“These are the things that you should do; speak the truth to one another…” Zechariah 8:16
I’m talking about shopping at Target. I made a promise back in April that I would not go back to that store after the stand they took on allowing peoples of all genders to use the restrooms and dressing rooms. It was just not a place I wanted to be. ( Of course there were lots of folks that didn’t agree with me. That’s OK, too. Everyone gets to choose what they can live with or what they can’t. And, that’s the way it should be!) One of my biggest fears was having my grandson with me and exposing him to danger. And, as we have seen in other towns there have been quite a few instances where women and girls were assaulted, spied on or scared while in the bathrooms and dressing rooms. But, I am not here to rehash all that.
I have missed Target. I really liked to shop there and they have many things I can’t find in other places. Until last week I have kept my word. BUT..
****backstory*** For Christmas, Levi got this great new learning tool called an OSMO! You may have seen it advertised on TV or internet. It’s used with an IPad. Well, we ordered it and he was thrilled to use it. It is such an excellent product and extremely educational. It’s really well done. There are several parts to it that do differing things. Some you need to draw…some you don’t. Of, course, my little artist loves the drawing part. So, he was going through paper like crazy…I’m talking 25-30 pages each time he used it. There was a white board available separately that I did not order originally, but we decided that it would probably be a good idea to get it. So, off to order on Amazon and got it 2 days later. They sent the board and the specific markers and cleaning tools. Oh, my Levi was happy! He loves using the white board so much better. The markers however…were a different kind than I had ever seen. The brand name was YOOBI. I knew it would not be long before I needed to replace them….they are small. So I set about checking where I could order them…and…they ARE available…..at Target and Target only.********
Now, I was faced with a dilemma. Do I go into the store and get them or order them again and pay the shipping? Made better sense to go to Target and get them. And so I did.
Oh, my goodness. You cannot imagine the dread I felt going into that store. I do not like to break promises and here I was breaking one to myself. And, since I had been so vocal about my feelings…I just knew someone was going to see me and then I would feel worse. I decided to go as early in the morning as I could. As soon as I dropped Levi at school, I headed there. I hung my head and went in. When I walked past the bathrooms, I said to my self, “Well, at least I won’t be going near them today.”
Oh, it was nice to be back in the store. I could feel the excitement as I walked past my favorite departments. I went straight to the marker section first, because if they did not have them I could possibly escape before anyone was the wiser. I had to look on 3 aisles…but I found them. Bought all they had… 4 boxes! They are a liquid chalk marker and not just a dry erase type.
And, then, y’all…I lost all my reserve. “I’m in here and who knows when I’ll be back. so I’m just gonna walk through one more time.” I mean…it’s not very ‘stick your guns’ and all…but I was just weak. And, I caved. And around the store I went. First to the clothes, I needed some tanks to wear under things and their’s are the best! Then over to the children’s clothes! They really do have some cute things. They make a little v neck shirt that Suzanne and I both love for Levi. Just a little t shirt, but a little stylish. I perused the toys, for some of the new Star Wars things Levi wanted. (I can not tell you if I got anything or not…but if I did…it’s hidden for later). On to the books and magazines…love their books! I walked toward the back and almost cried when I realized I had gone a whole Christmas season without seeing their cute collection of ornaments and wrapping and seasonal things. They had out their valentine candy….and Easter was coming in fast! In the gardening area, I found some very cute patio and deck things. Passed those by, though. Swung back through the housewares and home decor. Then on to the bed and bath. Wow! I could have filled my cart..pillows and rugs and towels! Oh! My!
As I was walking and reminding myself that this was a one time thing and I would not come again…a feeling came over me. It was not a good feeling. I’m sure you have felt it before. And, I had no trouble interpreting it. I had to go to the bathroom. Not I had to go to the bathroom….but I !!!!HAD!!! to go to the bathroom. I asked myself could I checkout quickly and make it home. No!! NO, NO, NO!. I asked myself if I could checkout quickly and make it to Michael’s, next door. NO! Not even that. Actually, myself started talking back to me and said…”Leave your cart and find a bathroom…NOW!” And, then I moved. Straight toward the bathrooms. And, as I was walking, I said to the Lord, “I know this is payback for me coming here. I vowed not to and I broke my word. I took a stand and I failed big time. I told Him I knew what a hypocrite was. But, why do you have to remind me like this?” And, then I asked Him if he would kindly make any people in the bathroom leave. And, would He go with me and keep me safe. And, please, if He didn’t mind, hold the door so no one would come in!
Now you may not pray to God about everything, but I do. If it concerns and troubles me…I’m gonna share it with Him. Even though He already knew what a tizzy I was in. I couldn’t blame anyone but myself for this. And, I made it…to the bathroom area. And, did you know? Right there by the bathrooms that any gender may share…was another bathroom called the Family Bathroom. It was 1 room…1 toilet…1 sink…and a lock on the door! And it was empty!
“Thank you, dear Jesus”, I said. ” You can just wait for me out here, I’ll be fine, now.”
And, He did. I left the room, much relieved, and went to retrieve my cart. I found it and went straight to the check out. And, I left. I had pushed my luck and I got the message loud and clear.
(However, since I love their soft pretzels, I did order one of those and a coke on the way out….but, I ate it in the car!)
When I picked up Levi, he noticed the bags in the car. Now he knew very well we did not shop there anymore and he knew why. His parents don’t either. He buckled in and calmly said,
“Welllll, Lulu, looks like Target bags back there. Did you forget that we don’t go there ?”
I told him about the markers…and said I only went once…and that was it. And I was not going back.
Welllllll, you got markers in all those bags?
No, I walked around a little bit and just picked up a few things. But, I’m not starting to shop there again.
Well, Since you were there…did you go and look at the toys?
I did. I knew you want to know what was there. But, I felt bad about being in the store , I just looked quickly.
It’s OK, Lulu. You know I really don’t mind if my toys come from there. It really doesn’t matter to me, at all. So, if you got me something, I will be happy to have it and play with it. I don’t mind, really!
Sorry, no toys…just a tray for your art supplies, Little Man. And the markers.
I could feel the disappointment.
So, I said one thing…and did another. I confess that I messed up, and I feel ashamed. Not that I think it’s a bad thing if you shop there. That’s your business. It’s just not right for me.
However, Levi will be happy when his markers run out. And, he will be happy when his birthday rolls around. And, he will look cute in his new shirts. I’m going to stop writing now and read my new book…and the pretzel was delicious!
“Whoever conceals his transgressions will not prosper, but he who confesses and forsakes them will obtain mercy.” Proverbs 28:13
Just a short little post today…..something that caught my attention.
For Christmas, two of my dearest friends gave me a necklace that was handmade by an artist one of them knows. They had been to her studio and picked out a piece, so they got me one, too. (Oh, I like it when friends think like that!)
So here’s a picture of the necklace…
Then, today, while I was scrolling through my Pinterest feed, I came upon this verse.
Wow! Isn’t it amazing to think that Almighty God cares enough about little ole me to choose me..to want me in my sinful nature…to appoint me to do His work on Earth…and to set me right smack down here in Dothan, AL.
Well, I don’t know about you, but that just makes me feel all kinds of special! The God of the Universe, the Creator of Life, The Mighty Savior, The Great Protector…He…yes He did all this for ME!
Oh, I’m so undeserving and so unworthy…but you know what makes me feel better? He doesn’t think that about me! He cherishes and adores me! And, I thank Him with all my being!
And I’ll tell you a little truth…..He did the very same thing for YOU!
Because this is posted on my personal blog, I can voice my opinion on whatever topic I choose. Isn’ it amazing that we as Americans have such freedom? Not only personal blogs,of course…but Facebook and Twitter and so many other opportunities.
Now this post won’t matter a dime to anybody but me…but I get so burned up about it…I need to say my piece. Do you ever feel like you just have to speak the words inside you that are begging to get out?. Matters not if anyone agrees or even hears…they just need to be verbalized. So many times in this world all people want is validation. Just to know their voice is heard. It may not change anything, or even be thought wise or worthy, but it has been spoken aloud. We all have a point of view. We all should be heard. (Blogs are perfect for that…you can write it and put it out there. It may get read or it may not…But, you’ve said and its there forever!)
I think all these folks that are saying they won’t sing for the inauguration, won’t play their music, won’t pray, won’t speak are silly and childish. OK, so you don’t like DT. Well, I didn’t like BO. But, if I had been given the chance to attend his inauguration, I would have surely gone! What a majestic presentation to be a part of. What history is taking place each time we change leaders. BO had his chance to change the world. You get to decide if he did or not. However, as far as him achieving the honor of POTUS, I respect that. And I respect the office of President. If I had ever had the chance to meet him, you better believe I would have gone. I am a Christian. I should show respect to others. Do I admire him? No. Do I think he’s honest and truthful? No. But, he was my president in spite of all that. And, I prayed for him for 8 years. If we call ourselves Christian, it is our honor to behave as Jesus would have. It is our mandate to show God’s love to others. It is our privilege to conduct ourselves so all will know what we stand for. (And, for the record…8 years ago, none of us knew how we would view the man 8 years later.)
People are refusing to attend by dropping out of lifetime careers. Just saw where a women quit the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, for Heaven’s sake! And, the Rockettes. How hard did they have to work to get there? And, they are dropping out. Band members and directors refusing to play or lead for the parade. Treating a young 17 year old girl so unkindly because she gets it. She sees the honor it will be to sing for the inauguration of the President of the United States of America! And, now there’s uproar because a black university from Alabama is playing in the parade and they are getting all kinds of threats! We just had a black president, people! But, this director understands what an opportunity it is for his students to be a part of the historical value of this day! Good for him and good for his students.
So DT may not have been your choice. He wasn’t a lot of peoples’s choice. Did we even really have much of a choice? I certainly do no want to debate that. I’m just not smart enough. However, we do owe him the respect of the office. I think he’s rude and quite bullish at times, but I sure respect what he’s done in business and with his family. I don’t respect all he has done personally, though. But, I don’t know if things reported are true. Who am I to say? Or you? Wouldn’t you and I both hate it if people were crawling through everything we had ever done to find some thing to criticize us for? But, a good leader is one who surrounds himself with the right kind of people as helpers and advisors. So far, he’s done quite a nice job, I think!
Where is people’s sense of fairness? DT will be president. Let’s wait and see what he does. We may think we know…but politics has surprised me many times before! He will show us who he is. He will show us what kind of leader he can be. He’ll show us how much he loves America? He’ll show us if he’s fair and honest? He’ll show us if he truly loves and respects the differing people groups. BC showed us. GB showed us. BO showed us.
And those refusing to be a part of the inauguration…I think you are petty and silly. I think you are passing up the opportunity of a lifetime! Regardless of all the accolades and achievements DT has received up to now…he is the president elect of The United States of America…the greatest country in the world! He should be proud! And, he deserves to have a fantastic inauguration.
But, all these people who are against him are trying to show the rest of us what a mistake we made. According to them. Who are them? Mostly those in the entertainment industry who depend of the people of the USA to go to their movies, buy their music, watch their theater, etc. It seems to me they have forgotten something very important. They were not elected by us. They have their positions for whatever reason they do. We have our favorite actors and actresses…we have our favorite type of music, favorite musicians…we have our favorite talk show hosts and even newscasters. But, those people are in my life to entertain me. To make me cry at a movie, or laugh out loud. They are there to sing songs that bring up sweet memories or make me feel like moving across the floor. They give me information if I chose to turn on and hear…when I decide. Other than that, I don’t care about their opinions or political persuasion or what they do in their own homes. I don’t want to hear their religious views, or who they cohabit with. I have never thought but a very actors had enough depth to them to do any real thinking. If they did, they would be smart enough to realize DT will be our President…like it or not. And, instead of trying to divide our country more…why not use their platform to help bind wounds, heal hurts and bring us together.
So…when DT’s people call me and invite me to attend, I’ m gonna say yes! Don’t know if he wants me to sing or dance or play music. But I’ll be there! Just a seat filler ? I’ll be there. And, you can bet I would thank God for the opportunity and sing The Star Spangled Banner to the top of my lungs…..with the rest of the crowd, of course.
So, I’m just gonna wait here and hope my phone rings! I can be ready on a minutes notice! I already have enough clothes to wear. Yep…when it happens…you’ll be the first to know!
Yesterday was the last day of Levi’s Christmas Vacation. Today his school starts back. We had plans to go to a movie yesterday with Pa, but Levi decided he just wanted to stay here and play. Fine with us!
After his breakfast, I showed him a project I had found on the internet, and he was anxious to get started. It was a Star Wars thing. We sat at the big table and worked together. It required some concentration. (This is BB8..in case you don’t know such things…a good guy droid…from Star Wars.)
So, I began talking to him and asking him some general questions. He was in a talkative mood and happy to answer. I had some extra paper nearby and I scribbled his answers as we talked.
Here, then, is a look inside his mind yesterday.
Now you are in Kindergarten. Is is harder? Just a little…but I do good work. Except when I make noises out loud. My teacher does not like that! (We’ve discussed that with his teacher several times! Levi says he doesn’t mean to make noises…they just slip out!)
What do you like to do the best at school? play outside.
Who are some of your friends? Laney Brooke, Lydia, Slade, Ty, Jackson, Cal, Vance and lots more. I have lots of friends!
Tell me about your teacher at school? My teacher is so kind. And, she loves hugs, too! (We love you, Mrs. Parrish!)
I know you like to go out to eat. Can you tell me some of the places you like to go? I Hop, McDonalds, Chick Fil A, Blue Plate, China Wok.
If you could only choose one, which would it be? Chick Fil A. (And, the playground there propels it in to first place!)
What is something fun you have done with your parents lately? We went to movies and saw Star Wars Rogue 1. Uncle Alex went too. That was fun!
Anything else? We went to Callaway Garden to see the pretty lights at Christmas!
What do Mom and Dad do that makes you laugh? Tickle me.
You like to visit with Papa Clyde, don’t you? I sure do!
What is it that he says about you? He tell me I am a clever boy! I am, too!
Tell me what you do on a really fun day. It’s when my Daddy is home and he and I play and go to Toys R Us and have fun!
Tell me about spending time with Mia and Papa (other grandparents). I like to play with their dog, Buddy. (A Jack Russell terrier). We exercise. I like to ride the tractor with Papa. Sometimes, I drive! They have berries for me to pick sometimes. They’re so good! I shop a lot with Mia. She buys groceries every day! And, she cooks good, too! Uncle Brian swims with me.
What is something fun you do with Pa (Don) . I like to go to Dothan Powersports with him. I have my own office and I like to work at my desk. Then we ride my motorcycle and sometimes we go on trails by the railroad tracks. I like Pa’s good breakfasts he fixes for me. I help him, too!
OK. Well what do you and I do that is fun? We do art together anytime I want to. And, we make things. You like to play with me and I like it when we sing together. Lulu, you are kind. And, you take good care of me. And, you make me and John Thomas a Boogaloo Camp! It’s the best fun! We like to play in the pool when it gets hot outside!
Did you go on any trips last year? I went to Disney World…YEA!!!. And, I went to the beach a lot. I went to Louisiana to see my cousins. And, Boogaloo Camp, too!
What did you like best about Disney World? I liked the Jedi training. And, next my favorite was It’s A Small World. I love Disney World. Can we go again? I already know what I want to do!
What makes you laugh? Funny jokes. And, I like to make funny pictures on your phone! Then you laugh, too, Lulu!
(He’s right! He’ll confiscate my phone and without my knowing, he’ll make pictures of different people and put silly hats on them or glasses or some such nonsense. Sad thing is, I have not a clue how he does this!)
Do you like to sing? Yes, I do!
What do you like to sing? My favorite is the Star Wars music…but I can only hum it because it doesn’t have any words. I like the songs I sing at school. Some are funny. And, I like Christmas songs, too! I go to choir at my church. Oh, Yeah, I like the jazz CD you have that I can hear all the instruments, too! (He and I are learning about instruments and the differing sounds they make.)
You love books. You have lots and lots of them. What are some of your favorites? The Little Blue Truck, The Pout Pout Fish, and every book I have is my favorite! (His Mom has read to him every single night since he was a few months old. It has paid off big time. He really appreciates books and treats them as treasures! Smart Mom.)
I know you and your Mom read every night. We do. We read some of my books and then a Bible story. Then we pray.
What is your favorite story in your Bible book? When Jesus dies on the cross to save us. He didn’t stay dead. He lives in Heaven.
Are you a happy boy? Yes I am!
Why are you happy? I do fun things. And, lots of people love me! Do you want to now what makes me sad?
I like being with my Mommy. I like it when she is out of school and we can be together all day. I really miss her when she has to go back to school. I cry sometimes when we talk about it.
I can sure understand that, Levi. Your Mommy takes good care of you and does lots of things with you. But, you know what? Mia and Lulu are sure glad we have a chance to take care of you while she works! You’re a fun boy to be around!
What do you think is the prettiest thing God made? Animals and birds. And, people. People are beautiful. I would not even be on this earth without God.
What do you know about God? God is strong. He has power to protect us. He loves us.
You have a big family. What does your family do for you? Let’s count how many there are. I think there is about a hundred. And 4 pets. I like them, too. They all take care of me and do fun things with me.
And, suddenly, the mood was broken. He finished his project and was off to do what little boys do. And, I was left to clean up the art supplies we had used. I often wonder what goes through the mind of a child. Today, 1/3/17, I know. It’ll all change as he grows, but what a sweet reminder of what was in his heart today!
It was a grand and glorious two day celebration! Our Adam (who is a paramedic) had to work on Christmas Day. So we had our immediate family celebration on Christmas Eve! Because of God’s great goodness, Alex was feeling well enough to be up with us the whole evening! He so enjoyed time with his brothers, as they did as well! Isn’t it wonderful how God just drops in a miracle to give us joy and happiness. We all truly doubted Alex would be able to join us. But, God came through. Praise His name!
A little African drum solo to add to the merrymaking!
Remember the old Operation game? It’s still fun!
Me and my boys….
The whole crew…look carefully…Don is in mirror!
On Christmas Day, Don and I attended worship service at our church. It was lovely! We sang all the old Christmas carols, had an inspiring message, and then shared communion as we departed. How blessed to be able to attend worship on Christmas Day!
Back home, Ian and Don and I began to prepare dinner for the extended family. I had put in my JENNIE-O COOK IN THE BAG TURKEY 🙂 in the oven before I left! (By the way, it was as delicious as ever!)
Family began arriving around 4 and from there on it was a cacophony of laughter and squeals and paper tearing and singing and love…lots of love! (Alex was here in spirit, but unable to be up today…we missed him so).
First order of business, make the little boy’s pics in their Christmas pajamas! They were really not in the mood to pose for pictures…but we cajoled and threatened and promised and managed to get a few good ones!
Silly boys..climbing around like monkeys!
Joy and her girls…
The keeper of the trash! Thanks, Ian!
And to our parents, who are celebrating Christmas in heaven…we love you and honor you and miss you everyday…and especially at Christmas.
Thank you, God, for sending your dear son, Jesus, to us on earth. He is the reason there is love and hope and happiness in the world. He is the one we strive to be like. He is the one who cares for us and cherishes us and forgives us and saves us! To Him be all glory and honor and praise!
(To preface this post, you should know that I’ve attempted to wrap 43 Christmas presents for friends and family today.)
I get it. Every retail store (well almost all) have to price their product. Fine and well. They should put the price where it is easily found and easily read. Some of the higher priced stores have begun putting the tiniest of prices at the very bottom the product description tag. Which insures it is always priced….but causes those of us with tired eyes lots of trouble. If you can find the price…you can’t always make out the numbers. You know…you’ve seen it…is that a 9 or a 7? Is that a 3 or a 5? It’s not fun! But that’s not even what the rant is about….so that’s just an extra little opinion I’m passing along…no extra charge.
What is driving me up a wall are those big sticky squares that are on all the other products. You find them on picture frames, glasses, toys, dishes, decorative items, jewelry, food products, shoes, ornaments, mirrors, books, etc. Almost anything you can name has one. Which is good, because you can usual see it well.
But, it’s way more bad than good for me. Ever try to get one of those suckers OFF? Well, of course you have. Have you ever in your entire lifetime had one peel off nicely and leave no residue? Why of course not. They tear off in strips so you have half the words and the other half glue mess. Or the top layer comes off and then you start all over. I suppose that is why God gave us fingernail to scrape at minute pieces unit they change residence from the item to under our fingernails and then we have to dig them out. And do that over and over again to get it all off. Or you can just mark it all out with a Sharpie…which is such a nice addition to your beautifully wrapped gift!
Use Goo-gone, you say. The Goo Gone folks say it takes off everything…it does not. Use Goof Off, you suggest. Some times it works, mostly does not. The latest I read on the internet was to rub with Dawn dishwashing liquid and it would just dissolve, pretty as you please. Don’t buy that one either. I’ve heard try rubbing alcohol…it takes off the paper, but not the glue. I’ve heard to use a hairdryer…or even nail polish remover, or WD40. They perhaps will work if you happen to have the glue they will dissolve. If you don’t, it’s still a search mission. Use a knife and you’re libel to slice off a finger! Here’s one I made up myself…if it is on a solid object like a glass or plate…pull off what you can and then rub a piece of heavy duty duct tape over the remaining glue. When you pull the tape off, all the glue should come off too. ‘Should’ being the important word here! Sometimes it does, other times it doesn’t. Don’t ever use this idea on something made of paper, like a pretty box you lovingly chose as a gift for someone special. It could, perhaps, maybe just pull off a big piece of the box the size of the tape. Never do that! Then you have to go back out in the horrible Christmas traffic to find another gift.
This will cause extreme agitation, let me tell you! Cause every single driver is on a search and destroy mission to get to a certain store and get a certain gift at a certain price! They are so certain it is waiting patiently for them there, they do not see anything but the road in front of them. Their lips are pursed, their eyes are fixed. You can forget if you are attempting to get out of a parking lot or onto a street. They will not allow you into that line leading to the goodies. Don’t even try to ease out slowly in hopes of coaxing them to do a kind deed and allow you into the line. They are so tuned in they do not even know there are other drivers on the road. The true fact is …most everybody in that line that stretches all the way from Wiregrass Commons Mall to Northside Walmart over to Barnes and Noble feels that way! I’ve seen it for myself and it’s not pretty! But, I digress…
Have you ever purchased an item with tags like these below? Been discounted so much, it should be given away! Beware, though…sticker glue resting upon more sticker glue is double the trouble! Flee from this sort of aggregation…it is not worth losing your sanity over trying to make a gift presentable to the receiver!
Occasionally, I will have a moment of unbridled joy when a sticky tag comes off easily. This doesn’t happen very often. Very rarely, as a matter of fact. I’ve only had the experience once or twice in my lifetime. I think whatever retailer has this type of sticky tags should be honored near and far. Obviously, they care about the mental health of their customers.
It seems to me that the manufacturers of sticky tags for the world of retail should all get together and choose one type of glue. One type that will peel off with no residue. There are many types of glues in the world…bone glue, fish glue, hide glue, hoof glue, albumin glue, casein glue, meat glue, natural resin, coccina, gum arabic, latex, library paste, methyl cellulose, mucilage starch, urea-formaldehyde resin, acetone, hexane, citrus terpenes, ethanol, acrylonitrile, cyanacrylate, acrylic, resorcinol glue, epoxy,polyamide, polyvinyl acetate,polyvinylpyrrolidone, rubber cement….and on and on. Perhaps some of these I’ve listed are toxic and we don’t want that, of course. I am not smart enough to understand all the chemical makeup.
What I am, though, is smart enough to know it has been done…and it can be done again…and retailers can copy each other and use a glue that would make the lives of their customers easier. Perhaps if we asked the check out clerks to remove all the pricing before bagging our merchandise, we may hear a bigger outcry.
OK…so in the grand scheme of things, this is not a major problem…unless you have a gift to wrap quickly. Forgive yourself if you think some unkind words about the tag makers of the world…it happens. Forgive yourselves if you break a nail and some of those words escape your mouth…it happens, too! Or you can just get a box of generic stickers and slap one over the offending tag residue and leave it to the recipient to wonder why there is a wonky placed sunshine sticker on the bottom left corner of their gift!
Once a teacher, always a teacher!
I have always loved the music to the Christmas carol, Good King Wenceslas. It has an odd, moody sound that carries me to a cold, dark winter’s night…snow on the ground and a full moon casting shadows all around. It also makes me think of those Old World Santas that are so elegantly clothed with layers upon layers of clothing and a big hood covering the head. But, here is an artist’s rendering of what King Wenceslas looked like…
Not quite like the Santa figure, I’d imagined!
I must confess that I have learned the words to the first verse only by osmosis. I’ve heard it a lot, but it is not one that I can ever remember singing. Hearing it so many times in my lifetime, I guess those words just stuck. But, since the words are very unlike today’s spoken language, I’ve just never bothered to read more of the verses or learn about the song. It certainly is not among the more popular Christmas songs. And you may have only heard it in a collection of Christmas music.
King Wenceslas was a Catholic and was martyred…assassinated by his brother Boleslaw and his supporters. His Saint’s Day is September 28th, and he is the Patron Saint of the Czech Republic.
The words to this carol were written by John Neale in 1853. The music itself comes from Finland some 300 years earlier. King Wenceslas was the King of Bohemia in the 10th century.
What is most unusual about this Christmas carol is the fact that there is no mention at all of the birth of Jesus or any of the Nativity story. St. Stephen’s Day is September 26, which is why this song is sung as a carol. The words do lead you, however, to see a miracle occurring and it reiterates the Christian values of aiding the poor and needy. Interesting how the King went on this mission himself and didn’t just send his page to deliver the goods.
Good King Wenceslas looked out
On the feast of Stephen,
When the snow lay round about
Deep and crisp and even.
Brightly shone the moon that night
Though the frost was cruel,
When a poor man came in sight
Gath’ring winter fuel.
“Hither, page, and stand by me
If thou know’st it, telling,
Yonder peasant, who is he?
Where and what his dwelling?”
“Sire, he lives a good league hence
Underneath the mountain
Right against the forest fence
By Saint Agnes’ fountain.”
“Bring me flesh and bring me wine
Bring me pine logs hither.
Thou and I will see him dine
When we bear him thither.
“ Page and monarch forth they went
Forth they went together
Through the rude wind’s wild lament
And the bitter weather.
“Sire, the night is darker now
And the wind blows stronger
Fails my heart, I know not how,
I can go no longer.”
“Mark my footsteps, my good page,
Tread thou in them boldly.
Thou shalt find the winter’s rage
Freeze thy blood less coldly.”
In his master’s steps he trod
Where the snow lay dinted.
Heat was in the very sod
Which the Saint had printed.
Therefore, Christian men, be sure,
Wealth or rank possessing,
Ye who now will bless the poor
Shall yourselves find blessing.
And, that’s today’s lesson. Merry Christmas!