~ red wing blackbirds here in droves ~
Yep, Abraham Maslow had it right...food, shelter, clothing are needs; all else is want. He also said, "The story of the human race is the story of men and women selling themselves short."
That sure hit home. How many times do we slough off a compliment instead of simply saying, "Thank you", then tucking that compliment inside and pondering it later when we're in dire need of encouragement? I know I'm guilty.
For a lot of decades, I've remembered (a minor miracle!) and sung Mickey and Becki Moore's song called, "Gimme Gimme" and, at some point in time, had the pleasure of seeing them in concert. Mickey and Becki started in Greenwich Village, NYC as professional street singers, becoming part of the Jesus Movement and eventually moved to central Virginia. Theirs is a wonderful story, a testimony to grace, mercy and lashings of love and, in a box somewhere, I have their first album, Mickey and Becki (that's the album name I remember but could be wrong).
"Gimme gimme this, Lord,
Gimme gimme that
I gotta gimme gimme mentality
Oh, I really wanted this,
Instead you gave me that
Lord, you're not listening to me..."
All over the i-net, I'm reading where folks are going into debt, giving Christmas gifts. That is insane! I'm also reading about the 4-Gift Rule...something to wear, something to read, something they need and something they want. That sounds about right but I've made it into a 5-Gift Rule...something to give...as in make small packages of hard candies, toothpaste, toothbrush, comb/brush, hand wipes, wool socks/hat (purchased at Sam's the socks cost about $15 for 3 pair and the hat is 2 for $12) then drop off at a shelter, letting your child hand over the goods. Allowing the child to make the association between the package and helping a real human being goes a long way toward establishing an attitude of gratitude and a lifetime of giving. Also, consider serving food or giving gifts in a Salvation Army or other shelter. This Christmas, what are you doing for heaven's sake?
Remember Gene? He's the Salvation Army bell ringer at Sam's Club and a more cheerful man you'd hardly find. Last year, while shopping at Sam's, I found three pair of wool socks for $15. When I left the store, I handed Gene a pair, starting a delightful, seasonal relationship of rejoicing with him in Christmas. This year, I wanted to up the ante so stuffed a little dollar store bag with tissue paper, a pair of socks and a wool hat. While in Sam's, someone saw me ripping open the packages and, smiling, asked, "Are you cold?" "No, it's a gift for Gene, the bell ringer. It's cold and the wool will help keep him warm." The woman looked at me and said, "That's such a nice thing to do." And, instead of saying "Thank you" I admitted, "Wellllll, it's a very selfish thing to do...you should see his face when I hand him a Christmas gift!" His smile could light up Time's Square!
Sometimes ya gotta break the rules or you'll never have any fun! There are a few days left until Christmas, meaning you've still got time to "be selfish"; click here for some suggestions.
My days are filled with supplying food, shelter, clothing for the animals and myself. Tending to the farm takes more energy and strength than I have yet I plod on, considering it all joy to do the work God has set before me. The hay is sold for this year...IF people come get it, leaving enough hay for my horses to get through the winter and my pantry, freezers and fridges have a few jars, bottles and containers of this and that, put up during summer's end harvest. I've got wool socks, hats, scarves, jackets and am ready to laugh, mildly, at winter.
Yesterday, the first day of winter, was mild and supposed to continue throughout the weekend, into next week. That's good with me; I've had white Christmases and while beautiful, they can add stress to the holy day. If yesterday was the first day of winter, that means today is my favorite day...the day when days begin to shorten with more light than darkness...YAY!
Although, this autumn and winter haven't been very harsh for which is am grateful. Eddie, my wonderful helper, has done a lot of things to make the house, barns, vehicles warmer and safer...he's my new hero!
Maxine, a friend of almost 45 years (!!!), gave this horse collar mirror to me. Her Dad made it, probably 30 years ago, and it was languishing in her home so she gave it to me. Eddie, my wonderful helper, put the pieces back together and hung it in the sun room right beside the
collection of, mostly, animal bells. Most of these bells were purchased in Eastern Europe...Romania, Hungary, Ukraine with one being purchased in Russia. I still have a few to display but have run out of room here.
Beside the bells is my beloved quote from Tolkien.
Yeah. Rather frightening and I'm so very glad the entire thing shorted out instead of catching fire. God is good. Very, very good.
Donald and Eddie replaced the electrical socket and, using an old dog treat plastic jug, they jury rigged and sealed everything.
News from the farm is simple...we've food, shelter and clothing along with oil in the tank, wood for the stove and we are blessed. Dr. Anne comes tomorrow to give cats rabies vaccinations and on Monday "my" computer guy comes to get my desktop set up (OH JOY!), Eddie returns to do more wonderful things and in between is Christmas Eve and Christmas. The cats will be given canned tuna, the horses extra hay and grain, chews for the dogs and I'll be given the greatest gift of all...the assurance God has a plan. He says I am the apple of His eye and He holds my right hand telling me not to be afraid so I am not afraid. For me, faith is a choice and I choose to trust Him. God has a plan.
Ponder this ~ "We need people in our lives with whom we can be as open as possible. To have real conversations with people may seem like such a simple, obvious suggestion, but it involves courage and risk." ~ Thomas Moore ~
I hope you've a few such people in your life; in my life, Maxine is one among several; all are blessings and gifts.