Let’s hope this doesn’t get to be a habit!

giftboxes

by Doug Lawrence

A good friend recently sent us a Christmas card, along with an enclosed, thoughtful little gift.

To show our appreciation, I decided to enclose in his Christmas card, a gift card to a local restaurant that he was known to frequent.

I was at the store, selecting the gift card, when I happened to mention to a fellow shopper what a nice surprise it was to receive the card and enclosed gift from our friend – and that I wanted to properly reciprocate – and that’s why I was taking a bit more time than usual to pick out my gift card.

My fellow shopper replied (with a straight face, and as far as I know, was being totally serious), “Let’s hope this idea of sending little gifts to each other doesn’t get to be a habit!”

taxi-cab-300x225

Things like this always remind me of the day my mom sternly cautioned my taxi-cab driver brother, “Now don’t go picking up any strangers!”

You can’t make this stuff up.

gift box photo: Ebay

taxi cab picture: clipartlord.com

25 Important Things My Mother Taught Me

1. My mother taught me
TO APPRECIATE A JOB WELL DONE.

“If you’re going to kill each other, do it outside.
I just finished cleaning.”

2. My mother taught me RELIGION.

“You better pray that will come out of the carpet.”

3. My mother taught me about TIME TRAVEL.

“If you don’t straighten up,
I’m going to knock you into the middle of next week!”

4. My mother taught me LOGIC.

“Because I said so, that’s why.”

5. My mother taught me MORE LOGIC.

“If you fall out of that swing and break your neck,
you’re not going to the store with me.”

6. My mother taught me FORESIGHT.

“Make sure you wear clean underwear,
in case you’re in an accident.”

7. My mother taught me IRONY.

“Keep crying, and I’ll give you something to cry about.”

8. My mother taught me about the science of OSMOSIS.

“Shut your mouth and eat your supper.”

9. My mother taught me about CONTORTIONISM.

“Will you look at that dirt on the back of your neck!”

10. My mother taught me about STAMINA.

“You’ll sit there until all that spinach is gone.”

11. My mother taught me about WEATHER.

“This room of yours looks as if a tornado went through it.”

12. My mother taught me about HYPOCRISY.

“If I told you once, I’ve told you a million times.
Don’t exaggerate!”

13. My mother taught me the CIRCLE OF LIFE.

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

14. My mother taught me about
BEHAVIOR MODIFICATION.

“Stop acting like your father!”

15. My mother taught me about ENVY.

“There are millions of less fortunate children in this world
who don’t have wonderful parents like you do.”

16. My mother taught me about ANTICIPATION.

“Just wait until we get home.”

17. My mother taught me about RECEIVING.

“You are going to get it when you get home!”

18. My mother taught me MEDICAL SCIENCE.

“If you don’t stop crossing your eyes,
they are going to get stuck that way.”

19. My mother taught me ESP.

“Put your sweater on.
Don’t you think I know when you are cold?”

20. My mother taught me HUMOR.

“When that lawn mower cuts off your toes,
don’t come running to me.”

21. My mother taught me HOW TO BECOME AN ADULT.

“If you don’t eat your vegetables, you’ll never grow up.”

22. My mother taught me GENETICS.

“You’re just like your father.”

23. My mother taught me about my ROOTS.

“Shut that door behind you.
Do you think you were born in a barn?”

24. My mother taught me WISDOM.

“When you get to be my age, you’ll understand.”

25. And my favorite: My mother taught me about JUSTICE.

“One day you’ll have kids,
and I hope they turn out just like you!

Submitted by Doria2

Tribute to moms: The many sacrifices of invisible women.

It all began to make sense, the blank stares, the lack of response, the way one of the kids will walk into the room while I’m on the phone and ask to be taken to the store. Inside I’m thinking, “Can’t you see I’m on the phone?” Obviously not. No one can see if I’m on the phone, or cooking, or sweeping the floor, or even standing on my head in the corner, because no one can see me at all.

I’m invisible.

Some days I am only a pair of hands, nothing more: Can you fix this? Can you tie this? Can you open this? Some days I’m not a pair of hands; I’m not even a human being. I’m a clock to ask, “What time is it?” I’m a satellite guide to answer, “What number is the Disney Channel?” I’m a car to order, “Right around 5:30 , please.”

I was certain that these were the hands that once held books and the eyes that studied history and the mind that graduated summa cum laude – but now they had disappeared into the peanut butter, never to be seen again. She’s going .. she’s going… she’s gone!

One night, a group of us were having dinner, celebrating the return of a friend from England . Janice had just gotten back from a fabulous trip, and she was going on and on about the hotel she stayed in. I was sitting there, looking around a t the others all put together so well. It was hard not to compare and feel sorry for myself as I looked down at my out-of-style dress; it was the only thing I could find that was clean. My unwashed hair was pulled up in a banana clip and I was afraid I could actually smell peanut butter in it.

I was feeling pretty pathetic, when Janice turned to me with a beautifully wrapped package, and said, “I brought you this.” It was a book on the great cathedrals of Europe . I wasn’t exactly sure why she’d given it to me until I read her inscription: “To Charlotte, with admiration for the greatness of what you are building when no one sees.”

In the days ahead I would read – no, devour – the book. And I would discover what would become for me, four life-changing truths, after which I could pattern my work: No one can say who built the great cathedrals – we have no record of their names. These builders gave their whole lives for a work they would never see finished. They made great sacrifices and expected no credit. The passion of their building was fueled by their faith that the eyes of God saw everything. A legendary story in the book told of a rich man who came to visit the cathedral while it was being built, and he saw a workman carving a tiny bird on the inside of a beam. He was puzzled and asked the man, “Why are you spending so much time carving that bird into a beam that will be covered by the roof? No one will ever see it.” And the workman replied, “Because God sees.” I closed the book, feeling the missing piece fall into place. It was almost as if I heard God whispering to me, “I see you, Charlotte. I see the sacrifices you make every day, even when no one around you does. No act of kindness you’ve done, no sequin you’ve sewn on, no cupcake you’ve baked, is too small for me to notice and smile over. You are building a great cathedral, but you can’t see right now what it will become.”

At times, my invisibility feels like an affliction. But it is not a disease that is erasing my life. It is the cure for the disease of my own self-centeredness. It is the antidote to my strong, stubborn pride. I keep the right perspective when I see myself as a great builder. As one of the people who show up at a job that they will never see finished, to work on something that their name will never be on. The writer of the book went so far as to say that no cathedrals could ever be built in our lifetime because there are so few people willing to sacrifice to that degree.

When I really think about it, I don’t want my son to tell the friend he’s bringing home from college for Thanksgiving, “My mom gets up at 4 in the morning and bakes homemade pies, and then she hand bastes a turkey for three hours and presses all the linens for the table.” That would mean I’d built a shrine or a monument to myself. I just want him to want to come home. And then, if there is anything more to say to his friend, to add, “You’re gonna love it there.”

As mothers, we are building great cathedrals. We cannot see if we’re doing it right. And one day, it is very possible that the world will marvel, not only at what we have built, but at the beauty that has been added to the world by the sacrifices of invisible women.

Submitted by Doria2