Music Reflection Mondays # 24 – A Christmas to Remember

Welcome back to Music Reflection Mondays! Today I want to try something a little different for this segment – a story enhanced by the titles of Christmas songs.  Hope you enjoy.

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Image Credit: Pixabay.com

Once there was a little boy who said to his village one Christmas Eve, “O Come All Ye Faithful” but they didn’t listen and instead responded to him saying, “Go Away, Little Drummer Boy all we want is a Silent Night“.

This broke his heart because all he wanted to do was Deck the Halls and sing O Holy Night.    One of the villager’s (the richest man in the village) Mr. Smith approached him and explained that after Last Christmas   and the Jingle Bells episode that everyone was a little discouraged.  He hung his head filled with shame and guilt because he knew that was all his fault and now Christmas time is just too painful a memory for them.

Last Christmas the little boy had accidentally broke the bell on the church tower during the Christmas celebrations which almost killed two people.  That was a special bell that they saved up to purchase and now it was ruined.  They never looked at him the same after that day and just the thought of Christmas was a painful reminder for them.

Mr. Smith and the little boy came up with a plan to bring the Christmas spirit back to their land.  They decorated the old barn and even gathered a few members from the church choir to form a band. They went all over the village singing The Christmas Song, Mary’s Boy Child and Santa Claus is Coming to Town like never before and everyone came from far and wide.  This made the little boy and Mr. Smith very happy.

At the end of the show everyone was clapping and hugging each other filled with joy once more. A feeling they thought they would never explore again.  This event it seemed was just what the village needed to remember what made the month of December one to remember.

Later that night before they all turned in for the night they sang to the little boy and the villager We Wish You Merry Christmas“.    The little boy quietly made his Christmas wish, please  Let it Snow, Let it snow as he wiped his tears of joy off his cheek.  Sure enough, Christmas morning they were all greeted with the sight of snow through their windows.

The little boy was jumping up and down on his bed because he was so happy to see that it was really snowing. Just when he thought his Christmas could not get any better.  Mr. Smith went around with his horse and carriage presenting each home with a mini bell that had been dipped in gold and had special drawings on them. The little boy got dressed as quickly as he could and asked Mr. Smith if he could help him and of course Mr. Smith accepted.

This was a beautiful surprise and a wonderful gift. That was truly a Christmas to remember.

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Image Credit: Pixabay.com

Hope you enjoyed.  Have a wonderful day.  🙂

Health and Wellness Friday – Simplicity (originally posted 15.09.2017)

Health and Wellness Fridays – Simplicity

Welcome back to Health and Wellness Fridays!  Today, as the topic suggests I’ll be talking about the simplicity of health and wellness.

Yes, being healthy and taking better care of our bodies does not have to be complicated and technical although at times it can feel that way because there is just so much information, products, options and opinions out there.

Everywhere you look there’s someone or something saying, ” Do this! Don’t do that! Eat this! Don’t eat that! It can leave anyone struggling to get and live healthy feel overwhelmed and just frustrated trying to do everything.

The good news is we don’t have to do everything! However, there are some things we should do. Here are my 13 tips for working towards being healthier without the pressure. 🙂

  1. Love yourself enough to do and eat what’s best for you.
  2. Strive for balance in your meals not too much of any one food group.
  3. Take it slow and be gradual in the adjustments you make. Don’t be too drastic in the measures you try to implement. 
  4. Make realistic goals.
  5. Create short-term and long -term goals for yourself. Example: I want to reduce my sugar consumption or I want to  eat more fruits and vegetables per day.
  6. Create and start an action plan to help you meet your goals. 
  7. Encourage a friend or family member to team up with you as you both try to live differently and support each other.  It’s easier to do when you don’t feel like you’re alone but it’s not necessary.
  8. Don’t give up!
  9. Get active. Activity of any type be it dancing, running, walking, swimming, sports whatever you choose do something and stick with it.  Movement is good for our hearts and our bodies and is a step in the right direction.  🙂
  10. Don’t get discouraged if you don’t get anyone to join you on this journey.  Remember, who stands to benefit from a healthier and happier you.
  11. Believe in yourself.  Be your own coach, your own motivator. Being negative and having the wrong attitude would only work against you. 
  12. Don’t beat yourself up if you fall short of your goal.  Assess why and take corrective action to reduce this in the future and move forward.
  13. It’s alright to treat yourself every once in a while once you’ve acquired the self-control to not overindulge.  

Sounds simple enough right.  Being healthy is a lifestyle so what we do and eat affects our health.  Therefore, if we pay closer attention to what and how much we put in we’re doing better already. 🙂 We have more control than we think but we have to use it and this is often where the challenge comes.  Accept responsibility and get proactive in your self-care.  🙂

Have a great weekend and thanks for stopping by.

 

Find and develop your own talents

Once upon a time there lived two sisters Sarah and Samantha both in their early twenties who lived in the country side.  Sarah was a very quiet person and did not have many friends but she was happy. She found joy in her paintings and writing poetry. She loved her sister and often wished she could be more like her fun and outgoing with lots of friends.

Image Credit: Pixels.com

Samantha was the total opposite.  She always liked being the centre of attention and was very popular.  She was secretly angry and jealous of Sarah because she did not have her talents.  She would always be negative with Sarah in hopes of discouraging her.

Their mother always told them growing up to love and support each other but Samantha always feared that if she did that Sarah would just get better and better at her talents and would eventually go off to the big city and leave her there all alone.

Sarah felt most creative near the water – the river was her favourite place to paint and write her poetry.  Today was no different as Sarah set off to her favourite place.  The birds were chirping, the bees were buzzing and the air was fresh and clean.  Sarah found her spot under the huge cherry blossom tree and began painting taking periodic deep breaths trying to take in the beauty of the place and centre her mind as inspiration was everywhere.

She was half way into her painting when she heard a car pull up and stop on the road behind her.  When she looked up she noticed a tall, handsome young man waving to her as he approached her.  She had never seen him before and was a bit concerned.  As he got closer she could hear his deep, strong voice, “Hello Miss, can you please tell me where Sarah Joline lives?”

“Sarah Joline, why do you want to know?” asked Sarah even more concerned that he was looking for her.  “It’s a private matter, do you know where I can find her it is urgent? My name is Adam, by the way.”  Sarah smiled and replied, “I am Sarah Joline, what is this about?”

Adam was happy that he had found her so easily and was pleasantly surprised at how beautiful she was.  He reached into his coat and handed her a white letter sized envelope.  “What is this about ?” Sarah asked again holding the envelope in her hand convinced that Adam had the wrong person. He then said, “You’ll see. It was a pleasure meeting Miss Joline I look forward to seeing you again soon.” He then turned and walked back to his car and drove off with a smile on his face.

Sarah was scared, nervous and excited all at the same time.  She was too scared to open the envelope herself and quickly packed up and headed home.  When she got home the first person she saw was her mother.  Her mother took one look at her and knew something was troubling her.  “What’s wrong Sarah?” asked her mother same time Samantha walked in from spending time with her friends.

“I met this really handsome guy down by the river and he gave me an envelope because he was looking for me.  Can you believe it?” said Sarah.

“Yeah right, it’s just her crazy imagination again?” said Samantha. “Be quiet Samantha. Let me see the envelope Sarah,” said mother.  Sarah handed her the envelope and sat on the step anxiously waiting for her to read it.  Samantha walked off toward the kitchen pretending not to be interested but stood behind the door listening attentively as her mother read out the letter.

” Dear Miss Sarah Joline,

You’ve been selected to take part in the National Art Scholarship Programme based on your submission and recommendation from your teacher Mrs. Jane Oliver.

Should you choose to accept please be advised that this is a two-year programme and you would be required to move to New York city.  We will be providing room and board for you.  You would be given an internship opportunity that would allow you to earn a stipend while here.

Please note that we must receive your decision within the week.

We look forward to meeting you and working with you.

Kind Regards,

Mr. John Hamshire
Director”

Sarah was speechless.  She knew that her teacher was very fond of her work and always encouraged her to explore and develop her talents further but she did not believe her work was good enough.  This letter however, was proof that her work was more than good enough.

Her mother cried tears of joy and began hugging and kissing her on her cheeks so much that her face was now red and numb. Her mother looked at her with so much pride and told her that she always knew she would be great in whatever she did.  “We have to prepare there is so much to be done before you leave,”  said her mother.

“You’re going to let me go?” asked Sarah. Her mother looked at her confused and asked, “Don’t you want to go?  This is an opportunity for you to do what you love.”  Sarah sighed and responded, “What about you and Samantha? Samantha is the only sister I have.  I would be alone in New York.  I know our relationship is not ideal lately but I love and forgive her. I know deep down she loves me too.”

Samantha heard everything. At first when she heard the acceptance letter she was furious that Sarah was leaving and that her talents were not just good but excellent.  She also heard what Sarah said and for the first time in a long time she felt sad and ashamed at how she had treated her sister who despite everything she had done loved her still and was genuinely concerned about her.

She saw her reflection in the stainless steel cookie jar on the counter and realised that she did not recognise who she had become because she had allowed jealousy and envy to consume her.  She wept uncontrollably as she sank to her knees in the kitchen.

Both her mother and sister heard this and ran in to see what was wrong. They hugged her and she looked Sarah in the eyes and apologised for being mean and jealous of her and asked for her forgiveness.  Sarah forgave her and told her that she loved her.  Samantha knew it was true and confessed that she loved her also.

She also went on to tell her the truth about how wonderful her paintings and poetry were and that she should go to New York.  “Sarah you are a great sister and talented artist and I am proud to call you my sister.”

This brought tears to both Sarah and her mother’s eyes. After that day, Samantha and Sarah grew closer and became the best of friends always supporting and encouraging each other to be their best.

Samantha eventually found her own talent.  All this time she thought she was not good at anything – turns out she was a great musician and eventually went on to do great things.  She realised that she was wasting time being angry and jealous of her sister’s talents when she had her own talent that she was not developing because she was too busy being envious and almost lost her opportunity to find happiness within herself.

Sarah learnt that she needed to believe in herself and her abilities more.  She was also grateful that she did not give up on her sister because now they have a beautiful relationship.  Sarah was happy with who she was and who she was becoming and allowed herself to explore other opportunities for happiness outside herself and her work as she and Adam eventually became very close.

In the end, both sisters agreed that sometimes you need to create your own happiness. Don’t waste time comparing yourself to others, focus on developing your own talents because it is there you will find true happiness.

Image Credit: Pixabay.com

 

The Benjamins and the Hopefuls

 

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Lea by: Firkin

Let me tell you a story about two families – the Benjamins and the Hopefuls.   The Benjamins were a very wealthy family. They had two sons Sam and Samuel both of whom attended private school.  Mr. and Mrs. Benjamin spent all of their time working and had little time to spend with their children.  Their sons were usually left in the care of their nanny Elsa. She was an old woman who was always very nice and kind to them.

Mr. Benjamin learnt from an early age that he had to work hard for what he wanted and he honestly believed that the sacrifice he was making would spare his sons the tough lessons he had to learn growing up.

He was proud of his accomplishments and his sons but he would never tell them. Instead, whenever Mr. Benjamin and his sons would cross paths in the hallway of their home he would always stop them and say, “Everything I’m doing, is for you” and they would always shake their heads and answer, “Yes, father. We understand“. Then they would all continue on their way to wherever they were going as they would try to stay out of each other’s way.

The truth is, Sam and Samuel didn’t understand.  In fact, the more time that passed the more resentful they became. They did not understand why having money and riches didn’t make them happy.

The Hopefuls on the other hand, were simple people. They were crop farmers and owned a modest piece of agricultural land.  They had twins a boy and a girl, Adam and Angelina.  Mr. and Mrs. Hopeful were hard-working, kind and humble people. They were not rich in material things but found value in each other.  They made the most of everything they had and always believed in teaching their children about the value of a dollar, good manners, responsibility, life skills, independence, respect, integrity, gratitude and forgiveness.

Mr. Hopeful was a very serious man but when it came to his children his heart would melt like butter. He would play with them in the field, go swimming and even take them hunting.  He treated his children equally.  Mrs. Hopeful would help them with their homework and would encourage them to assist with the chores around the house.  At bedtime she would read to them and kiss them on their foreheads. Before she would leave the room she would always say to them, “It does not matter where you start in this race called life; all that matters is how you finish.”

Adam and Angelina were always well-behaved and well-mannered.  They knew their parents loved them. Even though they did not have all of the things the other children had they never felt as though they lacked anything.  They always supported and looked out for each other.

As time went by the children in both families grew up and eventually took over the respective businesses their parents had left them.  Mr. Benjamin eventually died from a heart-attack.  Mrs. Benjamin died from a broken heart soon after.   It seems the death of her husband was too much for her.   Mr. and Mrs. Hopeful unfortunately died in a car accident later that year.

Sam and Samuel could not cope with the death of their parents. They felt alone and did not feel they were equipped to run the family business.  Sam, the younger of the two started doing drugs and hanging out with the wrong people while Samuel turned to drinking and gambling. Needless to say, the once respected Benjamin name within two years had crumbled to nothing.  The banks seized all of their properties and they had to file for bankruptcy.  Sam was eventually imprisoned for drug possession and Samuel died in a car accident. The pressures of life seemed too much.

Adam and Angelina both missed their parents terribly but knew they had each other. They stuck together and worked hard to build and grow the family business.  They had done so well that they were featured in the town’s newspaper.  They eventually expanded and opened ‘The Hopeful’s Vegetables and Poultry Market’.  All the lessons they had learnt as children growing up had prepared them for life.

Their once modest agricultural land had expanded into two and a half acres.  As they sat on the porch looking at the beautiful sunset and all the blessings they had received they could not help but remember those words their mother would recite to them before bed, “It does not matter  where you start in this race called life; all that matters is how you finish.”

This was my first short story. Hope you enjoyed it. 🙂

Crime

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Image Credit: Pixabay.com

Crime affects me and crime affects you

It’s us versus them, this much is true

So what are we going to do?

Stay home and hide

While the criminals walk around with pride

While families hold their heads and cry

Asking God why, oh why, did he have to die?

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We can’t sit around anymore feeling blue

There is only so much one person can do,

But if we unite we could win this fight

No more fear and no more fright

Wondering if you’ll survive the night

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We must band together and protect each other

This crime thing is no laughing matter

Talking done,

The criminals have had their fun

Time for them to put down the guns

We need peace

So let’s clean up the streets

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By: Cherylene Nicholas