Unless otherwise specified, all writing here on my blog is my own original work. If you refer to something I've written here, please be sure to give me proper credit.

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Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Deo Gratias!

 "If the only prayer you ever say in your life is thank you, it will be enough." - Meister Eckhart

Colleen, from her inspiring blog Thoughts on Grace, hosts this wonderful meme each Wednesday. She says, "Deo Gratias is Latin for Thanks be to God. Remembering to give thanks for all of our blessings, big & small, helps us to find God in our everyday moments and gives us an attitude of gratitude!"

Each week, I join Colleen in remembering & sharing the many blessings in my life. This is such a great exercise for me, helping me to focus on the good that truly is happening in my life, no matter how many trials & stresses I may have.

Sometimes, it's good for me to get back to the basics when it comes to counting my blessings. So this week, I'm focusing on the five "F's" in my life.
1) Faith - I am blessed to be a part of the Catholic Church...the power of the sacraments, the beauty of the Mass, the long-standing traditions rooted deep in Christ's love & sacrifice. Deo Gratias!

2) Family - I am blessed w/ a wonderful husband & four beautiful children. Sure they all drive me crazy at times, but my love for them is unconditional. I'm also blessed w/ a great extended family...close, supportive, & loving. Deo Gratias!   

3) Friends - I am blessed beyond measure. Many have come & gone throughout my life; many have been there for what seems like forever. Some I see regularly; some I only know through the internet. All are important to me. Deo Gratias! 

4) Food - I am blessed with two kinds of food to sustain me. I have my daily meals of breakfast, lunch, dinner, & snacks for my physical well-being. Then I have Christ in the Eucharist to help my spiritual development. Deo Gratias! 

5) Fun - I am blessed to be able to have fun in my life. Whether it's a trip to the park or the zoo, watching a movie, reading, etc., there is much fun & joy in my life. AND, if you really think about it, all those fun times in my life include #1-4 above...faith, family, friends, & food!  Deo Gratias!

Monday, July 29, 2013

Light in the Darkness - What Can You Do?

Welcome to my Light in the Darkness meme! (If you missed my post on the inspiration for this meme, you can read all about it HERE.)

This is the place to share good things that are happening in our world...whether it's a link to a news article/video, something from your personal experience...anything good that can bring light into darkness!
If you've been following this meme each week, I'm sure you've been touched by the many wonderful stories that have been shared. There have been stories of triumph, trust, love, & compassion. I know I've been encouraged & brought to tears many times through these stories.

Today, I'd like to address a question that may have been on your mind... 
"What can I, personally, do to spread Light in the Darkness, beyond sharing these stories?"  

If you use your favorite search engine & type in "Random Acts of Kindness", you will soon find hundreds of ideas. I'd like to share 22 that I love, just to get you started. Some you've probably heard of before, some may be brand new, some you may already do or have done. I'm sure you can find at least one that stands out to you & I encourage you to give it a try w/in the next week.

1) Pay for the order behind you in the drive-thru line.
2) Allow shoppers to go ahead of you in the store, esp. if they only have a few items & your cart is loaded.
3) If you have an Aldi near you...when you are done w/ your cart, give it to the next person w/out taking their quarter.
4) Help another person w/ their packages/groceries.
5) Make or send cards to nursing home residents. (I work at one & many residents NEVER have visitors.)
6) Hold the door for someone.
7) Have gift cards (restaurants, grocery stores) on hand to give to beggars.
8) Wave others in front of you when driving, esp. if they're at a stop sign & there's so much traffic, they'll be waiting a long time.
9) Send a note of thanks for good service or share good things that you hear about. (More people send complaints, so a nice letter would be much appreciated & welcome.)
10) Do a family member's chore (in secret, if possible!)
11) Take home-baked goods to local fire or police stations.
12) Leave your change in the vending machine for the next person to use it.
13) Compliment a stranger on their clothing, hairstyle, purse, etc.
14) Compliment someone's child in front of the parent. (Momma might be having a bad day & that little compliment might just raise her spirits.)
15) Pick up someone's tab in a restaurant. (This happened to may sister & her family once...what a wonderful surprise for them.)
16) Leave a note or money in a library book to surprise the next reader.
17) Place sticky notes w/ positive messages on restroom mirrors (at home or when out & about).
18) Share memories...Find a photo of a friend or family member, send it to them w/ a note about the memories associated w/ that photo.
19) On trash or recycling day, pull up your neighbor's cans after they've been picked up.
20) In grocery store lots, put away wayward carts &/or pull carts together in the car corral. Offer to take another shopper's cart to the corral.
21) If someone you know is having financial difficulties, anonymously send them money or a gift card for groceries, gas, etc.
22) Hand write letter or notes:
* people from your past or family members & their influence on your life
* thank you to community organizations
* police, firemen, postal workers, etc.
* _______ (Fill in the blank...the possibilities are endless!)

Can you come up w/ any others to add to this endless list? Please share them in the comments. I guarantee that by doing just one of these, you'll be spreading "Light in the Darkness" to those around you. You might just make someone's day!