“You must enshrine in your hearts the spiritual urge towards light and love, wisdom and bliss!”- Sri Sathya Sai Baba
On May 30th of 2012 I wrote a post about the Legend of the Dogwood Tree. Please see the post and learn more about the history of the beautiful Dogwood flowers posted this evening. You can access the post by typing in “Dogwood” in the search bar to the right, or by using the calendar on the right. I apologize, but for some reason the hyperlink is not working….hmmm…
Am I Different To You?
One meaning of the Dogwood in the Victorian Language of Flowers
As found on the tree.
Love undiminished by adversity.
Another meaning of the Dogwood in the Victorian Language of Flowers.
Dogwood Strong and Proud
Dogwood at Sunset
“The best of all gifts around any Christmas tree: the presence of a happy family all wrapped up in each other.” – Burton Hillis
“Christmas is doing a little something extra for someone.” – Charles Schulz
“Christmas is love in action. Every time we love, every time we give, it’s Christmas.” – Dale Evans
“Christmas is not a time or a season but a state of mind. To cherish peace and good will, to be plenteous in mercy, is to have the real spirit of Christmas.” – Calvin Coolidge
I chose the above quotes for this post because of the experience my family and I had today. Every year at Christmas I try to coordinate a giving project for us to do as a family. Something that will impact the thoughts and hearts of our children and to remind them of how blessed we are to have each other and the life we have together. This year, our project involved little extra time and effort and produced big smiles and much gratitude. We took a Christmas tradition from our home and shared it with those who do not have a home or family with which to share traditions.
Every year we as a family work together to make dozens upon dozens of Christmas cookies and candies. It is a tradition. Every hand is involved and we spread Christmas cheer to our neighbors and friends by giving them each a tray of the goodies that we only make once a year. This year we took this a step farther. We made a huge tray of cookies and delivered them to a homeless shelter for youth. We paired the cookie tray with a bundle of gift cards, one for each child presently staying in the shelter. We delivered the cookies and cards this afternoon and I have to say I have been an emotional wreck since. Yes, my heart is filled with joy from the act of giving, but my heart is also breaking for these young kids who have no one to hug them, to love them, or to shower them with the gift of family togetherness or traditions this Christmas, or maybe even any Christmas.
I tell you this not to obtain praise for doing something nice, but to share the Christmas spirit and to share the idea so that others may do something as simple as sharing a homemade gift with someone who otherwise would not be so blessed. To me, this is Christmas love in action. Sharing the joy found in the true meaning of Christmas.
Today’s post is in honor of all of those men and women who have graciously fought for our freedoms, freedoms we take for granted every day. Freedoms, we don’t often respect, or sometimes forget. Thank you to all of the heros and to the families that have sacrificed loved ones in the name of freedom and liberty.
Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines,
Are there others, yes,
But these are the ones
We think of before the rest.
Men and women who
Serve our country
And fight to ensure
Our Freedoms are in bounty.
May we never forget their sacrifice
Amidst the chaos of our daily lives.
By being honorable citizens in our own right,
Lest what they lost, be not worth the fight.
Did they die in vain?
For what were they slain?
For love of country and rights they fight,
For the Flag and
Never to lag,
For where freedom is concerned,
There is always a lesson learned.
Citizens wake up,
And care to discern.
Nothing was free,
This land was not purchased on a buying spree.
Behold what is ours,
Respect what took hours of strife,
To give us the life,
We call the American dream,
Lest it be taken away,
By those who stray,
From the founding principles
That made our country what it was before today.
copyright Robyn Graham
Spread love everywhere you go: First of all in your own house … kindness in your face, kindness in your eyes, kindness in your smile, kindness. – Mother Teresa
Each friend represents a world in us, a world possibly not born until they arrive, and it is only by this meeting that a new world is born. – Anais Nin
Have you ever had a friendship with a person that you never expected to become friends with? Friendships can be found when least expected. Sometimes those least like us in appearance are the most cherished and dearest at heart. Sometimes those totally different from the “norm” we surround ourselves with bring out the best in us. When the unique enter your lives, let them in to open up your world.
“Be careful how you think; your life is shaped by your thoughts.” (Proverbs 4:23)
All my life I have loved the Dogwood Tree. As a child growing up in Southern Illinois, we would see them amongst the Redbud, Oak, Maple, and other trees along Interstate 64 and marvel at their beauty. My parents told my sisters and I the legend of the tree when we were young. Since that time, the trees have had even more meaning to me. My husband and I have had them at both of our homes and enjoy the blooms every spring. Below is the legend as well as some links that you can visit to learn more details about it. Over the next few days, I’ll post images of the Dogwood tree in our front yard. You’ll understand why it gives us such pleasure when you see the pretty flowers it bares each spring.
The Beautiful Legend of the Dogwood Tree
Legend has it that at the time of Christ’s crucifixion, the dogwood was comparable in size to the oak tree and other monarchs of the forest. Because of its firmness and strength it was selected as the wood for the cross. To be put to such a cruel use greatly distressed and saddened the tree. Sensing this, the crucified Christ, in his gentle pity for the sorrow and suffering of all, said to the tree – “Because of your sorrow and pity for My suffering, never again will the dogwood tree grow large enough to be used as a gibbet. Henceforth it will be slender, bent and twisted and its blossoms will be in the form of a cross — two long and two short petals. In the center of the outer edge of each petal there will be nail prints, brown with rust and stained with red, and in the center of the flower will be a crown of thorns, and all who see this will remember.”