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



Thankful Thursdays

For the family group chat. I was just cleaning out my phone and reading some of the texts in our family group chat going back months…messages that range from significant discussions to random nonsense, but most of which are hilarious. These conversations which are frequently accompanied by photos, gifs, memes and bitmojis, have, for the most part, kept us apprised of our comings and goings in this hurried world in which we live. At times, it serves almost as a “virtual dinner table” (as I heard someone refer to it recently), especially on those days when we find it difficult to coincide at our actual table. Our exchanges are also quite entertaining, I must say. I could probably make a book out of our chat material. But won’t. Or maybe I will, depends on how you kids behave. [Threat implied, Lauren and Danny]

In case you’re wondering, yes, our kids occasionally do get irritated if what’s being discussed in the chat does not directly involve them, but that’s when we parental units enjoy the conversation the most. What a great chance to annoy them, don’t you parents agree? And don’t get me wrong, both of us try to instill in our kids the importance of oral communication, and our preference to chat with them in person or via a phone call, not only for the intimate feel of it, but for the survival of their social skills, too. But let’s face it, some things just cannot wait until the end of the day. They are just too funny.

The irrelevant, the important, the tone-filled, the encouraging, the funny, etc., all make up our family group chat on a daily basis, along the lines recording some very goofy but priceless moments. For this virtual dinner table, today (and while technology facilitates it) I am thankful.

Remember, don’t text and drive (not simultaneously anyway). And don’t get me started about text grammar, please.

Anyway, until next Thursday’s post…si Dios quiere.

What are you thankful for today?

“Was that semi-colon some kind of flirty wink or just bad punctuation?”
-A. Aalai

Thankful Thursdays

For Mothers. This is the very first Mother’s Day we won’t have Mom here to celebrate with her. We miss her. And I will miss that “¡Mom, felicidades!” I would greet her with on her special day. But, I know she rejoices with the Lord above. What an awesome gift that is.

As for me, what better gift than these two cuties right here:Ahead of this coming Mother’s Day, I want to wish all the Moms a very beautiful and blessed day.

Until next Thursday’s post…si Dios quiere.

What are you thankful for today?

                    “When God Created Mothers”

When the Good Lord was creating mothers, He was into His sixth day of “overtime” when the angel appeared and said. “You’re doing a lot of fiddling around on this one.”

And God said, “Have you read the specs on this order?” She has to be completely washable, but not plastic. Have 180 moveable parts…all replaceable. Run on black coffee and leftovers. Have a lap that disappears when she stands up. A kiss that can cure anything from a broken leg to a disappointed love affair. And six pairs of hands.”

The angel shook her head slowly and said. “Six pairs of hands…. no way.”

It’s not the hands that are causing me problems,” God remarked, “it’s the three pairs of eyes that mothers have to have.”

That’s on the standard model?” asked the angel. God nodded.

One pair that sees through closed doors when she asks, ‘What are you kids doing in there?’ when she already knows. Another here in the back of her head that sees what she shouldn’t but what she has to know, and of course the ones here in front that can look at a child when he goofs up and say. ‘I understand and I love you’ without so much as uttering a word.”

God,” said the angel touching his sleeve gently, “Get some rest tomorrow….”

I can’t,” said God, “I’m so close to creating something so close to myself. Already I have one who heals herself when she is sick…can feed a family of six on one pound of hamburger…and can get a nine year old to stand under a shower.”

The angel circled the model of a mother very slowly. “It’s too soft,” she sighed.

But tough!” said God excitedly. “You can imagine what this mother can do or endure.”

Can it think?”

Not only can it think, but it can reason and compromise,” said the Creator.

Finally, the angel bent over and ran her finger across the cheek.

There’s a leak,” she pronounced. “I told You that You were trying to put too much into this model.”

It’s not a leak,” said the Lord, “It’s a tear.”

What’s it for?”

It’s for joy, sadness, disappointment, pain, loneliness, and pride.”

You are a genius, ” said the angel.

Somberly, God said, “I didn’t put it there.”

– E. Bombeck

Thankful Thursdays

For spring cleaning! Everyone at home is on a roll, cleaning up and clearing out (if you hang out at our house more than two days you too may be packed up and donated). Clutter be gone. I love it! Except for photographs; those paper images are precious and sacred. I’ve been sorting out a zillion of those lately, but that’s a story for another time.

All this much needed decluttering can be daunting, but the finished product is so satisfying. Who was it that said, “Out of clutter, find simplicity”? Einstein I think, but it could’ve been me ‘cause I’m all about simplicity.

So now there’s a bit of extra space around us, in our hearts and in our minds (and in the “junk drawer”) for more important things…and thoughts (and new junk). Oh yes, of course the mind needs to be decluttered, but that, too, is a story for another time.

Okay, your turn to make space. And remember to donate.

Until next Thursday’s post…si Dios quiere.

What are you thankful for today?

“Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful.”
-W. Morris

“Happiness is a place between too little and too much.”
-Finnish proverb

“I love Pinterest. It’s electronic hoarding without the clutter.”
– Internet meme


How his last wish is making a difference.

I’m sharing with you today information about a great cause that’s making a difference in the life of many — Miggy’s Gift — a non-profit organization that is working on fulfilling Stephen Miggy” Chavez’s last wish:  to help pediatric cancer patients and their families. In a short timespan, this charity has taken off in a big way, but it needs much support to continue accomplishing its goal.

To learn more and for the latest progress, please check out, @MiggysGift and @Miggys_Gift, and read how it all started in this excerpt from the gofundme page:

Stephen “Miggy” Chavez passed away on Tuesday, November 14th, 2017 after a four-month battle with Cancer.

Stephen’s immunotherapy treatment required that a port be surgically implanted into his right side of his chest. Stephen often complained that he was uncomfortable in his hospital gown, which had to be buttoned up and down each time the nurses needed to access his port. One day, Stephen relayed his frustration to a nurse. “These gowns are not designed for people with a port,” he said.

Then Stephen had an idea. He decided that he was going to design hospital gowns for children with cancer that would make it easier to access their ports for treatment. It would have a flap that could be opened and closed without removing the whole gown. The gowns would have superhero themes and be unisex for boys and girls alike. Stephen constantly reminded his family about this idea, and we assured him that when he recovered that would be their next project.

Stephen’s idea inspired his grandmother and aunt. They found a Spiderman t-shirt and sent it to be made into a poncho. It became his new hospital gown.

My name is Leanne Rodriguez. I am Stephen’s (Miggy’s) cousin, and my family has asked me to keep track of this campaign. We are located in Miami, Florida and the money we are raising will go to purchasing fabric and employing people to put together the gowns. The gowns will then be donated to cancer patients in our local hospitals.

In honor of Stephen’s wish to turn his idea into a benefit for others, we are starting this gofundme page to launch a new project to mass-produce these unique gowns. The ponchos will become Miggy’s Gift and be given to people of all ages as they undergo cancer treatment.

This charity is close to my heart, as Stephen was part of our family. Whether by donating, partaking in the fundraising events, and/or spreading Miggy’s legacy, you, too, can make a difference.

Some find their heroes ‘mid the battle’s strife;
The greatest heroes are in private life.
-S. Carter

The purpose of life is not to be happy — but to matter, to be productive, to be useful, to have it make some difference that you have lived at all.
-L. Rosten

Thankful Thursdays

For the promise of eternal life. Every time we lose a loved one, with them goes a piece of our heart and a chunk of our joy. No way around that. Fortunately, with faith, and belief in His promise of eternal life, the heart is mended and joy returns. I know that’s how it’s been for me after each and every loss I’ve experienced. The thing is to be grateful for that promise, and remain hopeful, looking forward to that ultimate embrace.

I dedicate today’s post to my best friend and her family, as they mourn the loss of their mother/grandmother, Ester Marin, a strong, faith-filled woman, doctor, wife, mother, and grandmother. May she rest in peace.

Esther, Ana, Gaby, and Andres, your Mom/Grandma will be missed. But we shall see her again.

Until next Thursday’s post…si Dios quiere.

What are you thankful for today?

“Very often people come to me and say: “Mr. Moody, do you think we shall know each other in Heaven?” Very often it is a mother who has lost a dear child, and who wishes to see it again. Sometimes it is a child who has lost a mother, a father; and who wants to recognize them in Heaven. There is a verse in Scripture in answer to this, and that is: “We shall be satisfied” (Psalm 17:15). It is all I want to know. My brother who went up there the other day I shall see, because I shall be satisfied. We will see all those we loved on Earth up there, and if we loved them here, we will love them ten thousand times more when we meet them there.”
–Dwight L. Moody