Category Archives: Life Lessons

Being a mother…

After 17 years of marriage, my wife wanted me to take another woman out to dinner and a movie. She said, ‘I love you, but I know this other woman loves you and would love to spend some time with you.’

* * *

The other woman that my wife wanted me to visit was my MOTHER, who has been alone for 20 years, but the demands of my work and my two boys had made it possible to visit her only occasionally.

* * *

That night I called to invite her to go out for dinner and a movie.

* * *

‘What’s wrong, aren’t you well,’ she asked?

* * *

My mother is the type of woman who suspects that a late night call or a surprise invitation is a sign of bad news.

* * *

‘I thought it would be pleasant to spend some time with you, ‘ I responded. ‘Just the two of us.’ She thought about it for a moment, and then said, ‘I would like that very much.’

* * *

That Friday after work, as I drove over to pick her up I was a bit nervous. When I arrived at her house, I noticed that she, too, seemed to be nervous about our date. She waited in the door. She had curled her hair and was wearing the dress that she had worn to celebrate her last birthday on November 19th.

* * *

She smiled from a face that was as radiant as an angel’s. ‘I told my friends that I was going to go out with my son, and they were impressed,’ she said, as she got into that new white van. ‘They can’t wait to hear about our date’.

* * *

We went to a restaurant that, although not elegant, was very nice and cozy. My mother took my arm as if she were the First Lady. After we sat down, I had to read the menu. Her eyes could only read large print. Half way through the entries, I lifted my eyes and saw Mom sitting there staring at me. A nostalgic smile was on her lips. ‘It was I who used to have to read the menu when you were small,’ she said. ‘Then it’s time that you relax and let me return the favor,’ I responded.

* * *

During the dinner, we had an agreeable conversation- -nothing extraordinary but catching up on recent events of each other’s life. We talked so much that we missed the movie.

* * *

As we arrived at her house later, she said, ‘I’ll go out with you again, but only if you let me invite you.’ I agreed.

* * *

‘How was your dinner date ?’ asked my wife when I got home. ‘Very nice. Much more so than I could have imagined,’ I answered.

* * *

A few days later, my mother died of a massive heart attack. It happened so suddenly that I didn’t have a chance to do anything for her.

* * *

Some time later, I received an envelope with a copy of a restaurant receipt from the same place mother and I had dined. An attached note said: ‘I paid this bill in advance. I wasn’t sure that I could be there; but nevertheless, I paid for two plates – one for you and the other for your wife. You will never know what that night meant for me. I love you, son.’

* * *

At that moment, I understood the importance of saying in time: ‘I LOVE YOU’ and to give our loved ones the time that they deserve. Nothing in life is more important than your family. Give them the time they deserve, because these things cannot be put off till ‘some other time.’

***

Somebody said it takes about six weeks to get back to normal after you’ve had a baby…. somebody doesn’t know that once you’re a mother, ‘normal’ is history.

* * *

Somebody said you learn how to be a mother by instinct . somebody never took a three-year-old shopping.

* * *

Somebody said being a mother is boring ….. somebody never rode in a car driven by a teenager with a driver’s permit.

* * *

Somebody said if you’re a ‘good’ mother, your child will ‘turn out good’…. somebody thinks a child comes with directions and a guarantee.

* * *

Somebody said you don’t need an education to be a mother…. somebody never helped a fourth grader with his math.

* * *

Somebody said you can’t love the second child as much as you love the first …. somebody doesn’t have two children.

* * *

Somebody said the hardest part of being a mother is labor and delivery… somebody never watched her ‘baby’ get on the bus for the first day of kindergarten or on a plane headed for military ‘boot camp.’

* * *

Somebody said a mother can stop worrying after her child gets married… somebody doesn’t know that marriage adds a new son or daughter-in-law to a mother’s heartstrings.

* * *

Somebody said a mother’s job is done when her last child leaves home… somebody never had grandchildren.

* * *

Somebody said your mother knows you love her, so you don’t need to tell her…. somebody isn’t a mother.

Pass this along to all the ‘mothers’ in your life and to everyone who ever had a mother. This isn’t just about being a mother; it’s about appreciating the people in your life while you have them….no matter who that person is.

God can use you to your full potential!

The next time you feel like GOD can’t use you, just remember.

  • Noah was a drunk
  • Abraham was too old
  • Isaac was a daydreamer
  • Jacob was a liar
  • Leah was ugly
  • Joseph was abused
  • Moses had a stuttering problem
  • Gideon was afraid
  • Samson had long hair and was a womanizer
  • Rahab was a prostitute
  • Jeremiah and Timothy were too young
  • David had an affair and was a murderer
  • Elijah was suicidal
  • Isaiah preached naked
  • Jonah ran from God
  • Naomi was a widow
  • Job went bankrupt
  • Peter denied Christ
  • The Disciples fell asleep while praying
  • Martha worried about everything
  • The Samaritan woman was divorced, more than once
  • Zaccheus was too small
  • Paul was too religious
  • Timothy had an ulcer..AND
  • Lazarus was dead!
  • But don’t forget…
    Jesus helped them all!!!!

    Now! No more excuses!
    God can use you to your full potential.
    Besides you aren’t the message, you are just the messenger.
    In the Circle of God’s love, God’s waiting to use your full potential.

    1. God wants spiritual fruit, not religious nuts.

    2. Dear God, I have a problem, it’s Me.

    3. There is no key to happiness. The door is always open.

    4. Silence is often misinterpreted but never misquoted.

    5. Do the math… count your blessings.

    6. Faith is the ability to not panic.

    7. If you worry, you didn’t pray. If you pray, don’t worry.

    8. As a child of God, prayer is kind of like calling home every day.

    9. Blessed are the flexible for they shall not be bent out of shape.

    10. The most important things in your house are the people.

    11. When we get tangled up in our problems, be still.
    God wants us to be still so He can untangle the knot.

    12. A grudge is a heavy thing to carry.

    13. He who dies with the most toys is still dead.

    Have a great day!!! The SON is shining and he can certainly use you!

    Press hails Obama the ‘giant slayer’

    (CNN) — History in the making was how many international newspapers viewed Barack Obama’s emergence as Democratic presidential candidate, with the focus on his status as the first ever African-American to win the ticket.

    Newspapers described Obama as a “political giant slayer.”

    Even before Hillary Clinton admitted defeat in the hard-fought contest, some publications were already dissecting her failed campaign, analyzing where it went wrong and what the future has in store for her political dynasty.

    Tuesday’s win “confirms Obama’s reputation as a political giant-slayer, who after less than four years in the U.S. Senate brought down the couple credited with creating the Democrats’ most powerful political machine,” the Guardian newspaper wrote.

    The Chinese Xinhua news agency marveled at how “one year ago, it was very hard to imagine that Obama, a young politician without a strong political base and little known to the public can defeat Hillary Clinton, the heir-apparent of the Democratic Party.”

    The Times of London saw Obama’s victory as evidence that “the United States remains a land of opportunity.”

    “This moment’s significance is its resounding proof of the truism about America as a land of opportunity: Mr Obama’s opportunity to graduate from Harvard and take Washington by storm,” it wrote.

    It said his victory also demonstrates “the opportunity that the world’s most responsive democratic system gives its voters to be inspired by an unknown; the opportunity that outsiders now have to reassess the superpower that too many of them love to hate.

    “Win or lose in November, he will have gone farther than anyone in history to bury the toxic enmity that fueled America’s civil war and has haunted it ever since.”
    Don’t Miss

    The Financial Times opened a post-mortem on Clinton’s campaign, indicating that her defeat was not about her shortcomings but about Obama’s political potency.

    “Analysts will spend years poring over the reasons for Mrs Clinton’s failed bid and probably never reach consensus,” it wrote.

    “But almost everyone, including some members of her own staff, would agree that the former first lady’s campaign looked old-fashioned next to that of Barack Obama.”

    The Independent newspaper, however, placed the blame on “loyal husband” Bill Clinton who “more than anyone sabotaged his wife’s chances by airing too many outspoken opinions on the way.”

    But the paper hinted the Clintons may still have another shot at the White House — although it could be a few years away.

    “Hillary has been beaten. Bill has dishonored himself. And Chelsea? Chelsea need have no regrets. She may be the candidate that brings the family back to the campaign trail again. But that drama is for another decade.”

    The French newspaper Le Monde also examined Bill Clinton’s role in Hillary’s failure. The former president was both her greatest asset and her worst, the paper said, delivering a blunt assessment of her campaign with an emphatic: “C’est fini.”

    Crabs in a barrel: an interesting lesson.

    To be in the barrel, either the crab getting out or the crab trying to keep others in – you must have been caught in the first place – snatched out of your home, where you were born. Was it meant for you to be caught? And if so, for what purpose? Some of us will provide nourishment for others, some will make it out of the barrel (out of the frying pan and into the fire), some may be thrown back, etc., etc., etc.

    To have been caught you must have been desired, must have some value and worth, must have a purpose. Whether the purpose is fulfilled or not is an interesting question as well, for if all things happen as they should, then whatever happens was meant to be. That argument becomes very challenging for the philosopher because he starts experimenting with the what if’s. Actually the what if’s don’t matter – just the what is’s (smile)

    Just as we all have a (what some would argue as being instinctive) will to live, that causes us to fight and struggle against death, so too are we so predisposed to act and/or react to a given set of circumstances such that there are no alternative responses. We can say that we could have, should have, and all that – but we do what we do and it is up to us to decide what that means for us – whether we are going to learn from our choices, benefit from them, suffer for them, whine about them, or build on them.

    If ever I find myself in a barrel. If I ever find myself a slave. If I ever find myself deprived, disenfranchised, robbed, imprisoned, or sabotaged – the best I can do is remember whose I am and focus not on my condition but the will of my Father, and, knowing that all things are possible (but not guaranteed) through Christ who strengthens me, play my hand the best I can and let God take care of the rest.

    The Wooden Bowl

    A frail old man went to live with his son, daughter-in-law, and four-year-old grandson. The old man’s hands trembled, his eyesight was blurred, and his step faltered.

    The family ate together at the table. But the elderly grandfather’s shaky hands and failing sight made eating difficult. Peas rolled off his spoon onto the floor. When he grasped the glass, milk spilled on the tablecloth.

    The son and daughter-in-law became irritated with the mess. “We must do something about father,” said the son. “I’ve had enough of his spilled milk, noisy eating, and food on the floor.”

    So the husband and wife set a small table in the corner. There, Grandfather ate alone while the rest of the family enjoyed dinner. Since Grandfather had broken a dish or two, his food was served in a wooden bowl.

    When the family glanced in Grandfather’s direction, sometimes he had a tear in his eye as he sat alone. Still, the only words the couple had for him were sharp admonitions when he dropped a fork or spilled food.

    The four-year-old watched it all in silence.

    One evening before supper, the father noticed his son playing with wood scraps on the floor. He asked the child sweetly, “What are you making?” Just as sweetly, the boy responded, “Oh, I am making a little bowl for you and Mama to eat your food in when I grow up.” The four-year-old smiled and went back to work.

    The words so struck the parents so that they were speechless. Then tears started to stream down their cheeks. Though no word was spoken, both knew what must be done.

    That evening the husband took Grandfather’s hand and gently led him back to the family table. For the remainder of his days he ate every meal with the family. And for some reason, neither husband nor wife seemed to care any longer when a fork was dropped, milk spilled, or the tablecloth soiled.

    On a positive note, I’ve learned that, no matter what happens, how bad it seems today, life does go on, and it will be better tomorrow.

    I’ve learned that you can tell a lot about a person by the way he/she handles four things:
    a rainy day, the elderly, lost luggage, and tangled Christmas tree lights.

    I’ve learned that, regardless of your relationship with your parents, you’ll miss them when they’re gone from your life.

    I’ve learned that making a “living” is not the same thing as making a “life.”
    I’ve learned that life sometimes gives you a second chance.

    I’ve learned that you shouldn’t go through life with a catcher’s mitt on both hands.
    You need to be able to throw something back

    I’ve learned that if you pursue happiness, it will elude you but, if you focus on your family, your friends, the needs of others, your work and doing the very best you can, happiness will find you

    I’ve learned that whenever I decide something with an open heart, I usually make the right decision.

    I’ve learned that even when I have pains, I don’t have to be one.

    I’ve learned that every day, you should reach out and touch someone.

    People love that human touch — holding hands, a warm hug, or just a friendly pat on the back.

    I’ve learned that I still have a lot to learn.

    A life that matters

    Live a life that matters.

    Ready or not, someday it will all come to an end.

    There will be no more sunrises, no minutes, hours or days.

    All the things you collected, whether treasured or forgotten, will pass to someone else.

    Your wealth, fame and temporal power will shrivel to irrelevance.

    It will not matter what you owned or what you were owed.

    Your grudges, resentments, frustrations, mean spirit and jealousies will finally disappear.

    So, too, your hopes, ambitions, plans, and to-do lists will expire.

    The wins and losses that once seemed so important will fade away.

    It won’t matter where you came from, or on what side of the tracks you lived, at the end.

    It won’t matter whether you were beautiful or brilliant.

    Even your gender and skin color will be irrelevant. So what will matter?

    How will the value of your days be measured?

    What will matter is not what you bought, but what you built; not what you got, but what you gave.

    What will matter is not your success, but your significance.

    What will matter is not what you learned, but what you taught.

    What will matter is every act of integrity, compassion, courage, love or sacrifice that enriched, empowered or encouraged others to emulate your example.

    What will matter is not your competence, but your character.

    What will matter is not how many people you knew, but how many will feel a lasting loss when you’re gone.

    What will matter is not your memories, but the memories that live in those who loved you.

    What will matter is how long you will be remembered, by whom and for what. Living a life that matters doesn’t happen by accident.

    It’s not a matter of circumstance, but of choice.

    CHOOSE TO LIVE A LIFE THAT MATTERS.

    Falling in love with the Truth

    from WAMU’s Diane Rehm Show

    “Barack Obama’s speech called on the nation to have a high level conversation on race. Much of the media has dropped to the lowest level and focused on trying to drive controversy. Cable news has been in the dirt. The media can drive the conversation. Why not take the high road and do something good for the country?”

    – Bob, Rochester, N.Y.

    “First of all because I cannot conceive of a national conversation in the atmosphere that this country exists in saying on the high road. We’ve seen this presidential campaign immediately go down to the low road with Bill Clinton raising the race issue in South Carolina. When race comes up and is discussed nationally, its always ugly, it always has been. Now sometimes good comes out of it, out of the 60’s and 70’s something good came out of it, but that’s a multi year process. For Obama to have now, during a presidential campaign, a long public discussion on race, is to guarantee that he’s not going to be president. He can’t possibly win.”

    Tony Blankley, syndicated columnist, former editorial page editor of “The Washington Times,” research fellow with the Heritage Foundation and vice president with Edelman International. He is author of “The West’s Last Chance.”

    “His white advisors advised against giving the speech. His black advisors advised him to go ahead with it.”

    Clarence Page, syndicated columnist, “Chicago Tribune.”

    Before I begin, I would advise that every reader click on the WAMU link to listen to the show in its entirety.

    There is something about Tony Blankley’s response to the caller from Rochester I find disturbing. Tony’s response captures the pessimism, impatience, and fear that have held this nation back from realizing its true and full potential for generations.

    How will things ever change unless we have those willing to change the status quo? And how does one change the status quo by maintaining the same thinking that allows it to exist? As long as we, individually and collectively, believe that the problem is too big for us to solve, how can it ever be solved? Being aware of this nation’s history of behavior and habit, especially regarding the topic of race relations, is fine – but must we always cite the worst of our history as an excuse not to move forward?

    If we continue to allow fear to dictate how and where we walk, talk, and live – what kind of life will we have? What kind of legacy do we leave our children? There is a scripture which loosely reads, “the sins of the father are passed on to his children.” Shall we as a nation continue to neglect our obligations and responsibilities to ourselves and our progeny, leaving as an inheritance for our children the debt of our ignorance and the burdensome task of coming up with a solution, the way it was left to us? Who will step up, roll up their sleeves, and finally take care of business, once and for all?

    We cannot afford to continue to “pass the buck” from generation to generation. We have for too long forfeited our nation’s collective strength by choosing to remain divided. When will we acknowledge, claim, and live up to our birthright in this country, honoring the best of who we are and that amazing grace which has been bestowed upon us?

    When will we shrug off the anchors of laziness and fear and choose to rise to the occasion of our collective calling? When will we stop incessantly complaining and divisively nitpicking about who and what is wrong and decide instead to work together to do something right – to make this world a better place? When will we stop falling for the illusions of inevitability and instead be inspired to create the reality of possibility?

    When will we get rid of the ornamental shackles, the costumes, make-up, and perfume of lies? When will we stop blaming others, making excuses, criticizing and judging without love, and giving away our power for others to manage?

    When will we fall in love again with the truth?

    What Love means to a 4-8 year old . . .

    Slow down for three minutes to read this. It is so worth it. Touching words from the mouth of babes.

    A group of professional people posed this question to a group of 4 to 8 year-olds, “What does love mean?”

    The answers they got were broader and deeper than anyone could have imagined. See what you think:

    “When my grandmother got arthritis, she couldn’t bend over and paint her toenails anymore. So my grandfather does it for her all the time, even when his hands got arthritis too. That’s love.”

    Rebecca – age 8

    “When someone loves you, the way they say your name is different.
    You just know that your name is safe in their mouth.”

    Billy – age 4

    “Love is when a girl puts on perfume and a boy puts on shaving cologne and they go out and smell each other.”

    Karl – age 5

    “Love is when you go out to eat and give somebody most of your French fries without making them give you any of theirs.”

    Chrissy – age 6

    “Love is what makes you smile when you’re tired.”

    Terri – age 4

    “Love is when my mommy makes coffee for my daddy and she takes a sip before giving it to him, to make sure the taste is OK.”

    Danny – age 7

    “Love is when you kiss all the time. Then when you get tired of kissing, you still want to be together and you talk more. My Mommy and Daddy are like that. They look gross when they kiss.”

    Emily – age 8

    “Love is what’s in the room with you at Christmas if you stop opening presents and listen.”

    Bobby – age 7

    “If you want to learn to love better, you should start with a friend who you hate.”

    Nikka – age 6

    “Love is when you tell a guy you like his shirt, then he wears it everyday.”

    Noelle – age 7

    “Love is like a little old woman and a little old man who are still friends even after they know each other so well.”

    Tommy – age 6

    “During my piano recital, I was on a stage and I was scared. I looked at all the people watching me and saw my daddy waving and smiling. He was the only one doing that. I wasn’t scared anymore.”

    Cindy – age 8

    “My mommy loves me more than anybody. You don’t see anyone else kissing me to sleep at night.”

    Clare – age 6

    “Love is when Mommy gives Daddy the best piece of chicken.”

    Elaine – age 5

    “Love is when Mommy sees Daddy smelly and sweaty and still says he is handsomer than Robert Redford.”

    Chris – age 7

    “Love is when your puppy licks your face even after you left him alone all day.”

    Mary Ann – age 4

    “I know my older sister loves me because she gives me all her old clothes and has to go out and buy new ones.”

    Lauren – age 4

    “When you love somebody, your eyelashes go up and down and little stars come out of you.”

    Karen – age 7

    “Love is when Mommy sees Daddy on the toilet and she doesn’t think it’s gross.”

    Mark – age 6

    “You really shouldn’t say ‘I love you’ unless you mean it. But if you mean it, you should say it a lot. People forget.”

    Jessica – age 8

    The winner was a four year old child whose next door neighbor was an elderly gentleman who had recently lost his wife.

    Upon seeing the man cry, the little boy went into the old gentleman’s yard, climbed onto his lap, and just sat there.

    When his Mother asked what he had said to the neighbor, the little boy said,

    “Nothing, I just helped him cry.”