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24 June, 2017

Flower Pots

When my husband calmly announced that, after eleven years of marriage, he had filed for a divorce and was moving out, my first thought was for my children.

My son was just five, and my daughter, four. Could I held us together and give them a sense of “family”? Could I, as a single parent, maintain our home and teach them the ethics and values I knew they would need in life? All I knew was that I had to try.

So every Sunday, we attended church. During the week, I made time to review their homework with them, and we often discussed why it was important to do the right things. This took time and energy when I had little to spare, and worse, it was hard to tell if was really reaching them.

One Mother’s Day, two years after the divorce, as we walked into church, I noticed carts of beautiful flowers in little pots on either side of the altar. During the service, the pastor told us that he thought motherhood was one of the toughest jobs in life, and deserved recognition and reward. He then asked every child to come forward to pick out a beautiful flower and present it to their mother as a symbol of how much they were loved and appreciated.

My son and daughter, hand in hand, went up the aisle with the other children. Together they considered which plant to bring back to me. We had certainly survived some hard times, and this little bit of appreciation was just what I needed. I looked at the beautiful begonias, the golden marigolds and purple pansies, and started planning where I could plant whichever one they chose for me, for surely they would bring me a beautiful bloom to show their love.
 
My children took their assignment seriously, and looked over every pot on all the carts. Long after the other children had returned to their seats, and presented the other mothers with a beautiful potted flower, my two were still making their selection. Finally, with a joyful exclamation, they made their selection from the back of one of the carts. With exuberant smiles lighting their faces, they proudly proceeded down the aisle to where I was seated and presented me with the plant they had chosen as their Mother’s Day gift of appreciation.

I stared in amazement at the broken, bedraggled, sickly looking stick being held out to me by my son. Mortified, I accepted the pot from him. They had obviously chosen the smallest, sickest plant—it didn’t even have a bloom on it. Looking down at their smiling faces, I saw their pride in this choice, and knowing how long it took them to choose this particular plant, I smiled and accepted their gift.

But then I had to ask—out of all those beautiful flowers — what had made them pick this particular plant to give to me?

With great pride, my son said, “this one looked like it needed you, Mom,” As tears flowed down my face, I hugged both children close. They had just given me the greatest Mother’s Day gift I could ever have imagined. My hard work and sacrifices had not been in vain—they would grow up just fine.
 
As we grow older, life experiences cloud our judgment, and circumstances create bias. We have earned our years, and we think that we understand the ways of the world.

But when you think you have everything figured out, something will happen to catch you off guard, and surprise you in a profound way.

This mother almost had her heart broken. But her beloved children understood that the power of a mother’s love can turn a dying plant into a blossoming seed of life.

15 April, 2017

Two Horses And A Bell

Just up the road from my home is a field, with two horses in it.

From a distance, each horse looks like any other horse.

But if you stop your car, or are walking by, you will notice something quite amazing....

Looking into the eyes of one horse will disclose that he is blind. His owner has chosen not to have him put down, but has made a good home for him.

This alone is amazing. If you stand nearby and listen, you will hear the sound of a bell. Looking around for the source of the sound, you will see that it comes from the smaller horse in the field.

Attached to the horse's halter is a small bell. It lets the blind friend know where the other horse is, so he can follow.

As you stand and watch these two friends, you'll see that the horse with the bell is always checking on the blind horse, and that the blind horse will listen for the bell and then slowly walk to where the other horse is, trusting that he will not be led astray.

When the horse with the bell returns to the shelter of the barn each evening, it stops occasionally and looks back, making sure that the blind friend isn't too far behind to hear the bell.

Like the owners of these two horses, God does not throw us away just because we are not perfect or because we have problems or challenges.

He watches over us and even brings others into our lives to help us when we are in need..

Sometimes we are the blind horse being guided by the little ringing bell of those who God places in our lives. Other times we are the guide horse, helping others to find their way....

Good friends are like that... You may not always see them, but you know they are always there..

Please listen for my bell and I'll listen for yours, and remember...

Be kinder than necessary - everyone you meet is fighting some kind of battle.

Live simply,
Love generously,
Care deeply,
Speak kindly.......

FOR WE WALK BY FAITH AND NOT BY SIGHT.

Better Half

There’s a bakery shop near to our house. Often, on my way back home in the evening, I buy some stuff for the morning breakfast. Today, as I was about to leave the bakery, I met our neighbour Mr. Ajay who himself was leaving the same shop. After the exchange of some traditional greetings, the conversation went like following.

I asked: “What have you bought?”

Ajay replied: “Nothing much , just some chicken patties and some sweetmeats for my wife and children”.

Jokingly, I enquired, “Why so? Hasn't your wife cooked today?”

He said: “No, it’s not like that. Actually today in office we were a little hungry so my colleagues ordered some patties and sweetmeats. Since, I had this at the office I thought to buy some for my family too. It’s not fair that I eat whatever I like at the office while my kids and wife remain bound to eat whatever is cooked at home.”

Confounded with great surprise, I stared at him because I never thought this way before.

I said: “What’s the big deal, ajay?  If you eat food of your own choice at the office, your wife and children would also be having whatever they like to eat at home.”

Ajay replied: “Not at all,  My wife saves for me from everything there is. Even if someone from neighborhood sends something, my wife first saves some for me and then distributes it among my kids. It would be very selfish if I just enjoy good things with my friends and not with my family.”

Amazed upon hearing this I said: “Enjoying? This bakery stuff is what you think is enjoyment?”

He said: “Whatever ! I dread the time when on the Day of Resurrection I’ll be questioned about this. That I took someone’s daughter into marriage and had fun with my friends while she ate whatever little was available.”

Completely stunned, I couldn’t move my eyes off him while he continued.

“Look, when we get married to someone’s sister or daughter, they are human beings as well. Just like us. They too have hunger needs. They have their desires as well. They too wish to taste lots of delicious foods or foods of their choice, to try different kinds of lovely outfits. They also want to move and travel around. Keeping them caged like a bird, providing them meals twice a day and having a sense of smugness for doing all this is selfishness. And the way we treat the daughters of others is the way our own daughters and sisters will be treated because what goes around comes around.”

His last words shook me to a great degree. I never thought like this before.  Concluding the conversation with Ajay I said, “Great! You have made me think from a different perspective.”

I turned back to the shop.

Ajay: “Where are you going?”

I replied, “To buy some ice-cream…actually I had some ice-cream at the office today.”

Ajay and Myself took their respective paths. Ajay was glad to have a positive impact on me. On the other hand, I now, knew how to keep my wife and kids happy and acknowledge all the efforts my wife does for my happiness.

Wives are what makes life beautiful!

No wonder they are called the better half.

Your Meal Is Being Prepared

A certain gentleman walked into a hotel and after perusing through the menu ordered for some food.

After about 20 minutes another group of gentlemen walked in and ordered for some food.

To his dismay, he noticed them get served first.

He watched as they began to eat and laugh heartily. He even overheard one of them brag about how he knew everyone at that hotel and how things moved fast for him here.

He felt he was being mocked. He contemplated leaving. But he had waited so long.
 
Unable to take it anymore, he called the waiter and spoke sadly of how unfair things were.

The waiter calmly told him, "Yours is a special order Sir, being prepared by the chief chef himself.

Their orders were prepared hurriedly by interns because the top chefs are busy with yours. That's why they came first. Please have some juice as you wait".

Unknown to him the owner of the hotel (who happened to be an old long lost friend of his) had seen him coming and wanted to surprise him and had made changes to his simple meal to make it an exotic meal.

He calmed down and waited.

Shortly after his meal was served by six waiters and he was waited on hand and foot and being made very comfortable.

The gentlemen at the other table were shocked. They couldn't stop staring. Suddenly they were the ones murmuring, asking why they didn't get that kind of service and meal.

So it is with life!

Some people are ahead of you and eating now, laughing at you about how they know people and how they're blessed with money and how they're enjoying life because of it.

You have been waiting long wondering why it’s taking so long to get your breakthrough, enduring mockery and humiliation. Maybe you have contemplated the unthinkable, gone through depression or suffered severe mental anxiety.

Do not worry!

The owner of the world has seen you. And doesn't want to give you simple meals like those laughing at you.

You've been waiting for long because yours is a special meal and takes time.
And only chief chef makes those!

Lesson: Wait for your meal and relax. When it comes, the laughing party will be silenced for good.

Parents

A call from the old age home to her only son in the Gulf.
 
The son says" It is recession here don't ask for any donation or financial help."
 
The old age home manager says "Who asked for donation? Your mom has breathed her last a few hours ago..."
 
Son: Then I shall come as the landed property is to be dealt with..."
 
Manager: " No it is sold two years ago to meet the medical expenses of your ailing dad"
 
Son: Oh, I was not aware.....I may send some money to conduct mom's last rites in that case.
 
Manager: "No, she has donated the body to the medical college and some compensation may be received for that. I want your account number, to remit the cash....that's why I called you.."


Total silence from the son...!!!