Wednesday, December 23, 2009

The Stranger

With Christmas only days away, I thought a Christmas poem would be appropriate. This isn't a Christmas poem about the birth of Christ or the Star of Bethlehem, but it is a wonderful reminder of the reason for the season. I hope you all enjoy this poem.

The Stranger
At Christmas time there was a man
who looked so out of place,
as people rushed about him
at a hurried sort of pace.

He stared at all the Christmas lights,
the tinsel everywhere,
The shopping centre, Santa Claus,
with children gathered near.

The Mall was packed with shoppers
who were going to and fro,
Some with smiles and some with frowns
and some too tired to go.

They rested on the benches
or they hurried on their way,
to fight the crowd for purchases
to carry home that day.

The music from a stereo
was playing loud and clear
of Santa Claus, and snow men,
and a funny-nosed reindeer.

He heard the people talk
about the good times on the way,
Of parties, fun, and food galore,
and gifts exchanged that day.

"I'd like to know what's going on,"
the man was heard to say,
"There seems to be some sort of
celebration on the way. "

And would you tell me who this is,
all dressed in red and white?
And why are children asking him
about a special night"?

The answer came in disbelief,
"I can't believe my ear!
I can't believe you do not know
that Christmas time is here,

The time when Santa comes around
with gifts for girls and boys,
When they're asleep on Christmas,
he leaves them books and toys".

"The man you see in red and white
is Santa Claus, so sly,
The children love his joyful laugh
and twinkle in his eye.

"His gift packed sleigh is pulled along
by very small reindeer,
As he flies quickly through the air,
while darting here and there.

"The children learn of Santa
while they are still quite small.
When Christmas comes, he is the most
important one of all."

The stranger hung his head in shame,
he closed a nail-pierced hand.
His body shook in disbelief;
he did not understand.

A shadow crossed his stricken face,
his voice was low but clear, "
After all these year, they still don't know."
And Jesus shed a tear.

- Author Unknown -

Thursday, August 20, 2009

A Story of Healing

A few weeks ago a good friend of mine told me one of the sweetest stories I've heard in a long time. An old man at a local farm who was involved in the story shared it with her, and I decided it was worth sharing with all of you.

The old man works at the farm, giving pony rides to young kids. He's a very amiable guy, talking with the kids, playing and singing with them. He makes the rides fun.
One couple brought their little boy over for a pony ride. The little boy was about six or seven years old. The old man helped him onto the pony, talking to him the whole time. He asked him his name and other questions, but the boy didn't respond. The man kept talking to him anyway.
At one point the man started singing to the little boy and encouraged the boy to sing with him. After a few minutes the little boy did. He started interacting with this old man, singing and playing with him.
The parents were absolutely dumbfounded. When the man looked over at them they were literally just staring at him and their son with shock on their faces. Confused, the man went back to his job, still playing with the little boy. When the ride was over he helped the little boy down then went and talked to the parents.
"Is something wrong?" he asked.
They shook their heads, "No. Nothing's wrong. Was he just singing with you?"
"Yes. Why?"
"He doesn't talk," they answered, still in awe. "He's never spoken a word in his life."
The old man felt chills run up his spine.
He told this story to my friend a week later and was still in awe over the whole experience. Horse and pony rides, he claims, are really good for people who are disabled. Somehow the animals help people heal.

I thought this story was absolutely amazing, but I'm sure it's not the only one out there. If any of you have stories of healing or amazing growth, whether they involve animals or not, we would love to hear them! Feel free to share your stories with us.


Saturday, August 8, 2009

A Friend in Good Times and Bad

It seems that every where we go today there is bad news. The economy is crashing, our government is mixed up, many people are out of jobs, etc. A lot of people are feeling discouraged and hopeless. I was talking to a friend about it one day and said "It's a good thing we have prayer or it would be hard to get up in the morning". She told me that it sometimes seemed like her prayers were falling on deaf ears. I ran across this little poem and thought it was fitting for the times that we are living in. It has a wonderful message of hope and faith that God is always there for us if we will trust in him and let him guide our way. I hope you enjoy it!


I've heard it said that God shuts His eyes

To misery and human woe.

That He is deaf before the cries

Of all His children here below.

And though at times it does appear

That evil triumphs over good.

How little faith if I should fear

To trust Him when He said I could.

It may be true a kindly deed

Puts not a penny in my purse.

And yet by every code and creed,

It never made me any worse.

And if some dreams do not come true.

And if some plans may turn out wrong,

Each new day holds a joy or two,

That I may purchase for a song.

I do not have to give account

For disappointments and for tears,

But I must pay in like amount,

For shallow mind and wasted years.

The doubter scoffs, the cynic smiles,

But what is that to me.

When my companion through the miles,

Is such a one as HE.

How many times I've called His Name

And found Him by my side.

Forgiving all, absolving blame

That others have denied.

So let them say God does not care,

I know it is not true,

For there is no one anywhere,

Who can do what God can do!

Grace E Easley


Monday, August 3, 2009

Attitude is Everything!

I work at an offfice supply store in my community. One of my duties as a Cashier is to greet every customer that comes into the store. A few weeks ago, a woman coming into the store caught my eye. The reason I noticed her was because she had perfect posture. She walked with her head held high and her back very straight.

She was wearing a sleeveless summer dress that hung to her knees. As she walked into the store, I was amazed to see that she didn't have legs below her knees. She was walking on artificial limbs. I thought it was wonderful that she was walking so well, and that she didn't feel like she had to cover up her mechanical legs. She cheerfully said hello, after I greeted her, and went on with her shopping.

I wondered what had happened in her life that caused her not to have legs. I thought about the strength it must have taken to overcome her disability and learn how to walk using prosthesis. As I was thinking about her, she walked up to the counter where I work and carefully set her items down. As she did, I noticed that she wasn't only missing her legs, but she was also missing all of her fingers on her right hand. All she had was a small stub where her thumb should have been. I asked her how she was doing. She cheerfully said " I am fine, thanks! How are you?"

I continued with the transaction and was amazed at how unaffected she seemed to be by her disability. She took her credit card out, navigated through the pin pad and picked up her bag, all of the time using only her little thumb and the stub where her fingers should have been. She did this just as easily as if all of her fingers were there. I found it interesting that her disabilities seemed to disappear throughout the transaction because she was such a beautiful person with an amazing attitude.

A few days later I had a man come through my line that was the complete opposite of that beautiful woman. He didn't have any apparent disabilites; all of his limbs were intact. His handicap was of a different kind. He was hateful and mean! He did everything he could to antagonize and upset me. I found myself feeling sorry for him even though he was being very unkind to me. I realized after comparing him to the beautiful woman that he had a much worse disability than she did, because he had been poisoned by hatefulness.

Interacting with these two people taught me a good life lesson. I learned that even though sometimes bad things happen to good people, they are not the deciding factor. We determine the outcome of each circumstance and how it will affect us and the people around us. Attitude truly is everything!


Thursday, July 23, 2009

Nature's Wonders

I am a morning person who normally loves to get up early and get a good start on my day. A few weeks ago I got up early like I usually do, but instead of feeling energetic and happy, I was feeling a little down. I decided it might be nice to spend a few minutes on the computer checking my e-mail before I started any projects.
As I was sitting there, a noise outside my window caught my attention. I looked out to see a doe with a set of twin fawns. The fawns seemed to be just a couple of weeks old. Their fur looked soft and beautiful! They had little white spots all over their backs like young fawns do. They were not straying too far away from their mother who was keeping a close eye on them. I got so caught up in observing them that I forgot the things that were troubling me. Before I realized it, I was feeling rejuvenated, happy and ready to start my day.

Watching these wonderful creatures helped me to remember that the important things in life aren't always about going to work, cleaning the house or even paying bills. Sometimes it is more important just to take a little time to enjoy the simple pleasures, like these deer, that the world has to offer.

Since that day, these deer have not only been back to visit, but they have decided to make my yard their home. They live in the Oak brush just above my back lawn. I have had many opportunities to watch them. It is nature at its best! One day they came when my daughter was sitting on the back porch. She was able to take these pictures of them. I hope you enjoy them as much as we have!

Amazing little creature. I can't even get upset at it when it eats my flower garden.

This picture is a little blurry, but if you look closely you will see the doe and her two fawns.

Although my daughter cut off some of the deers' head, I decided to put it in anyway because it is awesome to be able to see the fawn nursing.

Beautiful little twins!

I hope that you also have opportunities in your lives to slow down a little bit and enjoy some of the many wonderful treasures that this life has to offer to us!

(Written by Elizabeth from the Boost Team)

Monday, July 20, 2009

The Seven Wonders of the World

The other day in my email I received a sweet, thought-provoking slideshow. I won't post the slideshow here, simply because I'm not sure how to get it, but I will tell you the story that was on the slideshow.

One day, a teacher asked her class to make a list of what they thought should be the seven wonders of the world. There was some debate but overall these are the seven things that received the most votes:

Egypts great pyramids
Taj mahal
Grand Canyon
Panama Canal
Empire State Building
St. Peters Basilica
Chinas Great Wall

The teacher gathered up the votes of the students, but noticed that one girl hadn't finished her paper yet. She asked the girl if she was having trouble with her list. The girl replied, "Yes, a little. I couldn't quite make up my mind because there were so many." The teacher said, "Well, show us your list, maybe we can help."
After some hesitation, the girl picked up her list and began to read, "I think the Seven Wonders of the World are:

To see.
To hear.
To touch.
To feel.
To laugh.
And to love.*
The room was dead silent. You could have heard a pin drop.

I loved the message this little slideshow had to offer. Through the constant motion of life and of living, we often forget to look at the little things that are miracles in their own right. Consider a flower, just starting to bloom, or a brand new baby, seeing the world for the first time. What about the miracle of rain, replenishing the earth, or the joy of a new mother, connecting with her child? Every day we are surrounded by hundreds, thousands of miracles! The beauty of this earth is that if we just stop and take a moment to focus on it, we'll see the wonders of the Lord everywhere we turn.

The slideshow ended with this message, which I wanted to share.
"A gentle reminder: The most precious things in life cannot be built by hand or bought by man.
The greatest wonder of all is... God's amazing love for mankind in sending his only son Jesus to set us free and give us everlasting life."
We are surrounded by miracles daily, but this truly is the greatest miracle and the one we forget about most often.


*There are only six wonders here. The slideshow skipped from three to five, so I didn't get the seventh wonder in the slideshow.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Independence Day Fun

Last weekend in the United States we celebrated Independence Day. We had a fun campout with our family that I wrote a poem about. I hope you enjoy reading it and getting a glimpse into our lives.
Independence Day Camp Out
The word went out to everyone's delight
Grandpa's holiday camp out was now in sight!
The children were as excited as can be
They would get to have fun all weekend you see!
The days and weeks very quickly passed.
Independence Day was here at last.
The family started coming from near and far.
They came in their motor homes, trucks and cars.
They set up their trailers, canopies and tents.
They were as busy as a colony of ants.
Soon, everything was set up and the fun began!
The children found each other and off they ran.
They dug in the sand and played house under the trees,
While their parents visited under the large canopies.
Volleyball, horseshoes, and lawn games were fun to play.
Truck rides, bike rides and hiking also filled the day.
Just when we were getting sticky in the HOT summer sun,
Grandpa made snow cones and popcorn to refresh everyone.
We all ate like kings with food galore,
Hamburgers, hot dogs, dutch oven and more.
When night time came, there was still more to do,
Bon fires, marshmallows and fireworks too.
Like all good things, this soon came to and end.
The time had come to say good bye to our friends.
How blessed we are, I really must say,
To get to spend our holiday in such a grand way!

In the days since our camp out, I have been reflecting about how important this holiday is to me. It is not only about camp outs, barbecues and fireworks. Independence Day represents the freedoms we enjoy in this country. I realized how blessed I was to have the right to gather with my family and friends and to choose the activities that I wanted to do. It is wonderful to be able to choose where I want to work and live, where I go, and what I do each day. I realized how grateful I am for the freedom of speech that allows us to write our blog and share our stories with you. Most of all, though, I have been thinking how grateful I am for the freedom to worship God the way that I believe is best for me!
It is my hope, for all of you, that your lives are filled with plenty of family, friends and fun activities to enjoy. Most importantly, I hope you are happy, safe and able to enjoy the same freedoms that we are blessed with here in the United States! LET FREEDOM RING!

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Puppy Love

My sister recently got a new puppy. She named her Sophie. This dog is absolutely adorable, but she is in the bite stage and likes to bite kids that get too close or that upset her. Despite that, my 20-month old son is absolutely smitten with her.

Sophie came camping with us a few weekends ago. All the kids loved her and played with her, but I did notice when a few of the kids got too close she tried to nip at them. Not my son. He sat next to her, playing with her, sharing cookies (which I wasn't too pleased about), and just loving her up. The little dog took it all in stride. She let him play with her ears, her muzzle, her head. She let him feed her bark (which he tried to eat after stuffing in her mouth) and cookies. It was hilarious to watch! Truly, it looked torturous to be in her position, but she didn't mind one bit. I have a feeling a new baby/puppy relationship is in the works. Here are a couple pics of my baby and Sophie:


Monday, June 29, 2009

Camping Mishaps

This past weekend my family and I (my husband and two kids) went camping in the mountains. Because the temperature drops so dramatically once night falls, we decided to zip our two big, heavy sleeping bags together to create a queen-sized pocket that the four of us would sleep in, hopefully without freezing. Then we blew up our mattress, which stands about two and a half feet tall, and lay the combined sleeping bags across it. We were set for the night.

The kids went to bed before I went to bed, and I went to bed a couple of hours before my husband. I didn't want to wake the kids when I finally slipped under the covers, so I didn't move them as much as I should have. I didn't realize until later how much of the bed the three of us were taking.

Eventually my husband joined us. We were one squished, happy family snuggled under the covers, myself on one side, my husband on the other, kids sleeping happily between us. . . for a while at least. I slept off and on, a bit too cold to sleep soundly, but the kids were doing great.

Sometime in the middle of the night, my husband slipped off the bed. He didn't hit the ground! The poor man was trapped in the pocket of sleeping bags, dangling off the side of the bed, struggling to free himself. I woke to his thrashing and realized what had happened. I also realized that if he fell off all the way, the rest of the family was coming with him! We were all zipped into that pocket and those sleeping bags were going to slip right off the bed. We were going to land in a big heap on the floor of the tent.

My husband, unable to free himself, reached out his hand and grabbed mine, hoping I could help pull him up. I held on and pulled as much as I could, but he didn't move. We did. I could literally feel the bags slipping beneath me, dragging us off the bed. I let go. If we slipped off, the kids were going to wake up crying and the rest of the night was guaranteed to be a nightmare. By this time I wasn't on the side of the bed anymore, I was in the middle, and the kids were scooting ever closer to the edge.

Somehow, without my help and still tangled in the sleeping bags, my husband managed to pull himself halfway onto the bed. He collapsed, breathing heavily, and promptly went to sleep! That was the end of it. We stayed where we were the rest of the night, crammed together on half a bed with our feet dangling off the bottom. I slept great after that. Toasty warm and comfortable. We woke up a happy family the next morning.
~ Julianne

Friday, June 26, 2009

Get Back Up

This is a video somebody sent me in my email. It's absolutely amazing and inspiring. The man, Nick Vujicic, has no arms and no legs, but he lives his life to the fullest! A motto often associated with his videos is "No arms, no legs, no worries!" His motto, however, is Life Without Limits. He has an amazing attitude and a great message. Enjoy!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Hello future readers! Welcome to our boost, brighten, and inspire blog. We hope you enjoy it here!

We've noticed that in our world a lot of time is spent focusing on the negative. We see it in the media, in our gossip groups, even on the billboards on the side of the road! In light of that, we've decided it's time we look at all the possibilties life has to offer. There are many things in this world that are beautiful, positive, and uplifting. With that in mind, it's time to flush out the positive! That is the purpose of this blog, to boost your mood, brighten your day, and inspire your world. Some days you'll find an inspiring story, other days a funny anecdote. We may even post pictures that are funny, inspiring, or have a great story behind them. What you won't find here is anything that produces negativity, unhappiness, or stress. Our goal is to offer you a place where, even if you are having a bad day, you can come and find something that might make you smile, give you hope, or rejuvenate your soul. We hope you feel comfortable sharing your positive stories with us as well. "Working together, ordinary people can perform extraordinary feats."* By spreading hope, happiness, and inspiration, we may not be able to change the world, but we will be able to make it a happier place. Hope you enjoy it as much as we will.

*Author unknown