Thankful Thursdays

For chivalry.

But is it dead? Well, nowadays it seems to have been placed back on that medieval shelf from where it once came, along with politeness and manners.

While it is a matter of courtesy, in general, and not an issue solely between men and women, I’ve heard it said that chivalry reinforces the idea that women need to be helped or saved by a man. And, therefore, some men are more likely to not exhibit this behavior in order to not offend. What?? What a shame. Our lovely millennials are missing out on a wonderful tradition, is all I know.

Call me old fashioned, but I love that after thirty-one years of marriage my husband still holds open doors for me, carries my bags, writes me notes, and brings me flowers. And I’ve never felt disempowered by it, or any less independent. Same when a man lets me in and out of the elevator first or holds open a door. I don’t need or expect them to do it, but I do like and appreciate when it happens.

The noticeable decline in good manners, politeness, and chivalry didn’t just happen, though. It’s been inching along for quite some time. A fruit of society’s “sálvese quien pueda” (every man for himself) mentality, I think. And I don’t know, I won’t elaborate, but could it be also that it’s harder to practice this behavior while living between 140 character tweets? Hmm….

Moms and dads, teach your sons to be chivalrous and your daughters to embrace it. I must say I feel hopeful when I see my son (thankfully) employ the same chivalrous practices as his father. So, is it dead? I say no, but it could sure use some taking down from the shelf and dusting off.

For chivalry, today and always, I am thankful.

What are you thankful for today?

Until next Thursday’s post…si Dios quiere.

“If you want to be held in high esteem, hold yourself to higher standards.”

“Whatever happened to chivalry? Does it only exist in 80’s movies? I want John Cusack holding a boombox outside my window. I wanna ride off on a lawnmower with Patrick Dempsey. I want Jake from Sixteen Candles waiting outside the church for me. I want Judd Nelson thrusting his fist into the air because he knows he got me. Just once I want my life to be like an 80’s movie, preferably one with a really awesome musical number for no apparent reason. But no, no, John Hughes did not direct my life.”
-Emma Stone

“It’s one thing, holding open the door for someone at a grocery store, or the library, or just about anyplace else. But the doughnut shop is a different thing altogether. This is a get-in-and-out-as-fast-as-you-can operation. There’s no room for courtesy or chivalry here.”
-L. Barclay

“As we are, so we do; and as we do, so is it done to us; we are the builders of our fortunes.”
-R.W. Emerson

Thankful Thursdays

For power-packed words.

Please, thank you, I’m sorry, good morning, have a great day, you can do it, I’ll pray for you, I love you….

The smallest and simplest of positive words have the power to make someone’s day, sometimes even save a life. And with so much negativity out there, who wouldn’t want to be the recipient of a few good words that can turn our day around?

Words define us. They are, after all, a reflection of who we are. So they matter, and we have the responsibility to make them count. Let’s use them for good not for ill.

For power-packed words, today and always, I am thankful.

I dedicate today’s post to my mother-in-law and second mom, who turns 81 today. Felicidades, Mima!

What are you thankful for today?

Until next Thursday’s post…si Dios quiere.

“A word is dead
When it is said,
Some say.
I say it just
Begins to live
That day.” 
-Emily Dickinson

“They can be like the sun, words.
They can do for the heart what light can for a field.” 
-St. John of the Cross

“Words are like eggs dropped from great heights; you can no more call them back than ignore the mess they leave when they fall.”
-J. Picoult 

Thankful Thursdays

For 20,454 sunrises.

My first thought when I open my eyes every morning is “Thank You, God, for letting me wake up.” Today, it was “…for letting me wake up to yet another birthday.”

As I reflect on my time here so far, I am amazed at the journey. I am amazed at how things come full circle. I am amazed at how every human connection in my life has a purpose. And I am amazed at how my faith carries me through it all. But then again, what else other than amazing would this be when God’s at the helm?

Although the lows have been rough, the highs have been many. At times even feeling that nothing I have done makes me deserve all the good that God has given me. But, hey, I’ll take it.  I’ll take each day and everything that comes with it – the wrinkles, the joints that now ache, the middle-aged worries that invade my thoughts – all of it. Because weighed against not getting older, the downsides all seem like a small price to pay.

And so on this day, recognizing that life is not made up of time but of breaths, I am especially grateful to be alive. To be surrounded by those I love and those who love me. Hopeful to awake to more sunrises and live out more days.

What are you thankful for today?

Until next Thursday’s post…si Dios quiere.

“You have made my days a mere handbreadth; the span of my years is as nothing before you. Each man’s life is but a breath.”
-Psalm 39:4–5

“Birthdays are good for you. Statistics show that the people who have the most, live the longest.”
-Larry Lorenzoni

“They’re not gray hairs. They’re wisdom highlights.”
-Author Unknown

Thankful Thursdays

Hello there, 2019! And Happy New Year to all of you. I’m looking forward to, and praying for, all the best that this new year has to offer.

Wishing all of you a great, prosperous, healthy, and happy year. May your blessings be many. Let’s get to it!

What are you thankful for today?

Until next Thursday’s post…si Dios quiere.

“A year from now you may wish you had started today.” 
-K. Lamb

“We spend January 1st walking through our lives, room by room, drawing up a list of work to be done, cracks to be patched. Maybe this year, to balance the list, we ought to walk through the rooms of our lives…not looking for flaws, but for potential.” 
-E. Goodman

 “The chief beauty about time
is that you cannot waste it in advance.
The next year, the next day, the next hour are lying ready for you,
as perfect, as unspoiled,
as if you had never wasted or misapplied
a single moment in all your life.
You can turn over a new leaf every hour
if you choose.”
-A. Bennet

Thankful Thursdays

Thankful for 2018.

Challenging year? You bet! But as this year comes to an end and a new one soon begins, let’s raise our glasses and make a toast to every blessing we’ve been showered with in 2018.

Being able to share another 52 Thankful Thursdays with you has been among mine. Thank you for your e-mails, texts, and post comments.

Family and friends, in 2019, let’s remember to cherish each second and, most of all, to spend lots and lots of time with those we love.

And here’s a New Year’s resolution for all of us: GET GRATEFUL!

Wishing all of you a wonderful, safe, and happy New Year’s Eve, and a blessings-filled 2019.

What are you thankful for today?

Until next year’s post…si Dios quiere.

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 the true reason for the season.

Even before our Thanksgiving turkey goes in the oven (or it’s ordered), the hustle and bustle of Christmas engulfs us. Christmas decorations go up, the mad dash shopping for gifts begins, and we turn our attention to annual holiday celebrations and parties. With all that activity going on, it’s no wonder we leave little time to reflect on the true meaning of Christmas.

Luke 2:11 reminds us of the true reason for the season: “For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.”

Family and friends, let’s not forget to keep Christ in the center of this holiday…and all year long. For the most precious gift of all, today and always, I am thankful.

Wishing you and your loved ones a very blessed Christmas.

What are you thankful for today?

Until next Thursday’s post…si Dios quiere.

“And when we give each other Christmas gifts in His name, let us remember that He has given us the sun and the moon and the stars, and the earth with its forests and mountains and oceans–and all that lives and move upon them. He has given us all green things and everything that blossoms and bears fruit and all that we quarrel about and all that we have misused–and to save us from our foolishness, from all our sins, He came down to earth and gave us Himself.” 
-S. Undset

“Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn’t before! What if Christmas, he thought, doesn’t come from a store. What if Christmas…perhaps…means a little bit more!” 
-Dr. Seuss

Thankful Thursdays

For better thoughts. Worthwhile thoughts.

What is definitely not worthwhile is to worry. Worrisome thoughts consume precious minutes of our lives. For me, most times it’s about our kids’ future, other times about health issues I’m not even having symptoms of and, lately, often about retirement (but at this rate of worrying, I may not even get there).

We tend to also overload our brains with that which we have no control over. When instead, we should concern ourselves with that which we have the ability to change; to make the bad good and the good better.

Don’t know about you, but this thought re-programming is not easy for me. Used to be when I was younger (not that I’m old, just older). So whenever I can, I grab hold of words that remind me and encourage me to shelve that worrying; that whatever is going to happen will happen:

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

I want this backwards-tattooed to my forehead so I can read it three minutes after I get out of bed. Alternatively, since the more we pray the less we panic or worry (and because the tattoo is not going to happen), I suppose I can pray and leave things in God’s hands a lot more than I do.

For better thoughts, worthwhile thoughts, let’s be thankful.

What are you thankful for today?

Until next Thursday’s post…si Dios quiere.

“Worrying is carrying tomorrow’s load with today’s strength- carrying two days at once. It is moving into tomorrow ahead of time. Worrying doesn’t empty tomorrow of its sorrow, it empties today of its strength.”
-Corrie Ten Boom

“I am reminded of the advice of my neighbor. “Never worry about your heart till it stops beating. ”
-E.B. White

Thankful Thursdays

For four decades of lessons.

This past Saturday, post-consult with God, I gave notice at church that this shall be my last school year teaching Catechism. I felt it was time to pass the torch. My decision, although not an easy one, was guilt-free. A sure sign that it was the right one.

I could have not stuck it out all these years without the understanding of my home team. Ray, Lauren, and Danny, I am most grateful to you, not only for being so accepting of my commitment, but for volunteering your time as well. It’s been a family labor of love for sure.

I am also grateful to our CCD Director, Leyla Mazpule, and to our parish pastor, Father Lopez, for allowing me to share my faith with the kids, and for their continued support during my years of service at Sts. Peter & Paul Catholic Church.

The weekly classes did not come without challenges, of course. They did, also, come with many blessings. Throughout the years, I taught many kids whose kids, in turn, became my students. Living through that circle of life was one of those blessings. As was seeing many of them return to CCD to volunteer their time, making it possible for us to share and grow in our faith journey together. And those I’ve encountered years later and told me that something I said in class made a difference in their lives (somehow)? Well, that’s been icing on the cake.

But, among the many blessings, more importantly are the lessons they’ve taught ME. Lessons that raise my teaching bar week after week. Like the fact that judging a book by its cover is a total waste of time, as my first-day-of-class preconceptions of them typically were torn to pieces by class number two. That patience is a virtue and it should come in the form of injection. And that what I know is not as important to them as how much I care.

I will miss it. I will miss them.

As my “catechist” calling draws to an end, I look forward to wherever God’s path of service leads me next.

Meanwhile, for this most gracious opportunity, invaluable experience, and four decades worth of lessons from my students, today and always, Lord, I am thankful.

What are you thankful for today?

Until next Thursday’s post…si Dios quiere.

“Let all that you do be done in Love.”
-1 Corinthians 16:14

“The reality is that the Lord never calls the qualified; He qualifies the called.”
-H.T. Blackaby

“We email, Facebook, tweet and text with people who are going to spend eternity in either heaven or hell. Our lives are too short to waste on mere temporal conversations when massive eternal realities hang in the balance. Just as you and I have no guarantee that we will live through the day, the people around us are not guaranteed tomorrow either. So let’s be intentional about sewing the threads of the gospel into the fabric of our conversations every day, knowing that it will not always be easy, yet believing that eternity will always be worth it.”
-D. Platt

“Miss no single opportunity of making some small sacrifice, here by a smiling look, there by a kindly word; always doing the smallest right and doing it all for love.”
-Therese de Lisieux

It’s been quite a ride and an honor.

Thankful Thursdays

For tolerance. It’s our only hope.

And so I ask you, what good is it to let others know what we stand against, if our attitude contradicts what we stand for?

Dig down, dig deep. Let’s stop drinking the haterade, people. We can do this!

For every ounce of tolerance I see out there today (including that which I can squeeze out of me), I am grateful.

 What are you thankful for?

 Until next Thursday’s post…si Dios quiere.

“Be sure you put your feet in the right place, then stand firm.”
-Abraham Lincoln

“Laws alone cannot secure freedom of expression; in order that every man present his views without penalty there must be spirit of tolerance in the entire population.”
Albert Einstein


Thankful Thursdays

For everything and everyone.

It’s Thankful Thursday and it’s Thanksgiving Day. Enough said.

Wishing all of us a blessed day accompanied by those we love…present in body and spirit.

Until next Thursday’s post…si Dios quiere.

“Since God is with us, and our loved ones are with Him – then they’re not very far away.”

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

“I would maintain that thanks are the highest form of thought, and that gratitude is happiness doubled by wonder.”
– G.K. Chesterton