May the greatest gift you give or receive this year be the peace and joy you find in your own heart.
Unless we make Christmas an occasion to share our blessings, all the snow in Alaska won’t make it ‘white’.
He who has not Christmas in his heart will never find it under a tree.
Roy L. Smith
“Maybe Christmas,” the Grinch thought, “doesn’t come from a store.”
The two most joyous times of the year are Christmas morning and the end of school.
One of the most glorious messes in the world is the mess created in the living room on Christmas day. Don’t clean it up too quickly.
Expectancy is the atmosphere for miracles.
Edwin Louis Cole
Christmas is the day that holds all time together.
God never gives someone a gift they are not capable of receiving. If he gives us the gift of Christmas, it is because we all have the ability to understand and receive it.
I will honor Christmas in my heart, and try to keep it all the year.
Don’t let the past steal your present. This is the message of Christmas: We are never alone.
May you have the grace, strength and imagination to make this the best Christmas you ever had.
There is a way to know
That I am healthy and strong:
It’s when I check inside
To hear my own heart’s song.
A constant melody
That is played both day and night;
With some variations
And shades of soft and bright.
Music with a story
With all that life brings to me;
The things light and funny,
Or taken seriously.
The times I get concerned
And know I’m about to fall
Are when I check inside
To find no song at all.
Play on, oh heart of mine,
Share songs both joyful and sad.
When I hear you singing,
I know life’s not so bad.
I will always listen
To your music, dearest friend.
You always tell the truth;
On you I can depend.
Lovely hair, deep blue eyes;
A smile that melts your heart;
Soft, dewy skin with a radiant glow;
These are all a proper start.
But lovelier still is a beautiful soul,
Formed by hardship and blessings.
The one who has conquered and overcome;
Growing from all of life’s lessons.
Etiquette, manners sweet;
Fashion that looks just right;
Talent and scholastic accomplishment
Admired for being bright.
But more luminous still is a loving heart,
Tender and open to all;
Whose compassionate ways honor others;
This is most beautiful of all.
Outward poise, appearance:
Learning all the skills for society;
Will help you live and succeed.
But the deepest, most everlasting beauty
Can’t be honed or used to win;
It’s only authentic living that brings
Beauty that comes from within.
Perhaps one of the most important lessons I have had in my life is that I need to guard my heart. Once in a while, I seem to need a refresher course on this one!
You’ve heard the saying, “You are what you eat.” Well, that is true soulfully as much as it is physically. The choices are just as varied…and as difficult to make sometimes…as physical food.
So, from our souls’ points of view, what is a heart-healthy diet?
*One that is clean: Free from toxins like negativity, criticism, ridicule, bullying or other forms of degradation.
*Things that detoxify us, such as meditation, music, art, sleep, laughter and play.
*Nutrient-dense foods, like love, affection, friendship, wise counsel and encouragement.
*Soul-building items – Accomplishment, creativity, discipline, volunteering and giving to others.
*Good basic chow – Self talk that reminds us of who we are and what we’re about. I recently heard a wonderful definition of meditation: ” Thinking that makes us healthy.”
Foods to avoid:
*Anything that contributes to “heart disease” by tearing us or others down: Gossip, name calling, manipulation, exclusion, abuse.
(Some sources of such destructive items in this category might not be as obvious – A good deal of “news,” movies, books, TV shows and just careless talk. One of the more troubling sources can be people who love us: Family, spouses, friends, neighbors, Church members, co-workers..)
*”Junk food”: People, media and anything else that steals our energy, making us complacent, lethargic or lazy; things that “uninspire” us; things that waste time and energy.
How important is your soul’s diet?
Proverbs 4:23 puts it this way:
“Above everything else guard your heart, because from it flow the springs of life.”
Some might think of soul food as things like hush puppies or gumbo,
But there is true nourishment for our souls,
Far more nebulous; yet tangible indeed:
A word of encouragement,
A loving touch,
A prayer offered at just the right moment;
A hug when we need it so much.
An unexpected phone call,
A friendly smile;
A compassionate person who listens
Or just sits with us for a while.
These are the things that fill us,
That warm our souls;
That give nourishment and strength so we live
As we’re meant to be, well and whole.
When I’m still enough to listen,
My soul whispers to me.
She tells me many secrets
About what is and what could be.
Often, her whisper is singing
Or poetry and rhyme.
Once she spoke in cries and wails;
I hear her whispers all the time.
I find her to be elusive,
If I try hard to hear,
It seems that she moves away;
Perhaps she tries to disappear.
I know to treat her with honor
And show her love each day.
That’s when she is most happy
So that she has plenty to say.