Thankful Thursdays

That there’s a season for everything.

Tomorrow we welcome summer. Yaaay!! I love summer. My favorite season. It’s the time of sunny days and longer daylight (okay, and lots of rain, but that’s good for the grass), and it’s a time to move like we’ve got a purpose. I know what you’re thinking. There’s only one season in South Florida. Legit thought. But never mind that.

The beginning of every [calendar] season reminds me that there is an appointed time for everything. That all things, not just nature, have a seasonal rhythm…thank God. Because imagine if life wasn’t divvied up like that. If sad times didn’t end and happy times didn’t begin? If trials didn’t teach and wisdom wasn’t born from them? Right.

I, for one, am glad God chapterizes our lives. And that He blesses us with grace and strength to help us embrace and brave whatever season we are on — so we can bloom where we are planted. For that, today and always, I am thankful.

Summer up, and enjoy!

What are you thankful for today?

Until next Thursday’s post…si Dios quiere.

“When life is sweet, say thank you and celebrate. And when life is bitter, say thank you and grow.”
-S. Niequist

“There is a time for everything, 
and a season for every activity under the heavens:
   a time to be born and a time to die,
   a time to plant and a time to uproot,
   a time to kill and a time to heal,
   a time to tear down and a time to build,
   a time to weep and a time to laugh,
   a time to mourn and a time to dance,
   a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
   a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing,
   a time to search and a time to give up,
   a time to keep and a time to throw away,
   a time to tear and a time to mend,
   a time to be silent and a time to speak,
   a time to love and a time to hate,
   a time for war and a time for peace.”
-Ecclesiastes 3:1-8

“Summer is the time when one sheds one’s tensions with one’s clothes, and the right kind of day is jeweled balm for the battered spirit.”
-A.L. Huxtable

Thankful Thursdays

For my “snap out of it” gadgets.

Picture this: I’m at work busy at the computer, lost in words, deadlines, and numbers, totally unaware of my surroundings. Suddenly, out of the corner of my eye I catch sight of the picture that just scrolled on my digital frame and, BAM! I’m transported to a sweet memory. Seconds later, my eyes shift back to the computer and I am once again typing, clicking, printing, etc. Ahh….but, during the time spent in between reminiscing about the picture and before continuing to work, during that time, I am entirely present – – seeing, experiencing and feeling. Once again consciously experiencing my surroundings, feeling grateful about the experiences that led to that photo, and about my life now.

Same thing happens every time my watch buzzes and reminds me to breathe (as if I wasn’t already). Do I need an app to remind me to breathe? No. Though it really does snap me out of autopilot mode.

Most of us practice mindfulness purposely at some point during the day, be it through morning prayer or during workouts like yoga, for example. That’s a good thing. However, how many of us actually purposefully do it often throughout the day?

Sure, reflecting on the past helps us learn from our mistakes and looking forward helps us plan for our future, but nothing brings to mind gratefulness like living in the moment, and vice versa. So let’s live in the breath. And take advantage of whatever “snap out of it” gadgets turn off our autopilot.

For my digital photo frame, the Breath app…and moments of awareness, today and always, I am thankful.

What are you thankful for today?

Until next Thursday’s post…si Dios quiere.

“The key to enjoying the moment is to always carry a list of ‘Things I Gotta Do That Can Wait. ‘“
-Robert Brault

“Life is a great and wondrous mystery, and the only thing we know that we have for sure is what is right here right now. Don’t miss it. “
-Leo Buscaglia

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

Thankful Thursdays

For knowledge, understanding, and wisdom.

This week saw the end [inevitably] of James Holzhauer’s winning streak on Jeopardy. The wealth of knowledge on that guy is…wow, impressive. Conversely, recently on Game of Thrones, we watched how Jon Snow, well, really knows nothing. Bravery’s his thing.

We all have our thing. We all have valuable attributes and, sure, knowledge is useful, knowledge is impressive, but I think it falls short without some understanding and wisdom to back it up, or, as I like to say, to walk the talk. Possessing this trio of attributes, however, is a rare gift. One I’ve known in only a couple of people. My grandfather Arturo had the complete bundle. Because he exhibited these traits and shared them with me in the humblest of ways, I learned a thing or two, I’ve understood a thing or two, and I’ve gained a bit of wisdom.

So all of us should play our part in sharing whichever one of these powerful attributes is our forte….Don’t forget the humble part.

What are you thankful for today?

I dedicate today’s post to the heroes of D-Day. Bravery was surely their thing.

Until next Thursday’s post…si Dios quiere.

“Knowledge is measuring that a desert path is 12.4 miles long.
Understanding is packing enough water for the hike.
Wisdom is building a lemonade stand at mile 6.

“Any fool can know. The point is to understand.”
-Albert Einstein 

“Learn to light a candle in the darkest moments of someone’s life. Be the light that helps others see; it is what gives life its deepest significance.” 
-R.T. Bennett

Thankful Thursdays

For time together.

Fresh back from a long weekend with the kids and a few of their closest friends. Nothing like moments shared (with a bunch of twenty-somethings going on 15, ha ha). We had a great time, and I’m so grateful we got to hang out.

Unfortunately, time together is not always doable, as our schedules in today’s rapid pace don’t cooperate as often as we’d like. But let’s be real, we’re here one day, gone the next, so we should find a way to make it happen.

For every minute and every hug we get to squeeze in with those we love, today and always, I am thankful.

What are you thankful for today?

Until next Thursday’s post…si Dios quiere.

“A life-long blessing for children is to fill them with warm memories of times together. Happy memories become treasures in the heart to pull out on the tough days of adulthood.”
-Charlotte Sophia Kasl

“You may delay, but time will not.”
-Benjamin Franklin

Thankful Thursdays

For morning drives.

They’re so much more than transportation. It’s that time of day when we head out to live our purpose. Be it to work (okay let’s not think traffic for one moment) or on a road trip to somewhere magical; be it by car or train or bus or bicycle, morning drives are a daily routine for so many of us. But other than getting us from point A to point B, what do our morning drives mean to us?

Mine often question whether I’ll make a difference in someone’s life that day, or if I’ll learn something new, or teach something old. And between those thoughts and the honking, regardless of where I’m off to, I remind myself that it suits me best to love where I’m headed.

I pray we all have many more morning drives. For the one I got today, I am thankful.

What are you thankful for?

Until next Thursday’s post…si Dios quiere.

“Nothing is so rewarding than the patience that you take to go over the ramps of life. They may slow you down, but you are an unstoppable hero. Keep driving!”
-I. Ayivor

“Living is like driving,” my grandmother used to say. “You have to pick a lane.” Have I chosen the right lane?
-K. Flinn


Thankful Thursdays

For those who inspire.

Fact: All of us face adversity in our lives. As I write this and you read it, some of us are probably going through a rough patch. Along the road, we look to others for strength and courage.

When I’m there, I think about my nephew and how he beat and came out of the addiction that almost killed him. I think about my father grinding through pain with a morphine pump attached to his liver, yet putting in a full day’s work. I think about my friend Ledys, who laughs through adversity better and louder than anyone I know.

Ordinary people who behave in extraordinary ways. All for love of self and others, and for love of life. My husband and kids included, whose commitment and support, no matter what, propel me to “brave up” every day of my life.

So for those who inspire, those who show that when life gives you lemons you can make the sweetest lemonade, today and always, I am thankful.

Who inspires you? And what are you thankful for today?

Until next Thursday’s post…si Dios quiere.

“Beauty is not who you are on the outside, it is the wisdom and time you gave away to save another struggling soul like you.”
-S.L. Alder

“Never let hard lessons harden your heart; the hard lessons of life are meant to make you better, not bitter.”
-R.T. Bennett


Thankful Thursdays

For adventures.

Coming at you today from Utah, deep inside some of the funnest (and most challenging) slot canyons we’ve hiked. Posting this before we go back out to there.

There are not enough words to express how grateful we are for the opportunity to explore and get to see more of the awesomeness of God’s creation…and add some more stamps to my national park books.  🙂

On this trip, however, we find ourselves without our travel partners, Lauren and Danny. And that will always rob our adventures of a little color. Kids, Mom and Dad love you!

What about you, what’s your next adventure? And what are you thankful for today?

Until next Thursday’s post…si Dios quiere.

“Should you shield the canyons from the windstorms you would never see the true beauty of their carvings.” 
-E. Kübler-Ross

“Keep close to Nature’s heart… and break clear away, once in a while, and climb a mountain or spend a week in the woods. Wash your spirit clean.”
-John Muir

“I haven’t been everywhere, but it’s on my list.”
-Susan Sontag

“Not all those who wander are lost.”
-J.R.R. Tolkien

22 years of stamps and counting…


Thankful Thursdays

For my plan:

“God to enfold me,
God to surround me,
God in my speaking,
God in my thinking,
God in my sleeping,
God in my waking,
God in my watching,
God in my hoping.” -Celtic Prayer

It’s a good plan. It’s not an easy one, but if I can pull this off, I’m set for life. The beauty of this plan is that it’s entirely mine for the taking and mine for the making. And for that, I am thankful.

Do you have a spiritual plan?  And what are you thankful for today?

I dedicate today’s post to all the moms and mom figures. May you all have a blessed Mother’s Day.

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

“A goal without a plan is just a wish.”
-Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

Thankful Thursdays

For our God-given GPS.

They say conscience is God’s voice in men. I happen to believe that. Sometimes that voice is loud and clear and easy for us to follow. Sometimes it’s muffled, or we pretend it’s muffled, conveniently, and we try to brush it off. In my case, at times it’s my mother’s voice I hear. Boy, she can be relentless. Or could be God speaking in my mother’s voice, who knows. In any case, I listen and obey. Or else!

Seriously though, I appreciate the moral GPS. It guides me through my journey and keeps me grounded. And for that, today and always, I am thankful.

How ‘bout you? How often do you follow your conscience? And what are you thankful for today?

Until next Thursday’s post…si Dios quiere.

“I will pray to the Father, and he will give you another Counselor, that he may be with you forever—the Spirit of truth, whom the world can’t receive; for it doesn’t see him, neither knows him. You know him, for he lives with you, and will be in you.”
-John 14:16-17

“Always let your conscience be your guide.”
-Jiminy Cricket

“There comes a time when one must take a position that is neither safe, nor politic, nor popular, but he must take it because conscience tells him it is right.”
-M. Luther King Jr.

Thankful Thursdays

For this week’s post, I wanted to do something a little different, so I gathered a bunch of thankfulness from family and friends to share along. And it goes like this:

Ana B.: “I am thankful for God’s faithful love and am grateful for his seeds of faith, hope and love that have always blossomed in my life through family, friends, work, art, music, loss and this blessed world. Always thanks to the Lord for he is good, his love endures forever.”

Barbie R.: “I am thankful for my life, my faith and this blog. Because it always reminds me that there are still good-hearted souls, faith-filled people in this world who believe in God, family, friendship and paying it forward.” 💖

Arturo and Maria.: “Hi Sis, La China and I are grateful first because our parents brought us to this country of opportunities. Also for the families we have been able to raise and for our family from all sides. For our friends, for being healthy, and for our faith in God.”

Regina S.: “I am thankful for my son, Cristian. He’s taught me to appreciate what most people take for granted (even the smallest of things). He’s also taught me to realize that one day you can have something great and then the next minute it can be gone. It’s important to count your blessings and be grateful for what you have. It may be a little deep for people that don’t understand or relate.”

Betty B.: “Thankful Every Day” to all who touch my life by word, by deed, by thought…past, present and future….I am truly blessed.”

Betsy S.: “Connie, I am Thankful FOR YOU!!! You are such a good gentle soul and are a constant reminder of who I aspire to be every day of my life. During this Easter celebration I often reflect on how I can be a better person. You are someone I look up to each and every day. Your faith and dedication to your family is so incredible!!! You should be so proud of your accomplishments and I hope you will share this as I stated above – I am thankful for you!!!”

Edna P.: “I am extremely thankful for all of my blessings, but I am especially thankful that the Good Lord has healed my sister and is guiding her on her journey to new beginnings at a different destination. Thank you Lord!”

Roxana V.: “MY Thankful Thursday post. I’m honored to be asked what is mine! I love and look forward to these postings every week. I’m thankful for my mother. She is 95 years old. She widowed at 52 years of age and managed to raise her four children devotedly. If I do say so myself, we are good people. God has blessed me with her presence in my life for so much longer than most. She’s strong willed, clear minded and an inspiration to keep living life to the fullest. I pray that God will keep her around for another 95 years… what can I say… I’m greedy and know a good thing when I see it! I love you Mom!!”

Nancy G.“I’m thankful for my mother who’s my rock, my best friend and who keeps me grounded. She is the most selfless person I know. She raised me to always do good onto others without expecting anything in return. As she always tells “haz un bien y no mires a quien”. She has a way of making me see things in a different way I can’t do on my own because of my short fuse and lack of patience. I love her to the moon and back and for her I am extremely thankful.”

Jose (Ray): “Thankful for my family, my health, my job, my faith, and all the rest of God’s blessings everyday.”

Lauren Christine: ““Although sometimes out of tune, my faith, I am still most grateful for it. Just like everything else in life, it takes practice. But when in doubt, I know the good Lord has my back and I can always count on that. It’s a peace of mind, a safe place, and my backboard, and it’s always when I am in need that I remember He is always there even if I wondered off the path a little.”

Danny: “I am thankful for the support of my family and friends. If it wasn’t for them my transition into my new career wouldn’t have been as smooth as it’s been.”

Lauren Ashley: “I am thankful for new beginnings. New starts come around only a few times in a lifetime. You have to make the most of them when you can.”

Cary G.: “I am thankful for the faith that my parents gave to me. In times of hardship I always know that with God everything is possible.  When I couldn’t walk, he would carry me.  If you have faith, He will provide.”

Emoy P.: “I am thankful for quiet time in the midst of a busy city…. time to wind down, reflect, pray and recharge.”

Ledys R.: “For my faith. It is only by faith through grace that I have made it this far in my life. My faith in God and His will has been the key to overcoming situations involving a wide myriad of family, health, or work related situations, some of which at the time I thought had no resolution.

God works best when we give up, and give it all to Him. Faith allows that. Faith is what I’m most thankful for.”

Del and Marianne C.: “Del and I would like to thank God for our bountiful blessings. We bless and thank HIM for our continued good health, our home, our jobs, our prosperity, our education, our ambition, our understanding of the need for generosity, and our desire to maintain a “community of family” around us throughout our lives.

We thank HIM for having granted us a wonderful family, especially for granting us our children: Eric, Lauren (and Danny), our parents and grandparents (both living and deceased), our siblings, and our entire family: the Campana, Seiler, Vazquez, Bertran, Navarro, and Wickenden Clan!

We thank you for allowing us to have found and fostered solid friendships with close friends, coworkers, colleagues, Emmaus sisters, Marianne’s current and former students, neighbors, and even with those whom we simply have as casual acquaintances.  It this through this network of “family and friends” in whom HE grants us the opportunity to be continually reminded that we must not simply be “takers” from this life, but that we must continue to be generous, forgiving, and that “we are our brother’s keeper”.

We are thankful for HIS guidance and quiet wisdom, which he showers upon us throughout every minute of our lives, as we attempt to navigate our path through life.

We ask that HE continue to bless and protect all of us until we see him again in his Kingdom. In Jesus’s name, we pray.”

And me? Well, as I lie in bed today fighting a very stubborn bug, I am thankful for doctors, nurses, and medicines. I am thankful for my loving family and awesome friends. And on this Holy Thursday, I am thankful for His mercy, forgiveness, and promise of eternal life.”

Thanks for participating and sharing, you guys rock!

To those of you who observe Holy Week, may it continue to be food for the spiritual soul. And may you have a blessed Easter.

Until next Thursday’s post…si Dios quiere.

“Life without thankfulness is devoid of love and passion. Hope without thankfulness is lacking in fine perception. Faith without thankfulness lacks strength and fortitude. Every virtue divorced from thankfulness is maimed and limps along the spiritual road.”
-J.H. Jowett

“Today I choose to live with gratitude for the love that fills my heart, the peace that rests within my spirit, and the voice of hope that says all things are possible.”