The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein

Once there was a tree….

and she loved a little boy.

And everyday the boy would come

and he would gather her leaves

and make them into crowns

and play king of the forest.

He would climb up her trunk

and swing from her branches

and eat apples.

And they would play hide-and-go-seek.

And when he was tired,

he would sleep in her shade.

And the boy loved the tree….

very much.

And the tree was happy.

But time went by.

And the boy grew older.

And the tree was often alone.

Then one day the boy came to the tree

and the tree said, “Come, Boy, come and

climb up my trunk and swing from my

branches and eat apples and play in my

shade and be happy.”

“I am too big to climb and play” said

the boy.

“I want to buy things and have fun.

I want some money?”

“I’m sorry,” said the tree, “but I

have no money.

I have only leaves and apples.

Take my apples, Boy, and sell them in

the city. Then you will have money and

you will be happy.”

And so the boy climbed up the

tree and gathered her apples

and carried them away.

And the tree was happy.

But the boy stayed away for a long time….

and the tree was sad.

And then one day the boy came back

and the tree shook with joy

and she said, “Come, Boy, climb up my trunk

and swing from my branches and be happy.”

“I am too busy to climb trees,” said the boy.

“I want a house to keep me warm,” he said.

“I want a wife and I want children,

and so I need a house.

Can you give me a house ?”

” I have no house,” said the tree.

“The forest is my house,

but you may cut off

my branches and build a

house. Then you will be happy.”

And so the boy cut off her branches

and carried them away

to build his house.

And the tree was happy.

But the boy stayed away for a long time.

And when he came back,

the tree was so happy

she could hardly speak.

“Come, Boy,” she whispered,

“come and play.”

“I am too old and sad to play,”

said the boy.

“I want a boat that will

take me far away from here.

Can you give me a boat?”

“Cut down my trunk

and make a boat,” said the tree.

“Then you can sail away…

and be happy.”

And so the boy cut down her trunk

and made a boat and sailed away.

And the tree was happy …

but not really.

And after a long time

the boy came back again.

“I am sorry, Boy,”

said the tree,” but I have nothing

left to give you –

My apples are gone.”

“My teeth are too weak

for apples,” said the boy.

“My branches are gone,”

said the tree. ” You

cannot swing on them – ”

“I am too old to swing

on branches,” said the boy.

“My trunk is gone, ” said the tree.

“You cannot climb – ”

“I am too tired to climb” said the boy.

“I am sorry,” sighed the tree.

“I wish that I could give you something….

but I have nothing left.

I am just an old stump.

I am sorry….”

“I don’t need very much now,” said the boy.

“just a quiet place to sit and rest.

I am very tired.”

“Well,” said the tree, straightening

herself up as much as she could,

“well, an old stump is good for sitting and resting

Come, Boy, sit down. Sit down and rest.

“And the boy did. And the tree was happy.

Grateful for all the “Giving Trees” in my life. 🙂

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HEALTHY FRIENDSHIPS VS UNHEALTHY FRIENDSHIPS

HEALTHY FRIENDSHIPS

  1. Make much of God.
  2. Ask the question: ‘How do we get more of Jesus in this friendship?’
  3. Act like individuals who answer to God.
  4. Are excited when others form new friendships.
  5. Hold friendships with open hands.
  6. Call out sin in others with love.
  7. Fuel our desire for God.
  8. Encourage obedience to God.
  9. Spend time praying for the other alone.
  10. Care about God’s glory.
  11. Encourage us to need God more.
  12. Tell you God is your place of belonging.
  13. Want friends to have more of Jesus.

UNHEALTHY FRIENDSHIPS

  1. Make much of one another.
  2. Ask the question: ‘How do we get more of each other in this friendship?’
  3. Act like a couple who answers to each other.
  4. Feel threatened and jealous when others make new friends.
  5. Feel like they own one another.
  6. Excuse sin in the name of love.
  7. Reduce our desire for God.
  8. Redefine/excuse obedience to God.
  9. Only pray for each other together.
  10. Care about their own importance.
  11. Encourage us to need each other more.
  12. Tell you I am your place of belonging.
  13. Want friends to have more of the friendship.

Life teaches you that friend is a REALLY STRONG WORD. Cherish the true friends you have. They’re literally God’s gift. 🙂

HARD IS THE JOURNEY

Gold vessels of fine wines,
thousands a gallon,
Jade dishes of rare meats,
costing more thousands,

I lay my chopsticks down,
no more can banquet,
I draw my sword and stare
wildly about me:

Ice bars my way to cross
the Yellow River,
Snows from dark skies to climb
the T’ai-hang mountains!

At peace I drop a hook
into a brooklet,
At once I’m in a boat
but sailing sunward…

(Hard is the journey,
Hard is the journey,
So many turnings,
And now where am I?)

So when a breeze breaks waves,
bringing fair weather,
I set a cloud for sails,
cross the blue oceans!

Li Po

DON’T TELL ME YOU KNOW ME

You think you can define me,
That I’m a tick in just one box,
Like my being is a door,
That a single key unlocks,
But let me tell you something,
I have the universe inside,
I hold an untamed ocean,
With a constant changing tide,
I’m home to endless mountains,
With tips that touch the sky,
Flocks of grand migrating birds,
And deserts harsh and dry,
I house the wildest rivers,
And a host of sweeping plains,
I feel in waves of sunshine,
Or in unrelenting rains,
Don’t tell me that you know me,
That ‘this right here is what you are’,
I am the universe in motion,
For I was born from stars.

Erin Hanson

DO LIFE

When I am having a particularly difficult day I like to read this quote by Mother Teresa. It reminds me that I shouldn’t stop living just because things aren’t exactly going the way I want them to or to really think about the motive behind the things I do. I’m not perfect and so is everybody else walking this planet. So do your best with whatever comes your way. That’s all anyone can ask of you.

‘People are unreasonable, illogical and self-centered.

Love them anyway.

If you do good, people may accuse you of selfish motives.

Do good anyway.

If you are successful, you may win false friends and true enemies.

Succeed anyway.

The good you do today may be forgotten tomorrow.

Do good anyway.

Honesty and transparency make you vulnerable.

Be honest and transparent anyway.

What you spend years building may be destroyed overnight.

Build anyway.

People who really want help may attack you if you help them.

Help them anyway.

Give the world the best you have and you may get hurt.

Give the world your best anyway.’

Mother Teresa

OH THE PLACES YOU’LL GO!

Congratulations!
Today is your day.
You’re off to Great Places!
You’re off and away!

You have brains in your head.
You have feet in your shoes
You can steer yourself
any direction you choose.
You’re on your own. And you know what you know.
And YOU are the one who’ll decide where to go.

You’ll look up and down streets. Look ’em over with care.
About some you will say, “I don’t choose to go there.”
With your head full of brains and your shoes full of feet,
you’re too smart to go down any not-so-good street.

And you may not find any
you’ll want to go down.
In that case, of course,
you’ll head straight out of town.

It’s opener there
in the wide open air.

Out there things can happen
and frequently do
to people as brainy
and footsy as you.

And when things start to happen,
don’t worry. Don’t stew.
Just go right along.
You’ll start happening too.

OH!
THE PLACES YOU’LL GO!

You’ll be on your way up!
You’ll be seeing great sights!
You’ll join the high fliers
who soar to high heights.

You won’t lag behind, because you’ll have the speed.
You’ll pass the whole gang and you’ll soon take the lead.
Wherever you fly, you’ll be the best of the best.
Wherever you go, you will top all the rest.

Except when you don’ t
Because, sometimes, you won’t.

I’m sorry to say so
but, sadly, it’s true
and Hang-ups
can happen to you.

You can get all hung up
in a prickle-ly perch.
And your gang will fly on.
You’ll be left in a Lurch.

You’ll come down from the Lurch
with an unpleasant bump.
And the chances are, then,
that you’ll be in a Slump.

And when you’re in a Slump,
you’re not in for much fun.
Un-slumping yourself
is not easily done.

You will come to a place where the streets are not marked.
Some windows are lighted. But mostly they’re darked.
A place you could sprain both you elbow and chin!
Do you dare to stay out? Do you dare to go in?
How much can you lose? How much can you win?

And IF you go in, should you turn left or right…
or right-and-three-quarters? Or, maybe, not quite?
Or go around back and sneak in from behind?
Simple it’s not, I’m afraid you will find,
for a mind-maker-upper to make up his mind.

You can get so confused
that you’ll start in to race
down long wiggled roads at a break-necking pace
and grind on for miles across weirdish wild space,
headed, I fear, toward a most useless place.
The Waiting Place…

…for people just waiting.
Waiting for a train to go
or a bus to come, or a plane to go
or the mail to come, or the rain to go
or the phone to ring, or the snow to snow
or waiting around for a Yes or a No
or waiting for their hair to grow.
Everyone is just waiting.

Waiting for the fish to bite
or waiting for wind to fly a kite
or waiting around for Friday night
or waiting, perhaps, for their Uncle Jake
or a pot to boil, or a Better Break
or a sting of pearls, or a pair of pants
or a wig with curls, or Another Chance.
Everyone is just waiting.

NO!
That’s not for you!

Somehow you’ll escape
all that waiting and staying.
You’ll find the bright places
where Boom Bands are playing.

With banner flip-flapping,
once more you’ll ride high!
Ready for anything under the sky.
Ready because you’re that kind of a guy!

Oh, the places you’ll go! There is fun to be done!
There are points to be scored. there are games to be won.
And the magical things you can do with that ball
will make you the winning-est winner of all.
Fame! You’ll be famous as famous can be,
with the whole wide world watching you win on TV.

Except when they don’t.
Because, sometimes, they won’t.

I’m afraid that some times
you’ll play lonely games too.
Games you can’t win
’cause you’ll play against you.

All Alone!
Whether you like it or not,
Alone will be something
you’ll be quite a lot.

And when you’re alone, there’s a very good chance
you’ll meet things that scare you right out of your pants.
There are some, down the road between hither and yon,
that can scare you so much you won’t want to go on.

But on you will go
though the weather be foul
On you will go
though your enemies prowl
On you will go
though the Hakken-Kraks howl
Onward up many
a frightening creek,
though your arms may get sore
and your sneakers may leak.

On and on you will hike
and I know you’ll hike far
and face up to your problems
whatever they are.

You’ll get mixed up, of course,
as you already know.
You’ll get mixed up
with many strange birds as you go.
So be sure when you step.
Step with care and great tact
and remember that Life’s
a Great Balancing Act.
Just never forget to be dexterous and deft.
And never mix up your right foot with your left.

And will you succeed?
Yes! You will, indeed!
(98 and 3 / 4 percent guaranteed.)

KID, YOU’LL MOVE MOUNTAINS!

So…
be your name Buxbaum or Bixby or Bray
or Mordecai Ali Van Allen O’Shea,
you’re off to Great Places!
Today is your day!
Your mountain is waiting.
So…get on your way!

Dr. Seuss

Congratulations! I love you!

Edge by Sylvia Plath

The woman is perfected.
Her dead

Body wears the smile of accomplishment,
The illusion of a Greek necessity

Flows in the scrolls of her toga,
Her bare

Feet seem to be saying:
We have come so far, it is over.

Each dead child coiled, a white serpent,
One at each little

Pitcher of milk, now empty.
She has folded

Them back into her body as petals
Of a rose close when the garden

Stiffens and odors bleed
From the sweet, deep throats of the night flower.

The moon has nothing to be sad about,
Staring from her hood of bone.

She is used to this sort of thing.
Her blacks crackle and drag.