Thankful Thursdays

For 11,689 days.

Yesterday, my hubby and I celebrated 32 years of marriage. For youngsters like us, that’s a lifetime. Okay, we’re not youngsters, but seriously, that’s a lot of days married. Fortunately for us, the good days have outweighed the bad.

As with most couples making this commitment, the two of us set out not at all sure of what life would bring us. We had hopes and dreams and a slight idea, and that’s it. As it turns out, life’s brought us plenty. Plenty to teach us lesson after lesson, that’s for sure. For the benefit of my young readers, I’ll share the two that stand out above the rest.

The first big lesson we learned very early on was that love was not going to be enough. That we would need mutual respect, sacrifice, compassion, patience, a lot of prayer, and some comedic relief to push through the rough and tough. You know, the “for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health” stuff.

The second big lesson came by way of Lauren and Danny. That’s when we really learned the overall meaning of “to love and to cherish, till death do us part.” Kids tug at the heart like nothing else does.

Fast forward 32 years and I’m not sure what new lessons life can teach at us at this point, but I do know Ray and I would like to learn them together. We thank God for these 11,689 days. May there be many more. Happy Anniversary, babe.

What are you thankful for today?

Until next Thursday’s post…si Dios quiere.

“I love being married. It’s so great to find that one special person you want to annoy for the rest of your life.”
-Rita Rudner

“Some of the freckles I once loved are now closer to liver spots. But it’s still the eyes we look at, isn’t it? That’s where we found the other person, and find them still.”
-J. Barnes

“Marriage is not a word — it is a sentence.”
-Author Unknown

 

 

 

Thankful Thursdays

For family reunions.

It was long overdue, but this past Saturday, thankfully, we were able to gather for a family reunion, albeit minus a handful of members. I will tell you that those not there in body where most definitely there in spirit, as their presence was strongly felt.

Getting a big group together for one of these is not a simple task. Especially one that includes three or four generations, and lots (and lots) of cousins. In our busy and increasingly semi-impersonal world, it can be hard to pull that off. The closest we get is during Thanksgiving and/or Nochebuena when we manage to group together throughout town with the immediate members of our clans. Of course, today’s tech world allows us to stay in touch via social media, but digital photos and posts do not come close to warming the heart like an embrace does. And indeed, many hugs were exchanged on Saturday, along with tons of old photographs and plenty of stories to go along with them. Needless to say, we had a lot of good laughs.

I think given the barrage of digital distraction surrounding us, a genuine connection with family (related or chosen) is more important than ever. As for our clan, because we’ve all grown up in close-knit families, I’m pretty sure the younger members of our group already understand the benefits of “face-to-face” over “screen-to-screen” interaction. Nonetheless, I sure hope events like Saturday’s inject in them an everlasting craving to connect in person with those we cherish.

Saturday’s super-getty was special, and we look forward to the next one. Many thanks to those who organized it. For family reunions, today and always, I am thankful.

What are you thankful for today?

Until next Thursday’s post…si Dios quiere.

“Family faces are magic mirrors. Looking at people who belong to us, we see the past, present, and future.”
-G.L. Buckley

“The family – that dear octopus from whose tentacles we never quite escape, nor, in our inmost hearts, ever quite wish to.”
-D. Smith

“Call it a clan, call it a network, call it a tribe, call it a family. Whatever you call it, whoever you are, you need one.”
-J. Howard

 

Thankful Thursdays

For goals we can be proud of.

It’s a brand new year, so do you have any new goals? Or maybe you’re continuing to work on a prior one? I’ve never been much of a resolutions person myself. Most of the time it’s a wish that’s too vague and so I easily tire. That’s why they say setting a goal that is S.M.A.R.T. (Simple, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, Time-sensitive), may be easier to stick to and achieve. I don’t know, I haven’t tried that yet. I know atop my list right now is fitness. I feel a bit of rusting going on, if you know what I mean, and I want to do something about that. So I might try this SMART method.

Typically, the goals we consider most have to do with improving our health, creating and sticking to a budget, getting a better job, and organizing our lives. These are great goals to take on, but while health, financial, career, and organizational goals can help improve our physical and material lives, they do tend to lack in the spirituality department. For that, I say why not consider some soul-centered goals? The type that can help us grow spiritually and live in line with our values (and probably keep us sane). We can start a gratitude journal, for example. Pray. Practice patience. Live compassion towards others. Serve. Share our faith. Spend quality time with others. And so on. Just ideas.

Anyway, whatever goals we decide to start, or find ourselves in the middle of, we must keep in mind that God will help us through our goal journey. So let’s pray for focus and willpower so we can achieve goals we can be proud of.

Have you set any goals? What are you thankful for today?

Until next Thursday’s post…si Dios quiere.

“If you are bored with life, if you don’t get up every morning with a burning desire to do things – you don’t have enough goals.”
Lou Holtz

“The most important thing is this: to sacrifice what you are now for what you can become tomorrow.”
-Shannon Alder

Thankful Thursdays

Happy New Year!

Family and friends, I hope all of you had a wonderful end to 2019. So now a new year begins and, as usual, we start this one ready and willing to live it out. Let’s keep a grateful heart, shall we? With that in mind, I challenge us to zero-in on what is most important, and make the best of what comes our way. And folks (specifically the older crowd reading this), please, as you reflect on all of the things you would like to accomplish throughout the year, keep this in mind:

Dust if you must, but wouldn’t it be better,
To paint a picture or write a letter,
Bake a cake or plant a seed,
Ponder the difference between want and need?
Dust if you must, but there’s not much time,
With rivers to swim and mountains to climb,
Music to hear and books to read,
Friends to cherish and life to lead.
Dust if you must, but the world’s out there
With the sun in your eyes, the wind in your hair,
A flutter of snow, a shower of rain.
This day will not come ’round again.
Dust if you must, but bear in mind,
Old age will come and it’s not always kind.
And when you go and go you must,
You, yourself, will make more dust.
-Unknown

May God grant us health, guide us, and bless us with grace, patience, and love.

What are you thankful for today?

Until next Thursday’s post…si Dios quiere.

“And let us run with endurance the race that is set before us….”
-Hebrews 12:1

“The object of a New Year is not that we should have a new year. It is that we should have a new soul and a new nose; new feet, a new backbone, new ears, and new eyes.”
-G.K. Chesterton

“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 another year with those I love.

So far, 2019 has brought everything but the kitchen sink (that’s too bad since I’ve been wanting to replace mine). I don’t know about you, but I’m exhausted! Certainly, if Baby Yoda could talk, he’d say “this a boring year, was not.”

While I am thankful that God helped me overcome this year’s challenges and also accomplish some goals, what I am most grateful for is His gift of more time with those I love. Because, without a doubt, there is nothing better or more important than that. Don’t you agree?

So, are you ready to ring in a new decade? I guess that would depend on which almanac you follow (let’s not overthink this, people). I go by the Year of the Lord calendar – Year 1. So yup, I’m ready. I say, bring it on!

To my gang: As always, dale, ready up the traditions! Wherever midnight finds us on the 31st, let’s bring out las uvas, la maleta, y el cubo de agua. Let’s do this! And cheers to many more.

What are you thankful for today?

Signing out for 2019, until next year’s post…si Dios quiere.

“Drop the last year into the silent limbo of the past. Let it go, for it was imperfect, and thank God that it can go.”
-Brooks Atkinson

“The chief beauty about time
is that you cannot waste it in advance.
The next year, the next day, the next hour are lying ready for you,
as perfect, as unspoiled,
as if you had never wasted or misapplied
a single moment in all your life.
You can turn over a new leaf every hour
if you choose.”
-A. Bennet

“Here’s to the ones that we got
Cheers to the wish you were here but you’re not
‘Cause the drinks bring back all the memories
Of everything we’ve been through
Toast to the ones here today
Toast to the ones that we lost on the way
‘Cause the drinks bring back all the memories
And the memories bring back
Memories bring back you.”
-Maroon 5

 

Thankful Thursdays

For time off…and the spirit of Christmas.

I’m on holiday, which means I’m off from work. Lovely. [And binge-watching “The Crown”]. Holiday, vacation, break, whatever term we use for it, it’s always nice to have one. And for that, I’m grateful.

I want to take this Thankful Thursday opportunity to wish you and your families a wonderful Nochebuena and a very merry Christmas. Although missing like crazy those no longer with us, we rejoice and celebrate with those who are. And what a blessing that is.

From our home to yours, may the presence and love of Christ, and the spirit of Christmas, always fill your hearts.

What are you thankful for today?

Until next Thursday’s post…si Dios quiere. Cheerio!

“Take time off…The world will not fall apart without you.”
-M. Sephodi

“I realized that tradition is priceless, whether you have a small family, a large family, or no family. Tradition doesn’t have to be logical; it only has to emphasize the light of Christ and his everlasting love.”
-L. Copeland

“Once in our world, a stable had something in it that was bigger than our whole world.”
-C.S. Lewis

 

Thankful Thursdays

For the most precious gifts of all.

During the past few weeks, most of us have been on Christmas shopping mode. Hopefully, you are done fulfilling that list. I am, I think. So that now we can get on attention mode. First, attention to the real meaning of Christmas: that God gave us Jesus. The only gift that truly keeps on giving. And second, attention to one another.

In a society where we never seem to have enough of it, time has become one of our most precious commodities. How we spend our time defines us. So, throughout the year, of course, but especially before this Christmas season flies by, and it will, let’s make it a point to hang out, sit by the Christmas tree, converse, hug, laugh, have a little Coquito, or a lot, and spend time together making beautiful memories.

After all, it’s not about the presents, it’s about being present. For Jesus and time…the most precious gifts of all, today and always, I am thankful.

What are you thankful for today?

Until next Thursday’s post…si Dios quiere.

“The most precious gift we can offer others is our presence. When mindfulness embraces those we love, they will bloom like flowers.”
-T.N. Hanh

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

“You can never truly enjoy Christmas until you can look up into the Father’s face and tell him you have received his Christmas gift.”
-John R. Rice

Thankful Thursdays

For mind stimulants.

Relax, in this case, I’m referring to quotes. Throughout my time as a blogger/writer, I have shared a zillion of them. I’m sure you’ve noticed. These perfectly worded sentences often make us think about things in a new or different way. Sometimes, they can even teach us a thing or two about life.

For the most part, a lot of the sayings we come across take but a few seconds of our time to digest. Yet, their enlightening and powerful messages are sometimes enough to keep us going for months at a time. I bet you can recall a couple of quotes you read some time ago that still move you. I know I can.

For me, the best thing about a good quote is the “hmmm…” moment, and how that moment can instantly improve my mood or state of mind. Such words, in essence, are like timely bursts of needed wisdom, comic relief, or encouragement. Like mind stimulants, if you will.

On that note, I hope the quotes, sayings, and verses I share in this blog can do the same for you. For that, I would be thankful. Here are a few of my favorite “hmmm…” thoughts:

“Is prayer your steering wheel or your spare tire?” 
     -Corrie Ten Boom
“My mind is a garden. My thoughts are the seeds. My harvest will be either flower or weeds.”
      -M. Weldon
“Choices are the hinges of destiny.”
     -E. Markham
“There are years that ask questions, and years that answer.”
     -Z.N. Hurston
“You cannot do a kindness too soon, for you never know how soon it will be too late.”
     -Ralph Waldo Emerson
“Go the extra mile. It’s never crowded.”
     -Executive Speechwriter Newsletter
“In three words I can sum up everything I’ve learned about life: it goes on.”
     -Robert Frost
“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”
    -Philippians 4:13
“It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye.”
     -Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, The Little Prince
“Not all those who wander are lost.”
     -J.R.R. Tolkien

What thoughts are you thankful for today?

Until next Thursday’s post…si Dios quiere.

 

Thankful Thursdays

For all the blessings.

Every Thursday throughout the year I post about gratitude. Sometimes it’s gratitude for big things, and sometimes it’s for small things. On this, the grandest Thankful Thursday of the year, let’s be thankful for ALL the blessings – – the small ones, the big ones, and those in between.

Family and friends, as we gather today to celebrate Thanksgiving Day, may the Lord bless the food before us, the family around us, and the love between us.

What big and little things are you thankful for today?

Until next Thursday’s post…si Dios quiere.

“For each new morning with its light,
for rest and shelter of the night,
for health and food, for love and friends,
for everything Thy goodness sends.”
-Ralph Waldo Emerson

“In our daily lives, we must see that it is not happiness that makes us grateful, but the gratefulness that makes us happy.”
-Albert Clarke

“Thankfulness is the beginning of gratitude. Gratitude is the completion of thankfulness. Thankfulness may consist merely of words. Gratitude is shown in acts.”
-H.F. Amiel

Thankful Thursdays

For those who help us out.

I think you’d agree that between home and work, we all live pretty hectic lives. So it’s great when we have people in our lives who help us along the way. My husband and kids are atop that list. Their support is invaluable. But, today I wanted to give a shout out to some of the other people who, in some way or another, provide me with assistance, support, and/or inspiration, and help me get things done.

-For Angie, my State Farm rep. She simply rocks.
-For my co-workers Regi, Roxy, Ellen, Raul, Carlos, Ana, Faye, Christina, Dorette, Suresh, Bernie, John, Becky, Beverly, Angel, and Eli. They take care of tasks I either don’t know how to do or I’m just too busy to do.
-For William, the car wash guy in my building. A cancer survivor who keeps on shining.
-For Alex, the FedEx rep in my building. He couldn’t locate my package, but he put a lot of effort into it.
-For Betty and Nancy. They reach out to me as soon as they spot typos in my posts. (That tells me at least two people for sure read them).
-For my co-workers Mildred and Lily. Always willing to go the extra mile for me whenever I’m stomped, even when they’re crunched for time themselves. Also, for being the comic relief I need throughout the day.
-For Esther, my kids’ pediatrician (and my best friend). My kids, now 27 and 24, text her at the first sign of a sore throat, and she answers.
-For Luz, my Mom’s caregiver. Mom’s gone, but I’ll be forever grateful for the aid (and love) Luz provided those two years.

A ton of thanks to you all. I appreciate you. And many others too who have helped me through the years.

For those people who help lighten the load, today and always, I am thankful. Who helps YOU out? And what are you thankful for today?

Until next Thursday’s post…si Dios quiere.

“One man may hit the mark, another blunder; but heed not these distinctions. Only from the alliance of the one, working with and through the other, are great things born.”
-Antoine de Sainte-Exupery

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

“I Can Do Things You Cannot, You Can Do Things I Cannot; Together We Can Do Great Things.”
-Mother Teresa