Thankful Thursdays

For my collage of happy.

I like the way a positive thought can carry me through the day. Even a rainy day. I have found that if I start off my morning with good thoughts (and prayer), chances are the rest of the day will feel pretty good. Of course, there are glitches: watching or reading crazy news doesn’t help; dealing with difficult people doesn’t help; worrying doesn’t help. Sometimes I have to keep flipping on that “good thought” switch to reframe my state of mind. But, whatever, I’ll do that as many times as I need to as long as I can rid myself of negativity.

It’s true that there are times when circumstances beyond our control take over our minds and gloom sets in. The stars don’t always align for us, do they?. We all have those days. But, I believe positive thoughts attract positive circumstances, so why not inject a bit of happy into our brains anyway? What do we have to lose?

I’ve created a “collage of happy” I use for such times. A group of snapshots of funny, special, and perspective-filled memories I am grateful for, and I picture them often. Because I tell you what, nothing drowns out negative thoughts like gratitude, as I have learned.

So, let’s think good thoughts. Let’s remember what lifts us. Let’s be thankful. Let’s kick our day into gear with positive thoughts,  prayer, and happy memories, and see what a difference that can make.

For my collage of happy, today and always, I am thankful.

What are you thankful for today?

Until next Thursday’s post…si Dios quiere.

“Beautiful things happen in your life when you distance yourself from all the negative thoughts.”
-Unknown

“People tend to be generous when sharing their nonsense, fear, and ignorance. And while they seem quite eager to feed you their negativity, please remember that sometimes the diet we need to be on is a spiritual and emotional one. Be cautious with what you feed your mind and soul. Fuel yourself with positivity and let that fuel propel you into positive action.”
-S. Maraboli 

“It’s a funny thing about life, once you begin to take note of the things you are grateful for, you begin to lose sight of the things that you lack.” 
-G. Kent

“Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.”
– Philippians 4:8

 

Thankful Thursdays

For free stuff. The kind that’s good for the soul.

My favorite free thing? Kindness. It’s the kind of stuff we can all afford to give (although sometimes it seems like pulling teeth). It’s great to give and awesome to receive. Truth is, you never know just how big of an impact a little bit of kindness can have and, whether we are at the giving or receiving end, we are all affected by it.

I see it time and again – when I think evil has taken over the world, I witness or experience this wonderful act, and it instantly restores my faith in our fellow man. It’s just that invaluable to humanity. I mean, it’s a tough, harsh world, folks, but we don’t have to conform, do we?

So let’s spread it. Let’s spread kindness like wild fire. Be kind, be kind, oh please be kind.

What are you thankful for today?

Until next Thursday’s post…si Dios quiere.

“Kindness in words creates confidence. Kindness in thinking creates profoundness. Kindness in giving creates Love.”
-Lao Tzu

“Be so good they can’t ignore you.”
-Steve Martin

“Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.”
-Romans 12:2

Thankful Thursdays

For divine connections and human bridges.

Every time I think about the individuals who were strategically placed in my life solely to help me connect the dots or link me with others who would come packed with added purpose, I get goose pumps. What the heck, just incredible.

There was the acquaintance I hadn’t talked to in forever and one day e-mailed me to refer me to the job I still thank God for fifteen years later, then never heard from her again. There was the two-minute encounter at the book fair with a childhood friend of my daughter’s which led to my book signing opportunity. There was the ten-day nightmare caregiver who recommended someone as her backup while she took time off and that someone turned out to be just the right caregiver I needed for Mom. There was the neighbor who had long moved away and one day came around and, upon hearing of our situation with Mom, offered her free services to sell Mom’s house.

Those are some of the more obvious ones now. Who knows how many other connections I’ve had in my life which purpose has not manifested or come to fruition yet.

God sends them in the nick of time. They are instruments appointed to help us connect the dots and move forward. Here’s the thing, though: these divine appointments rarely come packaged the way we expect. So best be on the lookout. And please, don’t fret, but be patient, because God tends to send in these people to pinch-hit in the ninth inning, so I’ve learned. I’m just in awe, and it never gets old.

For divine connections and human bridges, today and always, I am thankful.

What are you thankful for today?

Until next Thursday’s post…si Dios quiere.

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. Thérèse of Lisieux

Thankful Thursdays

That God is in control.

Raise your hand if you believe that He’s got this.

Me, me, me, I do!

In good times and in bad times, through thick and thin, He’s got this. Believing He provides every single piece of the puzzle my life is, is how I stay in peace. Figuring out where the pieces go, well, that’s what keeps me on my toes.

All we have to do, is do our best. He will do the rest. Stay in faith, friends and family.

What are you thankful for today?

Until next Thursday’s post…si Dios quiere.

“Never be afraid to trust an unknown future to a known God.”
-Corrie Ten Boom

“Wait for the Lord; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the Lord!”
-Psalm 27:14

Thankful Thursdays

For the shake-up season. Hello, Lent!

Yesterday brought us the beginning of this holy season and, for me, it couldn’t have come at a better time. I find myself being consumed by the level of wide-world criticism, negativity and hostility, and none of it is doing anything to fuel my spiritual soul. On the contrary, I’m engaging in it and that’s just sharpening my tongue. So I welcome this season of Lent. I need it. I need it like a man with his head on fire needs water.

I know that during the next few weeks, I’ll intentionally put myself even more in tune with God. He will fill my heart with positivity and peace, and hopefully that’ll cool my thoughts [and my tongue]. I’m counting on His divine therapy, really, because I know there are better things on which to focus my energy. “Lent is the time for greater love,” Mother Teresa would say, and that’s exactly what I’m shooting for: greater love for others. That’s my Lenten resolution, what’s yours?

Because Lent is here to shake me up, I am thankful.

What are you thankful for today?

Until next Thursday’s post…si Dios quiere.

“Even the darkest moments of the liturgy are filled with joy, and Ash Wednesday, the beginning of the lenten fast, is a day of happiness, a Christian feast.”
-Thomas Merton

“Make few resolutions. Make specific resolutions. And fulfill them with the help of God.”
-St. Josemaria Escriva

Thankful Thursdays

For the difference they have made.

This past Tuesday, my students received the Sacrament of Confirmation. May God and the Holy Spirit always guide their paths as they venture out into the jungle. I couldn’t have asked for a better group of kids to finish off my CCD run, or a more beautiful ceremony. It was a joyous occasion for all, although, for me, it was most bittersweet. As pleased as I was that night, the realization that this class would be my last Confirmation group, that this term would be my last year teaching CCD, just got me feeling heavy-hearted.

When I gave notice back in December, I posted about my decision and shared with you what a meaningful experience this has been (Thankful Thursdays 12/6/18), an experience filled with unexpected and unimaginable rewards.

Forty-one years ago, I volunteered. Unbeknownst to me at the time, I had set out to answer a calling to share my faith. [By the way, we all have one, listen carefully to yours, whatever that may be.] Once it hit me, once I figured out what my purpose there was, all I hoped year in, year out was that the words coming out of my mouth would help make a difference in some kids’ lives.  In truth, THEY are the ones who made a difference in mine. And for that, today and always, I am thankful.

What are you thankful for today?

Until next Thursday’s post…si Dios quiere.

“Come, follow me,” Jesus said, “and I will send you out to fish for people.”
-Matthew 4:19

It is not what WE do for God, but what HE does through us.
-Judy Sexton

Thankful Thursdays

For flaws.

I have a decent amount of OCD-type blood running through my veins and…I’m somewhat of a control freak. Quite the combo, I know. I would love it if all of life (me, everyone and everything in the world) worked like a perfectly oiled machine. Yet, I know better, I know that God alone is perfect and that perfection, for us, is unattainable.

Luckily, there is an upside to this unattainability: Our flaws, you see, throw into focus that which requires acceptance, forgiveness, and patience – – you and me – – and more importantly, make us unique, relatable, and memorable. If we look at it this way, it’s not so bad to have rough edges, is it?

In this life of fleeting moments, I think it serves us best to remember that things not be perfect to truly feel perfect, and that we’re all in this together, flaws included. For perfect imperfections, today and always, I am thankful.

What are you thankful for today?

Until next Thursday’s post…si Dios quiere.

“It is in the process of embracing our imperfections that we find our truest gifts: courage, compassion, and connection.”
-Brené Brown

“You don’t love someone because they’re perfect…You love them in spite of the fact that they’re not.”
-Jodi Picoult, My Sister’s Keeper

“I am a contradiction
a perfect imperfection
On looking in from outside
I think I’d pass inspection

My nails are neat, each hair in place
My clothes the latest styles
But look a little closer,
And you can see my trials

The window to my balanced soul
Is stained from too much smoke
A birds eye view down at my heart
Will clearly show it’s broke

My best intentions lead to pain
And complicated messes
My head is filled with wishes,
My decisions second guesses

There was a time I tried to hide
each wrinkle, scar and tear
But I’m learning to appreciate
That I’m more than I appear

Each wrinkle tells a story
The path from there to here
I’ve earned a little wisdom
With every falling tear

My soul will soar in brilliant skies
But then I’ll need to rest
The embers of my passion
Still smolder in my chest

Perhaps I’ll let my hair go wild
And skip the manicure
I’ll wear my favorite color
They’ll say “Hey, look at her”

My hair, my heart, my clothes, my soul
Will walk in one direction
No longer contradicting
My perfect imperfection.”
-Melissa Bachara

Thankful Thursdays

A word about Love: We don’t know our own strength until we have seen how strong love makes us.

Ray, Lauren, and Danny, I love you. For how strong you make me, this Valentine’s Day and always, I am thankful.

i carry your heart with me (i carry it in
my heart) i am never without it (anywhere
i go you go, my dear; and whatever is done
by only me is your doing, my darling)
                                       i fear
no fate (for you are my fate, my sweet) i want
no world (for beautiful you are my world, my true)
and it’s you are whatever a moon has always meant
and whatever a sun will always sing is you

here is the deepest secret nobody knows
(here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud
and the sky of the sky of a tree called life; which grows
higher than soul can hope or mind can hide)
and this is the wonder that’s keeping the stars apart

i carry your heart (i carry it in my heart)
~e. e. cummings

Happy Valentine’s Day, friends and family!

What are you thankful for today?

Until next Thursday’s post…si Dios quiere.

“Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength, while loving someone deeply gives you courage.”
-Lao Tzu

“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, 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

Thankful Thursdays

For choices.

Fortunate to have them there for me to make. Blessed beyond measure by some of the ones I have made.

“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you.” Jeremiah 1:5

For Lauren and Danny, today and always, I am thankful.

What are you thankful for today?

Until next Thursday’s post…si Dios quiere.

“Attitude is a choice. Happiness is a choice. Optimism is a choice. Kindness is a choice. Giving is a choice. Respect is a choice. Whatever choice you make makes you. Choose wisely.”
-R.T. Bennett

Thankful Thursdays

That God’s got my back. And yours.

If God is for me, who can be against me? This is a question that fills me with peace. Because in my heart I know the answer, it fills me with peace.

I believe that no matter what, God’s got us. That He will relentlessly stick with us as we make our way in this world. And for that, today and always, I am thankful.

What are you thankful for today?

Until next Thursday’s post…si Dios quiere.

“Even when I walk through the darkest valley, I will not be afraid, for you are close beside me. Your rod and your staff protect and comfort me.”
-Psalm 23:4

“What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?”
-Romans 8:31