Merry Christmas From My Heart to Yours..

Anytime I can share myself with you, my soul sings a little louder and shines a little brighter. So today, as we await the arrival of Santa Claus, I wanted to share a few things with you, my Christmas gift to us all: a reminder of sorts. The first is who our modern-day Santa Claus is, the second is something I wrote that is very fitting for this time of year, and the third is something Jesus wanted us all to know about the child in us all.

To begin, our current day Santa Claus is the merging of Saint Nicholas and Father Christmas. Saint Nicholas or Sinter Klaas, as the Dutch call him, which is short for Sint Nikolass, was a monk born in 280 A.D. in modern-day Turkey. It is said that he gave away all his worldly possessions and traveled the countryside helping the poor and sick. Some in this world celebrate him with gift giving on the anniversary of his death December 6th. Father  Christmas was alive in 16th Century Britain under the reign of Henry VIII. He is said to be the emblem of good cheer and is the bringer of peace, joy, good food and wine. I ask you, what is not to love about this merging? I for one am glad that the embodiment of these men by others over generations and centuries keeps many in this world believing in Christmas miracles. So today, if you are anticipating as I am, the arrival of Santa Claus, Christkind, Kris Kringle, Jultomten, Pere Noel, or whatever you may call them in your part of the world, remember to keep love in your heart and enjoy the feeling of gift giving. For me, my heart sings with this gift from me to you:

             How Come They Only Come When I Dream
            
When I was young and lost a tooth
Under the pillow it went
As I slept the fairy would come
A wave of the wand
The tooth would be gone
Replaced with money to be spent

Then each year as Easter arrived
Eggs would be boiled and colored
Then put up for me to eat
Again as I slept
The bunny hopped by
And left a box full of treats

I can't forget the jolly old elf
Who came each year dressed in red
Delivering toys he said I deserved
But only if I promised to sleep
Every year I'd awake to find what I wanted
Every year my belief in him was preserved

Try as I might to meet and greet them 
Were they real? I wanted to know
There was something about them not what it seemed
That always perplexed me 
And I could never figure it out
How come they only come when I dream??

Never was I able to catch them
In their often most generous acts
But I learned as I grew a thing or two
About whom all of them were
Now I pass forward that which I've learned
And my belief in them grows stronger too

So the next time anyone tells you
That they won't come unless you sleep
Hop in your bed, lay down your head
And of them continue to dream
When you awake I'm sure you will find
Generosity's spirits not dead.

by
Laura Standrwicz
c: January 2010

Once Santa is home and resting after a long night of work, many of us will awake to open our gifts and to celebrate the birth of Jesus. When I think about this combination, I think of something Jesus said and am told in St Matthew 18: 4-5 “Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is greatest in the kingdom of heaven. And whoso shall receive one such little child in my name receiveth me.” I hope this day reminds us all of innocent times and brings out the child in us all. I further hope that we remember the season of giving and find a way to share of ourselves with others.

From my heart to yours,

Merry Christmas one and all…..

Dear Santa,

Dear Santa,

In case you are wondering if us adults still believe in you, I am here to let you know for sure, I do. I cannot imagine that I am the only one either. Knowing that, let me begin by warning you to be prepared. You see, I have no intention on ever becoming too big or too old to come to you for my Christmas wishes and I will also always want a photo. For your sake though, I will save your knee from my excess weight and will leave that to the littler ones.  I know!! whew…

I also want to thank you for all the past Christmas wishes you have fulfilled for me. Many stand out in my mind, though one in particular I will never forget. It was my first Christmas away from my family. I am sure you remember. I was someplace new, living in a place I just moved into, with no friends, no family, and seemingly going to be alone on my first Christmas away from home. That was hard for me as all my prior Christmases with a very large family were always lovingly chaotic and loud and fun. So when everyone left my new place to spend Christmas with their respective families, not only was I alone, I was also lonely. I can only equate your Christmas magic and miracles to answering my Christmas wish to not feel so lonely. True to your generosity, I awoke Christmas morning alone, yet I was no longer lonely. Somehow Christmas morning I awoke with a complete feeling of warmth and love and I knew that I was not alone and would never be again.

That memory leads me into this years Christmas wish and trust me I do not do anything easy – so sorry in advance. I really hope this has been a nice year for me and not a naughty as I really would like this wish granted. I am also hoping you do not have to check your list twice to find me. With that said, this year if I could have one thing for Christmas it would be more TIME..

Time to do more housework and yard work. More time to work on my book, business, and blog. Way more important though, time to spend and share with others. I wish I had more time to tell Michael and DD that I miss their friendship and thank them for how beautiful they both made me feel. Time to tell my parents that I miss them, love them, and am so thankful for the family they brought me into. Time to spend with my siblings, nieces and nephews, and great-nieces and great-nephews, cousins, aunts, uncles, etc. I remember when we were all in grade school and now we are in our fifties and sixties. My nieces and nephews were just being born and some now have kids of their own. Being away from home I have missed a lot, but every minute I get to spend with them is cherished. I will not forget those that have been my friends, are my friends, and those yet to become my friends. The moments spent with them, though fleeting, with us laughing, talking, crying, etc are irreplaceable. Those moments do much for my heart and soul.

I also wish I had more moments to ask forgiveness from those I may have harmed along my journey – knowingly or not. And even more so, moments to find forgiveness for those that may have harmed me – knowingly or not. And sometimes I just love the moments, I can sit out with a cup of coffee in my hand, and just experience life; listening to the chirping of the birds and the whistling of the wind, watching the blossoming of the trees and the people and traffic going by, watching the rain or snow falling to the ground, and smelling whatever it is that my man is cooking for breakfast. Even in my stillness the time is not wasted.

I have learned in life, that all things take time. So please Santa if you would, please give me a little more time. I promise you, I will not waste a minute.

With Love and hope that you get to rest after your busy season,

Laura Standrowicz

 

R-E-S-P-E-C-T… What does it mean to??

So something happened this past week that had me wanting to write a post about a certain topic. A conversation the next day with people feeling the exact same way told me I was on the right path. The topic; respect. Webster’s Seventh New Collegiate Dictionary defines that word as “a relation to or concern with something, or an act of giving particular attention”.  The word may have crossed your mind a time or two during this busy holiday season. What better time than now to maybe raise a little awareness to the fact that we are all guilty of disrespect. Most of which is unintentional or because of lack of knowledge in my opinion. But there are those that for some unknown reason do it intentionally. I may never reach them. But, if I can change just a few lives, than maybe I have done my part.

I will not go into full detail about what happened to us, other than to say it was blatantly obvious that this person had the intent to disrespect us. My guess is that they wanted a scene to be made. Trust me, we could have done several things that would have caused that to happen. And I will not say that several did not cross our minds and were very hard for us to resist doing. I am, however, trying to be aware of my place in solutions and not problems. So with that said, we moved on and got what we needed to get done. Before leaving the premises, however, I did politely and nicely speak to the manager, who I knew could do nothing about what the customer did. I also took corporate information. The manager did apologize, we accepted and went on our merry way.  At this point, I have still done nothing with the corporate information as I try to find a way to suggest or recommend a positive solution to those up the managerial chain. I could just complain, but I would rather see a beneficial solution to an ongoing problem with the location and bring some respect back to the equation.

The next day, I got into a discussion with a couple of gentlemen that drive trucks (eighteen wheeler) for a living. And boy did I get an earful of how disrespected they felt. Having worked several years in close proximity to them, I so could empathize with what they felt. I have watched people tell them “oh, you are only a truck driver”. I thought to myself, if people only knew. It did not take me very long working in the industry to realize that everything in my life, and I do mean everything, is hauled by a truck driver at some point. Whether it be the materials my home is made of, or the food on my table, or the stove that heats my house, everything is transported by a truck driver and we should keep that in mind.

On top of that, try to imagine that your job has you on the road all day, everyday. Now add in mass population scurrying around in their daily lives. I think our lack of knowledge puts us in dangerous situations we do not mean to put ourselves in. You see this truck driver knows that his or her empty weight maybe somewhere around 40,000 pounds, and if he or she is full 80,000 pounds. Although they could have a permit to be even heavier than that depending on what they are hauling. So when we, not thinking, cut them off, imagine his or her stress to slow, stop, and/or avoid impact with our 5,000 pound vehicle. One of the gentleman even said he was ticketed for swerving out of his lane recently, even though the police officer clearly saw the woman (with two children in the rear seat) cut him off. His choices, a probability of death to more than one had he proceeded on course or swerve to avoid an accident. I am not the only one, I am sure, glad he chose the latter. Sadly, he paid a price.

These are just a few examples to try to raise awareness to what we all do in our hundred mile an hour hectic lives. I know you have your own horror stories to tell. We all probably have several a day. With that said, maybe the next time we run in someplace as they are closing, we will be aware of the disrespect to the establishment. Maybe when our phone rings and we are at the check out, we will think twice about disrespecting the cashier and others in line behind us. I know in my personal life there are things I can put off, if need be, to show appropriate respect. Although I fail miserably some days, I am now trying to make an effort to change that. If we all just took a minute everyday and became aware of what we do, imagine the improvement to the level of respect. I have had my minute, have you taken yours?

 

 

It’s About Power….

I have often agreed with the statement that absolute money and power corrupts. We see it time and time again. Now I am not saying that those that have one, or the other, or both, are corrupt. Just that corruption is a far bigger obstacle for them to overcome or avoid. Many that have enjoyed great power and become corrupt because of it, will fight losing it as they fall. And we are seeing this today in government, media, athletics, entertainment, well in all walks of life. Funny that it is also power that is shining a light on this. Maybe I should start with the definition of power to show my point. Webster’s Seventh New Collegiate Dictionary defines it this way “possession of control, authority, or influence over others, or the ability to act or produce an effect, or physical might”. I am so recognizing and many others are as well that we all have power, if only over ourselves and our choices. Look at many finally finding their voice to tell their stories. They are rising with the power in their truths. Others are losing their power as the light shines brightly on the use or misuse of it. I would certainly call that acting and producing an effect.

For a long time I didn’t realize the power I had, and as a matter of fact I would have said I had the complete opposite; weakness.  I guess fear had kept it unrecognizable to me. The fear of what would happen if. But I read recently in 2 Timothy 1:7 from The Holy Bible “For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind”. The trick is having the ability to combine these three. It is my opinion and maybe yours as well, that there are things we need to couple with power that will help to keep corruption at bay. The things that come to my mind are a moral compass (love ?) and sense of responsibility (sound mind ?). As I watch some whose lives are being destroyed publicly and maybe possibly deservedly so or maybe not, I wonder did they not know right from wrong? Could they not recognize good from evil? Did they not know they had the responsibility to hold themselves to a higher standard? Maybe they did not know any of these. Maybe they were never taught such things. But if they were taught these things, than Abraham Lincoln put it best when he said “Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man’s character, give him power”.

I hope that we can use the happenings of today to learn our own lessons. That when we recognize our own power, and use our own power, that we do it in such a way that we do not completely destroy someone else in the process. With great power, come great risks, and with that is the possibility of great reward. But, the opposite can also happen with the great risk, that there is great downfall. Intent has a lot to do with it. Good intentions usually come when we add love to the power. So as we rise, rid ourselves of pain, tell our truths, and gain our power, let us not forget to remember love in this process, as difficult as that will be. Warning to myself and all of you, I can fall just as hard and from as great a distance as the next person and it will hurt just as much. So if my rise knocks somebody down I have to prepare myself for the same outcome. That is why I try to approach my topics from a place of love and why I always try to bring you along for the ride. Thank you for joining me. May we all rise together.

So as I exit today, a truth about me, I do love my quotes.  With that said, I will leave you with one for all of us to think about. “The day the power of love overrules the love of power, the world will know peace” ~ Mahatma Gandhi