09 July 2009

Birthday Flowers

A few days before my birthday, a card arrived in the mail from my mother. I opened it up, and found inside a gift card to go buy flowers.

But there was a catch!

I was not allowed to keep any of the flowers for myself. No, the present to me from my mother was the collection of smiles I would receive from people to whom I gave the flowers I bought.

The store offered big bunches of roses, and for the sale price I was able to purchase four. Four. I'm not sure I've ever felt so rich as when I went through check-out with such an arm-full of flowers.

At home, I got out all the little vases I could find, especially the ones I wouldn't mind parting with. Fourteen or fifteen small bouquets later, I was ready for my mission.

First smiles were the company who came over for dinner and took flowers with them home. Next, a former co-worker, and after that some grandparently folks. Then a former teacher and his wife, and a great aunt and a great uncle.

What lovely visits we had! I couldn't remember having a nicer reason to go visiting, or a better present than the gift giving, and of happy hours with dear friends.

Next day, I took bouquets to the offices and bookstore in our building, but still, I had a few bouquets remaining. A few dried heads took a ride in the USPS, but there were still quite a few left. How could I justify keeping what hadn't been given to me? I needed to find a way to gather at least one more smile.

Like a flash of brilliance, it came to me: I could dry all the remaining flowers, and collect the last smile from my mother herself. And that's just what I did, too.

08 July 2009

Health of Body and Soul

"Nothing tends more to promote health of body and of soul than does a spirit of gratitude and praise. It is a positive duty to resist melancholy, discontented thoughts and feelings--as much a duty as it is to pray. If we are heaven-bound, how can we go as a band of mourners, groaning and complaining all along the way to our Father's house?" The Ministry of Healing, p251

"No tongue can express, no finite mind can conceive, the blessing that results from appreciating the goodness and love of God." The Ministry of Healing, p253

...fixing their minds upon cheerful things...

A riveting paragraph from my morning reading...

"We are in a world of suffering. Difficulty, trial, and sorrow await us all along the way to the heavenly home. But there are many who make life's burdens doubly heavy by continually anticipating trouble. If they meet with adversity or disappointment, they think that everything is going to ruin, that theirs is the hardest lot of all, that they are surely coming to want. Thus they bring wretchedness upon themselves, and cast a shadow upon all around them. Life itself becomes a burden to them. But it need not be thus. It will cost a determined effort to change the current of their thought. But the change can be made. Their happiness, both for this life and for the life to come, depends upon their fixing their minds upon cheerful things. Let them look away from the dark picture, which is imaginary, to the benefits which God has strewn in their pathway, and beyond these to the unseen and eternal." (The Ministry of Healing, 247-248)