Sunday, November 28, 2010

Priceless Gifts that Cost Nothing

During the hustle and bustle of the holiday season, we can reflect on precious gifts that we can give ourselves and others are cost nothing but are priceless. Often, the best things in life are free. Although these presents aren't tied with ribbons or bows, they are more valuable that silver or gold.

• Spending quality time with a child

• Listening to an elderly person

• Visiting a lonely neighbor or someone you know who is ill or sad

• Forgiving an enemy

• Serving your spouse, roommate, or family member

• Sharing a talent

• Showing gratitude to others

• Demonstrating kindness to a stranger

• Offering encouragement to another

• Writing a cheerful note to someone you know

• Making a call to friends or relatives to see how they are doing

• Smiling to those you meet

• Turning away from sin and turning toward God’s perfect love

• Reflecting on God’s infinite love for each of his children, including yourself

As we celebrate Christmas this year, we may also consider what gifts we can give to the Savior, who gave us the greatest gift of all--His life. I love the words of Christina Rossetti:

What can I give Him,
Poor as I am?
If I were a shepherd
I would bring a lamb,
If I were a wise man
I would do my part,
Yet what I can I give Him,
Give my heart.

May your heart be filled with peace, gratitude and love during this season in which we remember the One who gives us everything that is good.

© Carol Brown

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Simple Ways to Find Peace

This week I'm teaching a class on finding peace during the holidays. This quote describes how we can keep peace in our hearts not only during the Christmas season but throughout each day of the year:

"THIS CHRISTMAS, mend a quarrel. Seek out a forgotten friend. Dismiss suspicion, and replace it with trust. Write a love letter. Share some treasure. Give a soft answer. Encourage youth. Manifest your loyalty in word and deed. Keep a promise. Find the time. Forgo a grudge. Forgive an enemy. Listen. Apologize if you were wrong. Try to understand. Flout envy. Examine your demands on others. Think first of someone else. Appreciate. Be kind; be gentle. Laugh a little. Laugh a little more. Deserve confidence. Take up arms against malice. Decry complacency. Express your gratitude. Go to church. Welcome a stranger. Gladden the heart of a child. Take pleasure in the beauty and wonder of the earth. Speak your love. Speak it again. Speak it still once again."

The Editors of McCall's, December, 1959