Thankful Thursdays

Affirmations can be powerful, and none is more powerful to me than one which emboldens my faith. Believing I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me (and what He can do through me), during the good, the bad and the ugly, does just that.

I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. And for that, today and always, I am thankful.

What are you thankful for day?

Until next Thursday’s post…si Dios quiere.

“I can do all things
Through Christ, who gives me strength.
But sometimes I wonder what He
Can do through me.

No great success to show,
No glory on my own;
Yet in my weakness He is there
To let me know…

His strength is perfect
When our strength is gone;
He’ll carry us
When we can’t
Carry on.
Raised in His power,
The weak become strong.

His strength is perfect,
His strength is perfect.”
-S.C.Chapman

Captiva Island, Florida, August 12, 2016

Thankful Thursdays

Never say never. Online reservation of a seat for Mass? Never. Sit in Mass wearing a face cover? Never. Well, been there, done both. It’s been another interesting Lent season.

This Holy Thursday, I am thankful for what we commemorate and remember today – the institution of the Eucharist and the importance Jesus puts on humility. In the washing of the feet and the giving of His body and His blood we find the true meaning of love and service. For me, today’s is the most poignant Mass of the year, hands down. And as we head into the holiest of weekends, I am reminded that in life’s tragic element is where we often find God’s grace, in the form of, among other things, hope. There, ever so present in our moments of pain and suffering. How else can we survive? I am in love with that hope. The hope only He can instill in me. 

To those of you who share in my faith and observe this holiest of weekends, I wish you a blessed one, full of enlightenment, peace, hope and love. To those of you who don’t, I wish you a blessed one, full of enlightenment, peace, hope and love. 😉✝️

What are you thankful for today?

Until next Thursday’s post…si Dios quiere.

“…do this in remembrance of Me.”
-1 Corinthians 11:24

“The stone was rolled away from the door,
not to permit Christ to come out, but to
enable the disciples to go in.”
-Peter Marshall

“Blessed are those to whom Easter is not a hunt… but a find; not a greeting… but a proclamation; not an outward fashion… but inward grace; not a day… but an eternity.”
-Anderson

Great Smoky Mountains National Park, April 5, 2010

 

Thankful Thursdays

I don’t know about you, but I shake my head every time I hear someone say that God laughs when we make plans so why bother. I say, why not make them anyway? Just because He laughs doesn’t mean they won’t happen. Yes, He has a sense of humor but, above all, He’s merciful and gracious. Besides that, planning teaches us to be goal-oriented and to live intentionally. Whether our plans come to fruition or not, that’s secondary.

Many times, I’ve seen my plans disappear like dew in the morning sun in Miami, and okay, that’s been disappointing. But I’ve learned that it’s best not to get hung up on my expectations when these are not met. It’s not easy, trust me, I know what I want and when I want it. However, I’ve come to understand the importance of trusting in God’s will because I’ve been hit over the head with it plenty, and I’ve been like, “Oh yeah, this worked out a whole lot better.”

Other times, though, I’ve seen my plans rearranged like puzzle pieces and end up happening anyway, just with a different look and at a different time than I was expecting. But because I had already drafted those plans, I was ready. See how that works?

We live with a lot of uncertainty, and you can bet that “Stuff” (with a capital S) will indeed happen in our lives. And sometimes our best-laid plans can be upended by God’s actual will for us. However, that shouldn’t be the reason we stop working towards the things we wish for and hope to accomplish. I think the thing is to pray for God’s guidance as we make our plans so that we can better align them with His will for us. If they align, terrific. If they don’t, I’m sure there’s a lesson somewhere in there to learn. Win-win situation.

For every time I make God laugh with my planning skills, I am thankful.

What are your plans? And what are you thankful for today?

Until next Thursday’s post…si Dios quiere.

“It takes as much energy to wish as it does to plan.”
-Eleanor Roosevelt

“Even if I knew that tomorrow the world would go to pieces, I would still plant my apple tree.”
-Martin Luther King 

Pray as though everything depended on God. Work as though everything depended on you.”
-Saint Augustine

 

Thankful Thursdays

Well, we’re back on Daylight Saving Time and Spring’s around the corner. Yup, change is in the air, again. And speaking of change, I smell an empty nest fast approaching.

Could it be that both our kids will be flying the coup in the same season? Possibly. Good thing these parentals have plans in the works to keep busy and entertained, because it’s soon to get very quiet at the Perez household.

This transition won’t be an easy one for us. Even though Lauren and Danny have been doing their own thing for quite a while, their footsteps, scent, and voices have filled every corner of our home to date, and have been the focus of this very tight-knit pack. That their constant presence at home will be highly missed is an understatement. At the same time, we are very excited for their journeys ahead, and we trust God is leading their way…and ours.

Change is in the air for sure, and we’re welcoming the breeze. For this new phase of our lives, I am grateful.

If any of you empty-nesters want to chime in, please feel free.

What are you thankful for today?

Until next Thursday’s post…si Dios quiere.

“Give the ones you love wings to fly, roots to come back and reasons to stay.”
-The Dalai Lama

“It is not what you do for your children, but what you have taught them to do for themselves, that will make them successful human beings.”
-Ann Landers

 

Thankful Thursdays

Yikes! When I look in the mirror lately I’m like, “What the…? I could’ve sworn that wrinkle wasn’t there yesterday.” Does your mirror do that, ladies? Mine is showing a number 11 etched between my eyebrows that is looking more and more like a long road to nowhere. I’m thinking I should add 11 to my list of lotto numbers to play. In fact, if I look close enough I’m sure I can find more wrinkle-made numbers I could play.

But, it’s okay; my hubby says I still look hot. He must be blind, poor guy. Then I remember he had LASIK surgery, so I feel really good. Then I also remember he still needs glasses for up close. He’s just sweet, I guess. The hotness here could be from the hot flashes. But okay.

It is annoying the way these lines sneak up on us one by one. I suppose a little bit of Botox could do the trick, but I’m too much of a chicken to venture into that. I’m afraid of coming out looking like the bride of Chucky. Or even worse, Chucky himself. In my case, I think makeup will have to suffice. Makeup and appreciation.

Appreciation for what these lines represent: Good days and bad days, laughter and tears, KIDS, mistakes, experience and wisdom, etc., etc. So while I do not necessarily enjoy their appearance, I do appreciate the stories they record. For that, today and always, I pledge to be thankful.

Meanwhile, next time I look in the mirror, I’m gonna go with “You still look hot” and call it a day. 

What are you thankful for today?

Until next Thursday’s post…si Dios quiere.

“This volume is dedicated to time.
It gives us memories, fine wine, and wrinkles.
But the only thing worse than getting old is not getting old.
So here’s to time, dear reader, yours and mine.
May you have many more wrinkles, a lot of fine wine,
and memories to last two lifetimes.”
-Iceberg Slim

“I wear my wrinkles like battle scars, having earned every last one slaying life’s dragons. They boast of my victories and some defeats while their beauty is a wealth of wisdom gained.”
-Richelle E. Goodrich

“Take care that old age does not wrinkle your spirit even more than your face.”
-Michel de Montaigne

Thankful Thursdays

knowl-edge
noun:
facts, information, and skills acquired by a person through experience or
      education; the theoretical or practical understanding of a subject.

What a wonderful and liberating thing it is. Back in the day, whenever I asked Mom something she didn’t have a factual answer for she’d say, “Búscalo en la enciclopedia.” If you remember those heavy hardcover books full of facts and colorful pictures, you’re probably as old wise as I am. Information at our fingertips. I loved those books! And a good thing that was ‘cause I was expected to use them. Saber es poder. Knowledge is power.

Nowadays, it seems opinions are power and knowledge is null. In this instant-gratification society we live in, we’re too quick to turn to social media influencers, or “badfluencers” as I call them, as our main bank of knowledge. We’re slacking off, not digging for the facts or educating ourselves, but instead relying on these typically opinion-based sources. And opinions are just that, opinions. We all have them, and they should be respected if respectful, of course, but not deemed facts to go on, or be corrected by.

Sadly, all this opinion-policing contradicts everything we’re trying to achieve as a society. It’s gotten to where if our views don’t concur with someone else’s we quickly get called out, humiliated, and erased from existence with a simple #hashtag. It leaves no room for mistakes (and no one’s perfect), it lacks patience, understanding and communication. We should eradicate bad behavior and make people accountable, but at what cost if the cure is worse than the disease? Makes me want to go back to my encyclopedia days.

I pray we find a way to learn from our past and current mistakes and put an end to this social war we find ourselves in.

But, yes, thank you, Mom, for making me look everything up.

For knowledge, today and always, I am thankful.

What are you thankful for today?

Until next Thursday’s post…si Dios quiere.

“For me, I am driven by two main philosophies: know more today about the world than I knew yesterday and lessen the suffering of others. You’d be surprised how far that gets you.”
-Neil deGrasse Tyson

“This idea of purity and you’re never compromised and you’re always politically ‘woke’ and all that stuff. You should get over that quickly. The world is messy; there are ambiguities. People who do really good stuff have flaws. People who you are fighting may love their kids, and share certain things with you….That’s not activism. That’s not bringing about change. If all you’re doing is casting stones, you’re probably not going to get that far.”
-Barack Obama

“Be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind.”
-Dr. Seuss

Thankful Thursdays

Here’s a cookie…and some food for thought.

A woman was waiting at an airport one night,
With several long hours before her flight.
She hunted for a book in the airport shops.
Bought a bag of cookies and found a place to drop.

She was engrossed in her book but happened to see,
That the man sitting beside her, as bold as could be.
Grabbed a cookie or two from the bag in between,
Which she tried to ignore to avoid a scene.

So she munched the cookies and watched the clock,
As the gutsy cookie thief diminished her stock.
She was getting more irritated as the minutes ticked by,
Thinking, “If I wasn’t so nice, I would blacken his eye.”

With each cookie she took, he took one too,
When only one was left, she wondered what he would do.
With a smile on his face, and a nervous laugh,
He took the last cookie and broke it in half.

He offered her half, as he ate the other,
She snatched it from him and thought… oooh, brother.
This guy has some nerve and he’s also rude,
Why he didn’t even show any gratitude!

She had never known when she had been so galled,
And sighed with relief when her flight was called.
She gathered her belongings and headed to the gate,
Refusing to look back at the thieving ingrate.

She boarded the plane, and sank in her seat,
Then she sought her book, which was almost complete.
As she reached in her baggage, she gasped with surprise,
There was her bag of cookies, in front of her eyes.

If mine are here, she moaned in despair,
The others were his, and he tried to share.
Too late to apologize, she realized with grief,
That she was the rude one, the ingrate, the thief.

-Valerie Cox

Well, who amongst us hasn’t mistakenly passed judgment on a person or situation, or wrongly assumed? Don’t know about you, but I’m guilty as charged. I hate when that happens!

Anyway, just came across this one while browsing through my gazillion-story vault, and wanted to share (pun intended). It screams at me, “Hey dummy, don’t jump before looking! You may end up head first in the shallow end.”

For this loud reminder, I am thankful.

What are you thankful for today?

Until next Thursday’s post…si Dios quiere.

“We don’t see things as they are, we see them as we are.”
-Anaïs Nin

“If you judge people, you have no time to love them.”
-Mother Teresa

Thankful Thursdays

For my inner GPS.

My mother always tried to guide my steps, God bless her soul. Mostly, she did so by way of phrases commonly known and widely used in the Cuban household. Sometimes I pretended not to listen, but for the most part, me aconsejaba, and I would follow her advice. I can still hear her: “Consuelo, no te mates limpiando la casa, que ella se queda y uno se va.” Don’t kill yourself cleaning the house, that it stays and we go. One of my favorites. Not only because it has to do with cleaning less (ha, ha), but because she would associate the “it stays and we go” to everything that is material. And there’s nothing truer. When it came to my health, her go-to was “Consuelo, llévate el sueter.” Like if sweaters are 100% effective against colds. Please, everybody knows it’s only 97%. 😉  But yeah, that one’s so ingrained in my head that I don’t leave home without a sweater, EVER. Eighty degrees, sweater in hand.

Whenever I would dismiss her advisory phrases, she’d follow with “Mas sabe el diablo por viejo que por diablo.” The devil knows more for old than for devil. Her way of saying suit yourself. Mom’s wisdom behind her advice has been the stepping-stones along my life’s path. So many of her phrases pop in my mind at any given moment, I swear she resides in a piece of real estate in my brain she must have bought when she got to heaven. Today is Mom’s birthday, by the way. The fourth one since her passing. I miss her more every year.

Not to take anything away from Mom, but the voice I wish I could hear loud and clear is God’s. I pray to Him for guidance all the time, and I pray He guides my kids most of all, because I don’t think we’ve ever been in greater need of that. His voice, however, is not as loud as Mom’s is, and it’s a very noisy world out there. It’s been my experience, though, that the more acquainted we are with Him, the louder the reception. Since He doesn’t show up in any unmistakable manner we choose so we can easily discern his direction, we have to make it a point to be still and tune in. Just so happens, Lent began yesterday. Perfect time to practice this. 

For my inner GPS (Mom and God), and for every time I am able to hear or feel their voice, today and always, I am grateful.

Speaking of Lent, ever had the ashes put on you with a Q-tip? Lent in the time of Corona. Made for a very unique start to this season. Have a blessed one. ✝️

What are you thankful for today?

Until next Thursday’s post…si Dios quiere.

“Show me your ways, Lord, teach me your paths. Guide me in your
Truth and teach me, for you are God my Savior, and my hope is in you
all day long.”
-Psalm 25:4-5

“Turns out that washing your hands, maintaining personal hygiene, being considerate of other’s personal space, and covering up when you cough or sneeze… Basically everything my Mom taught me when I was a kid… is what will save the world.”
-Steve Maraboli

“My mother does not own my hands, though she works hard to train them.
My mother does not own my eyes, though she frequently directs their focus.
My mother does not own my mind, though she yields great influence upon it. My heart, however, she owns completely, for it was hers the day I was born.”
-Richelle E. Goodrich

Thankful Thursdays

And now, a word about Love:

“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.”
-1 Corinthians 13:4-7

That kind of love is transcendent. That kind of love is hard to do. But you know what they say, practice makes perfect. We should all try harder.

I came across a letter circulating on social media said to be from Albert Einstein to his daughter, in which he described the universal force of love. Although recent research indicates the letter was falsely attributed to Einstein, and its actual author is still a mystery, its message is definitely food for thought:

“When I proposed the theory of relativity, very few understood me, and what I will reveal now to transmit to mankind will also collide with the misunderstanding and prejudice in the world.

I ask you to guard the letters as long as necessary, years, decades, until society is advanced enough to accept what I will explain below.

There is an extremely powerful force that, so far, science has not found a formal explanation to. It is a force that includes and governs all others, and is even behind any phenomenon operating in the universe and has not yet been identified by us.

This universal force is LOVE.

When scientists looked for a unified theory of the universe they forgot the most powerful unseen force.

Love is Light, that enlightens those who give and receive it.

Love is gravity, because it makes some people feel attracted to others.

Love is power, because it multiplies the best we have, and allows humanity not to be extinguished in their blind selfishness. Love unfolds and reveals.

For love we live and die.

Love is God and God is Love.

This force explains everything and gives meaning to life. This is the variable that we have ignored for too long, maybe because we are afraid of love because it is the only energy in the universe that man has not learned to drive at will.

To give visibility to love, I made a simple substitution in my most famous equation.

If instead of E = mc2, we accept that the energy to heal the world can be obtained through love multiplied by the speed of light squared, we arrive at the conclusion that love is the most powerful force there is, because it has no limits.

After the failure of humanity in the use and control of the other forces of the universe that have turned against us, it is urgent that we nourish ourselves with another kind of energy…

If we want our species to survive, if we are to find meaning in life, if we want to save the world and every sentient being that inhabits it, love is the one and only answer.

Perhaps we are not yet ready to make a bomb of love, a device powerful enough to entirely destroy the hate, selfishness and greed that devastate the planet.

However, each individual carries within them a small but powerful generator of love whose energy is waiting to be released.

When we learn to give and receive this universal energy, dear Lieserl, we will have affirmed that love conquers all, is able to transcend everything and anything, because love is the quintessence of life.

I deeply regret not having been able to express what is in my heart, which has quietly beaten for you all my life. Maybe it’s too late to apologize, but as time is relative, I need to tell you that I love you and thanks to you I have reached the ultimate answer!
– Your father Albert Einstein

For the love in my life, I am so very grateful. This Valentine’s Day, and always, I wish you all much love. 

What are you thankful for today?

Until next Thursday’s post…si Dios quiere.

Thankful Thursdays

Without analyzing this too much, if you could live one day of your life over again, what day would you choose?

I was thinking about that on Tuesday, Groundhog Day, and right off the bat a bunch of days came to mind: Our wedding day, although I was sick as a dog that day, but still. So special, and all of our loved ones were still alive and there with us. The day I held Lauren for the very first time, ditto with Danny. Those two days were equally exhausting but oh so sweet. The day of my book signing event. So much fun! And the love and support I felt that night was amazing. A few of my days of missionary work come to mind as well. They were the epitome of lessons. And of course, any day with a loved one no longer with me would be on my list. If only.

But we can’t. We get one chance and one chance only to make the best of our days. All we can do is seize them and take many pictures. God knows I have the “many pictures” part down. Meanwhile, for all those days on my “groundhog day” list I would not mind reliving, today and always, Lord, I am thankful.

What day would you live over again? Would it be a birth or a wedding day, a milestone day, or maybe a “do over,” you know, a chance to get things right this time? And what are you thankful for today?

Until next Thursday’s post…si Dios quiere.

”Live life, take pictures, relive memories, repeat.”

“Each player must accept the cards life deals him or her: but once
they are in hand, he or she alone must decide how to play the
cards in order to win the game.”
-Voltaire