Thankful Thursdays

For examples of real sacrifice.

I want Lauren and Danny to recognize true sacrifice. I think these days the word is loosely used, and some of the examples of sacrifice we are seeing don’t seem true to definition. They almost seem illusory. Sacrifice is indeed a packed word, but I think it’s one that is being falsely inflated with the worst kind of self-seeking opportunism that only looks good on poster.

The sacrifice I see some boast about today, for example, is not the sacrifice we saw our own parents make in the form of what they went through and did for us and others throughout their lives. The one that is synonymous with devotion, dedication, commitment, selflessness, and hard work. Or the one that is made for country, for children, for love; that carries no start or end date, no particular agenda; and that involves time and compassion. That kind.

I want our kids, as I am sure you would want your kids, to know, unequivocally, what real and palpable, not illusory, sacrifice is about. I believe so far we have given ours a real good glimpse of it. And it is my hope that, since sacrifices do build character and strength, they don’t wait until they are parents themselves, or until they are pushed into it by circumstance, to make them.

For those from whom I’ve learned about and witnessed true sacrifice, today and always, I am thankful.

What are you thankful for today?

Until next Thursday’s post…si Dios quiere.

“You can sacrifice and not love. But you cannot love and not sacrifice.”
-K. Vallotton

“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish, but have eternal life.”
-John 3:16

“You cannot make an omelet without breaking eggs.”
-Proverb

Thankful Thursdays

For prayer and surrender.

It may seem like God is not listening because we are not seeing results fast enough. And so at times, praying may not satisfy us. Does that happen to you? Could it be that we’re praying for what we need or want, and that’s it? What if we prayed for what we need or want and then say “not my will but Yours be done”? Not easy, I know. Because it takes patience to wait on Him, and it takes courage to let go. Patience I don’t always want to have, and courage I can’t always muster, so yeah, it’s difficult to surrender, period. Yet, I have found this to be the very act that fortifies my faith and calms my restlessness. When I just throw my hands up in the air and say, “Okay, Lord, whatever, You do your thing,” then inner peace takes over. It’s pretty cool.

Guys, I say, pray. Pray like heck. And hand it over to Him. There is tremendous power in prayer and there is immense strength in surrender. For the patience and courage to do both, today and always, I am thankful.

I dedicate today’s post to the folks in the path of hurricane Florence. Let’s pray for them. May God protect them and help them.

What are you thankful for today?

Until next Thursday’s post…si Dios quiere.

“Take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done”
-Luke 22:42

“Few souls understand what God would accomplish in them if they were to abandon themselves unreservedly to Him and if they were to allow His grace to mold them accordingly.”
– St. Ignatius Loyola

“What is the difference
Between your experience of Existence
And that of a saint?

The saint knows
That the spiritual path
Is a sublime chess game with God

And that the Beloved
Has just made such a Fantastic Move

That the saint is now continually
Tripping over Joy
And bursting out in Laughter
And saying, “I Surrender!”

Whereas, my dear,
I am afraid you still think
You have a thousand serious moves.”
-Hafez

Thankful Thursdays

For what money can’t buy.

We live in an uber-material world. Our focus is on the things money can buy us, and when we don’t have enough money to buy them, we lose heart. It is then we overlook what truly makes us grateful.

Of course, no one argues that money helps meet most of our needs, and that it can provide us with comforts and improve quality of life. And, money rightly directed can be a tremendous power for good. So yes, money is a lot of things, but it’s not “every” thing. I mean, I’d love a million dollars, but, more than that, I would love a gazillion things that are priceless. Because money will buy…

A bed BUT NOT sleep.
Books BUT NOT brains.
Food BUT NOT appetite.
Finery BUT NOT beauty.
A house BUT NOT a home.
Medicine BUT NOT health.
Luxuries BUT NOT culture.
Entertainment BUT NOT happiness.
A church pew BUT NOT heaven.
A crucifix BUT NOT a savior.

What do you have that money didn’t buy? And what are you thankful for today?

Until next Thursday’s post…si Dios quiere.

“You aren’t wealthy until you have something money can’t buy.”
– Garth Brooks

“Class is an aura of confidence that is being sure without being cocky. Class has nothing to do with money. Class never runs scared. It is self-discipline and self-knowledge. It’s the sure-footedness that comes with having proved you can meet life. ”
– Ann Landers

“Don’t think money does everything or you are going to end up doing everything for money.”
– Voltaire

Thankful Thursdays

For words that save.

Have you thought about the words you use the most? I think most of us just blah, blah, blah for the most part, not really giving it much thought. At least not until later. But, some words are lifting, while others are sinking, and whether alone or linked together, their meaning and effect can make us or break us. Because they have great power, no word is ever inconsequential. So words matter, undoubtedly, and our vocabulary speaks volumes about our mindset, as it echoes the good, the bad, and the ugly inside us.

While putting this post together, I was reminded of words that have the power to save and transform, and I am thankful the most for those. Here’s a bunch of them:

I believe in you.
I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.
Thy will be done.
Nunca ha llovido que no haya escampado.
You got this.
I’m sorry.
Let go and let God.
I’m proud of you.
I Love you.

What words do you bank in your vocabulary? What kind of statements do they make? Family and friends, may God always give us the clarity to think the right words, and the wisdom to choose the right time to use them.

What are you thankful for today?

Until next Thursday’s post…si Dios quiere.

“Words are pale shadows of forgotten names. As names have power, words have power. Words can light fires in the minds of men. Words can wring tears from the hardest hearts.”
-P. Rothfuss

“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.”
-John 1:1

“Be careful of the words you say,
Keep them short and sweet.
You never know, from day to day,
Which ones you’ll have to eat.”
– Anonymous

Thankful Thursdays

For spiritual friendships.

It’s nice, no, it’s great, to have good friendships, but it’s even better when those are spiritually woven into the fabric of our lives. The kind of friends who nourish not just our hearts, but also our faith.

I am fortunate to have been linked early on in my life with individuals with whom I formed some of those spiritual friendships and, even more fortunate, to have them in my life still today.

This “elixir of life,” if you will, is proof that divine providence does arrange remarkable and special connections. And for that, today and always, I am thankful.

This post is dedicated to you, my life-long and faith-filled friends. ♥

What are you thankful for today?

Until next Thursday’s post…si Dios quiere.

Your love, Jesus, is an ocean
with no shore to bound it.
And if I plunge into it, I carry
with me all the possessions
I have. You know, Lord,
what these possessions are—
the souls you have seen
fit to link with mine.
-St. Thérèse of Lisieux

“I thank my God every time I remember you.”
-Philippians 3:1

Thankful Thursdays

For personal safety.

Things are so crazy nowadays that it feels like we’re not safe anywhere, no matter how cautious we are. The uncertainty of our daily safety can drive one crazy, if we let it, mainly if it’s the well-being of our kids that we are mostly concerned about. They, of course, feel invincible, bless their hearts, but really, it’s just nerve-wracking. Attached to my every “goodbye” and “see you later” is a “be careful,” which sometimes just makes me more anxious.

But, other than to continue to stay alert and be careful, what are we to do? For starters, place our lives, and the lives of those we love, in God’s hands and repeat (as necessary) “heart of Jesus, I trust in Thee.”

Let’s not take for granted when nothing’s happened to us, and be thankful for every day we’re alive and well.

Until next Thursday’s post…si Dios quiere.

[Note: In case you’re not Spanglish-speaking, “si Dios quiere” means God-willing. Mom finished most of her sentences with that, so I’ve added it to my sendoff in her memory].

What are you thankful for today?

“It is the Lord who goes before you.  He will be with you and will not fail you or forsake you.  Do not fear or be dismayed.”
-Deuteronomy 31:8

“Don’t talk to strangers. Don’t do drugs. Don’t smoke. Don’t drink and drive. Don’t have sex. Wear a condom. Wear sunblock. Wear a seat belt. Wear a helmet. If you see something, say something. Just say no. Stop, drop, and roll. Stop, look, and listen. Look both ways before you cross the street…. Bad things can happen to anyone at any time, whether you follow the rules or not. You can check left, check right, check left again before you step off the curb and into the crosswalk, but that won’t stop an anonymous asshole in his shitty pickup from putting you in intensive care…”
-M. McCafferty

Thankful Thursdays

For those who risk their lives. Currently, the over 14,000 firefighters working around the clock to tackle the18 major fires that are burning across thousands of square miles throughout California. Also to the doctors, nurses, police officers, first responders and local residents helping in the rescue and care for the injured. My heart goes out to them, and it breaks for all those who have lost homes and even their lives.

That we have selfless, dedicated, and courageous individuals ready and willing to serve, today and always, I am thankful.

 Until next Thursday’s post…si Dios quiere.

 What are you thankful for today?

“Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.
-John 15:13

“True courage is being afraid, and going ahead and doing your job anyhow. That’s what courage is.”
-N. Schwarzkopf

“The bravest are surely those who have the clearest vision of what is before them, glory and danger alike, and yet notwithstanding, go out to meet it.”
-Thucydides

 

Thankful Thursdays

Dare to make a difference. Join the RxfortheSoul team on September 22nd for the Miami St. Jude Walk/Run to End Childhood Cancer.

September is Childhood Cancer Awareness Month, and supporters from across the nation will come together to raise money for the kids of St. Jude. You can walk or run the 5k (3.1 miles) and feel good every step of the way.

Click on St. Jude Walk/Run to End Childhood Cancer to register and join the RxfortheSoul team, and/or to donate. Please invite your friends and family to join us in support of this great cause. Share our page.

In advance of your participation, support, and willingness to make a difference, today and always, I am thankful.

Event Details:
Saturday, September 22, 2018
Fair Expo Center
Tamiami Park
10901 SW 24th Street
Miami, FL 33165
5K Walk: $10
5K Run: $20
Event Page Link

“For it is in giving that we receive.”
-Francis of Assisi

“No one is useless in this world who lightens the burdens of another.”
-Charles Dickens

“If you want to discover the true character of a person, you have only to observe what they are passionate about.”
-S.L. Alder

“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. Bennet

Thankful Thursdays

For stress relievers. Here’s my list of stress busters:

-Watching our cat Nelly being Nelly
-Lounging on the patio swing
-Planning travel (even if within a 10-mile radius)
-Family group hugs
-A good laugh with my hubby right before falling asleep
-Cracking my knuckles…aaaahhhh
-Working out in my pajamas (putting on my workout clothes early in the morning stresses me; and yes, I workout at home)
-Walks on the beach
-Breakfast with the amigas
-Prayer, prayer, prayer
-Getting into perspective and being grateful

Thank goodness there are so many techniques we can practice to help alleviate the many stressful things and circumstances which surround us daily. Some of the common tactics include yoga, meditation, breathing exercises, cleaning the house to some kick-ass music (not on my list, no matter how kick-ass the music), napping, eating healthy, dancing, baking delicious goodies (not if you want to eat healthy), keeping a journal…etc., etc.

It is essential for our health and sanity that we do what we can to reduce all levels of stress, and knowing that there are ways to shed that tension is itself a stress reliever. For that, I am thankful.

What’s on your list of stress relievers? And what are you thankful for today?

Until next Thursday’s post…si Dios quiere.

“If the path before you is clear, you’re probably on someone else’s.”
-Joseph Campbell

“Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.”
-Matthew 6:34

“If the problem can be solved why worry? If the problem cannot be solved worrying will do you no good.”
-Santideva 

Thankful Thursdays

For our children’s great friendships.

Growing up, both my husband’s home and mine were always open to our friends. Often, they could be found at the kitchen table eating our Moms’ cooking or just hanging out. They were friends from school, church, and work, and they were always welcome. At times, I’d come home and find any one of them chatting away with my mother; or find my best friend delivering my grandfather’s favorite donuts. Great friends. Period. They were welcome, they felt it, and it showed. Today, I’m glad to say most of them remain our close friends. What a blessing it is to have God in charge of our connections.

Fast-forward 30 plus years, and the story repeats itself, now with our kids’ friends, some of whom have been around since childhood. Others, more recent relationships, but equally special. A couple of them from out of town have even made our home their Miami vacay pad. Often during the summer, you can find Lauren’s and Danny’s friends cooling off in our pool, waiting for the afternoon round of cafecitos, or at our kitchen table enjoying my cooking (the couple of dishes I do make). They, in turn, show us their love by baking us cookies during their visit, bringing me flowers and travel-size Nutella packs (yum!), and even letting us have their Fastpasses to the hottest Disney ride (quite the sacrifice for this Disney crew). Like it was for us, their friends feel welcome in our home and it shows.

We enjoy having these kids around and getting to know them. We love their smiles and warm hugs. And, most importantly, we get to see what great friends they are to Lauren and Danny. We are so very grateful for the love and camaraderie among these young adults. What parent wouldn’t want that for their child?

This post is dedicated to:
Kristin, Ellen, Kevin, Gabe, Andrea, Elizabeth, the rest of the Disney crew, Alena, Stephanie, Lauren C., Danny F., Dan, Noah, Crystal, Christy, Alex, Gaby, Andres, Vicky, and Juanky.

What are you thankful for today?

Until next Thursday’s post…si Dios quiere.

“Your love, Jesus, is an ocean
with no shore to bound it.
And if I plunge into it, I carry
with me all the possessions
I have. You know, Lord,
what these possessions are—
the souls you have seen
fit to link with mine.”
-St. Thérèse of Lisieux

“You must remember, family is often born of blood, but it doesn’t depend on blood. Nor is it exclusive of friendship. Family members can be your best friends, you know. And best friends, whether or not they are related to you, can be your family.”
-T.L. Stewart

“Your children are the greatest gift God will give to you, and their souls the heaviest responsibility He will place in your hands. Take time with them, teach them to have faith in God. Be a person in whom they can have faith. When you are old, nothing else you’ve done will have mattered as much.” 
-L. Wingate