Tag Archive | grateful

Grateful …. for YOU!


You know, when I started this blogging page some years ago I did so with this blind dream of being connected to people all over the world. I wanted to write brilliant things that are both an encouragement and an inspiration. 

Along the way I’ve found that some things I’ve expected have come true – I knew that there would be times that the spirit would move me and my words and ideas would just simply flow upon the page. Glad that has been true – not always, but mostly.

I really thought that I would be here writing several times a week. The ebbs and flows of life have at times tripped me up on this goal. But it’s okay because the life I am leading is worth skipping a time or two of expression in order to live it fully. 

I’ve imagined having meaningful conversations back and forth with my readers – and I’ve had some comments but surprisingly, not as many as I imagined. And I’ve come to have peace with that. When you are moved to interact, know that I find it a blessing. And when you are not, know that I find your visits to be a blessing.

But what has truly astounded me is that truly, there are people from every corner of the world who come to this page and soak in the poetry, the thoughts and pondering of my heart. I am grateful for your visits. I am encouraged to continue to share my voice in the world. I hope that through time, this will grow, the conversations will occur. And above all things …. I hope my insights and the parts of my soul that come out to play in this forum somehow bring you the smiles that you have always brought to me.

Stop back and be blessed!

~ Barb

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Gifts of Gratitude – an invitation


ImageI’ve been in the practice of starting my day and ending my day with gratitude. It’s a simple practice … one that helps me to start with an upbeat, positive note, as well as drift into dreamland with thoughts of blessings. Because I believe that the world needs more and more examples of both the big and little things that bring us joy, I’ve created a new FB page called: GIFTS of GRATITUDE. It’s a place for us to simply share and celebrate that which we are grateful for. No selling. No politics or religion. No criticism or drama. Simply gratitude. Feel free to check it out and join!

With gratefulness for all who read my blog … may be count our blessings together!

https://www.facebook.com/groups/572083212883177/

 

Grateful for YOU!


Today, like so many other people, is my favorite holiday. In the US the 3rd Thursday in November is “Thanksgiving Day.” Oh, it is the feast to end all feasts. It originated in the humble beginnings of our nation as the settlers and American Indians came together in peace to celebrate and share the bounties of the harvest. Those are honorable and neighborly roots – some of the best of our national history.

Today, every family has their traditional fare in which turkey, stuffing and all the fixings and side dishes are featured at the table. Cooking and planning takes days or weeks and not hours. There is nostalgia as traditions are repeated year after year. Favorite dishes might only show up on this special day. And in true US fashion, the fall event is punctuated with parades through the streets and on TV to usher in Santa to the season, lots of American football games to rally the men around the TV, and all the fun (and sometimes crazy) dynamics that family gatherings seem to produce. Oh yeah, and the insanity of the kick-off to the holiday shopping frenzy (not my favorite part I must say).

That’s the logistics of the day. And while I love and cherish the traditions of the day, the real reason it is my favorite holiday is that, at its heart is the spirit of gratitude. It is a day for THANKS giving and not gift giving. It’s a day where people come with hands full of offerings and not open for receiving. It is a precious day set aside to be thankful and for that reason, today, I count my blessings.

Here’s a few for this year:

> I am thankful for God and my faith. It is the sacrifice of Jesus that gives me eternal life, hope, and daily guidance. Without it, I am a shell of  a human and I am grateful.

> I am thankful for my job and that both of my children are once again gainfully employed as well. I am thankful that hope and perseverance will rule the day and others I love and care for will also find employment. It is my prayer and my belief for them.

> I am thankful for the love of my family, where I have 2 Grandmothers, my parents, aunts, uncles, cousins, my dear sisters, their husbands and my precious nieces. And a brand new dose of gratitude for the newest, my 2 day old niece Abby. What a lovely addition to a wonderful, loving family.

> I am thankful for the reunion with some precious members of my original family. The healing is complete. The appreciation has begun. I am grateful and blessed to have more family to love – Shirley & Lynette.

> I am thankful for my friends who have held my hand and my heart through thick, thin, joy, pain, fear and fun. They are precious in every way. I am especially grateful this year for Jeanie, my oldest and dearest friend who has fought the valiant fight against breast cancer and won. Praise God for that special blessing!

> I am thankful for new acquaintances who have come into my life in varied and surprising ways – from my summer intern Ellidia, to friends across the nation and across the globe that I have connected with over the year.

> I am thankful that in my country we can dissent with passion, speak out our minds and our hearts, and peacefully shift power and authority in our government. Agree or not on the choices, we democratically and peacefully shift.

> I am thankful for those that serve – military, police, and fire fighters. They honor us with their daily sacrifices and they serve to protect all that we hold dear – our ideals as well as our lives. I am deeply grateful.

> I am thankful that my education and experience have given me success in my career and my skills are sought after by those who offer opportunity for recognition and new growth.

> I am thankful for my spiritual sisters and brothers who come into my life daily, weekly, and monthly in loving and supportive ways. I especially treasure my Wise Women & Bill friends who speak only of love, acceptance, gratitude, and friendship. They feed my soul and my heart on a constant basis and bless me in countless ways.

> I am thankful for this platform and the virtual friends who I have met online. You have broadened my world, allowing me to see my life and talents differently. Not only do you listen but you also contribute to my world. Especially you Dan – you have opened my eyes to how blessed I am in big and small ways. Your humor and your loving, generous spirit bring a light into my world and I am grateful.

This is just the beginning of my grateful list. As I prepare the meal for my family today I will continue to joyously and gratefully say prayers of “Thank You.”

I wish you all an awakening to your heart of all that blesses you – the physical, mental, emotional and spiritual gifts that make you “you” and your life so precious. Happy Thanksgiving Day … be blessed!

 
 


 

Delightful Re-entry Day


Today was re-entry day. I am sure I’m not alone in declaring that these are decidedly NOT my favorite work days.

You know the one. It’s the day when you come back after being off for any number of vacation, travel, or training days. Any relief you felt from being in a different environment is quickly swept away in the hustle and bustle of reading umpteen million emails (only a slight exaggeration in my role). The back-to-back meetings with no break for biological needs remind me of why I have the habit of holding my breath (and crossing my legs)  sometimes. I feel a little bit like my childhood self who kept spinning in place until I fell down from lack of equilibrium. I’m not quite hitting my stride yet, and as usual for these “delightful” re-entry days, I wanted to take a nap about 1:30.

However, I am not complaining – just acknowledging my reality. I actually like my job, my colleagues, and the company I work for. I am blessed to have meaningful work that uses my passion and skills, even if I felt one step behind today. I shall remain grateful for the opportunity to call it complete. So, with no flourish, and not much ado I’m gonna go home and pet fluffy puppy, chat with girly-goo, watch a little mindless entertainment on the tube, and hit the sack early.

Whether you are coming or going … be blessed on your way!

Hands of an Angel


I believe that when life is most fragile, angels come to assist us. This is the story of one angel that I encountered.

When my daughter was just a week old I took her to her first pediatrician visit. The doctor was concerned because her umbilical cord had fallen off prematurely, likely from the friction of the diaper, and it was not healing properly. She was concerned about the possibility of meningitis. With an even, calm, but urgent tone she instructed me to go directly to the hospital and have her tested. In my heart I could feel the dread mounting and I did exactly what she said. After an excruciatingly long time in the ER, she was finally examined by the doctor.

Again, with that calm, even tone that only a doctor seems to be able to muster up, I was told there was reason for concern. They wanted to do a spinal tap on my tiny, precious little bundle. I braced myself through my tears. But the doctor told me they would not let me be in the room during the procedure because they don’t want the baby to associate the pain of the procedure with a parent. Oh yeah, like that was going to make me feel better. My heart ached to be the one to comfort her, but I had to follow the procedures of the hospital. I could stand at the door and watch through the window but I could not be there.

Then the doctor made a call. She wanted the assistance of a particular technician. When he arrived, I suddenly understood. The technician’s name escapes me, but his hands I will always remember. They were the hands of an angel. The technician was a tall, strong, black man who appeared to have the spirit of a “gentle giant.” He wrapped his one hand around Maria’s head and the other around her bottom and slowly, gently curled her into a comforting fetal position. His steady, firm touch visibly soothed my daughter and he held her still as night during the procedure. To my surprise, she did not utter a cry. She simply lay, safely curled in the hands of this man with a special touch.

In that moment, I knew he was a living angel come to help my daughter, and me, make it through that painful, delicate moment. And in an instant he was gone. I didn’t get a chance to say thank you, but I always send a grateful prayer up on his behalf when I think of that moment. When I saw this picture … I remembered the hands of that angel.

Remember your angels and be blessed!

A Lavish Giver


Today I did something that I never dreamed I ever would. I had lunch with my sister. What?! That’s nothing you say? But it is to me. You see I grew up in an orphanage and was adopted as an older child. The last time I saw this sister I was 18 years old. It wasn’t a particularly pleasant last meeting and I had no intention or inkling that I’d ever see her again.

I grew up, married and had children. I divorced and moved forward. I got my degree. I raised my family. I have a successful career. The pain of my early childhood has been mostly healed and put aside. But something changed over the holidays and I felt that, now in my mid-life, I was ready to let the two sides of my life connect. I reached out to this sister on Facebook and told her I was ready. So we planned lunch. For a week I’ve been feeling a bit nervous. Would I even know what to say?

Fast forward to today. Lunch turned into a 4 1/2 hour visit. For the most part I was speechless but there were things that needed to be said and to be heard. There were a few tears but not many. There was a little awkwardness but not much. I could see the resemblance that comes from “nature” however I have to say I did not see the resemblance that comes from “nurture.” Our lives had such a drastically different trajectory and I was left feeling and knowing that I have been blessed. Richly, deeply, and undeservedly blessed.

My parents (no, not the two people that birthed me, but the ones that raised me) have given me the greatest gift of unselfish love that one human being could give to another. They saved my life. They gave me stability, discipline, guidance, opportunity, and love. They took a small girl who felt unwanted and gave her a home. I tease my Mom to this day that she was the “meanest” Mom in the world and I thank her for it.  She gave me boundaries and consequences. She gave me chores and rewards. She gave me rules and punishments. She gave me a chance and a life. She gave me an education and allowed me to make mistakes and be forgiven. Well, she wasn’t alone – she did it along with my Dad. He is the strong, silent type who worked hard and showed me what a true work ethic looks like. He role modeled patience and self-discipline. He made me feel safe. He carried me when I pretended to be sleeping. He taught me to catch a ball. Ok, I fibbed a little – he TRIED to teach me to catch a ball but I always closed my eyes and ducked. He taught me to drive and to not drink things that fizz along side beer. You know – the practical things that Daddies do.

These two naive and courageous newlyweds opened their home to a ragamuffin child with a lifetime of hard knocks, built-in fears, baggage, and bad habits and they loved me into being a woman of integrity, intelligence, and family values.

So today I regained a start to a relationship that was long ago abandoned. I now know details I never had before. Some I regret had ever happened to anyone let alone children who were my siblings. And I now have a picture of me as a baby – something I’ve never had younger than 2nd grade.

And I remember with great emotion, many hugs, and a boatload of tears, how much my parents  love me. I see with deeper clarity the things that they did to rescue me emotionally and physically. There are not enough words in the English language to tell them how much I appreciate what they have done for me.

And I also am acutely aware that  my God is a lavish giver! He gave me the strength and stubbornness to be resilient and to be a survivor. He gave me healing and mending. He gave me a family.

I am indeed richly, deeply, and undeservedly blessed! I am grateful!

Counting Angels


I am so amazed every day by the number of angels that flit (and walk) into my life.  It doesn’t matter if it’s a special day or an ordinary Tuesday, I seem to be surrounded by them.

Do you notice the angels in your life? Here’s just a few I ran into today:

* The guy who let me into the correct lane during jam packed traffic so I wouldn’t miss my exit or my appointment.
* My friend who helped me pick up my papers when they went scattering on the floor.
* The acquaintance who popped in on my facebook to see how life was for me today.
* My oral surgeon who saved me from losing a couple of teeth.
* My boss who was more worried about my safety in driving to work than in whether I got there on time.
* My neighbor who always uses his snowblower on my sidewalk without telling me – I still don’t know which one it is.
* A stranger who offered to help me with some technical problems just because he knew how.
* My puppy who adores me (even though I didn’t share my supper with her).
* My aunt who is so proud of me that she buys and hands out my book just because she can.
* My colleague who knew I was out so she set up my meeting for me without hesitation or being asked.
* The postal worker who kept his window open past closing because he saw me approaching the door with packages.
* My friend who prayed for me and sent me a lovely email just because she was thinking of me.

My list could go on but I just thought I’d share since I was sitting here counting my angels.  Be blessed!