Friday’s here!

“Family means too much, Friends are too valuable, And life is too short, To put-off sharing with people, How much they mean to you, And pursuing whatever it is that makes you happy.”

 
~ Unknown

“ALWAYS IN TOUCH” – Waving to friends and family back home via live webcam –
Grand Lake, CO.
WebcamPhoto by CCPerez. Copyright © July 2008 Connie Perez. All rights reserved.

Have a great weekend everyone and enjoy your loved ones!  : ) 

5 Minutes

        My office neighbor, who is responsible for, among other things, making me ponder things some days to the point of headache, asked me just yesterday: “If at the end of your life when you face God you had five minutes with Him, what would you talk to Him about, what would you ask Him?” I told her I wouldn’t ask Him anything as I believe once we enter the realm of heaven all of our questions will be answered instantly, we’ll have complete understanding; and that I suppose instead I would spend that time wheeling and dealing for the people down here on Earth. First words out of my mouth would be, “Please grant my daughter and son a healthy and happy life.”  “No specifics?” she then asked. “No,” I said, “as I believe what I think would make them happy may not necessarily be what He thinks would make them happy or be best for them, so I would leave specifics up to Him.”

 
        What would you do with your 5 minutes?

        Have a great weekend everybody!  : )

In Heaven, God will reveal what on Earth He chose to conceal.
~ David Brandt Berg


And I said to the one who stood at the gate of the year, ‘Give me a light that I may tread safely into the Unknown.’ And he replied, ‘Go out into the darkness and put your hand into the hand of God. That shall be to you better than light and safer than a known way.’
~
Minnie Haskins


…there’s no app for that!

I was at Disney the other day and saw a “Today I Feel” magnet board with Disney character faces on it expressing different feelings. You know so you can choose whatever emotion you are feeling on any particular day and frame it within the movable little square it brings. It was really cute so I bought one for myself. And then I bought one for a friend of mine whose moods swings some days can have that little square hopping all over that magnet board. I figured she’d overlook my insinuation and appreciate the fun distraction. : )

After using it for a couple of days I realized that this board, although equipped to show the most common moods and emotions, omits some of my most recurrent ones. So I thought, okay I’m gonna have to custom design one just for me. And then I thought, well, while I’m at it maybe I’ll add an app to it; you know, to get rid of a negative mood and easily access a more desirable one at the touch of a button. After all, it seems there’s an app for just about anything. So how about one that would instantaneously and genie-like blink me out of a bad mood and into a good one? Something that’d work faster than a bite of dark chocolate (as doubtful as that may be). Yes that would be grand, wouldn’t it? Feel frustrated, angry, enraged while at the office and want to stop before you ring your co-workers neck? There’s an app for that. Feel frightened, anxious, hopeless about the state of the country and want to stop before you go postal on somebody? There’s an app for that. Feel threatened, jealous, resentful and want to stop before you really lose that someone you love? There’s an app for that. Feel stressed, annoyed, aggravated at traffic and want to get there teletransporter-style before you have a heart attack? There’s an app for that. [You moms, you know you want this one, admit it]. Like magic. That’d be pretty cool, huh?

Yeah, no, not exactly. I don’t know about adding this feature to our already existing push-button, instant gratification world. As it is, we spend an immense amount of time in cyberspace, wearing our hearts on our webpages, if you will, where we learn about engagements, weddings, divorces, births and deaths, and discuss current events with a zillion people at once, all in the most impersonal of ways. And I’ve come across a number of mood-tracking applications readily out there to help people quickly change their moods, not quite at genie-like blink speed, but certainly in the most uninvolved and indifferent of ways. Nothing like social media to strip away interpersonal skills. Whatever happened to reaching out to a friend or family member to help us get out of a bad mood or emotion? Nah, that requires more than just the push of a button I’m afraid; that means engagement, time, and patience. Too much to ask for maybe?

Truth is there’s nothing like live communication I believe, and although yours truly is herself guilty of cyberspacing and texting, as I can appreciate the reaching out capability of social networking, through which I’ve been able to reconnect with some friends and family, I don’t fail to recognize the dangers of conforming to this medium’s addictive character and hooking power over us to depend on it for human interaction. I mostly worry for the kids, the ones growing up digital, who seem to choose texting over calling in a birthday wish to even their closest of friends. Of course, at the end of the day, life is all about balance, and it’s important to find it in this arena as well, and to teach our children the value of this balance.

— Hello?
— Hey.
— Hey, what’s going on?
— Ugh, I’m in such a bad mood.
— Why, what’s wrong?
— Well, today when I ………

I don’t know, call me old fashion, call me sentimental, but I think nothing beats the warm comforting sound of a live voice over the phone or the reassuring feeling of a face-to-face presence over coffee to help you get into the right place again. Thank goodness there’s NO app for that!

 

One to a customer…

This bright, new day…complete with 24 hours of opportunities, choices, and attitudes… a perfectly matched set of 1440 minutes.This unique gift, this one day, cannot be exchanged, replaced or refunded. Handle with care. Make the most of it. There is only one to a customer.~ Author Unknown ~

Me and my bro…the best pilot you ever saw. : )

BG2Copyright © Connie Perez. All rights reserved.

Let’s make each day count people! Have a great weekend.  : )

Guest Post: Lent, a Time for Celebration?

~ by Candie Suarez ~

Lent has arrived.  For Catholics this is a time of prayer, fasting and giving alms.  However, many people do not observe this sabbatical from self-indulgences. Actually, for Catholics it is mostly a time of penance as we take 40 days to abstain from those things which bring us personal gratification and instead we are called to do acts of charity for others, and attempt to carve out some quiet time during our day to pray and get closer to God in order to obtain the fruit of spiritual growth. These traditions are important and significant no doubt.  However, I have found that penance can sometimes be easier than celebration.  


Personally, for me the past couple of years have been somewhat about doom and gloom for an array of reasons, mostly the radical politics we are living through, but also personal struggles have not exactly avoided me, and why should they?

As Catholics, we pretty much atone for 40 days, except of course for Easter Sunday.  No doubt Easter Sunday is an amazing day and great cause for celebration.   But I believe Christ already suffered and died on the Cross for me, so I see no reason to continue to crucify Him year after year.  

On Easter Sunday many will be celebrating the resurrection of Christ, again, as will I, but even more of us will be celebrating the breaking of the fast and the chocolate, soft drinks, beer, wine, coffee, deserts, nail biting and all those other things we tend to indulge in during the year, but abstained from during Lent await us once again on Easter.  

As hard as it may seem to some to give those things up, its really no big deal.  After all, not eating or drinking a favored delight for 40 days is no real sacrifice.  Although I have to admit I never crave steak or chicken wings on Fridays as much as I crave it during Lent.  

As I sat through mass tonight, I heard as Father spoke to us about celebrations, and I decided that during these next 40 days, I would take the time to celebrate those things and people that I inadvertently take for granted.  Of course I will atone and lash myself for all those atrocious things I’ve said and done or not said and done.  However, this year I will make a concerted effort to celebrate.

For instance, I will celebrate my co-workers, those people in my office who have overcome difficult moments in their lives, or who have been supportive during their children’s hardships when they really wanted to ring their necks, or the co-workers who struggle financially yet come to work everyday with a good attitude, and especially my dear friend who has overcome a life-threatening challenge and whose big beautiful smile always brightens my day whenever I see him.  I Celebrate you.

I celebrate my employers, and their unwavering determination to make the firm a great place to work.  Thank you, I celebrate you.  

I celebrate mothers.  Even though mine is with God, many of you still are lucky enough to have yours, and better yet, your children can still be spoiled by their nanas, grammys, bubbies, abuelitas and grandmas.  What a great gift.  I Celebrate them.

I celebrate the love, lives and legacies left behind by our dearly departed who are no longer here physically, but whose spirit lives on in our hearts, endlessly.  I celebrate them.

I celebrate Our soldiers who have vowed to die for my freedom, regardless of the fact that they don’t even know me. I celebrate every single one of them and their families who are doing without; while these heros are at war. 

I celebrate your hardships and mine, because we will make it through and once we do, we will be all the better for it.  I celebrate our struggles.

I celebrate every unborn child in their mother’s womb.  I celebrate those who adopt and give loving homes to children who would otherwise not know such a blessing. I celebrate children, especially my own who do such a good job of keeping me in check, everyday.  Thank you, I celebrate you. 

I celebrate my health, the health of everyone of you, and the health of my husband and children.

I celebrate my friends and the amazing laughter we share everyday; sometimes even to the point of pain or peeing or both, the tears we have cried together or for each other’s hardships, and the tolerance each and everyone of you show me every time I just cant keep my opinions to myself.  I celebrate you.

Finally and most importantly I celebrate the Master of our Universe, the Alpha and the Omega, the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, without whom our time here on earth would just be a pointless journey with no hope of eternal life.  May God touch you this Lenten season and may a celebratory heart be yours all year.

Lent, a time for Celebration?  Absolutely. 

 

Lent 2010

Hard to believe another season of Lent is upon us. But tomorrow morning, as us Christians awake to Ash Wednesday, we embark once again on another journey of reflection, penance, fasting, and works of mercy in preparation for Christ’s Resurrection on Easter Sunday. Sounds like a tough 40-day run doesn’t it? Well, yes, at times it can be, especially those works of mercy. But as the saying goes, practice makes perfect, and we need a lot of practice in this regard. Hence the annual observance.

The cool thing would be to attain this year-round, don’t you think? Let’s make this a meaningful and faith-filled Lent season. I pray the ashes you receive tomorrow touch more than just your foreheads. I pray they touch your hearts.

  Jesus, you place on my foreheadthe sign of my sister Death:
“Remember you are dust,and to dust you shall return.”

How not hear her wise advice? One day my life on earth will end; the limits on my years are set, though I know not the day or hour. Shall I be ready to go to meet you? Let this holy season be a time of grace for me and all this world.

“Teach us to number our days aright, that we may gain wisdom of heart.”
– a meditation by Victor Hoagland, C.P.

I leave you with a bit of Lent comic relief….after all, God has a sense of humor.

If Connie was a priest….. : )

Comic

 

For those who love…

We are all a little weird and life’s a little weird, and when we find someone whose weirdness is compatible with ours, we join up with them and fall in mutual weirdness and call it love. 
~Author Unknown

Time is too slow for those who wait, too swift for those who fear, too long for those who grieve, too short for those who rejoice, but for those who love, time is eternity.

~Henry Van Dyke


Dear family and friends – wishing all of you a very happy Valentine’s Day full of joy and LOVE.

 

Now I’ve heard it all…

        After a couple of weeks of serious bashing by the Planned Parenthood and NOW people, the much anticipated and opposed ad of recent times turned out to be a humorous and subtle take on “the celebration of life.”  That’s what all the fuss and furor was about??  But then today I read a statement that just floored me, and made me wonder if it’s possible that some people are just flat out unhappy and unsatisfied human beings who refuse to grow out of their adversities:

 
            NOW president Terry O’Neill said it [the ad] glorified violence against women.
            “I am blown away at the celebration of the violence against women in it,” she
            said. “That’s what comes across to me even more strongly than the anti-abortion
            message. I myself am a survivor of domestic violence, and I don’t find it charming.
            I think CBS should be ashamed of itself.”
 
            –

Source:  Los Angeles Times

 
        You’re kidding me, right?!  Tebow tackles his mom in celebration of the violence against women!…film at eleven.  Now I’ve heard it all.  

Source:  YouTube

Travel for the Soul – The Great Outdoors

There will be times when you will be in the field without a camera.  And, you will see the most glorious sunset or the most beautiful scene that you have ever witnessed.  Don’t be bitter because you can’t record it.  Sit down, drink it in, and enjoy it for what it is! 
~ DeGriff

(But even if you have that camera, put it down and make sure to take it in with the naked eye.  : )

“Taking it In” – Glacier National Park, Montana


Photo by Lauren Perez. Copyright © July 2005 Connie Perez. All rights reserved.

For me, the waiting is a time of preparation, a time of centering, a time of allowing the expected and the unexpected to manifest, and above all, a time of stillness.
~ J.D. Marston

“Patience Pays” Glacier National Park, Montana

Photo by CCPerez. Copyright © July 2005 Connie Perez. All rights reserved.

1001 Smiles

        This website was brought to my attention by a family member who suggested I post it on my blog for others to see. Upon viewing it myself, I couldn’t help but want to post it. Here’s an example of adversity turned into compassion.  It is refreshing to hear stories, especially those involving people in our community, that chronicle pain transformed to love.  This story in particular courtesy of a teacher and her husband who turned the death of their three-year old son into 1001 smiles.         

Check out 1001 Smiles:

http://www.1001smiles.com/Index.htm
 

Believe, when you are most unhappy, that there is
something for you to do in the world.  So long as
you can sweeten another’s pain, life is not in vain.
~ Hellen Keller