Thankful Thursdays

For those who nurture my faith. Especially, my husband. When all hell breaks loose and the struggles get real, there is nothing like having people in your life who will step up and reassure you that things will be alright because someone is watching over you. If you’re a person of faith, whatever your religion, then you know the importance of being surrounded by people who help nurture that faith so you can get through life’s struggles. People who pray with you, even when all is okay, and make you feel grateful.

To be able to share my life with those who keep God at the center of theirs, is one of my biggest blessings. From my family, especially Ray, who, thirty-three years ago, joined me in my Christian walk and now lights our path, to my circle of friends, whose godly connection I feel in my heart. For all of them, each an integral part of my survival, I thank you, Lord.

May you find yourself surrounded by those who carry God in their hearts and wear their faith on their sleeves.

What are you thankful for today?

“Hide yourself in God, so when a man wants to find you he will have to go there first.”
-S.L. Alder

“And friends are friends forever
If the Lord’s the Lord of them.”
-M.W. Smith

Thankful Thursdays

For “Life goals!” It’s so easy to get discouraged nowadays given the state of our world. We fear for our children’s future most of all. Does it feel kind of hopeless at times? Maybe. But that’s why I think it’s so important to encourage our children, and ourselves, to have goals. Instead of resting on our laurels waiting for things to happen, we should be looking ahead, planning, and setting goals. This focuses our vision on working hard, and nothing gets results quite like hard work. Of course, not everything we plan for or every goal we set is destined to come to fruition. Sometimes it’s the journey itself (and its lessons) that is the reward. My faith leads me to believe that. And the surge forward sure does set hope in motion. I know that for a fact. Sure, God may laugh at our planning, but He must surely give us credit for our hopefulness.

Still, I used to get somewhat concerned whenever my daughter would say, “Life goals!” after every mention of a bucket list item. I’d be like, “Oh brother, she keeps piling them in.” But the more I heard Lauren throw stuff in her bucket and claim “Life goals!,” the more I saw her work hard toward those things, and accomplish quite a few. Along the way, she and Danny have experienced disappointment, but we’ve taught our kids that worse than disappointment, is to give ourselves nothing to look forward to. Which explains why they are so gung-ho about their endeavors.

Now, before we go tossing more stuff in them, let’s make sure our buckets are lined with integrity and values. That they contain not just fun-filled plans geared at short-term satisfaction, but that we’re also adding plans that will improve our lives and the lives of others for years to come.

Let’s be thankful for what we already have, and let’s keep our eyes peeled on those “life goals!”… they keep hope alive.

What are you thankful for today?

“Far away there in the sunshine are my highest aspirations. I may not reach them, but I can look up and see their beauty, believe in them, and try to follow where they lead.”
-L.M. Alcott

“Obstacles are things a person sees when he takes his eyes off his goal.”
-E.J. Cossman

“If you don’t know where you are going,
you’ll end up someplace else.”
-Yogi Berra

Thankful Thursdays

For patience — a priceless virtue in our fast-paced lives. We need patience while in traffic; at the store and on the phone; patience with our co-workers; patience with our kids, our spouses, our parents, and our friends. Patience with ourselves! And, most of all, we need patience while we wait on God to do what He’s going to do, no matter what our prayers are.

Patience. It can make us. Lack thereof can break us. For those who are patient with me, I am grateful.

What are you thankful for today?

“God, teach me to be patient, teach me to go slow,
Teach me how to wait on You when my way I do not know.

Teach me sweet forbearance when things do not go right
So I remain unruffled when others grow uptight.

Teach me how to quiet my racing, rising heart
So I might hear the answer You are trying to impart.

Teach me to let go, dear God, and pray undisturbed until
My heart is filled with inner peace and I learn to know your will.”
-H.S. Rice

Thankful Thursdays

For those who set the right tone. Like Jose, one of my building’s security guards, who holds the door open for us every morning and greets us with a super cheerful “Good morning, happy [whatever day of the week it may be]!” I must confess that some days on my walk up to that door, I’m like “Ugh, back to work.” But, Jose’s energetic and genuine greeting snaps me out of it and puts a smile on my face. How refreshing it is to encounter people who project positivity. I do believe attitudes are contagious. Wouldn’t it be great if we were carriers of the right kind? So, for those who bring their own sunshine, I am thankful.

What are you thankful for today?

“Attitudes are contagious. Are yours worth catching?” – D. Mannering

“There is a magnificent, beautiful, wonderful painting in front of you! It is intricate, detailed, a painstaking labor of devotion and love! The colors are like no other, they swim and leap, they trickle and embellish! And yet you choose to fixate your eyes on the small fly which has landed on it! Why do you do such a thing?”
-C. JoyBell C.

Thankful Thursdays

For unrealized blessings. Can one run out of things for which to be thankful? Never. We can pass our days muttering to ourselves a bunch of thank-yous, for big things and little things; good things that happened and bad things that didn’t. Even if yesterday we were thankful for our health, or our kids, or our mother-in-law’s cooking, or for that boring job that pays our bills, we can express gratitude for those things again today.

But, in case at some point our gratitude starts to feel repetitive (like maybe after 284 consecutive Thankful Thursdays postings…wink, wink), we can always be thankful for the blessings yet to come. That kind of gratitude and faith surely must nudge God to action on our behalves, no? Let’s not miss out.

What are you thankful for today?

“Perhaps it takes a purer faith to praise God for unrealized blessings than for those we once enjoyed or those we enjoy now.”
-A.W. Tozer

Thankful Thursdays

For this great season. Summer means beach and pool. Here in Florida, most of the year really, but especially now. As we head out to enjoy our outdoor activities, please don’t forget the sunscreen, use caution, never be in the water alone, and hang out with someone who can swim. And speaking of swimmers, it’s always a good idea to bring with you that One who can walk on water. Enjoy your Summer! Our tans will fade, so make memories that will last forever.What are you thankful for today?

Hair gets lighter. Skin gets darker.
Water gets warmer. Drinks get colder.
Music gets louder. Nights get longer.
Life gets better.”

“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

“God offers us yearly a necklace of twelve pearls; most men choose the fairest, label it June, and cast the rest away.
– T.W. Higginson

Thankful Thursdays

For one heck of a journey! In 1997, we visited our first national park. What we thought would be just another vacation with the kids, turned into a national park quest. For 20 years, we’ve been fortunate to visit and explore some of the most beautiful places on Earth. Some of them so awesome and inspiring, we’ve had to repeat. And even then, they always feel brand new.

What has made this quest immensely special is that each and every time, it’s included the four of us. Our countless photos and videos will always help us relive our experiences with fondness, but that’ll never beat the feeling of being there together. For that amazing blessing, I am forever thankful. To my gang, my traveling partners, Ray, Lauren, and Danny, I pray we have many more adventures together. I love you guys.

Today, we’re celebrating this very special 20th anniversary where else but at one of our favorites. Greetings from the Grand Canyon!

“We travel not to escape life, but for life not to escape us.”

“Not all those who wander are lost.”
-J.R.R. Tolkien

“Take only memories, leave nothing but footprints.”

Thankful Thursdays

For tough skin and a soft heart. I’m a measured person. Still, these days I almost feel obligated to tiptoe through my day. How exhausting. I don’t dare to elaborate here, but, in a nutshell, it seems the “No Vacancy” signs are blinking bright at all the super crowded “safe spaces” out there. Perhaps I should’ve invested in such real estate. Safe Space, $10 a minute. Hmmm…cha-ching!

What’s happened to “live and let live” and “agree to disagree”? What’s happened to “everything in moderation”? Must our words and actions veer to extremes? ¡Qué locura!

Herein lies the trick, I think: to grow tough skin that’s not too thick and cultivate a soft heart, so we can block the nonsense and care enough to respect those who differ from us. Easier said than done, you say? Maybe, but try not, at least, and we risk losing ourselves inside an intolerant and unsympathetic bubble. Not a good place. So, for those who are thick-skinned and tender-hearted, I am thankful.

What are you thankful for today?

“If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal.”
– 1 Corinthians 13:1

“Today’s college students demand a self-segregating ‘safe space.’ Rosa Parks spinning in her grave.”
-A.E. Samaan

“Kind words can be short and easy to speak, but their echoes are truly endless.”
-Mother Teresa


Thankful Thursdays

That we will hug again. Remembering my sister today on her birthday. Gone too soon. The best thing about having her, was that I always knew I had a friend, no matter what. The best thing about missing her, is that I know we will hug again. And for that, I am thankful.

Who do you miss? And what are you thankful for today?

“I thought of you today, but that is nothing new. I thought about you yesterday and days before that too. I think of you in silence, I often speak your name. All I have are memories and a picture in frame. Your memory is a keepsake, from which I will never part. God has you in his arms. I have you in my heart.”

“If you have a sister and she dies, do you stop saying you have one? Or are you always a sister, even when the other half of the equation is gone?”
Jodi Picoult

“I would like more sisters, that the taking out of one, might not leave such stillness..”
Emily Dickinson

Thankful Thursdays

For the brave men and women who defend our freedom. This upcoming weekend, most of us will be enjoying a hearty barbeque and some good laughs with friends and family, all thanks to a three-day holiday which commemorates those U.S. soldiers and other military personnel who sacrificed their lives and died in honor of our country. For them, and all of the current service men and women who risk their lives for us, I am thankful.

Let’s salute these brave-hearts. Fly our flag high and proud!

What are you thankful for today?

“And I’m proud to be an American, where at least I know I’m free. And I won’t forget the men who died, who gave that right to me.”
-Lee Greenwood

“Who kept the faith and fought the fight; The glory theirs, the duty ours.”
-Wallace Bruce