Monday, May 30, 2016

Do More than Just Remember

Memorial Day is set aside for remembering those who gave their lives fighting for their country.  More specifically, fighting to defend a lifestyle of enviable freedoms enjoyed by citizens of the United States of America.  It is important we understand that these freedoms came about because of the willingness of individuals to sacrifice for every human's right to lifeliberty, and the pursuit of happiness, unalienable rights endowed by the Creator of us all.  

It is important that we remember.  
It is vital we do more than just remember.

How wonderful the occasion is when a banquet is laid out before us, rich with foods and delicacies in sweet variety.  We may feel immense gratitude towards those who spent days preparing the feast.  We may to some extent attempt to understand the sacrifices made by these men and women who made possible our enviable feast.  But what good is all their hard work and effort if those at the banquet do nothing more than sit and admire the end results? Compliments are ill-served if no one ventures to taste the delicacies. 

Likewise, we may express our gratitude while keeping in our hearts those who have fallen to defend our precious rights and freedoms.  But our gratitude is ill-shown when we fail to use those freedoms to our advantage by creating better homes, better lives, and better communities within our united states. 

On this Memorial Day, take time to remember those who have fallen.  But on every day after, do more than simply remember; put the freedoms they died for to greater and nobler uses.  

Friday, May 20, 2016

Do I Love You?

I stand in the night and stare up at a lone star, wondering what love means.  You whisper your desire—do I love you?  I dare say yes.  But my eyes drift back to that solitary star; my mind is plagued with intimate uncertainty. 

What art thou, Love?  Tell me. 

I contemplate what I know—the qualities love doth not possess.  Love lifts no cruel or unkind hand, for it seeketh no harm.  It shirks from constraints and demands, for tyranny is not love.  A boisterous voice never crosses love’s lips, for to speak with thunder chases its very presence from the heart.  Love inflicts no pain, no fear, no misery, but conquers all such foes.  It is said love is not selfish, yet it does not guilt those who are.  On a heart unwillingly given it stakes no claim.  Love is nothing from Pandora’s box; it is no evil, sin, or sorrow unleashed on this world. 

My eyes glimmer as the star I gaze upon twinkles with brightness I do not possess.  I recognize my smallness—my ignorance of the One whose hands placed that star in the heavens for me. 

He is love.  By His own mouth He proclaimed it. 

Again the whispered question hits my ear—do I love you?  I dare say yes.  But my eyes squint tight, wishing on a lonely star, wondering what love means.

— Richelle E. Goodrich, Smile Anyway

Copyright © 2013 Richelle E. Goodrich

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

You Breathe....Thank Your Mother

It's almost Mother's Day, and so I've been pondering ways I can convey to my mother the depth of gratitude I feel for those great and numberless tasks she performed for my good when I was a child, not to mention her continual influence still shaping my thoughts and actions today.  My mother has given me much by making sacrifices beyond my comprehension.  She means the world to me.

The truth is, I have a wonderful mother.  
The truth is, not everyone can say those words.

I know people who ignore the holiday entirely.  Some rehearse a mental list of faults possessed by the woman they call mother.  Still others wonder around this time who their mother is....or was.....if only they could have been blessed to know her.  Despite our varied differences and attitudes about Mother's Day, there is one thing we share in common—one precious truth for which we can show our gratitude regardless.  And that is this:

Our mothers—apart from their strengths and defects, their successes and failures, their good and bad behavior, and even their mental, emotional, or physical absence or overbearing attentiveness—gave us the miraculous, valuable, precious gift of life.

Miraculous because we could never have bestowed it upon ourselves.
Valuable because of the endless opportunities and experiences it affords us.  
Precious because we have but one.  

So regardless of blame, faults, and flaws, remember you were given life by a woman.

You breathe.
You feel.
You see
and hear
and smell
and taste
and think
and move
and laugh
and weep
and heal
and dance
and sing
and love.
Thank your mother.