Showing posts from November, 2011

Giving Thanks for Those Who Sacrificed

Today, I am blessed to share with you all a post by a fellow New Englander, grew up not too far from my hometown.  Author, Melissa Ann Goodwin, ponders the meaning of gratitude.  In thanks for her guest blog, I am promoting her new book, The Christmas Village AND, she is gifting one of my readers with a copy.  All you have to do is leave a comment below.

The Christmas Village is a wonderful holiday tale about a troubled boy and his adventures in finding himself.  All I can say is, you must read the book!  I am hooked and can't wait to find out what comes next. For a sneak peak, check out the trailer.

I knew that I wanted this post to be about gratitude. It’s November, and it’s Thanksgiving, and remembering our blessings is at the forefront of our minds. I have so much to be thankful for, this year and always. But, how did I want to express that? Perhaps, I’d write a poem. Maybe, I’d find inspiration in some Thanksgiving quotes. My plan was to meditate on it a bit, open my eyes,…

Lest We Forget

Image via WikipediaWe are a land of immigrants.  This is an important fact to remember.  This is a land where our forefathers and foremothers came to escape political, religious and academic persecution.  But, lest we forget, this is also the land were some of our ancestors were forced to come in chains.  Ripped from their homes, their families, their lives. Many of our loved ones spent years of persecution here, in this land of the Free, at the hands of those who had just escaped the tyranny of their homelands.
Lest we forget, there are also those of us with ancestors who called this land home, long before the Europeans came.  We knew the greatness of this land of Plenty.  We talked to the Great Spirit and gave thanks daily for the blessings.  We thanked our four-legged, winged and finned brothers and sisters for sharing them selves with us; we thanked Mother Earth for the blessings of the earth; and we protected and respected the silent Ones who grew around us.
Lest we forget, this la…

Words of Gratitude from Around the World

One of the things that has been affirmed for me over the past two months in seminary is that Sacred Writings exist everywhere.  Often, we humans, have an egocentric view of the world, believing we, personally, are the only ones with the answers, and even, sometimes, the questions.  Of course, for every question, there are multiple ways to answer, often saying the same thing, but simply using different words.  (Ask any teacher or lawyer this and they will tell you it is true!)
The following are poems and prayers of gratitude from various cultures and religions.  May the beauty of their words touch your heart, and lift your soul.  

Oludumare, oh Divine One! I give thanks to You, the one who is as near as my heartbeat, and more anticipated than my next breath. Let Your wisdom become one with this vessel as I lift my voice in thanks for Your love. African - Yoruban
Great Spirit, Divine One, Creator who is heaven earth rock wind insect tree fox human of every size shape color
Holy are your infini…

Giving Thanks for Writers - Blog Hop!

Today, Words from the Heart is part of a huge blog hop.  A blog hop is an event where readers have the opportunity to visit a group of blogs that are promoting or celebrating the same thing.  This blog hop is brought to you by the WoMen's Literary Cafe Authors as part of their Gratitude celebration.
For our part of the hop, we are honored to post and grateful to host author, Wendy Young.  Wendy's book, Come the Shadows, will be part of our Blog Hop give-away. You'll want to check out the other blogs that are also hosting give-aways! Find out more at the end of this post!

Gratitude by Wendy Young
This is the time of year where everyone begins to consider the question: What are you thankful for?
In my house, now that we’ve started having kids, we try to make it a daily question. Every night we ask our son: What are you thankful for? His answers are quite simple and surprising – even something like his blanket will rate on the list. We’re happy that, so far, both Mommy and Daddy…

The Eleventh Hour of the Eleventh Day in the Eleventh Month

Today, we observe Veterans' Day, or what was formally called, Armistice Day, which commemorates the signing of the Peace Treaty in France between the Allies of World War I and the Germans at the "eleventh hour of the eleventh day in the eleventh month." After World War II, the name was changed in the United States to Veteran's Day. In addition, it marks what would have been my parents 59 wedding anniversary.
Mom and Dad shortly after their marriage
During this month long look at gratitude, I want to thank my parents, posthumously, for finding each other.  While theirs was not always the most harmonious of marriages, there was never any doubt of the love they shared for each other, even to the end of their days. Daddy was Momma's "sailor boy" and Momma was Daddy's "sweetheart."
I am grateful for the lessons these two people taught me.  Momma opened my eyes to poetry, literature, art, music and dance.  Daddy taught me how to fix things, how to …

Attitude of Gratitude

Image by eekim via Flickr

Out of the mouths of babes!  In Sunday school, yesterday, I was talking to the kids about gratitude.  I challenged them to find uncommon ways to give thanks.  One of the older students (I have a multi-level class.) said, "So you want us to have "An Attitude of Gratitude," right?"
Now, she may have heard it some place else, but it just blew me away.  "An Attitude of Gratitude!"  The poet in me loves the alliteration - the rhyme.  Her little comment inspired me to continue my postings on Gratitude. (I had planned to go on to other things this month.)
Living in gratitude is all about our attitude.  In order to be thankful, we must be mindful of the fact that every second, every encounter, every trial and tribulation is a gift.  Finding ways to show we are grateful becomes a natural part of our lives, when we mindfully live in gratitude.
In my seminary course, I read a passage of Buddhist text that stated that the ungrateful were a burde…

Gratitude in the Face of Difficulties

Huge branch that hit the house cradled by the arborvitae This past week, we were hit with a freak snow storm that dumped from 10 to 27 inches of snow on the area.  With trees still in full foliage, there were many broken limbs, falling on power lines, roof tops and across roadways.  Finding a way to be grateful, may seem an impossibility, but, here is my list of things I am grateful for because of the storm. My step-daughter and I were able to have time traveling back from Maine together.  We had to take detours, which, if she was traveling alone, she might not have known.  Because my dear Roger planted arborvitae around the perimeter of our property, the huge maple branch that fell on the house did not do damage.  The arborvitae cushioned it, keeping it from hitting with full force.We had time to read and talk because the distractions of Internet and phone were not available.We have natural gas for cooking, which allowed us to make a huge pot of soup to share with others, who had elec…

Living Gratitude

Thanksgiving is just around the corner, which makes November the perfect time to begin a Gratitude Journal.

Many years ago, I began a Gratitude Journal. Journaling had been my way of maintaining my balance though the ups and downs of life, but keeping a Gratitude Journal was new to me. The idea came from a friend, which was long before popular talk show hosts recommended it.
At the time, I was in a very difficult life-transition. The suggestion to keep a Gratitude Journal was given in the hopes that the journal would help me count my blessings, of which, at the time, I thought I had few. Interestingly, the more I wrote in my journal, the more blessings I found in my life. The more blessings I found, the more 'whole' I became. I began to see how rich my life was, in spite of the issues I was dealing with on a day-to-day basis. Later, when my parents died less than a year apart, the ability to count my blessings helped me through my grieving process.
So, here is the ch…