Here, thanks to Aunt Amelia (who led me to where I found this), is something I've been discovering for myself to be true:
"I have come to the frightening conclusion that I am the decisive element. It is my personal approach that creates the climate. It is my daily mood that makes the weather. I possess tremendous power to make life miserable or joyous. I can be a tool of torture or an instrument of inspiration, I can humiliate or humor, hurt or heal. In all situations, it is my response that decides whether a crisis is escalated or de-escalated, and a person is humanized or de-humanized. If we treat people as they are, we make them worse. If we treat people as they ought to be, we help them become what they are capable of becoming.” ... Goethe
Probably I was in my 20's when I first noticed such a difference in widow ladies. Some of them lived lives of sadness or even bitterness while waiting, just waiting, to die. They wished only to step into Heaven to be reunited with their husbands, and oh yeah, to see Jesus, too (that always sounded rather like an after-thought to me).
But the other widows? They got out of bed happy and spent their days spreading contentment to the rest of us. And although they, also, anticipated a heavenly reunion with their husband, they longed most to see Jesus. And in the meantime? All was well. The air we breathed surrounding them felt like Peace--and perhaps it was.
These women, over the decades, have traveled to their reunions, but still I thank them for showing me the difference, for opening my eyes to what can be.
Here is a simple way to make gift tags.
Here is a make-it-yourself Christmas star.