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The Starfish Story

Inspiration Posted on Mon, July 31, 2017 19:20:12



The Sandpiper

Inspiration Posted on Wed, November 16, 2016 18:06:03

She
was six years old when I first met her on the beach near where I live. I drive
to this beach, a distance of three or four miles, whenever the world begins to
close in on me. She was building a sand castle or something and looked up, her
eyes as blue as the sea.

“Hello,”
she said. I answered with a nod, not really in the mood to bother with a small
child. “I’m building,” she said. “I see that. What is it?”
I asked, not really caring. “Oh, I don’t know, I just like the feel of the
sand.” That sounds good, I thought, and slipped off my shoes. A sandpiper
glided by. “That’s a joy,” the child said, “It’s a what?”
“It’s a joy. My mama says sandpipers come to bring us joy.” The bird
went gliding down the beach. Good-bye joy, I muttered to myself, hello pain,
and turned to walk on. I was depressed; my life seemed completely out of
balance.

“What’s
your name?” She wouldn’t give up. “Robert,” I answered.
“I’m Robert Peterson.” “Mine’s Wendy…I’m six.” “Hi Wendy,”
She giggled. “You’re funny,” she said. In spite of my gloom, I
laughed too and walked on. Her musical giggle followed me. “Come again,
Mr. P,” she called. “We’ll have another happy day.”

The
next few days consisted of a group of unruly Boy Scouts, PTA meetings, and an
ailing mother. The sun was shining one morning as I took my hands out of the
dishwater. I need a sandpiper, I said to myself, gathering up my coat. The
ever-changing balm of the seashore awaited me. The breeze was chilly but I
strode along, trying to recapture the serenity I needed.

“Hello,
Mr. P,” she said. “Do you want to play?” “What did you have
in mind?” I asked, with a twinge of annoyance. “I don’t know; you
say.” How about charades? I asked sarcastically. The tinkling laughter
burst forth again. “I don’t know what that is.” “Then let’s just
walk.”

Looking
at her, I noticed the delicate fairness of her face. “Where do you
live?” I asked, “Over there.” She pointed toward a row of summer
cottages. Strange, I thought, in winter. “Where do you go to school?”
“I don’t go to school. Mommy says we’re on vacation.” She chattered
little girl talk as we strolled up the beach, but my mind was on other things.
When I left for home, Wendy said it had been a happy day. Feeling surprisingly
better, I smiled at her and agreed.

Three
weeks later, I rushed to my beach in a state of near panic. I was in no mood to
even greet Wendy. I thought I saw her
mother on the porch and felt like demanding she keep her child at home.

“Look,
if you don’t mind,” I said crossly when Wendy caught up with me, “I’d
rather be alone today.” She seemed unusually pale and out of breath.
“Why?” she asked. I turned to her and shouted, “Because my
mother died!” and thought, My Goodness, why was I saying this to a little
child?

“Oh,”
she said quietly, “then this is a bad day.” “Yes,” I said,
“and yesterday and the day before and – oh, go away!” “Did it
hurt?” I was exasperated with her, with myself. “When she died?”
“Of course it hurt!” I snapped, misunderstanding, wrapped up in
myself. I strode off.

A
month or so after that, when I next went to the beach, she wasn’t there.
Feeling guilty, ashamed, and admitting to myself I missed her, I went up to the
cottage after my walk and knocked at the door. A drawn looking young woman with
honey-colored hair opened the door.

“Hello,”
I said, “I’m Robert Peterson. I missed your little girl today and wondered
where she was.” “Oh yes, Mr. Peterson, please come in. Wendy spoke of
you so much. I’m afraid I allowed her to bother you. If she was a nuisance,
please accept my apologies.”

“Not
at all…she’s a delightful child.” I said, suddenly realizing that I
meant what I had just said. “Wendy died last week, Mr. Peterson. She had
leukemia. Maybe she didn’t tell you.” Struck dumb, I groped for a chair. I
had to catch my breath.

“She
loved this beach, so when she asked to come, we couldn’t say no. She seemed so
much better here and had a lot of what she called happy days. But the last few
weeks she declined rapidly…” Her voice faltered, “She left
something for you, if only I can find it. Could you wait a moment while I
look?”

I
nodded stupidly, my mind racing for something to say to this lovely young
woman. She handed me a smeared envelope with “MR.P” printed in bold
childish letters. Inside was a drawing in bright crayon hues – a yellow beach,
a blue sea, and a brown bird. Underneath was carefully printed: A SANDPIPER TO
BRING YOU JOY. Tears welled up in my eyes, and a heart that had almost
forgotten to love opened wide. I took Wendy’s mother in my arms. “I’m so
sorry, I’m so sorry, I’m so sorry,” I uttered over and over, and we wept
together. The precious little picture is framed now and hangs in my study. Six
words – one for each year of her life – that speak to me of harmony, courage,
and undemanding love.

A
gift from a sea-blue-eyes child and hair, the color of sand, taught me the gift
of love.


Robert Peterson



A Child Learns

Inspiration Posted on Sun, November 13, 2016 18:06:09

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If a child lives with criticism,

he learns to condemn.

If a child lives with hostility,

he learns to fight.

If a child lives with ridicule,

he learns to be shy.

If a child lives with shame,

he learns to feel guilty.

If a child lives with tolerance,

he learns to be patient.

If a child lives with encouragement,

he learns confidence.

If a child lives with praise,

he learns to appreciate.

If a child lives with fairness,

he learns justice.

If a child lives with security,

he learns to have faith.

If a child lives with approval,

he learns to like himself.

If a child lives with acceptance, and friendship,

he learns to find love in the world.

—Author Unknown

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The Boy and the Fence

Inspiration Posted on Sun, November 13, 2016 18:05:04

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There once was a little boy who had a bad temper. His father gave him a bag of nails and told him that every time he lost his temper, he must hammer a nail into the back of the fence.

The first day the boy had driven 37 nails into the fence. Over the next few weeks, as he learned to control his anger, the number of nails hammered daily gradually dwindled down. He discovered it was easier to hold his temper than to drive those nails into the fence.

Finally the day came when the boy didn’t lose his temper at all. He told his father about it and the father suggested that the boy now pull out one nail for each day that he was able to hold his temper. The days passed and the young boy was finally able to tell his father that all the nails were gone.

The father took his son by the hand and led him to the fence. He said, “You have done well, my son, but look at the holes in the fence. The fence will never be the same.” When you say things in anger, they leave a scar just like this one. Son, you can put a knife in a man and draw it out, but it won’t matter how many times you say I’m sorry, the wound is still there. A verbal wound is as bad as a physical one.

Author: unknown

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A Box Of Kisses

Inspiration Posted on Sun, November 13, 2016 18:03:30

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Some time ago, a man punished his 3-year-old daughter for wasting a roll of gold wrapping paper. Money was tight and he became infuriated when the child tried to decorate a box to put under the Christmas tree.

Nevertheless, the little girl brought the gift to her father the next morning and said, “This is for you, Daddy.” He was embarrassed by his earlier overreaction, but his anger flared again when he found the box was empty.

He yelled at her, “Don’t you know that when you give someone a present, there’s supposed to be something inside it?”

The little girl looked up at him with tears in her eyes and said, “Oh, Daddy, it is not empty. I blew kisses into the box. All for you, Daddy.”

The father was crushed. He put his arms around his little girl, and he begged for her forgiveness.

It is told that the man kept that gold box by his bed for years and whenever he was discouraged, he would take out an imaginary kiss and remember the love of the child who had put it there.

In a very real sense, each of us as humans have been given a gold container filled with unconditional love and kisses from our children, friends, family and God. There is no more precious possession anyone could hold.

—Author Unknown

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Wooden Bowl

Inspiration Posted on Sun, November 13, 2016 18:02:04

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I guarantee you that you will remember the tale of the Wooden Bowl tomorrow; a week from now; a month from now; a year from now.

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 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:

1) a rainy day;

2) the elderly;

3) lost luggage, and

4) tangled Christmas tree lights.

Also, I have learned that…

1) Making a living is not the same thing as making a life;

2) Life sometimes gives you a second chance;

3) One shouldn’t go through life with a catcher’s mitt on both hands. You need to be able to throw something back sometimes;

4) If you pursue happiness, it will elude you;

5) 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;

6) Whenever I decide something with an open heart, I usually make the right decision;

7) Even when I have pains, I don’t have to be one;

8) Every day, you should reach out and touch someone, because people love that human touch … holding hands, a warm hug, or just a friendly pat on the back;

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

— Author: Unknown


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Lessons of Life

Inspiration Posted on Sun, November 13, 2016 18:00:01

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A man had four sons. He wanted his sons to learn not to judge things too quickly. So each season he sent one of them on a quest, to go out and look at a distant pear tree. The first son went out in the winter, the second in the spring, the third in the summer and the fourth in the fall.

When they had all returned from the journey, he called them together to describe what they had seen.

The first son said, “The tree was ugly, bent and twisted.”

The second son said “No, it was covered with green buds and full of promise.”

The third son disagreed, he said “It was full of blossoms, smelled so sweet, and looked so beautiful.”

The last son disagreed with them all. He said “It was ripe with fruit and full of life!”

The father explained to his sons, that they were all right, because they had each seen but only one season in the tree’s life.

You cannot judge a tree, or a person, by only one season. The essence of who you are and the pleasure, joy, and love that comes from life can only be measured at the end. Give up in winter, and you will miss the promise of spring, the beauty of summer and the fulfillment of fall.

Be slow to judge through the difficult times, as better times will come sooner than later.

Author Unknown

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Clap & Cheer

Inspiration Posted on Sun, November 13, 2016 17:57:38

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Whenever I’m disappointed with my spot in life, I stop and think about little Jamie Scott.

Jamie was trying out for a part in the school play. His mother told me that he’d set his heart on being in it, though she feared he would not be chosen.

On the day the parts were awarded, I went with her to collect him after school. Jamie rushed up to her, eyes shining with pride and excitement. “Guess what, Mom,” he shouted, and then said those words that will remain a lesson to me. “I’ve been chosen to clap and cheer.”

— Author: Unknown

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