Late Spring 2013 -- Recognizing Gifts

Dear Friends

Recently I had dinner with a friend who told me a story that brought tears to my eyes. My friend Paul and his wife have taken in a boarder from Ethiopia. This young man can't really afford to live on his own (they live in a very expensive part of the country) so my friends decided to help him out and let him live in their home for a nominal amount of rent every month. Alem immediately went out and found a job, enrolled in school, and started trying to make a better life for himself. His main means of transportation was his beloved bicycle. Then Paul came home one day and found his young boarder beyond upset. His bike had been vandalized and to repair it would have cost way more than the old bike was worth. Since this was his link to his job, his independence, and freedom, losing it was devastating.

Seeing Alem's desperate situation, Paul remembered that his wife had a bike in the basement that she never rode and offered it to him. Alem could not believe someone would offer him something so precious. To say that he appreciated and treasured this gift would be an understatement. He immediately gave the bike some TLC. He washed it and made it sparkle, tightened and oiled everything, and put air in the tires. To him, Paul had just given him his life back.

I can't get this story out of my mind. How many of us would have appreciated an old, unused bike? How many of us could have seen past the rust and the flat tires to realize the value of what was being offered? Life sometimes hands us "gifts," but unless they are shiny and sparkly, we often miss their significance. Alem had nothing so anything meant the world to him, and he instantly recognized what Paul had offered him. This spring, I hope all of our eyes will be open to the amazing gifts life hands us – even if they aren't in "perfect" condition.

Other Issues:
From our archives -- Offering Wisdom to New Moms

From our archives -- The Best Good Deed

From our archives -- Embracing the Wonder of Children

From our archives -- Encouraging children to live their bliss

From our archives

Holiday 2013 -- Embracing the World of Wonder

Winter 2013 -- Recipe for a Happy Thanksgiving

Fall 2013 -- Finding Beauty in the Everyday Tasks

Late Summer 2013 - Taking Our Own Advice

Midsummer 2013 -- Appreciating Nature's Bounty

Early Summer 2013 -- Being Prepared

Late Spring 2013 -- Having Realistic Expectations

Spring 2013 -- Offering Mothering Wisdom

Early Spring 2013 -- Being True to Our Nature

Holiday 2012 -- Appreciate the Goodness

Winter 2012 -- Enjoying the Anticipation

Early Fall 2012 -- Looking Back to Appreciate Now

Summer 2012 -- Chinaberry's History & Future

Early Summer 2012 -- My Dad

Late Spring 2012 -- My Satisfying Yet Untraditional Upbringing

Spring 2012 - The Consequences of Our Actions

Early Spring 2012 - Learning From Experience

Winter 2011 - The Small Moments

Holiday 2011 - The Good Deed

Fall 2011 - Gratitude

Late Summer 2011 - Overwhelmed? You're Not Alone.

Midsummer 2011 - Louise's Gallery

Early Summer 2011 - Flying 101: Giving Them Wings

Late Spring 2011 - Letting Them Fail

Spring 2011

Early Spring 2011 - Encouraging Your Kids to Live Their Bliss

Fall 2010 - The Chinaberry Commitment

Late Summer 2010 - In the Blink of an Eye

Midsummer 2010 - It's Her Story

Early Summer 2010 - Weathering the Storm

Gifts From My Mother

Spring 2010 - Enjoy the Ride

Early Spring 2010 - Enter the Land of Dirt and Bugs

Winter 2009 - Less Cleaning, More Meaning

Holiday 2009 - Finding Gratitude Every Day

Fall 2009 - Teaching Children Through Our Actions

Late Summer 2009 - A Spoonful of Sugar

Midsummer 2009 - Give Your Kids the Gift of Boredom this Summer

Early Summer 2009 - Who's the Kid and Who's the Parent?

Late Spring 2009 - Making Connections

Spring 2009 - Fully Engaging With Our Children

Early Spring 2009 - Building Character While Playing Characters

Winter 2008 - Never Underestimate the Value of a Good Hello

Holiday 2008

Fall 2008

Late Summer 2008

Midsummer 2008

Early Summer 2008

Late Spring 2008

Spring 2008

Early Spring 2008

Winter 2007

Holiday 2007

Fall 2007

Late Summer 2007

Midsummer 2007

Early Summer 2007

Late Spring 2007

Spring 2007

Early Spring 2007

Winter 2006

Holiday 2006

Fall 2006

Late Summer 2006

Midsummer 2006

Early Summer 2006

Late Spring 2006

Spring 2006

Early Spring 2006

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