Thankful Thursdays

For stress relievers. Here’s my list of stress busters:

-Watching our cat Nelly being Nelly
-Lounging on the patio swing
-Planning travel (even if within a 10-mile radius)
-Family group hugs
-A good laugh with my hubby right before falling asleep
-Cracking my knuckles…aaaahhhh
-Working out in my pajamas (putting on my workout clothes early in the morning stresses me; and yes, I workout at home)
-Walks on the beach
-Breakfast with the amigas
-Prayer, prayer, prayer
-Getting into perspective and being grateful

Thank goodness there are so many techniques we can practice to help alleviate the many stressful things and circumstances which surround us daily. Some of the common tactics include yoga, meditation, breathing exercises, cleaning the house to some kick-ass music (not on my list, no matter how kick-ass the music), napping, eating healthy, dancing, baking delicious goodies (not if you want to eat healthy), keeping a journal…etc., etc.

It is essential for our health and sanity that we do what we can to reduce all levels of stress, and knowing that there are ways to shed that tension is itself a stress reliever. For that, I am thankful.

What’s on your list of stress relievers? And what are you thankful for today?

Until next Thursday’s post…si Dios quiere.

“If the path before you is clear, you’re probably on someone else’s.”
-Joseph Campbell

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

“If the problem can be solved why worry? If the problem cannot be solved worrying will do you no good.”
-Santideva 

Thankful Thursdays

For our children’s great friendships.

Growing up, both my husband’s home and mine were always open to our friends. Often, they could be found at the kitchen table eating our Moms’ cooking or just hanging out. They were friends from school, church, and work, and they were always welcome. At times, I’d come home and find any one of them chatting away with my mother; or find my best friend delivering my grandfather’s favorite donuts. Great friends. Period. They were welcome, they felt it, and it showed. Today, I’m glad to say most of them remain our close friends. What a blessing it is to have God in charge of our connections.

Fast-forward 30 plus years, and the story repeats itself, now with our kids’ friends, some of whom have been around since childhood. Others, more recent relationships, but equally special. A couple of them from out of town have even made our home their Miami vacay pad. Often during the summer, you can find Lauren’s and Danny’s friends cooling off in our pool, waiting for the afternoon round of cafecitos, or at our kitchen table enjoying my cooking (the couple of dishes I do make). They, in turn, show us their love by baking us cookies during their visit, bringing me flowers and travel-size Nutella packs (yum!), and even letting us have their Fastpasses to the hottest Disney ride (quite the sacrifice for this Disney crew). Like it was for us, their friends feel welcome in our home and it shows.

We enjoy having these kids around and getting to know them. We love their smiles and warm hugs. And, most importantly, we get to see what great friends they are to Lauren and Danny. We are so very grateful for the love and camaraderie among these young adults. What parent wouldn’t want that for their child?

This post is dedicated to:
Kristin, Ellen, Kevin, Gabe, Andrea, Elizabeth, the rest of the Disney crew, Alena, Stephanie, Lauren C., Danny F., Dan, Noah, Crystal, Christy, Alex, Gaby, Andres, Vicky, and Juanky.

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

“You must remember, family is often born of blood, but it doesn’t depend on blood. Nor is it exclusive of friendship. Family members can be your best friends, you know. And best friends, whether or not they are related to you, can be your family.”
-T.L. Stewart

“Your children are the greatest gift God will give to you, and their souls the heaviest responsibility He will place in your hands. Take time with them, teach them to have faith in God. Be a person in whom they can have faith. When you are old, nothing else you’ve done will have mattered as much.” 
-L. Wingate

Thankful Thursdays

For those who risk their lives for others.

The Thai soccer boys, their coach, and the rescuers are all out of the cave safely. Thank YOU, Lord!  And we can also thank the many men and women who worked tirelessly to rescue this group. For their skill and bravery, we are grateful. Also, we pray for the Navy SEAL who lost his life while trying to save others, may he rest in peace.

Fortunately, no matter how upside down this world seems at times, one thing’s for certain — it is never short of heroes. And for that, today and always, I am thankful.

Until next Thursday’s post…si Dios quiere.

What are you thankful for today?

“There is no greater love than to lay down your life for another.”
– John 15-13

Thankful Thursdays

Grateful for others’ joys.

We all know how bad life can suck at times, and that none of us is exempt. Much of my daily prayers are said for friends and family who are going through a rough patch, be it health reasons or financial burdens, or workplace challenges, you name it. So when I hear about, or I see their photos of good times as I scroll through social media, I can’t help but smile and be happy for them.  There’s enough sadness and hard times around us, and it’s incredibly refreshing to see others’ joys. And for that, I’m thankful.

Be happy for others. 🙂

Until next Thursday’s post…si Dios quiere.

What are you thankful for today?

“Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn.
-Romans 12:15

“Life is like a camera. Focus on what’s important. Capture the good times. And if things don’t work out, just take another shot.”
-Z.K. Abselnour

Thankful Thursdays

For a dose of sanity. But how do we preserve it when the inhabitants of this planet have all gone mad?

Apparently, it’s not bad enough that the state of the world is alarming and that some of the problems we are facing are difficult enough to work out. No, we have chosen to add fuel to the madness by finger-pointing, yelling, retaliation, etc. Unless you’ve been hiding under a rock, you must see that we are living in a world where assumptions and prejudgments are a dime a dozen; where there’s no apparent right, only wrong; and where, as a result, we are all condemned in the court of public opinion. It’s crazy. Meanwhile, all of this absurdity gets in the way of real solutions.

We all need to take a chill pill! And refocus. Sure, not all of us have a direct hand in solving today’s problems, but whatever we think our part is in it, we should do it with integrity, courtesy and respect. Too much to ask? I don’t think so when you consider what’s at stake.

Why not, in the midst of world-wide crazy, start by taking a breather and looking inside ourselves and around us. Because in spite of it all, we have much for which to be thankful, and we shouldn’t let this fact be clouded by all of this demeaning behavior.

Want a dose of sanity? Rejoice in that the sun came up for you this morning. For some it did as well, although not as bright and shiny. For them, we pray.

Until next Thursday’s post…si Dios quiere.

What are you thankful for today?

“The fact that millions of people share the same vices does not make these vices virtues, the fact that they share so many errors does not make the errors to be truths, and the fact that millions of people share the same form of mental pathology does not make these people sane.”
-E. Fromm

“… the reason life works at all is that not everyone in your tribe is nuts on the same day.”
-Anne Lamott

“Heroes are those who can somehow resist the power of the situation and act out of noble motives, or behave in ways that do not demean others when they easily can.”
-P.G. Zimbardo

Thankful Thursdays

For summer-induced laziness, flip-flops, and beach towels. Happy first day of summer, everyone! Although, you’d think it’s been here a while, judging from the temps we’ve been having. But yeah, the season that has the power to make us suffer and like it, is here. Can you feel it?

For Miamians, that means lots of heat, mugginess, and mosquitoes. Okay, okay, so add “extra” to that. Extra heat, mugginess, and mosquitoes. On the upside, that means traffic’s lighter, we have daylight longer (to nap during thunder), and more excuses to take time off (as if we needed any).

Let me tell you, it’s wonderful how God, in His immense wisdom, season-ized our lives (even if He overlooked Miami). Wishing all of you a safe and fantastic summer. Enjoy it, it typically flies by. And please remember to hydrate and use sunscreen.

Until next Thursday’s post…si Dios quiere.

What are you thankful for today?

“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 few of those days and you can become drunk with the belief that all’s right with the world.”
-A.L. Huxtable

“Summer afternoon—summer afternoon; to me those have always been the two most beautiful words in the English language.”
-H. James

Thankful Thursdays

When our kids consider and appreciate us.

My mother once wrote, “Unas sencillas palabras de agradecimiento y reconocimiento venidas de un hijo es lo más hermoso y grande que hace latir nuestro corazón de gozo.” (“A few simple words of gratitude and acknowledgement coming from your child is the biggest and most beautiful thing that makes our heart beat with joy.”)

I can vouch for that. Few things give us parents a boost like our kids expressing appreciation for who we are and what we do. For us, it could be the notes left hidden in our travel bag, or texted, or left on the kitchen counter, or the small tokens for no special reason, or the kiss goodnight. Their recognition equals value and love and, in an unsolicited way, validates our efforts and sacrifices.

With every written message, small token, or gesture, our hearts swell and everything is well with the world. A second later, our kids may be a pain in the butt again, but if we can hold on to that previous moment and remain under its spell, all goes back to being well in the world.

Teach your children to be considerate and appreciate others; chances are they’ll practice it on you as well. That has been our personal experience. For that, today and always I am thankful.

Today, I also want to wish all the dads a very happy Father’s Day this coming Sunday. Especially, and in a big way, to the dad in our home — the best father a woman could ever wish and hope for her children. Thank you, babe, for your hard work, encouragement, dedication, love, and time. We appreciate you so very much.

Until next Thursday’s post…si Dios quiere.

What are you thankful for today?

“If I had received good instruction as a child I would be with my family today and at peace with my neighbors. I hope and pray that all you parents in the sound of my voice will train up your children in the way they should go.”
-C. Portis

“The quality of a father can be seen in the goals,
dreams and aspirations he sets not only for
himself, but for his family.”
-R. Markham

“Parents rarely let go of their children, so children let go of them.
They move on. They move away.
The moments that used to define them are covered by
moments of their own accomplishments.
It is not until much later, that
children understand;
their stories and all their accomplishments, sit atop the stories
of their mothers and fathers, stones upon stones,
beneath the water of their lives.”
-Paulo Coelho

 

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