Thank You To All Who Served

Veterans

Just as the flag is tattered and worn

So are many, for an oath was sworn,

To serve a country,

It’s men and women,

Who often forget

The strife

Called life

Of the brave men and women

Who selflessly serve,

Who sacrifice,

Who love,

And lose,

In more ways than one,

Until their job is done,

And freedom has been

Solidified and won,

Not only for themselves

But for you, and for me,

And all who dream.

copyright Robyn Graham

Tattered and Worn

Tattered and Worn

StrifeStrife

Happy Halloween

Witch's BroomAn upside down Gerbera Daisy, or a witch’s broom?

Happy 4th of July

“Those who won our independence believed liberty to be the secret of happiness and courage to be the secret of liberty.”

– Albert Camus

 

Stars, Stripes and Lights of Freedom

 

“Stars, Stripes, and Lights of Freedom”

“This, then, is the state of the Union: Free and restless, growing and full of hope. So it was in the beginning. So it shall always be, while God is willing, and we are strong enough to keep the faith.”

– Malcolm X

“You can’t separate peace from freedom because no one can be at peace unless he has his freedom.”

– Harry S. Truman

 

A special thank you to all men and women who have served this great country so that we may live lives of freedom.  

May it always be so. 

Happy Mother’s Day

A mother’s heart will overflow

With love for all

Upon rest and woe.

With her heart

She loves each little one,

And finds joy,

In each race won.

Her heart does love

The good and bad,

For even when they make her sad,

She finds a reason to stay above,

And goes not mad.

Each day that passes,

Her heart beats faster.

For at times,

The sorrow and frustration

Are very deep and seem

To lack salvation.

But, those little ones grow

With great intentions.

The chaos ensues

And her heart,

With joy,

Responds to each alteration.

And before she realizes

The days of complication

Have passed on to hours of contemplation,

For now she must recognize

That the hours are hers to characterize.

The sacrifice of love

She left behind,

To raise the little ones

Who now have grown

And left her on her own,

To be

More than a heart that bleeds.

 copyright Robyn Graham

Bleeding Heart

Bleeding Heart

Happy Mother’s Day to all of the women in my life who have served as a mother figure, who have inspired me, who have encouraged me, who have supported me, and who have helped me become the woman I am today.  I appreciate your sacrifices of love, of time and of self, for me, as well as, for all people in your lives.

 

2013 Tulip Series – 07

I have been away vacationing with my family and unfortunately had to miss posting an Easter blog.  So, a day late, but better late than never, here is my Easter post.

V is for Victory

Over Sin and Death.

V is for Victory

Resting on Old Wood –

A Reminder of the Cross.

V is for Victory

For Christ,

and the

 Grace,

Through Suffering,

He Bought Us.

copyright Robyn Graham

V is for Victory

 “The joyful news that He is risen does not change the contemporary world. Still before us lie work, discipline, sacrifice. But the fact of Easter gives us the spiritual power to do the work, accept the discipline, and make the sacrifice.” – Henry Knox Sherrill

Happy New Year

“Do not wait until the conditions are perfect to begin. Beginning makes the conditions perfect.”

– Alan Cohen

Happy New Year

Happy New Year – Cherish the Old, and Bring on the New

 

I hope that you had a wonderful holiday season with many special moments with family and friends.  My wish for you for 2013 is that you are happy, safe and healthy and have a year filled with a surplus of blessings, peace and laughter.

Thank you for all of the visits to, the likes, and the comments left on my blog in 2012.  I truly appreciate the love and support.

Happy New Year!

 

Not Yet…

Today’s image is of the Nativity in our church.  I think it is the most beautiful I’ve ever seen.  The detail and craftsmanship is amazing.  You don’t have to look close, however, to notice that the manger, the bed of straw, is empty.   This is only temporary though.  In a matter of hours, the Christ child will be placed in the manger.  The children wait anxiously for this.  They love to see the baby Jesus lying in the manger.  The miracle of the original Christmas story touches the hearts of the young and old alike.

Unfortunately, during the Christmas season the primary  focus is on the magical appearance of Santa Clause and the gifts under the tree.  But the real reason for Christmas is that little baby whose coming we anxiously await.    The true miracle.  The miracle of love and joy.  The miracle of grace.  May you experience the true joy of the season.  The love, peace and grace that can be found in the Christ child.

Merry Christmas.

Representation of the True Meaning of Christmas

Representation of the True Meaning of Christmas

Sharing Christmas Traditions for the Joy of Others

“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.

Christmas Joy to Be Shared

Christmas Joy to Be Shared

Sharing Family Traditions to Give Joy to Others

Sharing Family Traditions to Give Joy to Others

Holly

“Christmas gift suggestions:  to your enemy, forgiveness, To an opponent, tolerance.  To a friend, your heart.  To a customer, service.  To all, charity.  To every child, a good example.  To yourself, respect.” – Oren Arnold

Holly Berries

Holly Leaf

Holly Leaf and Berry

Holly Berries

The Poinsettia

The Legend of the Poinsettia and Other Information

The legend of the poinsettia dates back to the 16th century and goes something like this:  One  Christmas Eve in Mexico a child who was very poor did not have a gift to present to Christ. Having been encouraged to give a humble gift the child gathered weeds from the roadside on his way to church. A Christmas miracle occurred as the child entered the church  and  approached the altar with his humble gift of weeds.  The weeds turned into beautiful red and green flowers. Shortly after, the flowers were  given the name Flores de Noche Buena, which means “flowers of the holy night.”  In addition, it is believed that the star-shaped pattern of poinsettia leaves symbolizes the Star of Bethlehem. It is also said that the dark red leaf color represents the blood of Christ.

In addition to being symbolic of Christmas, there are other interesting facts about the poinsettia.

Poinsettias mean to be of good cheer.

Poinsettias  represent purity.

Poinsettias were used by the Aztec people to make red dye.

The Aztec people used the white sap of poinsettias for the medicinal purpose of  reducing fevers.

Poinsettias originated in Mexico and South/Central America.

December 12th is Poinsettia Day in the United States.

The Ecke Family controls 70% of all poinsettia propagation and sales.

The flowers are very small and yellow.

The bright colored petals are known as leaves or bracts.

Poinsettias are available in the following colors: bright red, cream, yellow, pink, and peach.

Unique Perspective of the Poinsettia

Unique Perspective of the Poinsettia

Red Poinsettia with Yellow FlowersRed Poinsettia with Yellow Flowers

Cream Poinsettia

Yellow Poinsettia

Pink Poinsettia

Pink Poinsettia