A mix collection of inspirational stories gathered from the internet and personal experiences.

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Think About......

The truth of the matter is that you always know the right thing to do. The hard part is doing it.

Norman Schwarzkopf

Friday, December 28, 2012


By Tim Burningham

My family and I recently returned from a trip to Utah. During the trip we spent much of our time at a beautiful lake near the Bear River Mountains. One day our group planned various hikes through the majestic mountains with rugged terrain and peaks that soared to nearly 10,000 feet.
With a pregnant wife and three young children my family decided we'd stick to the flat, even surfaced three quarter mile hike. However, at the last minute we decided to try the somewhat steep and rocky 8-mile hike-just to see how far we could make it before turning back. To my surprise, and withmy 2 year old son in arms nearly the entire trip, our family completed the eight mile hike together.

In life, we are often faced with challenges and opportunities that are difficult and often seem impossible. However, our potential and capacity is amazing. Many times we underestimate or do not realize what we can do. Many times we put self-imposed limits on ourselves and fail to venture to the unknown or dare to do the impossible.

Whether it's fear, a lack of confidence, complacency, or other reasons, we often hold back and do not push ourselves. For some reason, somewhere along our life journey, we begin to believe we cannot do hard things. I have learned through this hiking experience and other life adventures and challenges though, that we can do hard things. We can do things that are beyond our own wildest imaginations if we allow ourselves to believe and try.

At the beginning of the day, I never believed my family could or would complete the trip. I thought it would be too difficult for us but we did it. It wasn't always easy and at times I doubted we'd make it all the way but we did. And because we did we were able to view some of the most spectacular images and enjoy the peace and serenity of the mountains. We saw wild flowers blooming in colorful, luscious fields, majestic peaks soaring high above us in the air, a buck scampering across snow in search of food, and a calm crystal-clear hidden lake.

The reward for our efforts was beauty and tranquility all around us as well as a great sense of satisfaction and accomplishment. And for my 5 and 6 year olds who walked the entire trip on their own, they can look back on this experience often and feel good about who they are and what they can achieve.

So what rewards are we missing because we are unwilling to do hard things? And why do we deny ourselves of the incredible sense of satisfaction and accomplishment that comes from achieving difficult tasks? Our potential is great and each of us has the capacity to do great things. Let's stop holding back and start believing that we can do hard things!

Tim is a busy father and husband. He works as a Skilled-Nursing Administrator in Texas and writes uplifting and empowering blogs on his website http://www.burntham.com with his free time. You can contact Tim at trb3100@yahoo.com

Thursday, December 27, 2012

A List To Live By:

- Most destructive habit: WORRY
- Greatest Joy: GIVING
- Greatest loss: LOSS of SELF-RESPECT
- Most Satisfying Work: HELPING OTHERS 
- Most Endangered Species: DEDICATED
- Greatest Problem to Overcome: FEAR
- Most Effective Sleeping Pill: PEACE Of 
- Most Powerful Force in Life: LOVE
- Greatest Asset: FAITH
- Most Beautiful Attire: SMILE
- Most Prized Possession: INTEGRITY
- Most Important in Life: GOD

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

A Christmas Blessing

During this Christmas season,

May you be blessed 

With the spirit of the season, 

which is peace,

The gladness of the season,

which is hope,

And the heart of the season,

which is love


Somehow, not only for Christmas

But all the long year through,

The joy that you give to others

Is the joy that comes back to you.

And the more you spend in blessing

The poor and lonely and sad,

The more of your heart's possessing

Returns to you glad.

~John Greenleaf Whittier

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Think About.....

Life is thickly sown with thorns, and I know no other remedy than to pass quickly through them. The longer we dwell on our misfortunes, the greater is their power to harm us.


Sunday, December 23, 2012

Think About....

It is never too late to be what you might have been.

~Mary Ann Evans 

Friday, December 21, 2012


Author Unknown

Each December, I vowed to make Christmas a calm and peaceful experience. I had cut back on nonessential obligations -- extensive card writing, endless baking, decorating, and even overspending. Yet still, I found myself exhausted, unable to appreciate the precious family moments, and of course, the true meaning of Christmas.

My son, Nicholas, was in kindergarten that year. It was an exciting season for a six year old. For weeks, he'd been memorizing songs for his school's "Winter Pageant." I didn't have the heart to tell him I'd be working the night of the production. Unwilling to miss his shining moment, I spoke with
his teacher. She assured me there'd be a dress rehearsal the morning of the presentation. All parents unable to attend that evening were welcome to come then. Fortunately, Nicholas seemed happy with the compromise.

So, the morning of the dress rehearsal, I filed in ten minutes early, found a spot on the cafeteria floor and sat down. Around the room, I saw several other parents quietly scampering to their seats. As I waited, the students were led into the room. Each class, accompanied by their teacher, sat cross-legged on the floor. Then, each group, one by one, rose to perform their song.

Because the public school system had long stopped referring to the holiday as "Christmas," I didn't expect anything other than fun, commercial entertainment -- songs of reindeer, Santa Claus, snowflakes and good cheer.  So, when my son's class rose to sing, "Christmas Love," I was slightly taken aback by its bold title.

Nicholas was aglow, as were all of his classmates, adorned in fuzzy mittens, red sweaters, and bright snowcaps upon their heads. Those in the front row-center stage held up large letters, one by one, to spell out the title of the song. As the class would sing "C is for Christmas," a child would hold up the letter C. Then, "H is for Happy," and on and on, until each child holding up his portion had presented the complete message, "Christmas Love."

The performance was going smoothly, until suddenly, we noticed her; a small, quiet, girl in the front row holding the letter "M" upside down -- totally unaware her letter "M" appeared as a "W". The audience of 1st through 6th graders snickered at this little one's mistake. But she had no idea they were laughing at her, so she stood tall, proudly holding her "W".

Although many teachers tried to shush the children, the laughter continued until the last letter was raised, and we all saw it together. A hush came over the audience and eyes began to widen. In that instant, we understood the reason we were there, why we celebrated the holiday in the first place, why even in the chaos, there was a purpose for our festivities.

For when the last letter was held high, the message read loud and clear: "CHRISTWAS LOVE" And, I believe, He still is! 

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Think About.....

If you believe you can do it, go out there and do it
because that's the only way you're gonna get it!

~Harry Main

Friday, December 14, 2012

For the Man Who Hated Christmas

by Nancy W. Gavin

It's just a small, white envelope stuck among the branches of our Christmas tree. No name, no identification, no inscription. It has peeked through the branches of our tree for the past ten years or so.

It all began because my husband Mike hated Christmas--oh, not the true meaning of Christmas, but the commercial aspects of it--overspending... the frantic running around at the last minute to get a tie for Uncle Harry and the dusting powder for Grandma---the gifts given in desperation because you couldn't think of anything else.

Knowing he felt this way, I decided one year to bypass the usual shirts, sweaters, ties and so forth. I reached for something special just for Mike. The inspiration came in an unusual way.

Our son Kevin, who was 12 that year, was wrestling at the junior level at the school he attended; and shortly before Christmas, there was a non-league match against a team sponsored by an inner-city church. These youngsters, dressed in sneakers so ragged that shoestrings seemed to be the only thing holding them together, presented a sharp contrast to our boys in their spiffy blue and gold uniforms and sparkling new wrestling shoes. As the match began, I was alarmed to see that the other team was wrestling without headgear, a kind of light helmet designed to protect a wrestler's ears.

It was a luxury the ragtag team obviously could not afford. Well, we ended up walloping them. We took every weight class. And as each of their boys got up from the mat, he swaggered around in his tatters with false bravado, a kind of street pride that couldn't acknowledge defeat.

Mike, seated beside me, shook his head sadly, "I wish just one of them could have won," he said. "They have a lot of potential, but losing like this could take the heart right out of them." Mike loved kids - all kids - and he knew them, having coached little league football, baseball and lacrosse. That's when the idea for his present came. That afternoon, I went to a local sporting goods store and bought an assortment of wrestling headgear and shoes and sent them anonymously to the inner-city church. On Christmas Eve, I placed the envelope on the tree, the note inside telling Mike what I had done and that this was his gift from me. His smile was the brightest thing about Christmas that year and in succeeding years. For each Christmas, I followed the tradition--one year sending a group of mentally handicapped youngsters to a hockey game, another year a check to a pair of elderly brothers whose home had burned to the ground the week before Christmas, and on and on.

The envelope became the highlight of our Christmas. It was always the last thing opened on Christmas morning and our children, ignoring their new toys, would stand with wide-eyed anticipation as their dad lifted the envelope from the tree to reveal its contents.

As the children grew, the toys gave way to more practical presents, but the envelope never lost its allure. The story doesn't end there.

You see, we lost Mike last year due to dreaded cancer. When Christmas rolled around, I was still so wrapped in grief that I barely got the tree up. But Christmas Eve found me placing an envelope on the tree, and in the morning, it was joined by three more.

Each of our children, unbeknownst to the others, had placed an envelope on the tree for their dad. The tradition has grown and someday will expand even further with our grandchildren standing to take down the envelope.
Mike's spirit, like the Christmas spirit will always be with us.

Editor's Note: This true story was originally published in the December 14, 1982 issue of Woman's Day magazine. It was the first place winner out of thousands of entries in the magazine's "My Most Moving Holiday Tradition" contest in which readers were asked to share their favorite holiday tradition and the story behind it. The story inspired a family from Atlanta, Georgia to start The White Envelope Project and Giving101, a nonprofit organization dedicated to educating youth about the importance of giving. To learn more about honoring a loved one through this special tradition, please visit www.Giving101.org/WhiteEnvelopeProject. On the site, you can browse a catalog of unique giving opportunities, create and send your own white envelope gift, purchase charity gift cards, and more.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Think About.....

When you cannot make up your mind which of two evenly balanced courses of action you should take - choose the bolder.

~W.J. Slim 

Monday, December 10, 2012

Think About ......

In one minute you can change your attitude and in that minute you can change your entire day.

~Spencer Johnson 

Friday, December 7, 2012


by Kathleene Baker

'HO, HO, HO,' boomed Dad waking the kids on Christmas morning, and always at an outlandish hour. Like before sunrise! The child in him couldn't wait any longer, and he would 'ho, ho, ho' up and down the hall until we staggered out of our rooms. He'd then say with a twinkle in his eye, 'I think Santa has been here, I just heard something on the roof!' That resounding 'ho, ho, ho' is one of my fondest childhood memories.

Thankfully, his 'ho, ho, ho-ing' never stopped! Once gone from home, if the holiday was spent with my parents, one could expect to hear that familiar 'sound from the past' echoing down the hall on Christmas morning. It was something very simple but it was definitely a tradition, and one that Dad delights in to this day at 86 years of age.

To some the uttering of 'ho, ho, ho' may not sound like the definition of a tradition, but according to Merriam-Webster: an inherited, established, or customary pattern of thought, action or behaviour.

I rest my case regarding memories of my first and favourite Christmas tradition! Sadly, sometimes our old traditions fade away, but new ones are always just waiting to be created. And that can happen when you least expect!

The traditional hanging of stockings on the mantel ended once we kids knew the spirit of Santa lived in our hearts. Quite by accident that old tradition was reborn some years ago, but this time for the 'older kids' in the family. As if going back in time, we again had stockings spilling over on Christmas morning.

While doing my regular shopping one season, I was constantly bumping into coffee mugs and cute small items. Each one jumped out at me shouting, 'Oh, Mom would love this!'

Or, 'Oh, wouldn't Jerry's Mom like this?' It was also during a generational gap, so no young children would be with us for the holiday. Thus, there would be no stockings hanging from the mantel. I finally couldn't stand it any longer and started filling my shopping bags with these cute odds and ends, including a special coffee mug for each person. Next I caught myself buying inexpensive stockings as a means of presenting these special treats. I could feel the spirit of the season soar within me as my plan evolved. A Christmas morning surprise would be such an exciting and unanticipated event. I could hardly keep my scheme to myself.

Everyone did a 'double-take' as they wandered into the family room yawning and rubbing their eyes Christmas morning. They looked like a bunch of little kids realizing that Santa really had been there! Who else could have hung and filled those stockings? Talk about a hit! Everyone ooohed and aaahhhed, and it looked like a reindeer stampede as they raced to the kitchen to wash those mugs for immediate use.

There was no discussion of let's do this every year. The only hint it would continue was that everyone asked if they could keep their stocking. From that point on - we were off and running. And, those inexpensive felt stockings were soon replaced with bigger and better ones. Sometimes bigger truly is better!
Stockings for the 'older kids' have since become traditional, and a highlight of our holiday celebration. With a little thought, it's amazing what wonderful items have been found inside. Most are rather inexpensive, but not always: CDs, DVDs, ties, key chains, refrigerator magnets, personalized note pads, golf towels, perfume, gadgets of all kinds, cash, digital tire pressure gauges, and even a stud finder for a beginning do-it-yourselfer! As for me, selecting the perfect stocking stuffer is far more magical than buying that one major gift.

Depending on who gathers on any given year, lottery tickets from different states are always buried amongst the treasures. Last year we had a $25 winning ticket right off the bat. Everyone squealed with delight, as they continued frantically scratching their own tickets looking for a bigger winner.
One year the main gift from my husband was buried deep in the toe of mystocking. Talk about the perfect place to tuck a piece of jewellery! I nearly fainted that morning, as he had been very generous with gifts on Christmas Eve. He was so pleased with himself he was almost unbearable. But, it couldn't have been done without the stocking.

Now as family members pack for their Christmas trips, they also pack their stockings. There have been a few times that panic erupted, when someone realized they forgot an item nearly as vital as their underwear! I keep a few spare stockings on hand at my house 'just in case!' After all - it's become a treasured tradition for the 'older kids' in this family.

Kathleen, and hubsand, Jerry, reside in Plano, Texas.  Pets have always been a passion ans a precious schnauzer named Josey Lane inspired Kathy's first piece of work.  As a freelancer, she has contributed to newspapers, anthologies, magazines, online ezines, and writes a weekly column entitled "Heart of Texas."  Kathy's website  www.txyellowrose.com  eMail: lnstrlady@aol.com

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

In loving memory of Zig Ziglar

Nov. 6, 1926 - Nov. 28, 2012

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Think About....

There is no better opportunity to receive more than to be thankful for what you already have. Thanksgiving opens the windows of opportunity for ideas to flow your way.

~Jim Rohn