Tag: gratitude

Gratitude

 

There is so much good in the world, we just need to look harder to find it. It’s there. It’s also important to celebrate the small victories. This quote defines how I feel:

“While there are some things wrong in the world today, there are many things right, such as teachers who teach, ministers who minister, marriages that make it, parents who sacrifice, and friends who help.

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To Herb Meyer’s Memory

 

Over the years, Ricochet has inspired lasting friendships, not least of which is many members’ friendship with @tommeyer, who’s not only a great guy, but someone who rendered Ricochet great service before he moved on to other things. When Herb Meyer, Tom’s father, died, the outpouring of thanksgiving for Herb’s life was tremendous. At the time, I dedicated a motet I was working on to Herb’s memory, but life having gotten in the way, I haven’t had a chance to share it with the Ricoverse until now:

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Ilhan Omar Hates America. Why Doesn’t She Leave?

 

The national media, both the liberal and squishy NeverTrump varieties, are all aghast that President Trump tweeted recently that if certain unnamed Progressive Democrat Congresswomen dislike America so much then why don’t they leave. And then he said they should come back and tell us how to fix America, if they’re such experts. But most people are ignoring that part of the tweet because it doesn’t match their prejudices. No, instead, all we hear about is how racist Donald Trump. Racist, racist, racist. Blah, blah, blah.

I’m an immigrant to my small, rural town in New Hampshire. That is, I was born about 90 miles away, in Maine. (This is just how things are in New England. I’ll always be “from away.”) A couple of years ago I attended a hearing held by the town zoning board on whether to allow a self-storage facility to be built on a property previously zoned residential. The particulars aren’t important, but I spoke out against the special exception to the zoning ordinance that the property owner was seeking. During a break, the property owner’s brother-in-law approached me and loudly informed me that I “should wait until [I’d] lived here longer before opening [my] [expletive] mouth.”

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45 Years, or a 12-Step Program for a Successful Marriage

 

I would never have imagined that I would be married so many years. In fact, when I first met my husband-to-be, I told him that I didn’t know if I would ever get married. It just seemed like such a traumatic, demanding step; besides, who would have me?

But I was wrong—and I’m so glad I was. In meeting my husband, I found a man who is generous, smart, funny, helpful, and kind. He can also be stubborn, determined, and obsessive about detail. But I digress . . .

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Quote of the Day: Lessons From My Mother

 

I’ve mentioned this favorite saying of my mother’s many times before. And for the first time, when I did my due diligence and searched the Internet before I wrote this, I found it attributed to someone else: Helen Gurley Brown. Pretty sure Mum didn’t get it from her, and I’ve long wondered if it was, perhaps, a line from a radio comedy show of the ’30s or ’40s that Mum heard and remembered. I guess there’ll forever be a mystery, and an unanswered question in my mind about that.

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Member Post

 

Sydney Benner is the creator of the revolutionary new fitness program, FLIGHT! She has devoted her life to connecting people together through movement. Sydney explains her calling to create spaces and places for people to gather that feel inclusive, supportive, and where they can be authentically themselves. Sydney and Bridget discuss finding the balance in […]

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Quote of the Day: Two Little Words

 

Few things exercise the Ricochetti more than a spirited discussion of the woeful state of public education in the United States today, unless it’s despairing angst (is there any other kind?) over the direction of the country in general, the state of mind of its youth, or the general lack of gratitude for anyone or anything shown by anybody under the age of [pick a target demographic, probably based on your own state of middling-to-advanced geezerhood]. Sometimes, it seems that there’s nothing we like better than a good, and dreary, moan about the state of things.

So, just to be contrary, and with the recognition that, perhaps I’m a lone voice crying in the wilderness (wouldn’t be the first time, and probably not the last), or that, perhaps, my family has been lucky to have tapped into the one-and-only decent public school system in the country (unlikely that, I can’t help thinking), I’d like to shower today’s quote of the day on a little institution in Hollidaysburg, Pennsylvania: “Thank you,” Charles W. Longer Elementary School (the school appears to have been named after a local educator who served for many years as the superintendent of the district. Thank you, Charles W. Longer, himself.)

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Member Post

 

The overcast sky rested heavily on the landscape on the day we visited Valley Forge. Few people were there on that day, as if they were avoiding a reminder of the chilly autumn season that lay ahead and the brutal memories long past. An admirer of General George Washington during the Revolutionary War, I wanted […]

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Bonus Quote of the Day: “The Spiritual Work of Gratitude”

 

@arahant‘s Quote of the Day took us in a rather earth[l]y direction. In honor of my natal anniversary (and to redress the imbalance) I offer the following reflection from Fr. Henri J. M. Nouwen [1932-1996]:

“To be grateful for the good things that happen in our lives is easy, but to be grateful for all of our lives—the good as well as the bad, the moments of joy as well as the moments of sorrow, the successes as well as the failures, the rewards as well as the rejections—that requires hard spiritual work. Still, we are only truly grateful people when we can say thank you to all that has brought us to the present moment. As long as we keep dividing our lives between events and people we would like to remember and those we would rather forget, we cannot claim the fullness of our beings as a gift of God to be grateful for. Let’s not be afraid to look at everything that has brought us to where we are now and trust that we will soon see in it the guiding hand of a loving God.” — Nouwen, Henri J. M.. Bread for the Journey: A Daybook of Wisdom and Faith (p. 13). HarperCollins. Kindle Edition. [1997, 2014]

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Quote of the Day: Sacrificing Virgins to Volcanoes

 

“All around us, humans are not change agents, but victims buffeted by impersonal deities who must be appeased through acts of sacrifice. In principle, there is no distinction between the island barbarian who sacrifices virgins to the volcano and the modern American who self-sterilizes to ‘save the planet.’ Both are expressions of the human desire to suffer in order to appease a larger, all-important ‘force.’ And both are ways in which otherwise intelligent people adopt pagan worldviews in order to come to peace with their place in the world.” — Shaya Cohen (aka @iwe), The Torah Manifesto

The world is filled with people who wear their helplessness, victimization, and virtue-signaling as badges of honor. They have given up their free will as their contribution to the myth that the earth is falling apart and only through their sacrifices can it be saved. Their growing abundance and success, instead of filling them with gratitude and motivation, overwhelm them with guilt and teeth-gnashing. They elevate their impact on the planet so that they end up becoming their own gods, thinking that they can make the world better by giving up those things they have earned and created. Their surrender to true Power is not possible, since they have made themselves into powerless deities.

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Member Post

 

Dear Ricochetti, Thank you for your support and encouragement. There are no words to adequately convey my gratitude to all who have helped me in my time of need, both financially and emotionally. Your prayers have been my strength, and your patience with my plight has given me hope. If things get better, I will […]

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Member Post

 

If you’ve been following this past week of daily posts, you know that my husband and I had to endure a trial for a case that has lasted over six years. I want to thank @arahant for listing the post links and I have pasted them in at the end. I said I had no […]

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Member Post

 

This is an update to the post I put up earlier, Until We Meet Again. In that post, I stated that I could not afford to keep my Ricochet account. Well, God sent an anonymous Angel to pay for my membership, so I get to stay! I have no idea who my Angel is, but […]

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Member Post

 

Milk – $1.99 1 pound of Beans (dry) – $1.49 Bread – $1.10 ½ Dozen Eggs – $0.99 Total – $5.57 Not long ago, the items on that grocery list would have cost half as much. When I was little, Mom and Dad would gather my sister and me into the car, and we would […]

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We Just Create Our Own Family

 

At Thanksgiving time, we experience a hint of sadness in our home. Our parents have passed away; we have no relationship with my sister or brother or my husband’s daughter and grandchildren. We do have his brother in our lives and he was with us this Thanksgiving. Other family is scattered around the country in a way that discourages a shared holiday celebration.

But years ago, Jerry and I created our own family. We have an “open table” at Thanksgiving where people who don’t have someone to celebrate with are invited and they can bring friends. This year was extremely special. Except for Jerry’s brother (who helped us cook and clean up!) we had seven neighbors. At dinner this year, we declared ourselves “family.”

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Gratitude

 

“‘This time I will thank God’ and she called him Judah.” Leah references her unhappiness with how her husband feels about her when naming her first three sons. But for her fourth son, she becomes the first Biblical character to express gratitude.

Jews (the name derives from Judah) are the people who thank. Or at least we should be. The first words we say each morning are “thank you.” On festivals the verse we recite most often is “Thank you God for it is good, for His kindness is forever.”

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Gratitude: For Michael, or Why I’ll Still Be Here a Week from Now

 

I’m grateful for my family.

Now, I can’t write the sort of post that some of you can, and perhaps will, about a close-knit family and a wonderfully stable upbringing with intimate family ties and regular family celebrations. A friend of mine grew up this way, and when we have lunch, as we do a couple of times a year, it seems there are always three or four more great-nieces and nephews, and someone else is getting married or having a baby, and she’s just attended a massive reunion somewhere on the East coast. My family wasn’t like that at all. We were far-flung at a time when communication, other than by what came to be known as ‘snail mail,’ was often impossible, and was always complicated, expensive, and slow.

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Member Post

 

Note: I posted the below essay on my personal site this past Sunday, the 4th. Reposted here with some family encouragement. It would have been a good candidate for the “Gratitude” writing assignment, but the anniversary of his passing was more fitting: My father passed six years ago, today, after a long battle with lymphoma. […]

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Advent Gratitude: The Liturgical Year Begins as Darkness Grows

 

shutterstock_251257738“the glory is fallen out of / the sky the last immortal / leaf / is // dead and the gold / year / a formal spasm / in the // dust / this is the passing of all shining things” … into the night so dark no night could be darker than, the cold so cold, no cold could be colder than; the journey through “The mile still left when all have reached / Their tether’s end: that mile / Where the Child lies hid.”

The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness does not overmaster it. But neither has light overmastered the darkness: lights do not shine in darkness unless darkness predominates; when there’s mostly light, we see the darkness as residual shadows, not as the ambient state.

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A Gratitude Bouquet for my Husband

 

kissShort and sweet, dear Ricochet friends.

Having read your essays this past month as they revealed lives of courage, hardship, mind-boggling talent, empathy, humor and love – well – I’m grateful – and humbled.

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