Thankful Thursdays

For Miggy’s Gift.

I am a firm believer that in life, out of pain comes purpose.

Two years ago, my cousin lost her 29 year old son, Stephen, to melanoma. During his short, but purpose-filled fight with cancer, he saw the need for hospital gowns that would better fit patients receiving infusion treatments, specifically children. So Stephen started designing a superhero inspired gown for pediatric cancer patients. After his passing, my cousin began the task of seeing his idea come to fruition. Hence, her purpose.

Short story, she founded Miggy’s Gift. A non-profit organization committed to the awareness and education of melanoma skin cancer. This great cause brings hope, encouragement, and bravery to pediatric cancer patients and their families. Helping children is at the forefront of what is done through the Mighty Miggy Project, Education and Awareness Program, and College School Grants.

Its second annual walk takes place this Sunday and I, along with family and friends, will be participating. If you would like join us and/or donate, please visit Miggy’s Gift.

I dedicate today’s post to Stephen, who would have turned 31 today. I’m sure he’s thrilled about what his family has accomplished on his behalf. I am proud to support Miggy’s Gift, and I hope you too will support it.

For great causes making a difference, today and always, I am thankful.

What are you thankful for today?

Until next Thursday’s post…si Dios quiere.

“I do not think we know our strength until we have seen how strong LOVE makes us.”

Thankful Thursdays

For the ultimate spiritual life hacks.

I’m sure during the last decade, you’ve seen on the Internet a gazillion life hacks, and possibly even tried a few. You know, those tips to simplify and improve all aspects of one’s everyday life. Some are a little wacky and trivial, if you ask me (use your shoe as a cup holder). And while I must admit some are quite ingenious (use a pant hanger as a recipe holder; not that I cook, but that’s pretty handy), others could very well be just common sense (drop a scoop of ice cream in a jar of Nutella to scrape it clean; okay so maybe that’s common sense to me).

Anyway, life hacks are shortcuts and novelty methods that can help make some of the peskiest tasks or challenging obstacles in life easier to undertake. But, however practical, they are temporal quick fixes and leave much to be desired when it comes to self-help for the spirit.

So, for that, I use a trio of virtues that not only last forever, but propel me through life — mind, body and spirit:

-Faith. I use faith to help me stay the course. My mother introduced me to faith at a very early age. She lead me to know God and taught me how to trust His ways to guide me.

-Hope. I use hope to push me through difficult challenges and show me the promising light at the end of the tunnel. I first experienced hope through my parents when they left their homeland and everything they had in order to give my siblings and me a chance at a better life.

-Love. I use love to…well, I use love to give me strength. Love in my life is my family. Without them, nothing else matters.

God, in His immense wisdom, gifted me (and all of us) with the ultimate spiritual life hacks. And for that, I am so very grateful. Please use them (along with the Nutella hack). They work.

Do you have a list of spiritual life hacks? And 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

“Hope” is the thing with feathers –
That perches in the soul –
And sings the tune without the words –
And never stops – at all –“
-Emily Dickinson

“And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.”
-1 Corinthians 13:13

Thankful Thursdays

For Halloween memories.

Yikes! Halloween crept up on us, and once again it’s time to dress-up and pretend, and eat too much candy. Yes, the kids too, of course.

What a strange tradition this holiday is. I remember well my introduction to it. As a nine-year old, coming to a new country without my parents was scary enough. Arriving on Halloween night and seeing zombies, skeletons and Richard Nixons walking about was terrifying and weird. It left an impression, if you can imagine. But, equally strange, was the fact that I liked it. From that moment on, I was hooked.

Today, forty-seven years after that experience, I reminisce about one of my favorite Halloween memories. It’s of us packing in Lauren, Danny, their cousins and friends in our golf cart and trick-or-treating around the neighborhood. The kids would jump off the cart (sometimes while still moving) and run at top speed from house to house. Then we’d finish off the night with some of our home-made concoction of punch, rubber spiders, eyeballs, fingers and a bit of dry ice for foggy effect. That was always a big hit. One year we dumped dry ice in the pool. Too cool.

Through the years, we’ve gathered at home with family, friends, and lots of neighbors to welcome the hundreds (not kidding) of trick-or-treaters that parade up and down our sidewalks. And we’ve had a blast. I am thankful for the memories we’ve created and look forward to many more. Enjoy your Halloween tonight. Please be careful out there, and remember to check the candy.

What’s your most notable Halloween memory? And what are you thankful for today?

Until next Thursday’s post…si Dios quiere.

“There is a child in every one of us who is still a trick-or-treater looking for a brightly-lit front porch.”
-R. Brault

“Sticky fingers, tired feet; one last house, trick or treat!”
-R. Fischer

“Clothes make a statement. Costumes tell a story.”
M. Cooley

“When the crypt doors creak and the tombstones quake,
Spooks come out for a swinging wake.
Happy haunts materialize and begin to vocalize.
Grim grinning ghosts come out to socialize!”
-Disney’s Haunted Mansion

Thankful Thursdays

For what makes us feel good.

There’s quite a bit in our lives that can make us feel bad. Matters involving health issues, financial difficulties, and job burnout usually top the list. Then there’s the stuff we bring on ourselves: comparing our lives to others’, adopting bad habits, making excuses, over-watching the news….All of this causes stress, and stress kills, as we know. It certainly kills the joy in our lives.

So, I think it is essential, no, imperative, really, that we do whatever we can to pull out of the hat every thought and occasion to lighten up our days. A hug, a compliment, an outing, recalling a good memory, praying, making the bed (this works, trust me), dark chocolate (my fave), and getting your grateful on….There are so many things we can do.

C’mon, we can do it! Let’s lighten up our day! For what makes us feel good, today and always, I am grateful.

What are you thankful for today?

Until next Thursday’s post…si Dios quiere.

“Folks are usually about as happy as they make their minds up to be.”
-Abraham Lincoln

“Life will always throw you curves, just keep fouling them off… the right pitch will come, but when it does, be prepared to run the bases.
-R. Maksian

Thankful Thursdays

For strangers’ kindness.

I’ve written in the past about “paying it forward” and what a great thing that can be. Well, during our recent trip, we had occasion to be on the receiving end.

While having breakfast at the hotel first day into our vacay, we were approached by a couple who offered us their cooler bag. They were at the tail end of their travels and had no more use for it. I suppose they could’ve picked anyone in that café, but they picked us. Maybe we looked like we needed a cooler, I don’t know, we were dressed to hike after all. But, since our adventures take us on roads less traveled, the first thing we usually do after picking up the rental is to go buy a cooler (you know, the squeaky styrofoam kind), so we already had one. Nevertheless, we didn’t want to decline their kind gesture so we accepted the bag and stuck it in the back of the Jeep.

Two days later, lo and behold, our styrofoam cooler broke! Can I tell you that the cooler bag the couple gave us saved us? Thanks to them, we were able to transfer the contents without missing a beat, and continue to stay happily hydrated and fed along now squeaky-less traveled roads.

Although tempted to bring the cooler bag home with us (it was really an awesome bag), we chose to pass it on to someone else before flying back and, in the process, you see, pay it forward. Never underestimate the power of a kind gesture. For theirs, I am grateful.

What are you thankful for today?

Until next Thursday’s post…si Dios quiere.

“Do things for people not because of who they are or what they do in return, but because of who you are.”
-Harold S. Kushner

“Carry out a random act of kindness, with no expectation of reward, safe in the knowledge that one day someone might do the same for you.”
-Princess Diana

Thankful Thursdays

For the great outdoors.

Life is good where the Wi-Fi is weak. A week thus far full of adventure, bucket list check offs, and challenges met. Here, where the days begin with breathtaking views of nature and end with unobstructed views of the galaxy, I am surrounded by the beauty, power, and magnificence of God’s handiwork.

We miss our kids, especially on these national park trips. But, we’re thankful today to be where the Wi-Fi is weak.

What are you thankful for today?

Until next Thursday’s post…si Dios quiere.

“Climb the mountains and get their good tidings. Nature’s peace will flow into you as sunshine flows into trees. The winds will blow their own freshness into you, and the storms their energy, while cares will drop off like autumn leaves. As age comes on, one source of enjoyment after another is closed, but Nature’s sources never fail.”
-John Muir, Our National Parks

“Jobs fill your pocket, but adventures fill your soul.”
-J.L. Beatty

“We know that God is everywhere; but certainly we feel His presence most when His works are on the grandest scale spread before us; and it is in the unclouded night-sky, where His worlds wheel their silent course, that we read clearest His infinitude, His omnipotence, His omnipresence.”
-Charlotte Brontë

 

Thankful Thursdays

For 400.

In February of 2012, when I set out to post weekly writings that focused on gratitude, I didn’t think I would still be at it seven and a half years later.

My intention was to share with you something for which I was thankful that day, and in the process maybe prompt you to think about something for which you were grateful as well. In that way, together we could count our blessings and remember the things that are going well.

I am grateful for so many things and, especially today, for the opportunity to post 400 consecutive Thankful Thursdays. And of course, I am grateful to you for reading them.

What are you thankful for today?

Until next Thursday’s post…si Dios quiere.

“Every time you post something online, you have a choice. You can either make it something that adds to the happiness levels in the world—or you can make it something that takes away.”
-Zoe Sugg

“Write what you know.”
-Mark Twain

“We write to taste life twice, in the moment and in retrospect.”
-Anais Nin

 

Thankful Thursdays

That we always have something to give.

As you know, during the last few weeks, I’ve been fundraising for the St. Jude kids. A lot of you have donated, and I am so grateful to you. But, today, I just want to put out there that our supporting a cause and helping others is not always about money or provisions.

If we have faith, we are rich beyond measure. If we spread our faith, we can help beyond measure. We should never underestimate the power of a faith-filled word or action, or a prayer. So you see, we always have something to give. And for that, I am truly thankful.

What are you thankful for today?

Until next Thursday’s post…si Dios quiere.

“Faith is about doing. You are how you act, not just how you believe.”
-Mitch Albom

“Start by doing what’s necessary, then what’s possible, and suddenly you are doing the impossible.”
-Saint Francis

“You cannot see faith, but you can see the footprints of the faithful. We must leave behind “faithful footprints” for others to follow.”
-D. Anderson

 

Thankful Thursdays

For what points me true north.

In 1925, in his weekly newspaper, Mahatma Gandhi once published a list referred to as The Seven Social Sins. The list was first mentioned in a sermon delivered by Anglican priest, Frederick Lewis Donaldon, and it mentions seven factors that harm society:

Wealth without work.
Pleasure without conscience.
Knowledge without character.
Commerce without morality.
Science without humanity.
Worship without sacrifice.
Politics without principle.

Timeless, and timely, don’t you think? Today I would add:

Blessings without gratitude.
Life without faith.

If a moral compass is comprised of principals, values, and beliefs, then gratitude and faith are the needle of mine. I count on them to always point me true north, and they usually don’t disappoint. For that, I am thankful.

What makes up your moral compass? And what are you thankful for today?

Until next Thursday’s post…si Dios quiere.

“Faith is to believe that at any given moment, we all have everything that we need at that moment…and don’t have what we do not need or what is not good for us. Gratitude is when we start being thankful for all that we have or do not have at that moment. Happiness is a product of this faith and gratitude.” 
-A. Naqi

“Open your arms to change but don’t let go of your values.”
-Dalai Lama

Please remember to help us fundraise for the St. Jude Walk/Run to End Childhood Cancer taking place on September 28, 2019. Go to our page and join our team and/or donate:

Connie Perez page
http://walkrun.stjude.org/ConniePerez

Team RxfortheSoul page
http://walkrun.stjude.org/TeamRxfortheSoul

Thankful Thursdays

For parental gardening.

A couple of nights ago, I was giving my daughter some suggestions and advice on a topic we’ve discussed many times before, and the following exchange took place:

Lauren:  “I know, I know, you’ve told me that, and that’s what I’m doing.”
Me:        “Fine, but I will continue to remind you. I’m just planting
those seeds, you know.”
Lauren:  “You’ve planted many seeds, Mami, now let me grow.”
Me:        “Yes, I know, I’m watering now.”
Lauren:  “They’re already watered!”
Me:        “Well, I’m drenching them then. In case of a drought, God-
forbid. You get me?”
Lauren:  “Hm. I get you.”

In some way, parenting is like gardening. Our ultimate goal is for the seeds we sow to give our children their own fruits to reap. And okay, maybe we shouldn’t drench. But, in an abundance of caution, and in case of an unforeseen drought (when we cease to be around), we parents should not, must not, stop watering while we can. I know my mother never stopped. And for that, I’m eternally thankful.

What are you thankful for today?

Until next Thursday’s post…si Dios quiere.

Please remember to help us fundraise for the St. Jude Walk/Run to End Childhood Cancer taking place on September 28, 2019. Go to our page and join our team and/or donate:
Connie Perez page
http://walkrun.stjude.org/ConniePerez
Team RxfortheSoul page
http://walkrun.stjude.org/TeamRxfortheSoul

“Sow a thought, and you reap an act; Sow an act, and you reap a habit; Sow a habit and you reap a character; Sow a character, and you reap a destiny.”
-C. Reade