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

 

 

Thankful Thursdays

Our tree has been up and running!

Let me tell you, given the year it has been, “rockin’ around the Christmas tree” has never meant so much. I’m so very grateful that we’re getting to do just that. Every moment, every light and every ornament is appreciated ten-fold. Sharing with you here my favorite ornament – one of Mom’s many original hand-crafted creations.

May you, too, be enjoying your seasonal masterpiece and those loved ones around it.

What are you thankful for today?

Until next Thursday’s post…si Dios quiere.

“The best of all gifts around any Christmas tree: the presence of a happy family all wrapped up in each other.”
B. Vaughan

“Nothing ever seems too bad, too hard, or too sad when you’ve got a Christmas tree in the living room.”
-Nora Roberts

“Some Christmas tree ornaments do more than glitter and glow, they represent a gift of love given a long time ago.”
-T. Baker


Made with love by Mom.

Thankful Thursdays

For a remarkable man.

I dedicate today’s post to Richard de Aguero – Mr. D, as we all called him in high school. An exceptional and inspiring teacher, leader, parishioner, husband, father, friend, and brother in Christ. A faithful servant to the end. The Lord summoned him last week to join his beloved wife, Jane.

We were fortunate to have Richard as Mom’s neighbor for many years. She was very fond of him and they became good friends. Richard kept a watchful eye, always looking in on her. When I asked him to read the Psalm at Mom’s funeral Mass, he was so touched and, in true Richard form, humbly said yes. I’ll never forget his voice and tone as he read that day – soothing and full of hope – the way he always sounded when he spoke the word of God.

Our prayers are with his family. Richard, may you Rest In Peace. You’ll always be in our hearts. For having known you, today and always, we’ll be thankful.

Until next Thursday’s post…si Dios quiere.

1943-2020

”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. Therese of Lisieux

Thankful Thursdays

For family road trips.

A cabin in the mountains, fresh air, snow, a truck-full of provisions and lots of laughs. This road trip is not being measured by mile markers, but by moments.

So very grateful to be in Tennessee with the gang this week.

What moments are you thankful for today?

Until next Thursday’s post…si Dios quiere.

“Always take the scenic route.”
-Unknown

“It doesn’t matter how old you are, buying snacks for a road trip should always look like an unsupervised 9 year old given $100.” 
-Unknown

“Traveling in the company of those we love is home in motion.”
-Leigh Hunt

 

Thankful Thursdays

Faces. That is what instantly jumps at me when I stop to reflect on this Thanksgiving Day. The faces of those I love, and whose love and support I feel, even from a distance.

This year, many of us are celebrating this holiday in smaller groups and away from a number of our family and friends. Either because they are in heaven now, or because, unfortunately, we are semi-quarantined. It’s sad. But let me ask you this – – What’s distance to those who really love?

Hovering over me from above are my dearest departed ones – – my mom, my dad, my sister and others. They may be gone, but because they are embedded in my mind and in my heart, I feel their constant love and support.

Braving this world with me are those dearest ones who I haven’t been able to hug in quite a while. For us, drive-bys and technology have had to suffice. But because they, too, are embedded in my heart and in my mind, I feel their love and support.

So you see, what’s distance to those who really love? I am thankful for these faces. And I am blessed to have them all in my life, in one way or another.

For that and the many other blessings God has bestowed upon me, today and always, I am thankful.

From our home to yours, a very blessed Thanksgiving to all. 

What are you thankful for today?

Until next Thursday’s post…si Dios quiere.

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

“I believe in the immeasurable power of love; that true love can endure any circumstance and reach across any distance.”
-S. Maraboli 

“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

HUGS TO ALL OF YOU!