Wednesday, December 29, 2010

All The Way Back

When I was a child out shopping with my father in the busy paced Christmas season, my small steps could never match his giant ones.  For every large stride he took, I had to take three awkaward leaps to keep in step.  It was like a little red bird flying next to an eagle with his massive wing span, there was a great difference in our flight, and like the eagle my father had a great wing span.  When we were finished at the store, and the car was loaded up, he would always push the shopping cart all the way back into the store where it belonged.  I would sit in the car waiting and wondering why he took the time to do such a good deed when he had so many more important things to do.  At the time, I could not comprehend how his example of giving of himself, even in such a small way, would impact my view of the meaning of giving later in life.
Last week marked the beginning of the holiday shopping season.  Once again as an adult, I found myself participating in the pyretic frenzy of shoppers bumping into one another trying to attain our prized merchandise that would make the perfect gift for that special someone.  The chaos of that kind of interaction can steal the cheer right out of the holiday spirit. So when I was leaving the sale, and could not get to my car due to several carts left all in the way, it was at that moment, that I realilzed how in the effort to get everything right, we seem to get it all so wrong!
Every year at this time I become torn between the joy of the spirit of giving, and the drudgery of getting everything done on my Christmas to do list.  Time, like lightening, flashes past me, and I just follow it in vain, like the thunder with an artless thud!  However, if I stop myself in my tracks, and think all the way back when I was a child at Christmas, there are certain memories that come rushing back like a prodigal son longing to be held by the father once more.  None of these thoughts hold any significance to anyone but me.  There are no favorite gifts, new bikes, go go boots, or colored television sets.  There are only precious moments spent with loved ones that repair my vision of what truly matters.  Sometimes we get so caught up in the race reaching for the prize, that we forget the true purpose it held in the beginning.  The holiday season is not about how many presents we can give, but giving in celebration of the priceless gift  of hope God gave us all the way back on the first Christmas in Bethlehem.  In times like these, I often have to be remimnded that the greatest gifts of all are free.
Many years have passed since I was eight years old out shopping with my father.  He has long since passed away, and I have spent many Christmas seasons out shopping on my own.  Sometimes I have waisted too much money, but I realize more and more as I get older that I have never been waisting my time,  for no act of kindness is ever in vain.  The real gifts that I was given growing up stay with me always, and they reflect out to others, like ripples in a pond.  When I recall the memories of my father, it is the times we shared together, and how his integrity etched its place upon my heart that hold true.  Just like our Father in Heaven has given us an eternal hope that our hearts can always hold.
This life is full of many struggles; errands that must be done, and decisions both mundane and colossal to be made.  Through it all, let us not forget what truly matters most.  Sometimes when I am out shopping, and my father is on my mind, as he so often is this time of year, I will finish loading my car with gifts, and take the time to push the cart all the way back to the store where it belongs.  It always fills me with an inner peace, and the sweet vision of my father's smile.  I know I will never be able to fill my father's shoes, but I am certain that I shall always try.

This is an essay I wrote for Christmas "all the way back" in 2007.  I hope that everyone here in the blogosphere had a wonderful Christmas full of the blessings of the heart, and that the new year is one full of happiness and hope.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010


At Christmas, all roads lead home.  ~Marjorie Holmes

Growing up my brother and I were raised on one hundred acres of perfect Sanger graze land, just north of Denton, Texas.  At our house there was a majestic view from every window, but the house was completely surrounded by a a fence.  It served its purpose in keeping the cattle away from the porch, yet it seemed to be the place I remained most of my childhood, staying within the fence.
Looking back it seems so strange that we had all that land, but we had to remain most of the time within the confines of those closed gates.  For myself ,I could only call it a loss and go on, but for my brother Vaude it was different.  He had more freedom at a younger age than I, but when he did get it, he went as fast as he could, like a canary that broke out of its cage.  He always was a restless spirit, and peace was just not within this grasp then, and unlike the distance that seperates counties and states, I could not reach him for a very long time.
It wasn't until the last few years that his heart had settled down.  We had not seen each other in over ten years, but he had called me several times, and our talks had become increasingly longer.   I had invited him to stay many times at no avail, yet I never ventured out his way either.  I kept imagining that when we were older, and retired that we would have lots of time to visit one another then, and maybe even live near each other.  I knew that then we could make up for all the time we lost.  Unfortunately, on Christmas day 2002, my brother died of a massive heart attack at the Elks Lodge in Denton.  It is a day that has forever changed me.  I had spent so much time being too busy to get away, that like a fence, I kept myself from going where I should have gone.  I can't have that time back.  I can only learn from it.  I do not ever want to take anything or anyone for granted.
Christmas is a time of hope, celebration, and an opportunity to reach out to others, as God has to us.  I want to take this time to reflect, and look forward, with the thankfulness I should have for all the wonderful people in my life.  My plans with my brother may have been altered, but they were not completely changed, only the destination.  For I know that we will meet again beyond the confines of this world.
God bless you all today, and always.

Monday, December 20, 2010

The Bounty of God

"There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle." ~Albert Einstein


Perhaps the gravest, and yet greatest gift God gives us in this life is the ability to decide for ourselves what we will believe, and what path we will choose from the vision set before us.  We all one by one, could step into a Cathedral and peer through the beautiful stained glass windows, and each one see something a bit different.  Some choose the obvious, and clear science of logic, and then go about their way, while others look deeper, into the glass, and into the human heart, not just seeing a mother and child etched upon the glass, but they see a miracle etched upon humanity.  The wonder of the many gifts of God.  Is it a miracle, or is it the science of art? 
I choose the miracle!

I hope everyone at Magpie Tales and everywhere in the blogosphere has a wonderful Christmas Holiday, no matter what your set beliefs is a season of miracles....the spirit of giving is a beautiful thing!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010


"Childhood is the most beautiful of all life's seasons."  ~Author Unknown

Somewhere between carelessly sliding down Maynord's hill,
and carefully climbing up the ladder of success,
I forgot how to simply say:

To read more slippery fun click here.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

A Glimpse of God

It is the vast ocean,
yet one tiny grain of sand.

It is the rain that feeds the river,
yet the tears of just one man.

It is a meteor that lights up the dark,
yet the lights reflection from one creature's eyes.

It is the instinctive migration of geese,
yet one hummingbird in hovered flight.

It is the tall deep forest,
yet one flower that is rare.

It is the undeniable crash of thunder,
yet the wind's testimony that is unseen, but we know it is there.

Monday, December 6, 2010

No Stranger At My Door

You can't run away from trouble. There ain't no place that far. ~Uncle Remus

Trouble rides a fast horse, I once heard a famous cowboy say. 
So I tiptoed like a snowflake, and flew the other way.
I traveled passed missed opportunities, and stumbled over the loss.
Holding regret, like a firearm, with pockets empty from the cost.
I grew weary running, so I turned to hiding behind my own locked doors,
never allowing trouble to dance upon my hardwood  floors.
Yet, all the avoiding, and escaping was at no avail,
for trouble would always find me through my own paper trail.
It is a cold hard lesson, like falling off a horse in the snow.
To learn that dodging all life's troubles also loses some blessing we could know.
Trouble rides a fast horse, I once heard a famous cowboy say.
So now I sit at my own doorstep, and simply welcome all that comes my way.

To read more Magpie Tales prompts click here.