My Gifts

It’s almost 2 a.m. on Thanksgiving morning. I collapsed from exhaustion earlier and I’m now up to…write? Okay, maybe I’m up for another helping of rice pudding. I’ve been reflecting on all that I am thankful for this past year. Over the last month, I’ve been writing notes in my gratitude journal of things I’m thankful for each day. But there are so many more things from before I started this list. My life is filled with constant blessings.  People that come into my life and knowingly or unknowingly push me forward, grace me with support, offer a smile, a hug (real or virtual), a word of comfort.

This past year I have lived my belief that everything happens for a reason. My gratitude cup runneth over. One Thousand Gifts brought this to the forefront of my mind and even in my daily struggles I return to that grace, those gifts that I am given every day.

I now catch a glimpse of every butterfly in my path and it is a reminder of beauty in spite of what I’m experiencing on any particular day. It makes me wonder of the life of that butterfly and the reason for being on my path. Makes me grateful for the flutter of wings, the flash of color.

Of course my frog princess is on the top of my list of gifts. My siblings, my dad. The friends that I count on to hold me up and cheer me on. More and more, I count on the new friends I have made on this online journey. Those that have crossed my path for a predetermined reason and purpose.

My blonde bombshells, Natalie and Gigi who told me my dream of Mami Ink was a great idea and who I feel I can reach out to for any support, emotional or professional. Humbled by that.

My dancing to success divas: LaShaun, Lucrecer, Tonia, Tawanna, Tiany and Chrysula. Whose prayers I can request and are readily given.

My Central Florida Latinas. For being a driving force and support system that I did not realize I needed but that I’m so glad I have.

And the brands. Ohemgee! I have had the best relationships with PR firms and brands directly. I feel so blessed to be able to connect with people personally, not just because of what they can offer but because of who they are.

There are so many people and groups that I can turn to these days. My online family has grown by leaps and bounds. I feel that I’ve reaped all of the positivity from this social media ride I started taking the day I posted my first blog.

I’m grateful for all of my answered prayers. From continued strength as I make my journey through school and bringing to life these passions of mine to knitting in wombs that are not mine but feel close enough to be my own. Grateful.

I’ve also learned to be grateful for the unanswered prayers because there is so much more that I cannot see in this world. My faith has grown in leaps and bounds through my trials and tribulations. And though I am human and still question why prayers are not answered, deep down I know there’s a purpose for everything I cannot yet see.

As I sit here in this not-so-quiet house with my siblings, dad and aunt under the same roof I say a prayer of thanks. Though through this time I expect to have my moments of sadness I will practice that hard eucharisteo that Ann Voskamp speaks of in her book and I will give thanks during the bad moments. Those that remind me of the gaping hole in the fabric of this family. Through it all, I give thanks.

My list of gratitude is too long to write down but I will continue to try to journal them because I do believe that gratitude is the key to continued blessings and a peaceful life.

What are you thankful for today?

Gratitude

Giving With Thanks

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This year has brought me many blessings. It’s the second year without mami so I’m afraid there’s still some awkwardness as we adjust to this new normal. The Central Florida Latinas and I have had many great things happen this year. Primarily, the fact that we came together to form not just a circle of friendship but also a group that will make a positive impact on the community.  We want to give back as an offering of thanks for all of the blessings that this year has brought us.

Today we headed over to Better Life Worship Center. It is one the fastest growing churches in Central Florida and they are continuing their tradition of feeding needy families in the community. Every 3rd Tuesday of the month, Better Life Worship Center has a food pantry that is open for all families so they can receive free groceries.

This week they’re doing a little more. Not only are they providing groceries from their pantry but they had a very special Thanksgiving lunch. As an extra special blessing, they are also providing the needy families with groceries to prepare a Thanksgiving meal at home. And we lucky enough to be there for them to help.

It’s been a rough couple of weeks in our group with illnesses (children, moms, ourselves, etc). But we are EXTRA grateful for the Ford Southeast team who provided us with a $300 gift card in order to help the church stock up on their pantry during this time of the year.

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We have lots to be thankful for but being able to help others during their time of need is one of the biggest blessings we could’ve received. Special thanks to Ford Southeast for standing with us as we help our community.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rqNTar0ib-w&feature=youtu.be

What are you thankful for this season?

Mami Mondays: Thanksgiving

I was going to vlog today to show you my FANTABULOUS hair thanks to The Hair Diva especially after I vlogged the other day with the Lion King "do". But, to be honest, I'm not up for the camera. It's been a rough day and currently, I am sporting my sexy hair WITH puffy red eyes and the Rudolph nose.  It's been a rough "missing mami" day, what can I say? I will make this short and simple (maybe) and in no particular order. Here's my list:

1. I'm thankful to God for never leaving my side, giving me subtle and not so subtle reminders He's around and for sending people my way to steer me in the right direction and encourage me. This leads me to

2. I'm thankful to you! I so appreciate you stopping by and reading my blog. Most days I have no clue why you do it but, there you are, commenting, tweeting, making me smile and generally reminding me that this thing I love to do so much, this writing, is actually read

3. I'm thankful to projects. I'm  a project manager, so, how could I not be! I'm especially thankful to those of you have that have given towards Terri's trip to the Dominican Republic in order to help bring better birthing conditions to the hospital where she is going to be working at.  This is a very special project because it is the country in which I was born.  I'm trying to figure out how I am going to make welcome packets for all the babies that Terri will be delivering. I may not have a job but hopefully, God will help me make a way.  My dad used to say that babies are born with a loaf of bread under their arm. Initially I thought: what am I yeasty or something? Hmmm, that may have worked better on the vlog than in print. Go ahead and read it again then laugh a little harder to make me feel good.

In any case, I soon realized that the meaning behind the phrase is that babies are not only blessings but they come with blessings as well.  I know I experienced that and many of you have as well. I'd love to renew hope in these new mamis by showing them that their new little bundles of joy bring with them a loaf of their own.  I am skipping Christmas presents for myself (so, please don't send them ;-) ). Instead, I will try my best to make as many welcome packets as possible during the holiday season. If you want to help me make that happen, check out the blog and my intentions and reach out to me.

4. I am of course grateful for my frog princess! Some days (like today) she is the only thing that will put a smile on my face. The sun rises and sets on her. I cannot remember or imagine what life was like before her.  In the midst of the intense sorrow that this year has brought there has been equally intense joy and for that I am humbled and grateful

5. This year more than ever, I am thankful for the many lessons that this life has brought.  I have had the most devastating loss I've experienced in my life (and still, I stand). I walked away from a relationship I once thought would last forever (and still, I stand).  I have lost my job and realized that perhaps I am here for a bigger purpose though I'm still trying to get creative with the bill-paying (and still I stand).  All these things have brought with them valuable lessons and wonderful people that have reached out to me in my time of need. Oh, I've also learned that I can't do it on my own and that it's okay to ask for help.  I'm not saying I'm practicing that yet but, what is it they say about knowing the problem?

In other news: I really wish you could see this hair. It's making me want to get dressed up and go out dancing.  But, for some reason, although I have days where I'm up til 3 a.m. here at home, the minute I think about being out that late, I get an intense tiredness deep within that cannot be fought (hmmm, perhaps I should start using this when I can't sleep at night).

I only have 5 things on the list because as you know I can talk type and if I had 5 more things then I'd need about 3 more blogs (that didn't add up, did it? It's why I'm not writing equations people! Work with me!).  So, what awesomeness are you thankful for? Where will Thanksgiving Day find you (spiritually, emotionally, physically, metaphorically)?