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

 

Thankful Thursdays

For simple little pleasures.

We’re all very much in tune with the big things for which we’re most grateful: our health, our family, and our job. God knows 2020 heightened our perspective meter in that regard. My posts lately, for example, have been on the extra-deep side of deep thought, to say the least. So today I’m lightening the mood.

Each morning, while enjoying my breakfast of champions, I thank God for it. It’s great to be able to have something I enjoy so much so readily available to me, and I never want to take that for granted. We’re so fortunate to have a stocked pantry. One of my kids, and I won’t mention any names, has the habit of standing in front of the fridge and muttering “There’s nothing to eat.” 😕 “Mira, there’s plenty in there to eat and many are dying of hunger,” is my immediate response. By now they just say it to bug me ‘cause they know that’s one of my pet-peeves. Granted, I seldom ever over-stuff our pantry or fridge (unless we’re on hurricane mode, or it’s March 2020), but really, what wouldn’t the less fortunate give for even one of the items in there? We’re so blessed.

Anywho, I said I was gonna keep it light so here it goes. Thankful today for three of my favorite go-to items in my pantry — café, sugar, and evaporated milk. Together they make a mean “Cortadito” – My breakfast of champions…and 3:00 p.m. snack.😋

Which three favorite little pleasures are in your pantry or fridge that you’re thankful for today?

 

On a separate note, I dedicate today’s post to Nilda Pedrosa, a friend who was summoned from this world way too soon. She was 46. Our memories with her and of her will always be sweet. Nildita, may you enjoy your seat at His side. Rest In Peace. 

“The only difference between an extraordinary life and an ordinary one is the extraordinary pleasures you find in ordinary things.”
-V. Vienne

“Life is truly lived in the moments of simplicity!”
A. Das

 

Thankful Thursdays

What do you need the most today?

No, besides that highly sought-after shot in the arm. Here’s a clue: it requires nothing of us, not a crumb, yet it can help us make it through the most disheartening times. No one ever described it better for me than Emily Dickinson:

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

And sweetest – in the Gale – is heard –
And sore must be the storm –
That could abash the little Bird
That kept so many warm –

I’ve heard it in the chillest land –
And on the strangest Sea –
Yet – never – in Extremity,
It asked a crumb – of me.

“Hope” is the thing with feathers that perches in the soul. Believe it. For every ounce of hope my heart can channel, today and always, I am thankful.

What do you need the most today, and what are you thankful for?

Until next Thursday’s post…si Dios quiere.

“but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.”
-Isaiah 40:31

“The very least you can do in your life is figure out what you hope for. And the most you can do is live inside that hope. Not admire it from a distance but live right in it, under its roof.”
-Barbara Kingsolver

Thankful Thursdays

We have choices to make and work to do. And so let me share a little story:

An emperor in an ancient Far East country was growing old and knew it was time to choose his successor. Instead of choosing one of his assistants or his children, he decided to do something different. He called young people in the kingdom together one day. He said, “It is time for me to step down and choose the next emperor. I have decided to choose one of you.”

The children were shocked, but the emperor continued. “I am going to give each one of you a seed today – one very special seed. I want you to plant the seed, water it, and come back here one year from today with what you have grown from this one seed. I will then judge the plants that you bring, and the one I choose will be the next emperor.”

One boy, named Ling, was there that day and he, like the others, received a seed. He went home and excitedly, told his mother the story. She helped him get a pot and planting soil, and he planted the seed and watered it,  carefully. Everyday, he would water it and watch to see if it had grown. After about three weeks, some of the other youths began to talk about their seeds and the plants that were beginning to grow.

Ling kept checking his seed, but nothing ever grew. Three weeks, four weeks, five weeks went by. Still nothing. By now, others were talking about their plants, but Ling didn’t have a plant and he felt like a failure.

Six months went by–still nothing in Ling’s pot. He just knew he had killed his seed. Everyone else had trees and tall plants, but he had nothing. Ling didn’t say anything to his friends, however. He just kept waiting for his seed to grow.

A year finally went by and all the youths of the kingdom brought their plants to the emperor for inspection. Ling told his mother that he wasn’t going to take an empty pot. But his mother asked him to be honest about what happened. Ling felt sick to his stomach, but he knew his mother was right. He took his empty pot to the palace. When Ling arrived, he was amazed at the variety of plants grown by the other youths. They were beautiful–in all shapes and sizes. Ling put his empty pot on the floor and many of the other  children laughed at him. A few felt sorry for him and just said, “Hey, nice try.”

When the emperor arrived, he surveyed the room and greeted the young people. Ling just tried to hide in the back. “My, what great plants, trees, and flowers you have grown,” said the emperor. “Today one of you will be appointed the next emperor!”

All of a sudden, the emperor spotted Ling at the back of the room with his empty pot. He ordered his guards to bring him to the front. Ling was terrified. He thought, “The emperor knows I’m a failure! Maybe he will have me killed!”  When Ling got to the front, the Emperor asked his name. “My name is Ling,” he replied. All the kids were laughing and making fun of him.

The emperor asked everyone to quiet down. He looked at Ling, and then announced to the crowd, “Behold your new emperor! His name is Ling!” Ling couldn’t believe it. Ling couldn’t even grow his seed. How could he be the new emperor?

Then the emperor said, “One year ago today, I gave everyone here a seed. I told you to take the seed, plant it, water it, and bring it back to me today. But I gave you all boiled seeds that would not grow. All of you, except Ling, have brought me trees and plants and flowers. When you found that the seed would not grow, you substituted another seed for the one I gave you. Ling was the only one with the courage and honesty to bring me a pot with my seed in it. Therefore, he is the one who will be the new emperor!”

If you plant honesty, you will reap trust.
If you plant goodness, you will reap friends.
If you plant humility, you will reap greatness.
If you plant perseverance, you will reap victory.
If you plant consideration, you will reap harmony.
If you plant hard work, you will reap success.
If you plant forgiveness, you will reap reconciliation.
If you plant openness, you will reap intimacy.
If you plant patience, you will reap improvements.
If you plant faith, you will reap miracles.

We are all on edge right now, no joke, which is why we must be careful what we plant, because it’ll determine what we reap tomorrow for ourselves and our loved ones. I admit I, myself, have a few weeds to pull. Ugh.

For every time the Lord nudges me to plant the right stuff in my garden, I am thankful.

What’s in your garden, and what are you thankful for today?

Until next Thursday’s post…si Dios quiere.

“You‘re frustrated because you keep waiting for the blooming of flowers of which you have yet to sow the seeds.”
-Steve Maraboli

“Your brain is your garden, what you sow is what you will reap. Seed it with hope, positive energy, good manners, and creativity. Irrigate it with faith, hard work, and good company.”
-Zeyad Massry

Thankful Thursdays

Back to the grind. My reflection for the first post of the year is short, sweet and to the point: I’m still breathing. And for that, I am thankful.

It’s a brand new year (although it may not feel like it). Let’s be hopeful, people, but above all, let’s be grateful. Looking forward to our Thankful Thursdays together. Thank you for your readership, support and encouragement.

What are you thankful for today?

Until next Thursday’s post…si Dios quiere.

”Hope smiles from the threshold of the year to come, whispering ‘it will be happier’…”
-A. Tennyson

“Be like a tree. Stay grounded. Connect with your roots. Turn over a new leaf. Bend before you break. Enjoy your unique natural beauty. Keep growing.
-J. Raptis

Thankful Thursdays

There’s a quote that goes “There are years that ask questions and years that answer.” Which one is 2020 for you? Upon some reflection, for me, a bit of both.

All years are challenging, but in many ways for a lot of us, 2020 will go down as the most difficult year in modern history: so much loss on so many levels, and so much havoc wreaked on our lives. It just has not been easy for anyone.

On the other hand, you could argue that 2020 will also go down as the most pivotal year of modern times: struggles and hardships were met with lightning-fast innovation and human resolve the likes of which we hadn’t seen in decades. We’ve re-invented ourselves, changed our lifestyles, homes and minds, all for the better. Through it all, we’ve been able to adapt and thrive. Talk about resilience!

In the end, despite its many challenges, I think we can all agree that we are coming out of 2020 with a far greater appreciation for a way of life that we were probably taking for granted. Perspective on steroids about our jobs, family, friends, and health. A loud reminder that we must live life to the fullest because we never know what’s around the corner.

I hope 2021 brings you, among many great things, the courage to brave its questions and the faith with which to face its answers. With God all things are possible.

Happy New Year to all of you! God bless you!

Until next Thursday’s post…si Dios quiere.

“Well its funny how it’s the little things in life that mean the most
Not where you live or what you drive or the price tag on your clothes
There’s no dollar sign on a piece of mind this I’ve come to know
So if you agree have a drink with me
Raise you glasses for a toast
To a little bit of chicken fried
Cold beer on a Friday night
A pair of jeans that fit just right
And the radio up.
I thank god for my life
And for the stars and stripes
May freedom forever fly, let it ring.
Salute the ones who died
The ones that give their lives so we don’t have to sacrifice
All the things we love
Like our chicken fried.”
-Zac Brown Band

“There are years that ask questions and years that answer.”
-Zora Neale Hurston

“Lord, as the New Year dawns today,
Help me to put my faults away.
Let me be big in little things;
Grant me the joy which friendship brings;
Keep me from selfishness and spite,
Let me be wise to what is right.
A Happy New Year! grant that I
May cause no tear to any eye.
When this new year in time shall end,
Let it be said: “I’ve played the friend,
Have lived and loved and labored here
And made of it a happy year.”
-Edgar Guest

 

Thankful Thursdays

For a bittersweet Good Night.

This Christmas Eve will have a different feel to it. Our gatherings will be smaller because we’ll be apart from some of our loved ones, and that truly sucks. But in a year of so much loss, I feel we owe it to those no longer with us to celebrate as best we can. In person or via Zoom, a bittersweet Nochebuena is better than no Nochebuena at all. So we hang on to our traditions and keep on keeping on. Let’s celebrate with hope, with faith, with love, and with gratitude.

Friends and family, may you all have a wonderful night. And as the sun rises tomorrow and we sit around the tree, let’s remember the real reason for the season. Happy Holidays and Merry Christmas to all!

Until next Thursday’s post…si Dios quiere.

“God grant you the light in Christmas, which is faith;
the warmth of Christmas, which is love;
the radiance of Christmas, which is purity;
the righteousness of Christmas, which is justice;
the belief in Christmas, which is truth;
the all of Christmas, which is Christ.”
-Wilda English

“The best gifts to give:
To your friend, loyalty;
To your enemy, forgiveness;
To your boss, service;
To a child, a good example;
To your parents, gratitude and
devotion;
To your mate, love and
faithfulness;
To all men and women, charity.”
-Oren Arnold