Thankful Thursdays

For the grace to be content…in any and every situation. But what does it take to be in that state of mind? I mean, there’s nothing wrong with wanting more, is there? I know about wanting more, trust me; most of us do, I guess. After all, shouldn’t we always strive to improve our lives? And isn’t it okay to long for those little extras we don’t need? Yes and yes. Thing is, we get anxious and kind of crazy when things are not going our way or we are not getting what we’re wanting, and when that happens contentment goes out the window.

So how do we get it back? I do believe that we are where we are for a reason, in success and in struggle. And that as we work on reaching our goals and dealing with adversity, we should try to make the best of our circumstances. In doing so, I think three things are key: focusing on our blessings, embracing the journey, and living each season in the moment. We tie that around the known fact that the grass isn’t always greener on the other side, and voilà, the winter of our discontent made glorious summer.

That last part about the grass, very relevant in this need-to-compare-and-supersede world we live in. Really, let’s not be too quick to envy the neighbor’s grass, because from a distance we can’t always see the weeds.

Granted, contentment is not easily achieved, but I think absolutely necessary if we want to experience a decent amount of peace and happiness in our lives. Basically, we should love where we are headed and bloom where we are planted, something like that, they say. And I would agree. Although I don’t know about you, but that kind of contentment calls for God’s grace, or I’m toast. And every time I get even a little bit of that grace, I couldn’t be more thankful.

Until next Thursday’s post…si Dios quiere.

What are you thankful for today?

“I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well-fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do everything through him who gives me strength.”
-Philippians 4:11-13

“It isn’t what you have or who you are or where you are or what you are doing that makes you happy or unhappy. It is what you think about it.”
-Dale Carnegie

 

Thankful Thursdays

For healing. Being sick really sucks! I know a bunch of people, directly and indirectly, who are dealing with some type of illness or injury right now; some of them family, some of them friends. My heart breaks every time I hear about one of them. Suffering does not discriminate, and it seems like almost every day I add someone new to my prayer list, regardless of age. Fortunately, some of these individuals are on the road to recovery, and I am truly grateful for that. But, for others, the struggle continues.

Today, I ask you to put your faith in motion and join me in praying for those who are suffering from a health condition, that our gracious Lord’s gifts of strength, courage, and healing be with them.

Until next Thursday’s post…si Dios quiere.

What are you thankful for today?

“And the prayer of faith will save the one who is sick, and the Lord will raise him up.”
-James 5:15

“If you have health, you probably will be happy, and if you have health and happiness, you have all the wealth you need, even if it is not all you want.”
-E. Hubbard

“The most important thing in illness is never to lose heart.”
-N. Lenin

Thankful Thursdays

For that stuff between paydays. That’s right, the time away from the office. Experts say taking time off is good for the body, mind and soul, and makes us more productive. So smart, those experts. But it’s not always easy or possible to get away. So each opportunity to do so is quite the blessing. Make sure you schedule some time for yourself, within your zip code or out of the country, no matter where, just do it.

This morning, although we’re missing the other half of our pack, we are super thankful for our downtime.

From Jacob Lake, AZ, until next Thursday’s post…si Dios quiere.

What are you thankful for today?

“Have regular hours for work and play; make each day both useful and pleasant, and prove that you understand the worth of time by employing it well. Then youth will be delightful, old age will bring few regrets, and life will become a beautiful success.”
-L.M. Alcott

“Once the travel bug bites there is no known antidote, and I know that I shall be happily infected until the end of my life.”
-Michael Palin

“Time is that stuff between paydays.”
-L. Ochs

 

 

Thankful Thursdays

For the family group chat. I was just cleaning out my phone and reading some of the texts in our family group chat going back months…messages that range from significant discussions to random nonsense, but most of which are hilarious. These conversations which are frequently accompanied by photos, gifs, memes and bitmojis, have, for the most part, kept us apprised of our comings and goings in this hurried world in which we live. At times, it serves almost as a “virtual dinner table” (as I heard someone refer to it recently), especially on those days when we find it difficult to coincide at our actual table. Our exchanges are also quite entertaining, I must say. I could probably make a book out of our chat material. But won’t. Or maybe I will, depends on how you kids behave. [Threat implied, Lauren and Danny]

In case you’re wondering, yes, our kids occasionally do get irritated if what’s being discussed in the chat does not directly involve them, but that’s when we parental units enjoy the conversation the most. What a great chance to annoy them, don’t you parents agree? And don’t get me wrong, both of us try to instill in our kids the importance of oral communication, and our preference to chat with them in person or via a phone call, not only for the intimate feel of it, but for the survival of their social skills, too. But let’s face it, some things just cannot wait until the end of the day. They are just too funny.

The irrelevant, the important, the tone-filled, the encouraging, the funny, etc., all make up our family group chat on a daily basis, along the lines recording some very goofy but priceless moments. For this virtual dinner table, today (and while technology facilitates it) I am thankful.

Remember, don’t text and drive (not simultaneously anyway). And don’t get me started about text grammar, please.

Anyway, until next Thursday’s post…si Dios quiere.

What are you thankful for today?

“Was that semi-colon some kind of flirty wink or just bad punctuation?”
-A. Aalai

Thankful Thursdays

For Mothers. This is the very first Mother’s Day we won’t have Mom here to celebrate with her. We miss her. And I will miss that “¡Mom, felicidades!” I would greet her with on her special day. But, I know she rejoices with the Lord above. What an awesome gift that is.

As for me, what better gift than these two cuties right here:Ahead of this coming Mother’s Day, I want to wish all the Moms a very beautiful and blessed day.

Until next Thursday’s post…si Dios quiere.

What are you thankful for today?

                    “When God Created Mothers”

When the Good Lord was creating mothers, He was into His sixth day of “overtime” when the angel appeared and said. “You’re doing a lot of fiddling around on this one.”

And God said, “Have you read the specs on this order?” She has to be completely washable, but not plastic. Have 180 moveable parts…all replaceable. Run on black coffee and leftovers. Have a lap that disappears when she stands up. A kiss that can cure anything from a broken leg to a disappointed love affair. And six pairs of hands.”

The angel shook her head slowly and said. “Six pairs of hands…. no way.”

It’s not the hands that are causing me problems,” God remarked, “it’s the three pairs of eyes that mothers have to have.”

That’s on the standard model?” asked the angel. God nodded.

One pair that sees through closed doors when she asks, ‘What are you kids doing in there?’ when she already knows. Another here in the back of her head that sees what she shouldn’t but what she has to know, and of course the ones here in front that can look at a child when he goofs up and say. ‘I understand and I love you’ without so much as uttering a word.”

God,” said the angel touching his sleeve gently, “Get some rest tomorrow….”

I can’t,” said God, “I’m so close to creating something so close to myself. Already I have one who heals herself when she is sick…can feed a family of six on one pound of hamburger…and can get a nine year old to stand under a shower.”

The angel circled the model of a mother very slowly. “It’s too soft,” she sighed.

But tough!” said God excitedly. “You can imagine what this mother can do or endure.”

Can it think?”

Not only can it think, but it can reason and compromise,” said the Creator.

Finally, the angel bent over and ran her finger across the cheek.

There’s a leak,” she pronounced. “I told You that You were trying to put too much into this model.”

It’s not a leak,” said the Lord, “It’s a tear.”

What’s it for?”

It’s for joy, sadness, disappointment, pain, loneliness, and pride.”

You are a genius, ” said the angel.

Somberly, God said, “I didn’t put it there.”

– E. Bombeck

Thankful Thursdays

For spring cleaning! Everyone at home is on a roll, cleaning up and clearing out (if you hang out at our house more than two days you too may be packed up and donated). Clutter be gone. I love it! Except for photographs; those paper images are precious and sacred. I’ve been sorting out a zillion of those lately, but that’s a story for another time.

All this much needed decluttering can be daunting, but the finished product is so satisfying. Who was it that said, “Out of clutter, find simplicity”? Einstein I think, but it could’ve been me ‘cause I’m all about simplicity.

So now there’s a bit of extra space around us, in our hearts and in our minds (and in the “junk drawer”) for more important things…and thoughts (and new junk). Oh yes, of course the mind needs to be decluttered, but that, too, is a story for another time.

Okay, your turn to make space. And remember to donate.

Until next Thursday’s post…si Dios quiere.

What are you thankful for today?

“Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful.”
-W. Morris

“Happiness is a place between too little and too much.”
-Finnish proverb

“I love Pinterest. It’s electronic hoarding without the clutter.”
– Internet meme

 

How his last wish is making a difference.

I’m sharing with you today information about a great cause that’s making a difference in the life of many — Miggy’s Gift — a non-profit organization that is working on fulfilling Stephen Miggy” Chavez’s last wish:  to help pediatric cancer patients and their families. In a short timespan, this charity has taken off in a big way, but it needs much support to continue accomplishing its goal.

To learn more and for the latest progress, please check out miggysgift.com, @MiggysGift and @Miggys_Gift, and read how it all started in this excerpt from the gofundme page:

Stephen “Miggy” Chavez passed away on Tuesday, November 14th, 2017 after a four-month battle with Cancer.

Stephen’s immunotherapy treatment required that a port be surgically implanted into his right side of his chest. Stephen often complained that he was uncomfortable in his hospital gown, which had to be buttoned up and down each time the nurses needed to access his port. One day, Stephen relayed his frustration to a nurse. “These gowns are not designed for people with a port,” he said.

Then Stephen had an idea. He decided that he was going to design hospital gowns for children with cancer that would make it easier to access their ports for treatment. It would have a flap that could be opened and closed without removing the whole gown. The gowns would have superhero themes and be unisex for boys and girls alike. Stephen constantly reminded his family about this idea, and we assured him that when he recovered that would be their next project.

Stephen’s idea inspired his grandmother and aunt. They found a Spiderman t-shirt and sent it to be made into a poncho. It became his new hospital gown.

My name is Leanne Rodriguez. I am Stephen’s (Miggy’s) cousin, and my family has asked me to keep track of this campaign. We are located in Miami, Florida and the money we are raising will go to purchasing fabric and employing people to put together the gowns. The gowns will then be donated to cancer patients in our local hospitals.

In honor of Stephen’s wish to turn his idea into a benefit for others, we are starting this gofundme page to launch a new project to mass-produce these unique gowns. The ponchos will become Miggy’s Gift and be given to people of all ages as they undergo cancer treatment.

This charity is close to my heart, as Stephen was part of our family. Whether by donating, partaking in the fundraising events, and/or spreading Miggy’s legacy, you, too, can make a difference.

Some find their heroes ‘mid the battle’s strife;
The greatest heroes are in private life.
-S. Carter

The purpose of life is not to be happy — but to matter, to be productive, to be useful, to have it make some difference that you have lived at all.
-L. Rosten

Thankful Thursdays

For the promise of eternal life. Every time we lose a loved one, with them goes a piece of our heart and a chunk of our joy. No way around that. Fortunately, with faith, and belief in His promise of eternal life, the heart is mended and joy returns. I know that’s how it’s been for me after each and every loss I’ve experienced. The thing is to be grateful for that promise, and remain hopeful, looking forward to that ultimate embrace.

I dedicate today’s post to my best friend and her family, as they mourn the loss of their mother/grandmother, Ester Marin, a strong, faith-filled woman, doctor, wife, mother, and grandmother. May she rest in peace.

Esther, Ana, Gaby, and Andres, your Mom/Grandma will be missed. But we shall see her again.

Until next Thursday’s post…si Dios quiere.

What are you thankful for today?

“Very often people come to me and say: “Mr. Moody, do you think we shall know each other in Heaven?” Very often it is a mother who has lost a dear child, and who wishes to see it again. Sometimes it is a child who has lost a mother, a father; and who wants to recognize them in Heaven. There is a verse in Scripture in answer to this, and that is: “We shall be satisfied” (Psalm 17:15). It is all I want to know. My brother who went up there the other day I shall see, because I shall be satisfied. We will see all those we loved on Earth up there, and if we loved them here, we will love them ten thousand times more when we meet them there.”
–Dwight L. Moody

Thankful Thursdays

For things that break down. Huh? Sounds odd, I know. See, lately, we’ve had a bunch of things conk out on us — TV, washer, A/C, car battery — all around the same time. Ugh, que pujo!  Such a pain in the butt to deal with. But, you know, a few (venting) curse words later, some (frustrating) calls to repair people, and a reminder (apparently needed) from my hubby that at least we have these things and the means to fix them, rationalization set back in: Better to be blindsided by unexpected breakdowns of material things we are fortunate to have in the first place, than by something serious.

In the scheme of things, these life glitches are just inconveniences, really, that sometimes come with having stuff. Stuff I’m thankful to have, even when it breaks. Our health being most important, as long as our bodies don’t break down on us, we’re good. More than good.

On a side note, I dedicate today’s post to Barbara Bush. She had it right:

“Your success as a family… our success as a nation… depends not on what happens inside the White House, but on what happens inside your house.”
-Barbara Bush

“The Titanic was built by professionals. The Ark was built by volunteers.”
-Barbara Bush
 
“I know there is a great God, and I’m not worried.”
-Barbara Bush

Until next Thursday’s post…si Dios quiere.

What are you thankful for today?

“The chance of the bread falling with the buttered side down is directly proportional to the cost of the carpet.”
-Murphy’s Law

“We can complain because rose bushes have thorns, or rejoice because thorns have roses.”
-A. Karr

 

Thankful Thursdays

For the things I cannot control. Life is unpredictable, ever-changing, and filled with countless attitudes. For a control freak like me, this can be unnerving. But attached to the indefinite come many things that can impact and transform our lives for the better. And realizing that I’m not at the wheel every minute of my life, teaches me about acceptance; and acceptance brings peace, and peace brings happiness. So, today, even for that which I cannot control, I am thankful.

 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. I added it to my sendoff after her departure].

What are you thankful for today?

“Of course there is no formula for success except, perhaps, an unconditional acceptance of life and what it brings.”
-A. Rubinstein

God grant me the serenity
To accept the things I cannot change;
Courage to change the things I can;
And wisdom to know the difference.