So beautiful, so true, and I am so thankful!
This remains one of my favorites! It reminds me after every Christmas to hold onto the things, and the lives, that truly matter, because after the wrappings are thrown out and the fudge is gone, it is the Love in the Living that lasts.
CHRISTMAS AND THE PUPPY DOG
By Rebecca Lamarche – from an original poem by my brother, Steve Lamarche, 1960
The wooden floor is getting worn, the hearth is warm and bright,
Father is a carpenter and thinner than before;
And mother, knitting mittens, thinks on Christmases of yore.
Oh! how the singing of the carols and the tinseling of the tree
Had brought a light to Christmas that shone eternally;
To worship the Babe on Christmas ~ to bow their heads and pray.
Yet somehow substitutions for that spirit have been made;
The number of gifts, with bows and tags, are what makes, or breaks, the day.
It’s doubtful their son Christopher will receive some kind of toy,
For Santa overlooks him, he’s a poor man’s little boy.
Although his stocking bulges with apples, walnuts and the like,
He thinks about pistols and baseball bats – or maybe even a bike!
His friends around the neighborhood all get a toy or two;
But Chris, not understanding, wishes he’d get something new.
Yet, on this special Christmas, Dad’s arranged a big surprise!
The mittens now completed, the fire almost dead,
They put them in the stocking, and climb the stairs to bed.
Christopher is wide-awake and straining hard to hear
Santa coming down the chimney …shh!… is that sleet, or hoofs of reindeer?
Then early in the morning (with his parents still asleep),
He tiptoes down the stairway to steal a little peek.
Dashing to their bedroom, he pulls the pillow from Papa’s head,
“C’mon it’s Christmas morning! Get up! Don’t lay in bed!”
Mama’s soon made coffee and sweetbreads, Papa’s fire is blazing hot,
Impatiently, Chris tries not to pout, while he waits to see what he got!
The stocking…look! …it’s moving! Chris approaches with some doubt…
“I didn’t want a puppy dog; all I wanted were some toys!
Something I could play with, like all the other boys!”
His parents were astonished! They did not realize
Nowadays, what Christmas meant to a little boy his size.
But soon his friends’ toys were broken, bikes no longer did they ride,
Yet Christopher had a puppy dog that was always at his side.
They quickly loved each other, as boys and dogs will do,
Christopher taught his dog some tricks – how to sit, and fetch a bone,
When the wind brought aromas of suppertime, the two would head for home!
Beneath the moon’s adventure they’d sleep, in brave, whispered dreams they’d hide.
And nestled close in the patchwork quilt of his bunk, on stormy nights,
The dog stayed wrapped around Christopher, calming all his boyhood frights.
Seasons brought tries…failures…tears…boasts and wins – and love’s first stolen kiss;
Ah, but Christopher grew older, he soon would be a man;
His loyal friend had lived as long as almost any dog can.
In benediction of sweet memories, and grief, the beloved “puppy dog” died;
Tears falling, unhindered, his heart wrenched in pain, Chris whispered “farewell”, and cried.
For he remembered that Christmas morning, and – being like other boys –
Chris didn’t want a puppy dog … all he wanted were some toys.
Starting the Women’s MeetUp group has reminded me all over again the wonder that we can be so alike as women, and so different all at the same time! Such is the beauty of friendships.
I used to have a neighbor who sat on his porch all day and smoked. That is literally all he did! He was a crusty old guy, prided himself on “hating people”, as if it were an art form! People like that intrigue me, so I befriended him and learned that once some of the “crusty” was chipped away, underneath it all was a wounded soul just like the rest of us.
One afternoon he called me over, and told me this amazing story: As he sat on his porch, he watched as a neighborhood cat moseyed up to the storm drain in the curbside of the road. She sniffed around, looked back and forth, and then, as if trying to make her way by stealth, she slipped into the storm drain to sit on the ledge inside.
About that time, a rat came shuffling down the gutter, heading straight for the storm drain! She was in for a big surprise when she arrived, only to be pounced upon by Ms. Cat! Sure enough, into the storm drain Ms. Rat went, yet there did not appear to be a scuffle, as there was no cat or rat distress sounds to be heard. Soon, as predictable, Ms. Cat emerged with evident victory seemingly won over her long-tailed intruder! Down the gutter she sauntered, and once around the corner, stopped, sat down, and looked over at the storm drain.
In a moment, to the amazement of my neighbor, Ms. Rat climbed out of the drain, all intact and acting as if nothing had transpired down there except perhaps a shared cup of tea!
Well, here is the truly amazing part of the story ~ one you will find hard to believe, but truth is stranger than fiction, as they say! Ms. Rat walked up the gutter path, met up with Ms. Cat, and …side by side walked down the road! No one had told them that they weren’t supposed to get along! So, without any prejudice, they merely assumed a friendship! No rules, no upper society and gutter-rat mentality, just two creatures who happened upon each other and shared their day, walking side-by-side to arrive at the same place, eventually.
Some days I feel like Ms. Cat, well put together, moseying through my day. And some days, I feel more like Ms. Rat, when my attitude is in the gutter. I am always reminded that I tend to be a little of both, from day to day. How about you? Is today a day that you can be Ms. Cat, and wait for Ms. Rat to catch up with you, so that together you can enjoy the moment?
There is frienship to be found in the craziest places ~
Well, look who decided to get my BLOG up and working again! As a jumpstart for my web page, my ministry with SpiritALIVEWomen, my MeetUp with SpiritALIVEAUSTINWomen, and just because it’s about time to promote this BLOG…I decided to put my BIO (of sorts) up. Seemed a good place to start…
Born a California Girl, I learned at a very early age that I am wired for reading, writing, and relationships! I love nothing more than to come alongside someone and lighten their load with laughter, wisdom, counsel or just a great party! That has been melted and molded over my years, fed with the Love that is Jesus, watered over seasons and experience, and led by the Holy Spirit to become all of the above! I taught preschool and elementary music for two decades, have two grown children and two granddaughters, and through all of that, for over 35 years, I have ‘side-lined’ by learning and teaching as much as I can hold about Jesus, the Bible, and the power and transformation that brings wholeness to our lives. I decided to take the Lord at His Word, and not only see miracles, I am a living one myself! Some things in life I love to DO, like writing poetry and books about our commonality, especially to women, and like teaching the Bible with the excitement of it’s living and active work in our daily lives. But some things in life I AM, such as a Shepherd to the women that surround me or cross my path. Women shape each other in friendships, they mold who we are, as well as who we are journeying to become. Women speak into one another’s lives with soothing words and touch – a hug, a hand held, shared tears – during times of turmoil and happiness alike. Women fill the gaps that pocket our emotions. Women remind each other who they are, much like the quote, “To love someone is to learn the song in their heart, and to sing it to them when they have forgotten it.” That is the essence of women in friendship.
I live to be the Lord’s voice for the Redeemed life, the Restored strength, and the Renewed destiny available when Jesus breaks the chains of mental, emotional and spiritual captivity. He releases us from the prisons of the past, the woundedness that holds us hostage to our perceived limitations, and any number of dysfunctions in the daily maze of relationships. In my writing and speaking I focus on emboldening women to discover – or re-discover, – to grab hold of – and then hang onto, – all of the power of a sound mind in an insane world, a healed heart in the midst of brokenness, a Grace that shatters all shame, and their unique and fulfilling purpose in the Spirit of Joy! I share solid Biblical tools of faith and inner change that enables deeper intimacy with Christ, healthier self-care and fulfilling relationships. A life of wholeness in Christ is a life that is free indeed – such builds a generation of impact for the Lord’s Kingdom work on earth, and such is a legacy worth leaving for those who follow in our steps.
Here’s a glimpse into wonder and love…
Makes me stop to think about how I treat people…and who’s watching me,or listening to my words or tone of voice? James said that the tongue is capable of starting a whole forest on fire…hmmm…do my words spark love? gratitude? laughter? grace? or do they burn with envy, annoyance, distrust, or condemnation? Jesus tells us in Matthew 12:36 that we will be called upon to give account for every word we speak.
It isn’t only children who follow our lead; we all mentor the world that immediately surrounds us.
I am on the diving board of creating a web page on my own. Any comments or ideas to help this technically-challenged-over-50-box-blonde?