Let us labor for an inward stillness–
An inward stillness and an inward healing.
That perfect silence where the lips and heart
Are still, and we no longer entertain
Our own imperfect thoughts and vain opinions,
But God alone speaks to us and we wait
In singleness of heart that we may know
His will, and in the silence of our spirits,
That we may do His will and do that only
-Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
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When our daughter was going on eight years old, she asked me to help her write a sonnet about her dogs. We sat together and I asked her a few questions. Soon we realized the sonnet said exactly what Laura wanted to say!
A Tale of Two Dogs
I have two dogs I love with all my might.
The smartest dogs that you have ever seen.
One dog is black, the other is pure white.
To one another, they are never mean.
Whenever I come home my dogs are there.
In circles they begin to run around.
Two fluffy tails a’waggin in the air,
as if a long-lost friend had just been found
Though one dog is the color of the snow
and one dog is as black as he can be
they love each other very much and know
their color doesn’t mean a thing to me.
Some people have not learned all dogs are smart.
Color doesn’t matter in a dog’s heart.
A sonnet by: Laura Jean Bird – Age 7 1/2
To learn more about ProudGrandMom, visit www.birdmommy.com
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Children are a blessing sent from God above
For us to care and nurture and most of all to love.
God calls us to be parents and provides us with the tools
And when we feel like giving up, our strength He will renew.
Children are a gift from God that He so freely lends
To make it through the childhood years, on Him we must depend.
He must have a presence, you see it must take three
The parents, child and Christ to be a family.
From childhood days to a child full grown
Their joys and hurts are a parent’s own.
Times of joy and laughter and those times of tears
The times spent raising children are surely the best of years.
There comes that time in life when a child will leave the nest
We must send them off with love and trust God with the rest.
We’ve shared the Word of God, we’ve taught them right from wrong.
Now it’s time to let them go and let them write their song.
The faith instilled, the examples lived, and the lessons taught
All gifts that we have given our child, will never be forgot.
So many paths that they can take, right or wrong remains unknown
But rest assured that in the end, they all lead back to home.
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I ran into a stranger as he passed by,
‘Oh excuse me please’ was my reply.
He said, ‘Please excuse me too;
I wasn’t watching for you.’
We were very polite, this stranger and I.
We went on our way and we said goodbye.
But at home a different story is told,
How we treat our loved ones, young and old.
Later that day, cooking the evening meal,
My son stood beside me very still.
When I turned, I nearly knocked him down.
‘Move out of the way,’ I said with a frown.
He walked away, his little heart broken.
I didn’t realize how harshly I’d spoken.
While I lay awake in bed,
God’s still small voice came to me and said,
‘While dealing with a stranger,
common courtesy you use,
but the family you love,
you seem to abuse.
Go and look on the kitchen floor,
You’ll find some flowers there by the door.
Those are the flowers he brought for you.
He picked them himself: pink, yellow and blue.
He stood very quietly not to spoil the surprise,
you never saw the tears that filled his little eyes.’
By this time, I felt very small,
And now my tears began to fall.
I quietly went and knelt by his bed;
‘Wake up, little one, wake up,’ I said.
‘Are these the flowers you picked for me?’
He smiled, ‘I found ’em, out by the tree.
I picked ’em because they’re pretty like you.
I knew you’d like ’em, especially the blue.’
I said, ‘Son, I’m very sorry for the way I acted today;
I shouldn’t have yelled at you that way.’
He said, ‘Oh, Mom, that’s okay.
You know I love you anyway.’
I said, ‘Son, I love you too,
and I do like the flowers, especially the blue.’
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She started school this morning,
And she seemed so very small.
As I walked there beside her
In the Kindergarten hall.
And as she took her place beside
the others in the class,
I realized how all too soon
Those first few years can pass.
Remembering, I saw her as
She first learned how to walk.
The words that we alone made out
When she began to talk.
This little girl so much absorbed
In learning how to write.
It seems as though she must have grown
To girlhood overnight.
My eyes were blurred by hastily
I brushed the tears away
Lest by some word or sign of mine
I mar her first big day.
Oh how I longed to stay with her
And keep her by the hand
To lead her through the places
That she couldn’t understand.
And something closely kin to fear
Was mingled with my pride.
I knew she would no longer be
A baby by my side.
But she must have her chance to live,
To work her problems out,
The privilege to grow and learn
What life is all about.
And I must share my little girl
With friends and work and play;
She’s not a baby anymore —
She’s in Kindergarten today.
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Now I lay me down to sleep,
I pray my sanity to keep.
For if some peace I do not find,
I’m pretty sure I’ll lose my mind.
I pray I find a little quiet,
Far from the daily family riot.
May I lie back and not have to think
About what they’re stuffing down the sink,
Or who they’re with, or where they’re at
And what they’re doing to the cat.
I pray for time all to myself
(did something just fall off a shelf?)
To cuddle in my nice, soft bed
(Oh no, another goldfish–dead!)
Some silent moments for goodness sake
(Did I just hear a window break?)
And that I need not cook or clean
(well heck, I’ve got the right to dream)
Yes now I lay me down to sleep,
I pray my wits about me keep,
But as I look around I know,
I must have lost them long ago!
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I do not know how long I’ll live
But while I live, Lord, let me give
Some comfort to someone in need
By smile or nod, kind word or deed.
And let me do what ‘ere I can
To ease things for my fellow man.
I want naught but to do my part
to lift a tired or weary heart.
To change folks’ frowns to smiles again.
Then will I not have lived in vain.
And I’ll not care how long I’ll live
If I can give… and give… and give.
6 people like this post.
1. Don’t spoil me. I know quit well that I shouldn’t have all that I ask for, I’m only testing you.
2. Don’t be afraid to be firm with me, I prefer it. It makes me feel more secure.
3. Don’t let me form bad habits, I have to rely on you to detect them in the early stages.
4. Don’t make me feel smaller than I am, It only makes me behave stupidly big.
5. Don’t correct me in front of people if you can help it.
6. Don’t make me feel that my mistakes are sins, it upsets my set of values.
7. Don’t be upset when I say “I hate you”, it’s not you I hate, but your power to hinder.
8. Don’t protect me from consequences, I need to learn the painful way sometimes.
9. Don’t nag, if you do I will need to protect myself by appearing deaf.
10. Don’t make rash promises, remember I feel badly let down when promises are broken.
11. Don’t tax my honesty too much, I am easily frightened into telling lies.
12. Don’t be inconsistent, that completely confuses me and makes me lose faith in you.
13. Don’t tell me my fears are silly, they are terribly real to me and you can do much to reassure me if you try to understand.
14. Don’t ever suggest that you are perfect or infallible. It gives me to great a shock when I discover that you are neither.
15. Don’t forget that I can’t thrive without lots of love and understanding, but I don’t need to tell you that, do I?
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“Walk a little slower, Daddy”,
Said a little child so small.
“I’m following in your footsteps,
And I don’t want to fall.
Sometimes your steps are very fast,
Sometimes they’re hard to see;
So walk a little slower, Daddy,
For you are leading me.
Someday when I’m all grown up,
You’re what I want to be;
Then I will have a little child
Who’ll want to follow me.
And I would want to lead just right,
And know that I was true;
So, walk a little slower, Daddy,
For I must follow you.”
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Please understand I am growing up and changing very fast.
It must be difficult to keep pace with me, but please try.
Please reward me for telling the truth.
Then I am not frightened into lying.
Please tell me when you make mistakes and what you learned from them.
Then I can accept that I am okay, even when I blunder.
Please pay attention to me and spend time with me.
Then I can believe that I am important and worthwhile.
Please help me explore my unique interests, talents and potential.
In order for me to be happy, I need to be me.
Please do the things you want me to do.
Then I have a good, positive model.
Please tell me by your words and actions that you love me.
Then I will feel loveable and will be able to love myself and others.
19 people like this post.