Oh please wherever I go today,
Help me leave heart prints!
Heart prints of compassion
Of understanding and love.
Heart prints of kindness
and genuine concern.

May my heart touch a lonely neighbor
Or a runaway daughter,
Or an anxious mother,
Or, perhaps, a dear friend!

I shall go out today
To leave heart prints,
And if someone should say
"I felt your touch,"
May that one sense be...


Beginning today

Beginning today, I will no longer worry about yesterday.
It is in the past and the past will never change.
Only I can change by choosing to do so.

Beginning today, I will no longer worry about tomorrow.
Tomorrow will always be there, waiting for me to make the most of it.
But I cannot make the most of tomorrow without first making the most of today.

Beginning today, I will look in the mirror
and I will see a person worthy of my respect and admiration.
This capable person looking back at me is someone I enjoy spending time with
and someone I would like to get to know better.

Beginning today, I will cherish each moment of my life.
I value this gift bestowed upon me in this world and
I will unselfishly share this gift with others.
I will use this gift to enhance the lives of others.

Beginning today, I will take a moment to step off the beaten path
and to revel in the mysteries I encounter.
I will face challenges with courage and determination.
I will overcome what barriers there may be which hinder my quest for growth and self-improvement.

Beginning today, I will take life one day at a time, one step at a time.
Discouragement will not be allowed to taint my positive self-image,
my desire to succeed or my capacity to love.

Beginning today, I walk with renewed faith in human kindness.
Regardless of what has gone before,
I believe there is hope for a brighter and better future.

Beginning today, I will open my mind and my heart.
I will welcome new experiences. I will meet new people.
I will not expect perfection from myself nor anyone else:
perfection does not exist in an imperfect world.
But I will applaud the attempt to overcome human foibles.

Beginning today, I am responsible for my own happiness
and I will do things that make me happy . . .
admire the beautiful wonders of nature,
listen to my favorite music, pet a kitten or a puppy,
soak in a bubble bath . . .
Pleasure can be found in the most simple of gestures.

Beginning today, I will learn something new;
I will try something different;
I will savor all the various flavors life has to offer.
I will change what I can and the rest I will let go.
I will strive to become the best me I can possibly be.

Beginning today. And every day.

Your Friend, GOD

I just had to sit down and write to remind you of something very important to me. I LOVE YOU.

I saw you talking with your friends yesterday, and I so wanted to talk to you also. I waited all day, but you never called.

I hoped we could find the time to talk in the evening, but I know you had a lot of other things on your mind.

As your day drew to a close, I sent a cool breeze to make you feel refreshed after a long day. I put a special scent in the air from the flowers near the driveway, but I guess you didn't notice as you hurried by. I'm sad to see you rush so.

I saw you fall asleep last night and I so wanted to touch your face or stroke your hair, so I spilled a little moonlight on your face and pillow.

When you awoke this morning, I hoped we could have a little time together. I so wanted to rush down and talk with you, but you had to hurry off to work. My tears were in the rain.

I have so many gifts for you, so much to tell you, so many wonderful things for you to experience because I love you so much. My nature is like that, you know.

Please call me, talk with me -- ask me for help. I know the deepest desires of your heart and I so want to be close to you. My love for you is deeper than the oceans, greater than you can imagine. I long for us to share some time together ~ just the two of us.

It hurts me to see you look so sad today. I really understand what it's like for friends to let you down. I know your heart aches.

I'll close for now because I know you are very busy, and I certainly don't want to bother you. You are free to choose me, my way or not, it's your decision ~ I've already chosen you. Please don't be too long, and remember:


Your Friend,

Breakfast at Mcdonald's

From my inbox -- This is a good story and is true, please read it all the way through until the end! (After the Story, there are some very interesting facts!):

I am a mother of three (ages 14, 12, 3) and have recently completed my college degree. The last class I had to take was Sociology. The teacher was absolutely inspiring with the qualities that I wish every human being had been graced with. Her last project of the term was called, 'Smile.' The class was asked to go out and smile at three people and document their reactions.

I am a very friendly person and always smile at everyone and say hello anyway. So, I thought this would be a piece of cake, Literally. Soon after we were assigned the project, my husband, youngest son, and I went out to McDonald's one crisp March morning. It was just our way of sharing special playtime with our son.

We were standing in line, waiting to be served, when all of a sudden everyone around us began to back away, and then even my husband did. I did not move an inch... An overwhelming feeling of panic welled up inside of me as I turned to see why they had moved. As I turned around I smelled a horrible 'dirty body' smell, and there standing behind me were two poor homeless men.

As I looked down at the short gentleman, close to me, he was 'smiling'... His beautiful sky blue eyes were full of God's Light as he searched f or acceptance.... He said, 'Good day' as he counted the few coins he had been clutching.. The second man fumbled with his hands as he stood behind his friend. I realized the second man was mentally challenged and the blue-eyed gentleman was his salvation. I held my tears as I stood there with them.

The young lady at the counter asked him what they wanted. He said, 'Coffee is all Miss' because that was all they could afford. (If they wanted to sit in the restaurant and warm up, they had to buy something. He just wanted to be warm). Then I really felt it - the compulsion was so great I almost reached out and embraced the little man with the blue eyes.. That is when I noticed all eyes in the restaurant were set on me, judging my every action.

I smiled and asked the young lady behind the counter to give me two more breakfast meals on a separate tray. I then walked around the corner to the table that the men had chosen as a resting spot. I put the tray on the table and laid my hand on the blue-eyed gentleman's cold hand. He looked up at me, with tears in his eyes, and said, 'Thank you..' I leaned over, began to pat his hand and said, 'I did not do this for you.. God is here working through me to give you hope.'

I started to cry as I walked away to join my husband and son... When I sat down my husband smiled at me and said, 'That is why God gave you to me, Honey, to give me hope..' We held hands for a moment and at that time, we knew that only because of the Grace that we had been given were we able to give.

We are not church goers, but we are believers. That day showed me the pure Light of God's sweet love.

I returned to college, on the last evening of class, with this story in hand. I turned in 'my project' and the instructor read it. Then she looked up at me and said, 'Can I share this?' I slowly nodded as she got the attention of the class. She began to read and that is when I knew that we as human beings and being part of God share this need to heal people and to be healed. In my own way I had touched the people at McDonald's, my son, the instructor, and every soul that shared the classroom on the last night I spent as a college student.

I graduated with one of the biggest lessons I would ever learn:


Much love and compassion is sent to each and every person who may read this and learn how to


There is an Angel sent to watch over you. An Angel wrote:
Many people will walk in and out of your life, but only true friends will leave footprints in your heart
To handle yourself, use your head..
To handle others, use your heart.
God Gives every bird it's food, but He does not throw it into its nest.

Now I understand

Once upon a time, there was a man who looked upon Christmas as a lot of humbug. He wasn't a Scrooge. He was a very kind and decent person, generous to his family, upright in all his dealings with other men.

But he didn't believe all that stuff about God becoming man, which churches proclaim at Christmas. Why would God want to do anything like that?

So when his family left to attend midnight services on Christmas Eve, he stayed home.

Shortly after the family drove away, snow began to fall. He went to the window and watched the flurries getting heavier and heavier. Sometime later, as he was reading his newspaper by the fire, he was startled by a thudding sound that was quickly followed by another. Then another.

When he went to investigate, he found a flock of birds huddled miserably in the snow. They had been caught in the storm, and in a desperate search for shelter, had tried to fly through the window.

"I can't let these poor creatures lie there and freeze," he thought. "But how can I help them?"

Then he remembered the barn. It would provide a warm shelter. He quickly put on his coat and boots and tramped thought the deepening snow to the barn. He opened the doors wide and turned on the light.

But the birds didn't come in.

"Food will bring them in," he thought. So he hurried back to the house for bread crumbs, which he sprinkled on the snow to make a trail into the barn.

To his dismay, the birds ignored the bread crumbs and continued to flop around helplessly in the snow. He tried shooing them into the barn by walking around and waving his arms. They scattered in every direction -- except into the warm, lighted barn.

"They find me a strange and terrifying creature," he said to himself, "and I can't seem to think of any way to let them know they can trust me."

"If only I could be a bird myself for a few minutes, perhaps I could lead them to safety."

Just at that moment, the church bells began to ring. He stood silently for awhile, listening to the bells pealing the glad tidings of Christmas.

Then he sank to his knees in the snow. "Now I understand," he whispered. "Now I see why You had to do it."

Things I learned from Noah's Ark...

One: Don't miss the boat.
Two: Remember that we are all in the same boat.
Three: Plan ahead. It wasn't raining when Noah built the Ark.
Four: Stay fit. When you're 600 years old, someone may ask you to do something really big.
Five: Don't listen to critics; just get on with the job that needs to be done.
Six: Build your future on high ground.
Seven: For safety's sake, travel in pairs.
Eight: Speed isn't always an advantage. The snails were on board with the cheetahs.
Nine: When you're stressed, float a while.
Ten: Remember, the Ark was built by amateurs; the Titanic by professionals.
Eleven: No matter the storm, when you are with God, there's always a rainbow waiting.

The trouble tree

The carpenter I hired to help me restore an old farmhouse had just finished a rough first day on the job. A flat tire made him lose an hour of work, his electric saw quit, and now his ancient pickup truck refused to start.

While I drove him home, he sat in stoney silence. On arriving, he invited me in to meet his family. As we walked toward the front door, he paused briefly at a small tree, touching the tips of the branches with both hands.

After opening the door, he underwent an amazing transformation. His tanned face was wreathed in smiles, and he hugged his two small children and gave his wife a kiss.

Afterward, he walked me to my car. We passed the tree, and my curiosity got the better of me. I asked him about what I had seen him do earlier.

"Oh, that's my trouble tree," he replied. "I know I can't help having troubles on the job, but one thing for sure, troubles don't belong in the house with my wife and the children. So I just hang them up on the tree every night when I come home. Then in the morning, I pick them up again."

"Funny thing is," he smiled, "when I come out in the morning to pick them up, there aren't nearly as many as I remember hanging up the night before."

The most beautiful flower

The park bench was deserted as I sat down to read
Beneath the long, straggly branches of an old willow tree.
Disillusioned by life with good reason to frown,
For the world was intent on dragging me down.
And if that weren't enough to ruin my day,
A young boy out of breath approached me, all tired from play
He stood right before me with his head tilted down
And said with great excitement, "Look what I found!"
In his hand was a flower, and what a pitiful sight,
With its petals all worn - not enough rain, or too little light.
Wanting him to take his dead flower and go off to play,
I faked a small smile and then shifted away.
But instead of retreating, he sat next to my side
And placed the flower to his nose
And declared with overacted surprise,
"It sure smells pretty and it's beautiful, too.
That's why I picked it; here, it's for you."
The weed before me was dying or dead.
Not vibrant of colors: orange, yellow or red.
But I knew I must take it, or he might never leave.
So I reached for the flower, and replied, "Just what I need."
but instead of him placing the flower in my hand,
He held it mid-air without reason or plan.
It was then that I noticed for the very first time
That weed-toting boy could not see: he was blind.
I heard my voice quiver; tears shone in the sun
As I thanked him for picking the very best one.
"You're welcome," he smiled, and then ran off to play,
Unaware of the impact he'd had on my day.
I sat there and wondered how he managed to see
A self-pitying woman beneath an old willow tree.
How did he know of my self-indulged plight?
Perhaps from his heart, he'd been blessed with true sight.
Through the eyes of a blind child, at last I could see
The problem was not with the world; the problem was me.
And for all of those times I myself had been blind,
I vowed to see the beauty in life,
And appreciate every second that's mine.
And then I held that wilted flower up to my nose
And breathed in the fragrance of a beautiful rose
And smiled as I watched that young boy, Another weed in his hand,
About to change the life of an unsuspecting old man.

~ BY Cheryl Costello-Forshey ~

Take Time

Take time to think;
it is the source of power.

Take time to read;
it is the foundation of wisdom.

Take time to play;
it is the secret of staying young.

Take time to be quiet;
it is the moment to seek God.

Take time to be aware;
it is the opportunity to help others.

Take time to love and be loved;
it is God's greatest gift.

Take time to laugh;
it is the music of the soul.

Take time to be friendly;
it is the road to happiness.

Take time to dream;
it is what the future is made of.

Take time to pray;
it is the greatest power on earth.

The Quilt

As I faced my Maker at the last Judgment, I knelt before the Lord along with the other souls. Before each of us laid our lives, like the squares of a quilt, in many piles. An angel sat before each of us sewing our quilt squares together into a tapestry that is our life. But, as my angel took each piece of cloth off the pile, I noticed how ragged and empty each of my squares was. They were filled with giant holes. Each square was labeled with a part of my life that had been difficult, the challenges and temptations I was faced with in everyday life. I saw hardships that I had endured, which were the largest holes of all.

I glanced around me. Nobody else had such squares. Other than a tiny hole here and there, the other tapestries were filled with rich color and the bright hues of worldly fortune. I gazed upon my own life and was disheartened. My angel was sewing the ragged pieces of cloth together, threadbare and empty, like binding air. Finally the time came when each life was to be displayed, held up to the light, the scrutiny of truth. The others rose, each in turn, holding up their tapestries. So filled their lives had been.

My angel looked upon me, and nodded for me to rise. My gaze dropped to the ground in shame. I hadn't had all the earthly fortunes. I had love in my life, and laughter. But there had also been trials of illness and death, and false accusations that took from me my world as I knew it. I had to start over many times. I often struggled with the temptation to quit, only to somehow muster the strength to pick up and begin again. I had spent many nights on my knees in prayer, asking for help and guidance in my life. I had often been held up to ridicule, which I endured painfully; each time offering it up to the Father in hopes that I would not melt within my skin beneath the judgmental gaze of those who unfairly judged me. And now, I had to face the truth. My life was what it was, and I had to accept it for what it had been.

I rose and slowly lifted the combined squares of my life to the light. An awe-filled gasp filled the air. I gazed around at the others who stared at me with eyes wide. Then, I looked upon the tapestry before me. Light flooded the many holes, creating an image. The face of Christ. Then our Lord stood before me, with warmth and love in His eyes. He said, "Every time you gave over your life to Me, it became My life, My hardships, and My struggles. Each point of light in your life is when you stepped aside and let Me shine through, until there was more of Me than there was of you.

May all our quilts be threadbare and worn, allowing Christ to shine through.

The Fork

There was a woman who had been diagnosed with a terminal illness and had been given three months to live. So as she was getting her things "in order," she contacted her pastor and had him come to her house to discuss certain aspects of her final wishes. She told him which songs she wanted sung at the service, what scriptures she would like read, and what outfit she wanted to be buried in. The woman also requested to be buried with her favorite Bible. Everything was in order and the pastor was preparing to leave when the woman suddenly remembered something very important to her.

"There's one more thing," she said excitedly.

"What's that?" came the pastor's reply.

"This is very important," the woman continued. "I want to be buried with a fork in my right hand."

The pastor stood looking at the woman, not knowing quite what to say. "That surprises you, doesn't it?" the woman asked.

"Well, to be honest, I'm puzzled by the request," said the pastor.

The woman explained, "In all my years of attending church socials and potluck dinners, I always remember that when the dishes of the main course were being cleared, someone would inevitably lean over and say, 'Keep your fork.' It was my favorite part because I knew that something better was coming...like velvety chocolate cake or deep-dish apple pie. Something wonderful, and with substance! So, I just want people to see me there in that casket with a fork in my hand and I want them to wonder 'What's with the fork?' Then I want you to tell them: "Keep your fork....the best is yet to come."

The pastor's eyes welled up with tears of joy as he hugged the woman goodbye. He knew this would be one of the last times he would see her before her death. But he also knew that the woman had a better grasp of heaven than he did. She KNEW that something better was coming.

At the funeral people were walking by the woman's casket and they saw the pretty dress she was wearing and her favorite Bible and the fork placed in her right hand. Over and over, the pastor heard the question "What's with the fork?" And over and over he smiled.

During his message, the pastor told the people of the conversation he had with the woman shortly before she died. He also told them about the fork and about what it symbolized to her. The pastor told the people how he could not stop thinking about the fork and told them that they probably would not be able to stop thinking about it either. He was right.

So the next time you reach down for your fork, let it remind you, oh so gently, that the best is yet to come...

~ Source Unknown ~

The ant and the contact lens

A true story by Josh and Karen Zarandona

Brenda was a young woman who was invited to go rock climbing. Although she was very scared, she went with her group to a tremendous granite cliff. In spite of her fear, she put on the gear, took a hold on the rope, and started up the face of that rock.

Well, she got to a ledge where she could take a breather. As she was hanging on there, the safety rope snapped against Brenda's eye and knocked out her contact lens.

Well, here she is, on a rock ledge, with hundreds of feet below her and hundreds of feet above her. Of course, she looked and looked and looked, hoping it had landed on the ledge, but it just wasn't there. Here she was, far from home, her sight now blurry. She was desperate and began to get upset, so she prayed to the Lord to help her to find it.

When she got to the top, a friend examined her eye and her clothing for the lens, but there was no contact lens to be found. She sat down, despondent, with the rest of the party, waiting for the rest of them to make it up the face of the cliff.

She looked out across range after range of mountains, thinking of that Bible verse that says, "The eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth." She thought, "Lord, You can see all these mountains. You know every stone and leaf, and You know exactly where my contact lens is. Please help me."

Finally, they walked down the trail to the bottom. At the bottom there was a new party of climbers just starting up the face of the cliff. One of them shouted out, "Hey, you guys! Anybody lose a contact lens?"

Well, that would be startling enough, but you know why the climber saw it? An ant was moving slowly across the face of the rock, carrying it on its back.

Brenda told me that her father is a cartoonist. When she told him the incredible story of the ant, the prayer, and the contact lens, he drew a picture of an ant lugging that contact lens with the words, "Lord, I don't know why You want me to carry this thing. I can't eat it, and it's awfully heavy. But if this is what You want me to do, I'll carry it for You."

I think it would probably do some of us good to occasionally say, "God, I don't know why you want me to carry this load. I can see no good in it and it's awfully heavy. But, if you want me to carry it, I will."

God doesn't call the qualified, He qualifies the called. Yes, I do love GOD. He is my source of existence and my savior. He keeps me functioning each and every day. "Without him, I am nothing, but with Him ... I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me." (Phil. 4:13)