Thankful Thursdays

For silver linings.

Hello, friends and family. I hope you’re all hanging in there. We will get through this! Remember: Peace over panic; faith over fear. I know, I know, but even if through clenching teeth, just keep repeating it in your heads. Lots of people out there in worse situations. Let’s keep perspective on the front burner.

These unsettling times are scary because this virus is relentless and it does not discriminate. It has turned the world upside down (more than it already was, if that was possible). But we must look for the silver linings in challenging and uncertain times. We must look at the bright side to the kick in the butt Corona is inflicting:

-So much has been learned from it.
-Many people helping others and so many random acts of kindness.
-We’re living in awareness like never before.
-We are more prayerful.
-We are more grateful.
-We’re spending more time with one another than we’ve had in a long time, either via virtual gatherings (FaceTiming, Zooming, Skyping, etc.) or under the same roof. Although I’m loving the round-the-clock home together thing, it can get a little hairy from time to time, I admit. But, how often is that going to happen post-Corona? So let’s embrace that now.

I’m sure you have many other examples of good that are coming out of this dark time. Folks, this monster imprisoned our bodies, but not our minds and certainly not our spirits. And for that silver lining, today and always, I am thankful.

Here’s a dose of hope: Nunca ha llovido que no haya escampado. Never has it rained that it hasn’t stopped. Stay positive, keep the faith, and stay healthy!

What are you thankful for today?

Until next Thursday’s post…si Dios quiere.

“I am thankful for my struggle because without it, I wouldn’t have stumbled upon my strength.”
-A. Elle

“The average pencil is seven inches long, with just a half-inch eraser in case you thought optimism was dead.”
-R. Brault

“No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
-Romans 8:37-39

Thankful Thursdays

For our powerful intercessors.

These days, we need all the extra help we can get. I want to remind those of you who believe in the intercession of saints that they, who reign together with God, offer up their own prayers for us. As most of you know, St. Jude (the patron saint of desperate cases) is my go-to guy. Many of you have stickies with your supplications and petitions stuck on my St. Jude board at the office. At home, currently, I have a candle lit and one sticky with one petition for all.

May the saints in heaven continue to intercede for us here on earth. May they appeal to God on our behalf to stop this pandemic and help those afflicted. St. Jude, pray for us!

For our intercessors, and the power God has bestowed on them, today and always, I am thankful.

What are you thankful for today?

Until next Thursday’s post…si Dios quiere.

“The nation doesn’t simply need what we have. It needs what we are.”
-St. Teresia Benedicta

“All the darkness in the world cannot extinguish the light of a single candle.”
-St. Francis

[Note: By the way, in case you’re not Spanglish-speaking, “si Dios quiere” means God-willing. Mom finished most of her sentences with that phrase. I added it to my sendoff in her honor after her passing].

 

Thankful Thursdays

For those making a difference.

Today, I want to give a really loud shout out to healthcare workers and people in the service industry who are on the front lines of this outbreak. These doctors, nurses, nursing home workers, and all those keeping grocery stores, pharmacies, and restaurant take-out operational, are putting themselves at risk in an attempt to help keep the rest of us healthy.

A lot of us can work from home. Not my cup of tea, I must confess. I don’t think I’m cut out for it, but I realize how fortunate I am that I am given the option to do so. We who can, should, no, must, repay those out there not just with our heartfelt thanks, but by refraining from doing anything that will put the lives of others in danger. Let’s do our part and act responsibly. It is critical.

Stay healthy, my friends, and keep the faith! This, too, shall pass.

For the remarkable people at the forefront of this fight who are making a huge difference, I am thankful. Let’s pray for them.

What are you thankful for today?

Until next Thursday’s post…si Dios quiere.

“I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.”
-John 16:33

“Believe that what you do matters and will make a difference in people’s lives. You don’t have to save the world in one stroke but you can make a difference one person at a time.”
-Anonymous

“It is wrong and immoral to seek to escape the consequences of one’s acts.”
-Mahatma Gandhi

 

 

Thankful Thursdays

For the antidote.

These days, we focus on the Coronavirus and its effect on humanity. Scary stuff. Unfortunately, that is not the only dangerous toxin infecting people today. There is a cultural virus, equally or more contagious, that is causing great disconnect and divide in the world, and destroying souls in the process: Anger, intolerance, hatred and ill will. As if a biological nightmare was not enough.

But, while we have much to be concerned about, we have just as much to be optimistic about. Because you wanna know what else is also super catching? Kindness. When we are kind to someone, chances are that that someone will show kindness in turn. Kindness brings joy and peace, and it’s synonymous with tolerance. Also, guess what? Scientists say that warm-fuzzy feeling we get from performing such an act strengthens our emotional immune system. I think probably our physical immune system too. Plus it’s a twofer — acts of kindness bless both the giver and receiver.

If there is something to be caught, let’s hope it’s happiness from a spreading kindness contagion. Spreading a dose of goodness every chance we get might just do it. It’s the compassionate way of God. So people, yes, let’s wash our hands. A lot!  And let’s be kind. Let’s please be kind.

For kindness, the antidote to our cultural dysfunction, today and always, I am thankful.

What are you thankful for today?

Until next Thursday’s post…si Dios quiere.

“Do not let kindness and truth leave you; Bind them around your neck, Write them on the tablet of your heart.”
-Proverbs 3:3

“Today I bent the truth to be kind, and I have no regret, for I am far surer of what is kind than I am of what is true.”
-Robert Brault

“Do not be daunted by the enormity of the world’s grief. Do justly, now. Love mercy, now. Walk humbly, now. You are not obligated to complete the work, but neither are you free to abandon it.”
-Rabbi Tarfon

[Note: By the way, in case you’re not Spanglish-speaking, “si Dios quiere” means God-willing. Mom finished most of her sentences with that phrase. I added it to my sendoff in her honor after her passing].

 

Thankful Thursdays

For the necessary thing, the better thing.

Do you keep To Do lists? I do. On little post-its. Most mornings I jot down things I gotta do, or should do, or that I want to do that day. Although this time-management method is helpful, sometimes I get so wrapped up in trying to complete the tasks at hand that I lose sight of what was really necessary. Later in the day, no matter how many things I was able to cross off my list, I feel like I missed the mark. Reminds me of something my co-worker and I were discussing the other day.

Story goes that Jesus showed up at Martha’s house and Martha got too distracted running around doing things and being a hostess. All the while her sister Mary sat listening to Jesus. Martha complained about that, but Jesus told her that Mary had the right idea.

Let’s be more like Mary. When our brains are occupied with life and our hearts are troubled, and we feel inclined to run around with worry, let’s first focus on our relationship with God and listen. That’s the necessary thing, the better thing. I tell you what, for every time I make that choice, I am thankful.

What are you thankful for today?

Until next Thursday’s post…si Dios quiere.

“Look for God, suggests my Guru. Look for God like a man with his head on fire looks for water.”
-E. Gilbert

“Relying on God has to begin all over again every day as if nothing had yet been done.”
-C.S. Lewis

“As Jesus and his disciples were on their way, he came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to him. She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet listening to what he said. But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to him and asked, “Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!”
“Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things, but few things are needed—or indeed only one. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.”
-Luke 10:38-41

[Note: By the way, in case you’re not Spanglish-speaking, “si Dios quiere” means God-willing. Mom finished most of her sentences with that phrase. I added it to my sendoff in her honor after her passing].

 

 

 

Thankful Thursdays

For what we receive.

Yesterday, Ash Wednesday (I know, it snuck up on us this year), marked the beginning of a time for us to sharpen our spiritual focus. During the season of Lent, most of us concentrate on repentance, almsgiving, and something to give up. But Lent is not just about that. It’s also about gratitude and honoring all the blessings that we receive.

For instance, the apostle Paul wrote, “What do you have that you did not receive?” Let’s take a second to think about that. Besides every breath we take, how about the grace, talents, and abilities God gives each of us? These are valuable gifts with great power.

This Lenten season, let’s reflect and focus on how to use our gifts for good. And as we remember that we are dust and to dust we shall return, let’s appreciate and share these blessings. From now until that time comes.

Wishing all of you a blessed Lenten season. For what we receive, today and always, I am thankful.

What are you thankful for today?

Until next Thursday’s post…si Dios quiere.

“When I stand before God at the end of my life, I would hope that I would not have a single bit of talent left, and could say, ‘I used everything you gave me.”
-Erma Bombeck

Fast from discontent; feast on gratitude.
Fast from words that pollute; feast on phrases that purify.
Fast from bitterness; feast on forgiveness.
-William Arthur Ward

“For you are dust, and to dust you shall return.”
-Genesis 3:19

[Note: By the way, in case you’re not Spanglish-speaking, “si Dios quiere” means God-willing. Mom finished most of her sentences with that phrase. I added it to my sendoff in her honor after her passing].

Thankful Thursdays

For the furry ones.

It is going on 9 years that we’ve had Nervous Nelly. Rather, I should say, that Nervous Nelly has had us…because she is untouchable. This feral kitten we rescued that summer of 2011 is content with being fed and having a porch, or a planter, or a house to chill on. Never mind her neurotic personality and aloof attitude. This cat’s presence and mystique is enough to (unexplainably) win anyone over.

And now, after years and years of not wanting to take on a dog (for various reasons I will not enumerate here), we have welcomed the newest addition to our household — Beni Heinz — an electrifying ball of energy and 24/7 entertainment with a larger-than-life personality. Needless to say, Beni certainly grabbed our attention and our hearts.

Pets! Because apparently our kids are not handful enough. For the special furry blessings that enrich our lives, I am grateful.

Do you have a furry friend? And what are you thankful for today?

Until next Thursday’s post…si Dios quiere.*

“Dogs have owners, cats have staff.”
-Unknown

“Cats never strike a pose that isn’t photogenic.”
-Lillian Jackson Braun

“In a dog’s life, some plaster would fall, some cushions would open, some rugs would shred. Like any relationship, this one had its costs. They were costs we came to accept and balance against the joy and amusement and protection and companionship he gave us.”
– John Grogan

“We who choose to surround ourselves
with lives even more temporary than our
own, live within a fragile circle;
easily and often breached.
Unable to accept its awful gaps,
we would still live no other way.
We cherish memory as the only
certain immortality, never fully
understanding the necessary plan.”
-Irving Townsend

Nervous Nelly and Beni Heinz

Thankful Thursdays

For love with a capital L.

Tomorrow is Valentine’s Day. A day for celebrating love. And what is love?

Well, let me share with you what I believe to be love with a capital L:

“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

Could this virtue be life’s greatest blessing? I don’t know. But I do know I wouldn’t want to live without it.

For the love I feel in my life, today and always I am thankful.

Happy Valentine’s Day, friends and family! Let’s celebrate Love every day.

What are you thankful for today?

Until next Thursday’s post…si Dios quiere.*

“Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength, while loving someone deeply gives you courage.”
-Lao Tzu

“One is loved because one is loved. No reason is needed for loving.”
-Paulo Coelho

*Note: By the way, in case you’re not Spanglish-speaking, “si Dios quiere” means God-willing. Mom finished most of her sentences with that phrase. I added it to my sendoff in her honor after her passing.

Thankful Thursdays

For the tools He provides.

Wow, what a start to 2020. Don’t know about you, but for my family this year has been quite eventful so far. Brings to mind the fact that adversity, like death (and taxes), is an unavoidable part of life. The struggles, the setbacks, the obstacles, it can all really suck. Life is ups and life is downs, ups and downs. There’s no escaping that. No one is immune.

Thankfully, we have help from an almighty source. Yup, I think right about now is a good time to remind myself, and anyone reading this, that God has equipped each and every one of us with tools to overcome hardships. Here’s what some of those tools look like to me:

Wisdom – the smarts to see that “it is what it is.”
Strength – the heart to confront it.
Courage – the nerve to do what must be done.
Patience – because adversity, as it turns out, is time-consuming.

In case you’re wondering if it’s easy to turn to these tools when troubles come, the answer is a big NO. I find it easier after I’ve had my temper/doubt/fear tantrums. Then I can ease into these gifts. If you’ve employed this method in the past to get through crappy times, you know it works. If you haven’t, go ahead, try it, reach faithfully for God’s tools and experience what you’ll be able to get through. I mean, really, what couldn’t we overcome if we could hear God whispering to us, ‘I am with you’? Well, God’s tools are His whisper. And for that, I am thankful.

What are you thankful for today?

Until next Thursday’s post…si Dios quiere.

“For truly, I say to you, if you have faith like a grain of mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move, and nothing will be impossible for you.”
-Matthew 17:20

“I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through him who gives me strength.”
-Philippians 4:12-13

“The most beautiful people we have known are those who have known defeat, known suffering, known struggle, known loss, and have found their way out of the depths. These persons have an appreciation, a sensitivity, and an understanding of life that fills them with compassion, gentleness, and a deep loving concern. Beautiful people do not just happen.”
-E. Kübler-Ross

Note: By the way, in case you’re not Spanglish-speaking, “si Dios quiere” means God-willing. Mom finished most of her sentences with that phrase. I added it to my sendoff in her honor after her passing].

Thankful Thursdays

Thankful for those golden genes.

For her, family, faith and friendship were at the forefront of life. And she showed us that every day.

As some of you know, on Tuesday we lost my aunt, Ofelia, after a hard-fought battle post-surgery. Although she was old and a bit frail, her passing was unexpected. We really didn’t think she would go the way she did. But, what do we know? We place the fragility of our lives in God’s hands, never, ever asking why, and keep going. Period. Needless to say, the loss was quite a jolt of mortal awareness, reminding us that our seconds here are ticking, and that we better make them count.

Yeya, as many of us lovingly called her, made them count. She was part of a trio of ladies whose genetic makeup consisted of family values. My Mom and my aunts were all about that.

Fortunately for us, their life lessons and those golden genes, we believe, are embedded in the rest of us. This was evident in the amount of family members by her bedside on Tuesday as we all said our goodbyes. For each of us she was leaving behind, our family served as the ultimate life support. As it should be.

As for those she is on her way up to meet, I am so sure of it, they are already waiting with open arms. This once inseparable group here on  Earth is at last back together again in Heaven. How they must be rejoicing!

My aunt was a remarkable woman. Strong, loving, and faith-filled – – golden genes. She will be missed. Rest in peace, Yeya. Put in a good word for us. Te queremos, y nos veremos, …to quote Mom, “si Dios quiere.”

Very often people come to me and say: “Mr. Moody, do you think we shall know each other in Heaven?” Very often it is a mother who has lost a dear child, and who wishes to see it again. Sometimes it is a child who has lost a mother, a father; and who wants to recognize them in Heaven. There is a verse in Scripture in answer to this, and that is: “We shall be satisfied” (Psalm 17:15). It is all I want to know. My brother who went up there the other day I shall see, because I shall be satisfied. We will see all those we loved on Earth up there, and if we loved them here, we will love them ten thousand times more when we meet them there.” -Dwight L. Moody

“Even in our best shape we are a brittle piece of mortality. Your life is a breath, don’t waste it.” -Lecrae

“We are afraid of losing what we have,
whether it’s our life or our possessions and property.
But this fear evaporates when we understand
that our life stories and the history of the world
were written by the same hand.”
-Paulo Coelho

What are you thankful for today?

Until next Thursday’s post…si Dios quiere.