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Showing posts with the label gratitude

Giving Thanks for Those Who Gave All

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Today is Memorial Day, here in the United States. We dedicate today in remembrance of the those who gave their all, in defense of our country. Giving thanks is the least we can do for those who gave their lives, so that we might live freely. It takes much bravery to shed one’s blood for the unconditional love of one’s fellow countrymen. These soldiers acted in a very Christ-like manner, remembering Christ’s own words: No one has greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends (John 15:13). As Jesus gave His life, on the Cross, to defeat sin and death, our deceased soldiers gave their lives to preserve our freedom. Unlike Christ, who knows us intimately, these soldiers don’t even know our names. Yet, they gave their all for our sake. That is ultimate human love and generosity at its best. Read more...

Counting My Blessings: Goodbye 2018! Hello 2019!

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This has been a year of ups and downs for me, as I’m sure it has been for you, as well. With the passage of time, (a long time I might add), I finally got my new front top teeth this past year (three implants, and a five-tooth bridge) – ka-ching! Then later in the year, two more crowns! My dentist loves me! Yet, with that money going out the door, God has also blessed me with new business (editing manuscripts for Catholic authors). So, all in all, as 2018 comes to an end, I am counting my blessings. I look forward to new opportunities in 2019, without having a clue what God might have in mind for me. But, I am open to His will. I know that He has plans for me, plans to give me hope and to make me prosper (Jer 29:11). For that, I am grateful for His blessings. Your Blessings What might God have done for you, or given you, in 2018, for which you are grateful?  What new opportunities might you hope would be on your horizon, as we enter 2019? Read more...

Giving Thanks is Rather Easy!

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On this day before Thanksgiving, I would like to wish you, and yours, a very Happy Thanksgiving. At this time of year, we take some time to count our blessings and show our appreciation for loved ones, near and far. Giving thanks to God for all His bountiful blessings is the right thing to do. Yet, we should not reserve giving thanks to one day out of the year. Giving Thanks in Your Morning Offering God is gracious to us every day. Every morning, as we wake, the first thing we should do is give thanks for this day. You can make it part of your morning offering to God. What is a morning offering you might ask? I use the acronym ACTS to describe a morning offering. A stands for Adoration. A simple prayer will do: I adore you, Oh Lord. C stands for Contrition. An Act of Contrition will do nicely. T stands for Thanksgiving. This is where you count your blessings, giving thanks to God for His goodness. S stands for... Read more...

Do You Remember to Thank Jesus Daily?

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In today’s Gospel, we hear the parable of the ten lepers. Of the ten, only one Samaritan leper came back to thank Jesus for curing him. Jesus’ response was rather frank, and in the form of a series of questions: Ten were cleansed, were they not?Where are the other nine? Has none but this foreigner returned to give thanks to God? (Luke 17:17-18) So, I’ll get right to the point, on this post. Are you more like the nine who failed to return to give thanks? Or, are you more like the one Samaritan leper because you thank Jesus routinely for His blessings? Maybe, you are somewhere along the spectrum between these two extremes. Thank Jesus Today Everything good that we have comes from God; from the... Read more...

The Courage to Love: Expressing Gratitude

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I stumbled across a study on the power of gratitude. Yes, researchers are studying the impact on both the giver and receiver of gratitude. Their findings? There's power in saying thank you. I appreciate you. You mean something to me. 

What if we had the courage to do this every day -- to express our love by showing gratitude to others?

Read more: The Power of Gratitude.

Mommy, Mommy, When You Pray - Book Review

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Mommy, Mommy, When You Pray, is a delightful children’s book for ages 3-5, written and illustrated by Kimberly Cook. In this little gem of a book, children learn about the virtue of gratitude. Mommy is thankful to God for all He blesses her with, and she shares those thoughts with her children. The illustrations are colorful and engaging; surely to capture your child’s attention and interest. This little story will open up dialogue between you and your child; for the two of you share what you are thankful for, and why. Kimberly Cook has a knack for capturing the everyday occurrences of life and highlighting them as special – worthy of thanks! Cook has a lot of love packed into 24 pages. As you traverse through each page/scene, you will quickly see... Read more...

My Kids Taught Me The Key to Joy

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“The secret of happiness is to live moment by moment and to thank God for what He is sending us every day in His goodness.” –St. Gianna Beretta Molla As I raised a large family on a small farm with little disposable income, I received free Christian cognitive therapy. It was my children who taught me how to live in the present moment with joy. I couldn’t help but learn how to live a child of God because I was surrounded by a crew of little people who greeted each morning with wonder and awe. Gratefulness is the key to spiritual joy, no matter how little we think we have in the eyes of modern society. In fact, St. Teresa of Avila once said she “thanked God for the things she did NOT own.” St. Teresa always stressed the need for gratitude: “In all created things discern the providence and wisdom of God, and in all things give Him thanks.” When Joy Eludes Uscontinue reading

Ungratefulness is Ugly: Count Your Blessings, Be Grateful

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Do you know “Debbie Downer?” She’s that person that always has something to gripe about. You never see her in a good mood. She is too busy feeling sorry for herself to ever say “thank you” for anything. Debbie doesn’t have many friends, and maybe that’s because ungratefulness is ugly.

We tend to steer away from the Debbie Downers of the world, because as human beings we are drawn to the good, and virtuous qualities, we see in others. Innately, we like to be around positive people, because they lift our spirits. If you are a Debbie Downer, or know someone who has negative traits (and don’t we all know someone who has those traits?), then consider the need for a mind shift.

Changing the Heart from Ungratefulness to One of Gratitude
I think we could all call ourselves Debbie Downers from time to time, especially when...Read more...

Grief and Gratitude on Good Friday

Great griefs are like great joys: they bend time. My sister died twenty years ago. Sometimes it seems so long ago that mercifully, I can barely remember the details. Other times, those details rush back at me so sharply I have to steel myself for impact.

Suicide does that.

I can smile now at the memory of my sister. I felt disloyal the first time I did that, as though permanent grief could be the only fitting monument to her memory. Time, mercy, and God’s grace have done their work, bit by bit.

For the first time since her death, I am writing about her and about losing her. This is an anniversary, and the time is right. For years, I thought she had taken Easter away with her and left nothing behind but wreckage. Gradually I found that she left me other things: a greater appreciation for the gift of my family, and how to live with gratitude despite wounds that are bone-deep. Those aren’t compensations. They don’t cancel out anything. They are gifts nonetheless.

I extend my hand to anyo…

Facing Struggles? You are Never Alone!

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Do you ever get the feeling that when you are facing struggles, you are alone? That no one other than you face such challenges? That everyone else seems to have it so much easier? That is exactly what happened to me recently.

Back in 2008, when the US suffered the financial meltdown, and many people lost their jobs, I was one of the lucky ones who maintained my job. Selfishly, at the time, I didn’t give this national problem much attention, because it didn’t impact me directly. Now eight+ years later, with an unemployment rate lower than 5%, my husband lost his job in August, and at 63 is having difficulty finding a new job. With such a low unemployment rate, we don’t know anyone else in such a position – therefore, we feel as though we face this struggle alone.

Then one day, I was standing... Read more... 

Attitude of Gratitude; Time to Give Thanks

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An attitude of gratitude is in order as we approach Thanksgiving. We have come upon that time of year when we take stock of all that God has blessed us with and express our thanks. God’s Divine Providence is truly divine! He always meets our needs.

Whenever I have a bad, stressful day, I stop and take a few minutes to itemize the things for which I am grateful to God for providing for me. Somehow, rattling off this list always changes my mood. I begin to feel uplifted instantly. The chaos in my brain falls into order. The day’s stresses seem to dissipate. That’s because... Read more...

Envy Will Disappoint You - Every Time! Be Content!

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We continue with the second installment of our seven part series on the seven deadly sins. Today we discuss envy.

How many times have you wished that you could buy a fancy new car like the neighbors? Or take a vacation to an exotic place like some friend? Or get a big raise, like your older sibling just got? When you go down this road and allow envy to take hold in your heart, you only set yourself up for disappointment and sorrow – every time! How so? Envy is wanting what others have, that you do not. It is the opposite of contentment. Rather than counting one’s blessings, the envious person... Read more...

Hello Summer! Embrace the Season with Gratitude

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Today marks the first day of Summer. It’s a time of year when families come together to refresh mind, body and spirit. Perhaps it’s a trip to the mountains, or a week at the beach; whatever your pleasure, I hope that you experience much peace, joy and fond memories this summer.

Summer is a time when we can sit back and take stock of all of our blessings. Perhaps it is a stable job and health insurance. Perhaps it is news of improved health of a loved one. Whatever your blessings, I pray that the Holy Spirit fills you with... Read more...

My Heart is Not in Stuff

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A few years ago, a daily writing prompt asked writers if they could only take five objects from a burning house, what would be the most difficult things for them to leave behind?

Well really, the only objects I consider to be important are photos of family, my computer, passport and ID, a Bible and bank card, assuming I am wearing my wedding ring and gold cross like always. That’s it.
As for regrets, I really do not think my heart is in things. Since I was a little girl, I have felt content with what I have materially. Even now, when my adult kids ask me what I want for Christmas, I pause for a moment, with a blank mind.  I have to search to come up with a list.

Rather a strange state to be in because this is not the result of spiritual striving, fasting or prayer, it is just how I am. Living with little people has only strengthened an innate tendency to enjoy the little things, to be grateful to be alive and in communion with the Spirit.
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Remembering Christmas Eve Magic

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As I clean and get ready for our adult children to come home from university and work in the city, it is nice to remember the magic of Christmases when they were little. In fact, the scent of magic is still in the air, especially as our  five grandchildren join our family! When you live with nine children, even the most crusty curmudgeon cannot resist the magic of Christmas.
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Thanks Be to God and You!

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Thanks is an easy word to say… … but sometimes it doesn’t get expressed as often as it should. Therefore, in the spirit of Thanksgiving, I want to take this time and space to specifically say thank you:
To God, for blessing me with abundant graces. He guides me every day. He loves me unconditionally. He forgives my transgressions and extends mercy on my soul.To my husband, for your never-ending, self-giving love, support and friendship.To my family and friends who share my joys and sorrows. Your love is pure gold to me.To all of my followers:... Read more...

A Parent's Guide to Teaching Gratitude

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Gratitude is attractive. The grateful person tends to be happier, healthier, and more satisfied with their own life. They have an easier time forgiving others and helping others. They worry less and are less likely to get depressed or stressed. Sounds pretty good, right? Who wouldn’t want to be grateful with that description?
But gratitude doesn’t just happen over night. After becoming a parent, I quickly realized that while it’s relatively easy to teach a child the habit of saying “thank you”, it’s much harder to help them develop the virtue of gratitude. Gratitude is more than a habit. It’s more than a good desire. Gratitude is a relationship. We are thankful for things, but topeople. In order to have an open and grateful heart, a person must have strong relationships. For Christians, the ultimate foundation of all gratitude lies in a relationship with God in which we realize who we are and who God is, and recognize all he freely gives us. Gratitude toward others becomes part of our…

A Thanksgiving Plea

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Thanks to an outbreak of the bird flu this summer, grocers across the country are warning of possible turkey shortages – fewer and smaller birds for higher prices. Luckily, the bird flu didn’t affect our region too badly, so I’m pretty sure we’ll manage to get a tasty gobbler on the table, and I’m hoping that, in the end, all of you will too – unless, of course, you opt for ham, salmon or some other palate pleasing delight. Either way, please don’t let a vain bird, or any other main dish, steal the center stage. As Catholic families, one of the best favors we can do for our kids during November is to remind them that Thanksgiving is meant above all to be a feast for the soul. Continue reading at Eyes On Heaven.

Joy and Gratitude

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Grateful Hearts: Count Your Blessings!

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Grateful hearts humbly acknowledge that there is a need to be filled, via the talents of others. We consider it a blessing from God when someone steps up to address the need that we couldn’t otherwise fulfill ourselves. We are grateful to God and to our fellow man for rushing to our aid!

What are you grateful for these days? When was the last time you counted your blessings? I can attest from experience that when I count my blessings and express my gratitude to God, my mood improves. I have had many opportunities to do so, while going through… Read more...