Thankful Thursdays

That God is in control.

Raise your hand if you believe that He’s got this.

Me, me, me, I do!

In good times and in bad times, through thick and thin, He’s got this. Believing He provides every single piece of the puzzle my life is, is how I stay in peace. Figuring out where the pieces go, well, that’s what keeps me on my toes.

All we have to do, is do our best. He will do the rest. Stay in faith, friends and family.

What are you thankful for today?

Until next Thursday’s post…si Dios quiere.

“Never be afraid to trust an unknown future to a known God.”
-Corrie Ten Boom

“Wait for the Lord; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the Lord!”
-Psalm 27:14

Thankful Thursdays

For the shake-up season. Hello, Lent!

Yesterday brought us the beginning of this holy season and, for me, it couldn’t have come at a better time. I find myself being consumed by the level of wide-world criticism, negativity and hostility, and none of it is doing anything to fuel my spiritual soul. On the contrary, I’m engaging in it and that’s just sharpening my tongue. So I welcome this season of Lent. I need it. I need it like a man with his head on fire needs water.

I know that during the next few weeks, I’ll intentionally put myself even more in tune with God. He will fill my heart with positivity and peace, and hopefully that’ll cool my thoughts [and my tongue]. I’m counting on His divine therapy, really, because I know there are better things on which to focus my energy. “Lent is the time for greater love,” Mother Teresa would say, and that’s exactly what I’m shooting for: greater love for others. That’s my Lenten resolution, what’s yours?

Because Lent is here to shake me up, I am thankful.

What are you thankful for today?

Until next Thursday’s post…si Dios quiere.

“Even the darkest moments of the liturgy are filled with joy, and Ash Wednesday, the beginning of the lenten fast, is a day of happiness, a Christian feast.”
-Thomas Merton

“Make few resolutions. Make specific resolutions. And fulfill them with the help of God.”
-St. Josemaria Escriva

Thankful Thursdays

For the difference they have made.

This past Tuesday, my students received the Sacrament of Confirmation. May God and the Holy Spirit always guide their paths as they venture out into the jungle. I couldn’t have asked for a better group of kids to finish off my CCD run, or a more beautiful ceremony. It was a joyous occasion for all, although, for me, it was most bittersweet. As pleased as I was that night, the realization that this class would be my last Confirmation group, that this term would be my last year teaching CCD, just got me feeling heavy-hearted.

When I gave notice back in December, I posted about my decision and shared with you what a meaningful experience this has been (Thankful Thursdays 12/6/18), an experience filled with unexpected and unimaginable rewards.

Forty-one years ago, I volunteered. Unbeknownst to me at the time, I had set out to answer a calling to share my faith. [By the way, we all have one, listen carefully to yours, whatever that may be.] Once it hit me, once I figured out what my purpose there was, all I hoped year in, year out was that the words coming out of my mouth would help make a difference in some kids’ lives.  In truth, THEY are the ones who made a difference in mine. And for that, today and always, I am thankful.

What are you thankful for today?

Until next Thursday’s post…si Dios quiere.

“Come, follow me,” Jesus said, “and I will send you out to fish for people.”
-Matthew 4:19

It is not what WE do for God, but what HE does through us.
-Judy Sexton

Thankful Thursdays

For flaws.

I have a decent amount of OCD-type blood running through my veins and…I’m somewhat of a control freak. Quite the combo, I know. I would love it if all of life (me, everyone and everything in the world) worked like a perfectly oiled machine. Yet, I know better, I know that God alone is perfect and that perfection, for us, is unattainable.

Luckily, there is an upside to this unattainability: Our flaws, you see, throw into focus that which requires acceptance, forgiveness, and patience – – you and me – – and more importantly, make us unique, relatable, and memorable. If we look at it this way, it’s not so bad to have rough edges, is it?

In this life of fleeting moments, I think it serves us best to remember that things not be perfect to truly feel perfect, and that we’re all in this together, flaws included. For perfect imperfections, today and always, I am thankful.

What are you thankful for today?

Until next Thursday’s post…si Dios quiere.

“It is in the process of embracing our imperfections that we find our truest gifts: courage, compassion, and connection.”
-Brené Brown

“You don’t love someone because they’re perfect…You love them in spite of the fact that they’re not.”
-Jodi Picoult, My Sister’s Keeper

“I am a contradiction
a perfect imperfection
On looking in from outside
I think I’d pass inspection

My nails are neat, each hair in place
My clothes the latest styles
But look a little closer,
And you can see my trials

The window to my balanced soul
Is stained from too much smoke
A birds eye view down at my heart
Will clearly show it’s broke

My best intentions lead to pain
And complicated messes
My head is filled with wishes,
My decisions second guesses

There was a time I tried to hide
each wrinkle, scar and tear
But I’m learning to appreciate
That I’m more than I appear

Each wrinkle tells a story
The path from there to here
I’ve earned a little wisdom
With every falling tear

My soul will soar in brilliant skies
But then I’ll need to rest
The embers of my passion
Still smolder in my chest

Perhaps I’ll let my hair go wild
And skip the manicure
I’ll wear my favorite color
They’ll say “Hey, look at her”

My hair, my heart, my clothes, my soul
Will walk in one direction
No longer contradicting
My perfect imperfection.”
-Melissa Bachara

Thankful Thursdays

A word about Love: We don’t know our own strength until we have seen how strong love makes us.

Ray, Lauren, and Danny, I love you. For how strong you make me, this Valentine’s Day and always, I am thankful.

i carry your heart with me (i carry it in
my heart) i am never without it (anywhere
i go you go, my dear; and whatever is done
by only me is your doing, my darling)
                                       i fear
no fate (for you are my fate, my sweet) i want
no world (for beautiful you are my world, my true)
and it’s you are whatever a moon has always meant
and whatever a sun will always sing is you

here is the deepest secret nobody knows
(here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud
and the sky of the sky of a tree called life; which grows
higher than soul can hope or mind can hide)
and this is the wonder that’s keeping the stars apart

i carry your heart (i carry it in my heart)
~e. e. cummings

Happy Valentine’s Day, friends and family!

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

“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, 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

Thankful Thursdays

For choices.

Fortunate to have them there for me to make. Blessed beyond measure by some of the ones I have made.

“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you.” Jeremiah 1:5

For Lauren and Danny, today and always, I am thankful.

What are you thankful for today?

Until next Thursday’s post…si Dios quiere.

“Attitude is a choice. Happiness is a choice. Optimism is a choice. Kindness is a choice. Giving is a choice. Respect is a choice. Whatever choice you make makes you. Choose wisely.”
-R.T. Bennett

Thankful Thursdays

That God’s got my back. And yours.

If God is for me, who can be against me? This is a question that fills me with peace. Because in my heart I know the answer, it fills me with peace.

I believe that no matter what, God’s got us. That He will relentlessly stick with us as we make our way in this world. And for that, today and always, I am thankful.

What are you thankful for today?

Until next Thursday’s post…si Dios quiere.

“Even when I walk through the darkest valley, I will not be afraid, for you are close beside me. Your rod and your staff protect and comfort me.”
-Psalm 23:4

“What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?”
-Romans 8:31

Thankful Thursdays

For chivalry.

But is it dead? Well, nowadays it seems to have been placed back on that medieval shelf from where it once came, along with politeness and manners.

While it is a matter of courtesy, in general, and not an issue solely between men and women, I’ve heard it said that chivalry reinforces the idea that women need to be helped or saved by a man. And, therefore, some men are more likely to not exhibit this behavior in order to not offend. What?? What a shame. Our lovely millennials are missing out on a wonderful tradition, is all I know.

Call me old fashioned, but I love that after thirty-one years of marriage my husband still holds open doors for me, carries my bags, writes me notes, and brings me flowers. And I’ve never felt disempowered by it, or any less independent. Same when a man lets me in and out of the elevator first or holds open a door. I don’t need or expect them to do it, but I do like and appreciate when it happens.

The noticeable decline in good manners, politeness, and chivalry didn’t just happen, though. It’s been inching along for quite some time. A fruit of society’s “sálvese quien pueda” (every man for himself) mentality, I think. And I don’t know, I won’t elaborate, but could it be also that it’s harder to practice this behavior while living between 140 character tweets? Hmm….

Moms and dads, teach your sons to be chivalrous and your daughters to embrace it. I must say I feel hopeful when I see my son (thankfully) employ the same chivalrous practices as his father. So, is it dead? I say no, but it could sure use some taking down from the shelf and dusting off.

For chivalry, today and always, I am thankful.

What are you thankful for today?

Until next Thursday’s post…si Dios quiere.

“If you want to be held in high esteem, hold yourself to higher standards.”
-Anonymous

“Whatever happened to chivalry? Does it only exist in 80’s movies? I want John Cusack holding a boombox outside my window. I wanna ride off on a lawnmower with Patrick Dempsey. I want Jake from Sixteen Candles waiting outside the church for me. I want Judd Nelson thrusting his fist into the air because he knows he got me. Just once I want my life to be like an 80’s movie, preferably one with a really awesome musical number for no apparent reason. But no, no, John Hughes did not direct my life.”
-Emma Stone

“It’s one thing, holding open the door for someone at a grocery store, or the library, or just about anyplace else. But the doughnut shop is a different thing altogether. This is a get-in-and-out-as-fast-as-you-can operation. There’s no room for courtesy or chivalry here.”
-L. Barclay

“As we are, so we do; and as we do, so is it done to us; we are the builders of our fortunes.”
-R.W. Emerson

Thankful Thursdays

For power-packed words.

Please, thank you, I’m sorry, good morning, have a great day, you can do it, I’ll pray for you, I love you….

The smallest and simplest of positive words have the power to make someone’s day, sometimes even save a life. And with so much negativity out there, who wouldn’t want to be the recipient of a few good words that can turn our day around?

Words define us. They are, after all, a reflection of who we are. So they matter, and we have the responsibility to make them count. Let’s use them for good not for ill.

For power-packed words, today and always, I am thankful.

I dedicate today’s post to my mother-in-law and second mom, who turns 81 today. Felicidades, Mima!

What are you thankful for today?

Until next Thursday’s post…si Dios quiere.

“A word is dead
When it is said,
Some say.
I say it just
Begins to live
That day.” 
-Emily Dickinson

“They can be like the sun, words.
They can do for the heart what light can for a field.” 
-St. John of the Cross

“Words are like eggs dropped from great heights; you can no more call them back than ignore the mess they leave when they fall.”
-J. Picoult 

Thankful Thursdays

For 20,454 sunrises.

My first thought when I open my eyes every morning is “Thank You, God, for letting me wake up.” Today, it was “…for letting me wake up to yet another birthday.”

As I reflect on my time here so far, I am amazed at the journey. I am amazed at how things come full circle. I am amazed at how every human connection in my life has a purpose. And I am amazed at how my faith carries me through it all. But then again, what else other than amazing would this be when God’s at the helm?

Although the lows have been rough, the highs have been many. At times even feeling that nothing I have done makes me deserve all the good that God has given me. But, hey, I’ll take it.  I’ll take each day and everything that comes with it – the wrinkles, the joints that now ache, the middle-aged worries that invade my thoughts – all of it. Because weighed against not getting older, the downsides all seem like a small price to pay.

And so on this day, recognizing that life is not made up of time but of breaths, I am especially grateful to be alive. To be surrounded by those I love and those who love me. Hopeful to awake to more sunrises and live out more days.

What are you thankful for today?

Until next Thursday’s post…si Dios quiere.

“You have made my days a mere handbreadth; the span of my years is as nothing before you. Each man’s life is but a breath.”
-Psalm 39:4–5

“Birthdays are good for you. Statistics show that the people who have the most, live the longest.”
-Larry Lorenzoni

“They’re not gray hairs. They’re wisdom highlights.”
-Author Unknown