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Anna M. Popescu
Anna M. Popescu is the author of the contemporary Christian novel, A Little Bit of Wonderful. Her publishing credits include articles in Joy & Praise, The Gem, Spirit-Led Writer, and This Christian Life. Anna also write devotionals for the online Chronic Pain Devotional as part of the Rest Ministries www.restministries.org writing team. She is also a contributing author to the Chocolate for a Woman's Soul and CeLEBRATIONS book anthologies.
Anna is a member of the American Christian Writers Association, the South Valley Christian Writers Group, the Christian Writers Group, and the Fellowship of Christian Writers. She and her husband, Rick, currently reside in central California with their Sheltie, Bleu, and Vitty, Their cat who thinks she's a dog too."
Visit Anna's website at http://www.annapopescu.com.
Enjoy Anna's short story:
CARRIE'S WHITE CHRISTMAS
They were falling so softly, so quietly, these elegant multi faceted flakes of snow. Each was slightly different from the rest, their unique shapes meshing together layer upon layer to form the softest of blankets. Covering everything from sidewalks to roadways, the white mantle of snow muffled all sound to make the world seem quiet and peaceful.
As so often happens, this amazing transformation of brown, drab landscape to sparkling white occurred unnoticed in the middle of the night. Carrie awoke before the rest of her family and felt like something was different. The light that peeked through the crack in the ruffled yellow curtains was so white, so unlike what she was used to. She sat up suddenly. Why was everything so quiet?
Carrie tossed aside the bed covers and hurried to the window. Pushing the curtains apart, she gasped as her eyes took in the elegant white scenery. She clapped her hands together in delight when the sun turned spots of the white stuff into what looked like sparkly diamonds.
"Mommy! Daddy!" Carrie called as she ran across the hall to their bedroom. "Come see! It's all white out!" She patted Sandra's arm, trying to wake her mother.
When that didn't work, she padded to her father's side of the bed. "Daddy?" she asked quietly, then carefully guided her index finger to Brett's right eye. Pulling gently on his eyelid, Carrie leaned over and stared into his eye. "Are you asleep, Daddy?"
"How could I be sleeping when my little Carrie-girl is trying to poke my eye out?" Carrie giggled as Brett turned his head to peer at her. "What's wrong? Are you okay?"
Carrie clutched her hands together. "Daddy," she whispered. "It's all white out!" Then she tugged at her father's hand atop the comforter. "Come see!"
Brett sighed, realizing there would be no more sleep for him this morning. But then he smiled at Carrie's five-year-old excitement. After all, this was her first winter in snow country.
Brett allowed himself to be dragged to the window by his daughter. As he listened to Carrie's excited chatter, Brett turned tired eyes to the white-shrouded landscape. He thought back to his childhood years spent in this old house. Suddenly, he remembered the excitement he had felt at the sight of the first snowfall of the winter. No matter how old he got, he had never tired of being the first to make footprints in the fresh snow.
"Come on, let's get you dressed, Carrie-girl," he urged. "And then we'll go play in the snow!"
Carrie's eyes shone with wonder and excitement. "Oh, Daddy, really?" she asked. Then, not waiting for his answer, she ran to her dresser.
Brett watched her pull out some clothes, then turned back to the window. He surveyed the pristine whiteness again, and decided that the decision to move back to his hometown had been a good one. No matter how wonderful the mild year-round climate of southern California was, he had never gotten used to the absence of this official herald of winter. And now his little Carrie was going to be able to grow up in this small Vermont town too.
He felt Carrie's small hand slip into his, and looked down at the tiny head of copper curls. His heart skipped a beat as those green eyes looked so trustingly up to him.
"Isn't it purty, Daddy?" Carrie sighed with pure contentment, then looked up at Brett again with that sweet smile that always melted his heart.
"It certainly is, Carrie-girl." He picked her up and planted a kiss on her pink cheek. "And it looks like we'll have a white Christmas after all."
Enjoy the short essay,
THE POWER OF A SMILE
As I browsed in my favorite antique shop the other day, a salesperson asked if I needed any help. Nita didn't recognize me until I smiled at her, then her reaction to me completely changed. Her polite demeanor turned into a huge smile of recognition. My smile at Nita invoked her smile at me.
A simple smile. It has the ability to bring out the best in us, the power to diffuse an angry or tense situation, and even the grace to make us feel better.
Isn't a baby's sweet smile the first expression a new mom and dad anticipate, exclaim over, then cherish? People have been known to practically turn themselves upside down trying to make a baby smile.
The warmth conveyed in a smile can have far-reaching consequences. I have a friend who smiles no matter how bad her day is going. Marilyn's life has not been easy the past few years. But you will usually see a big smile from her anyway. Her smile just draws you in -- you can't help but smile back at her.
A smile can change your day -- or someone else's day -- for the better. Who hasn't awakened feeling achy (and cranky as a result), then been the recipient of a sunny smile? It has the effect of turning our focus from ourselves to another person. And a smile can often completely change our mood that day -- for the better.
Smiles convey different emotions: joy, happiness, contentment, care and understanding. A smile can also comfort someone, sometimes without your even realizing it. When my children used to run crying to me with a scraped knee or elbow,a smile accompanied my comforting words, all meant to "make it better." And soon, smiles were seen on their faces, sometimes through their tears!
A smile is simply contagious. When someone smiles at you, don't you want to smile right back? You hurry to reward that person with the same joyful feelings their smile evoked in you. That's how it is when you smile -- you bring others into that smile with you!
Writing for His Glory!
Anna M. Popescu
Author of "A Little Bit of Wonderful"
"Trust in the Lord with all your heart..." (Prov 3:5-6)