I Know Nothing But Miracles . . .

IMG_3339

I Know Nothing But Miracles
Walt Whitman

As for me, I know nothing else but miracles,
Whether I walk the streets of Manhattan,
Or dart my sight over the roofs of houses toward the sky,
Or wade with naked feet along the beach just in the edge of the water,
Or stand under the trees in the woods,
Or talk by day with any one I love,
Or sleep in bed at night with any one I love,
Or watch honey bees busy around the hive of a summer forenoon…
Or the wonderfulness of the sundown,
Or of stars shining so quiet and bright,
Or the exquisite delicate thin curve of the new moon in spring…
What stranger miracles are there?

Consider this: What miracle have you witnessed today?

We’ll See . . .

IMG_3339

We’ll See
Author Unknown

Once upon a time, there was a farmer in the central region of China. He didn’t have a lot of money and, instead of a tractor, he used an old horse to plow his field.

One afternoon, while working in the field, the horse dropped dead. Everyone in the village said, “Oh, what a horrible thing to happen.” The farmer said simply, “We’ll see.” He was so at peace and so calm, that everyone in the village got together and, admiring his attitude, gave him a new horse as a gift.

Everyone’s reaction now was, “What a lucky man.” And the farmer said, “We’ll see.”

A couple days later, the new horse jumped a fence and ran away. Everyone in the village shook their heads and said, “What a poor fellow!”

The farmer smiled and said, “We’ll see.”

Eventually, the horse found his way home, and everyone again said, “What a fortunate man.”

The farmer said, “We’ll see.”

Later in the year, the farmer’s young boy went out riding on the horse and fell and broke his leg. Everyone in the village said, “What a shame for the poor boy.”

The farmer said, “We’ll see.”

Two days later, the army came into the village to draft new recruits. When they saw that the farmer’s son had a broken leg, they decided not to recruit him.

Everyone said, “What a fortunate young man.”

The farmer smiled again – and said “We’ll see.”

Moral of the story: There’s no use in overreacting to the events and circumstances of our everyday lives. Many times what looks like a setback, may actually be a gift in disguise. And when our hearts are in the right place, all events and circumstances are gifts that we can learn valuable lessons from.

Consider this: Don’t overreact.

You Learn . . .

IMG_3339

You Learn . . .

After awhile you learn
the subtle difference between
holding a hand and chaining a soul
and you learn that love doesn’t mean possession
and company doesn’t mean security.
And you begin to learn that kisses aren’t contracts
and presents aren’t promises and you begin to accept
your defeats with your head up and your eyes ahead
with the grace of an adult not the grief of a child.
And you learn to build your roads today
because tomorrow’s ground is too uncertain for plans
and futures have ways of falling down in mid-flight.
After awhile you learn that even sunshine
burns if you get too much so you plant your
own garden and decorate your own soul
instead of waiting for someone to bring you flowers.
And you learn that you really can endure
that you really are strong
and you really do have worth
and you learn
and you learn…

– Veronica A. Shoffstall

Consider this: Learning never stops!

The Wise Woman’s Stone . . .

IMG_3339

The Wise Woman’s Stone
Author Unknown

A wise woman who was traveling in the mountains found a precious stone in a stream. The next day she met another traveler who was hungry, and the wise woman opened her bag to share her food. The hungry traveler saw the precious stone and asked the woman to give it to him. She did so without hesitation. The traveler left, rejoicing in his good fortune. He knew the stone was worth enough to give him security for a lifetime. But a few days later he came back to return the stone to the wise woman.

‘I’ve been thinking,’ he said, ‘I know how valuable the stone is, but I give it back in the hope that you can give me something even more precious. Give me what you have within you that enabled you to give me the stone.'”

Consider this: Do you have what the wise woman has within?

Equipment . . .

IMG_3339
Equipment
Edgar Albert Guest

Figure it out for yourself, my lad,
You’ve all that the greatest of men have had;
Two arms, two hands, two legs, two eyes,
And a brain to use if you would be wise,
With this equipment they all began–
So start from the top and say, I CAN.

Look them over, the wise and the great,
They take their food from a common plate,
And similar knives and forks they use,
With similar laces they tie their shoes;
The world considers them brave and smart,
But you’ve all they had when they made their start.

You can triumph and come to skill,
You can be great if you only will;
You’re well equipped for what fight you choose,
You have arms and legs and a brain to use;
And the man who has risen great deeds to do
Began his life with no more than you.

You are the handicap you must face,
You are the one who must choose your place.
You must say where you want to go,
How much you will study the truth to know;
God has equipped you for life, but He
Lets you decide what you want to be.

Courage must come from the soul within
The man must furnish the will to win.
So figure it out for yourself my lad,
You were born with all that the great have had;
With your equipment they all began,
Get hold of yourself and say, ‘I CAN.’

Consider this: You have the equipment. Use it!

I Will Stand Tall . . .

IMG_3339

I Will Stand Tall
Amanda Kiser

As I stand alone
walls on all sides
On the hardness and trials
I will stand tall
as tall as I might,
for all of my
humble little life.
Til the world tramples me,
and I am no more,
I will stand tall
as tall as I might.
Always reaching for the sun.
Even though all around
is brokenness and pain
I’ll lend my brief beauty
and stand tall
as tall as I might.

Consider this: Stand tall today!

The Invitation . . .

IMG_3339

The Invitation
Oriah Mountain Dreamer
Canadian Teacher and Author

It doesn’t interest me what you do for a living
I want to know what you ache for
and if you dare to dream of meeting your heart’s longing.

It doesn’t interest me how old you are
I want to know if you will risk looking like a fool
for love
for your dreams
for the adventure of being alive.

It doesn’t interest me what planets are squaring your moon…
I want to know if you have touched the center of your own sorrow
if you have been opened by life’s betrayals
or have become shrivelled and closed
from fear of further pain.

I want to know if you can sit with pain
mine or your own
without moving to hide it
or fade it
or fix it.

I want to know if you can be with joy
mine or your own
if you can dance with wildness
and let the ecstasy fill you to the tips of your
fingers and toes
without cautioning us to
be careful
be realistic
to remember the limitations of being human.

It doesn’t interest me if the story you are telling me
is true.
I want to know if you can
disappoint another
to be true to yourself.
If you can bear the accusation of betrayal
and not betray your own soul.
If you can be faithless
and therefore trustworthy.

I want to know if you can see Beauty
even when it is not pretty
every day.
And if you can source your own life
from its presence.

I want to know if you can live with failure
yours and mine
and still stand on the edge of the lake
and shout to the silver of the full moon,
“Yes.”

It doesn’t interest me
to know where you live or how much money you have.
I want to know if you can get up
after a night of grief and despair
weary and bruised to the bone
and do what needs to be done
to feed the children.

It doesn’t interest me who you know
or how you came to be here.
I want to know if you will stand
in the center of the fire
with me
and not shrink back.

It doesn’t interest me where or what or with whom
you have studied.
I want to know what sustains you
from the inside
when all else falls away.

I want to know if you can be alone
with yourself
and if you truly like the company you keep
in the empty moments.
Consider this: Can you be alone with yourself?

The Chief Beauty About Time . . .

IMG_3339

The chief beauty about time
is that you cannot waste it in advance.
The next year, the next day, the next hour
are lying ready for you,
as perfect, as unspoiled,
as if you had never wasted or misapplied
a single moment in all your life.
You can turn over a new leaf every hour
if you choose.

Arnold Bennett

Consider this: Enjoy the moment.

How To Walk . . .

IMG_3339

How to Walk

walking

We have forgotten how to walk. All we do is go places.

A proper walk doesn’t have a destination. Gwyn Thomas put it this way, “But the beauty is in the walking — we are betrayed by destinations.”

Those who truly walk don’t sweat. Lacing up walking shoes during lunch is exercise, not walking. Walking is meandering and kicking stones.

Bad walks reflect what you’re escaping, they’re fast, pushing, even angry. But you can’t stay angry and stroll at the same time.

Breakthroughs:

I’ve fallen out of the habit of walking with leaders. Now I sit and sip, rather than walk. I’ve forgotten that breakthroughs find us on walks.

Nietzsche said, “All truly great thoughts are conceived while walking.” But, people who never walk only regurgitate old thoughts.

A walk without stopping isn’t a walk. When you really walk, you stop and gawk. You point. Wonder finds those who know how to walk. The rest of us understand the mechanics. But, we’ve lost the mystery.

“It was easier to think if I was walking and doing something or seeing people doing something that they understood.” Ernest Hemingway

Connecting:

I remembered the walk I took with my wife, before her visit with our daughter and grandchildren in Lancaster, PA. She was gone overnight. The day before she left, we held hands and walked over the hill and back. I don’t remember what we talked about. I remember how good it felt.

Grownups say, “come on.” But, children know how to walk. They forget where they’re going. Children say, “Look! A dead worm! Isn’t this rock pretty? Why is the sidewalk cracked?”

Suggestion:

Could you give yourself 20 minutes a week to walk – but not go anywhere? If you’re fortunate, you’ll remember the purpose of a real walk is just taking it.

From – Leadership Freak

Consider this: When is the last time you took a “real walk”?

Something to think about . . .

IMG_3339

Do the things you used to talk about doing but never did. Know when to let go and when to hold on tight. Stop rushing. Don’t be intimidated to say it like it is. Stop apologizing all the time. Learn to say no, so your yes has some oomph. Spend time with the friends who lift you up, and cut loose the ones who bring you down. Stop giving your power away. Be more concerned with being interested than being interesting. Be old enough to appreciate your freedom, and young enough to enjoy it. Finally know who you are.

— Kristin Armstrong

Consider this: What will you focus on today?