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Posts Tagged ‘Blessings’

This holiday season, we are blessed once again by my daughter’s presence. Now that she has launched her career, we are even more grateful that she still delights in the simple pleasures of hanging out with me and her dad.

Last year about this time, I asked her what I should write about for my “Feel Good Tuesday” post. She said, “Oh, you should write about family—how wonderful it is to spend time with family members, the importance of appreciating one another, and sharing our love, especially older family members while they can still enjoy your presence.

Family matters. As I get older, I appreciate and celebrate family more and more.

On Christmas Eve, my husband, daughter, and I piled into the car and headed to Vancouver to see my mom, niece, and two younger sisters. We enjoyed a few joyous hours snuggled up on the sofa sharing stories and photos, catching up on each others’ lives, playing games, and dreaming about the year ahead.

Before my daughter returns home to Boston, we’ll gather around the fire, piece together several jigsaw puzzles, and take a few walks in the misty twilight. We might even round up our instruments to make music together, creating wonderful new holiday memories.

As you reflect on your holidays, may you be blessed with the warmth of family, blessed by love given and received.

Sending you and your loved ones Warm Blessings for a Joyous New Year.

Pass It On!

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Gratitude. God is awesome. As 2011 closes, I give thanks for the many blessings received & shared with you, my community of family and friends. In May, I celebrated with my daughter as she completed her MFA at Boston U. She now enjoys a wonderful position as head of a Boston College’s costume shop, and she continues to expand her portfolio  of exquisite designs. I’m blessed that she’ll be home for the holidays.

Joy. I continue to lean into my ministry in communities near and far, and at my home church and others that call. This summer, I was blessed to visit Ghana, a ministry of learning and teaching with 23 seniors and juniors from University of Washington. My latest book, Pass It On!, will be released next year. It’s my first book for children, and I look forward to writing more.

Light.  In this holy season, I pray for those who are without shelter, food, or a community of loved ones; I pray for those ravaged by war, trafficking, famine, dislocation, flood, sickness, and spiritual darkness. As well, I pray for our service men and women who have returned home from Iraq, specifically for their smooth re-entry with family and community. For some this can be a most difficult transition. I also pray for those who are still serving us at home and around the world, those who are unable to be home with their loved ones during this special time.

May God’s glorious grace, love, and mercy enfold and comfort you during this Holy Season and throughout the New Year.

One Heart ~ Love and Joy, Gloria

Pass It On!

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As the golden days of autumn give way to auburn, rust, and brown,  we lean toward Thanksgiving, a season of deep gratitude.

Today and always I give thanks for my many blessings – family and friends, children’s laughter, angels and prayers that come into my life, bidden or unbidden, even my breath, which I so often take for granted… but which for some is an immense struggle.

Aunbance is Yours

Abundance is Yours

Many years ago, I wrote “Sanctuary,” one of my many poems of gratitude. I share it with you now as an offering of thanksgiving for a faithful, stout-hearted woman of God… my  mom, Mildred McEwen, and to two amazing men whose legacy of generosity and gratitude changed my life… my father, Earnest McEwen, Jr.,  and William Faulkner.

Who has been a blessing in your life? Have you expressed your gratitude?

SANCTUARY

for William Faulkner and my father, Earnest McEwen, Jr.*

Between the brush of angels’ wings

and furious hooves of hell, two mortal men

fell down. How you must have looked—

white shirt stained, khakis fatigued,

smelling of sweat and smoke,

hair at odds with itself and the world.

At the threshold among your restless dead

in echo and shadow of ancient oaks,

providing sanctuary, offering shade,

you had many worlds behind you,

few yet to be born: stories of insurgence,

scorn, decay—theme and variations

of a vanquished South.

Leaning against a jamb

of antebellum brass, you watched, waited,

raised weary arm and hand, saluted

the familiar stranger. Come. Enter. Sit. Sing.

You reached each other across the grate.

What you two must have known of heaven and hell.


* William Faulkner was my father’s benefactor, paying for him to attend college at a time when he had little

prospects of earning enough money to pay for it himself. This was Faulkner’s way of dismantling institutionalized racism long before desegregation was mandated in the South.

__________________________________

Harvest blessings.

Pass It On!

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One of the ways I keep my eyes on the future is by sharing stories and poetry, time-honored ways to impart wisdom and to teach what might otherwise take months or years.

Gloria Burgess Photo: Angel's Trumpet

Poet Theodore Roethke wisely reminds us that we all “learn by going where [we] have to go.” In this way, my stories and poems have helped me learn. As well, they have helped me grow by compelling me to work through the past–my struggles, joy, anger, triumphs, discouragement, pain… and glorious radiance.

When I share my stories and poems, I’m delighted to learn that they sometimes offer a much-needed bridge… a lifeline of sorts for others.

We never know who might need the light or warmth from our candle. We never know when a word or image we’ve chosen will awaken in someone something that allows him or her to claim and share their story.

It’s not our business to know.

Our business is to share our blessings, to share our beauty… the wonderful wealth of who we are. Our business is to wear our souls on the outside.

When we share our stories, we make ourselves known. We shine a light, making it OK for others to do the same. So many folks need the safety and comfort of that OK.

That’s how we heal the world. That’s how we create heaven right here on earth: a small step, a worthy action, a shared story, an OK zone.

One person, then another.

Day after day… and on it will go.

Mighty blessings!

Pass It On!

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What the world needs now is love in all of its diverse expressions—empathy, compassion, mercy, forgiveness, passion, gratitude, kindness. Who will you say “I love you” to today? What word of encouragement will you whisper in their ear? Who will you feed with your smile? What a difference love makes.

Here are just a few of our sisters and brothers who have made a difference through the power of love.

Tina Allen •  Ella Baker •  Josephine Baker  •  Mary McLeod Bethune •  John E. Fetzer •  Mary Jane Gillespie  • 
Dr. Eva Jessye  •  Jesus  •   Helen Keller  •   Coretta Scott King •  Denise Klein •  Abraham Lincoln  •   Dr. Wangari Maathai •  Nelson Mandela   •   Earnest McEwen, Jr. •  Michelle Obama •  Julieanna Richardson •  Albert Schweitzer •   Mother Teresa  •  Archbishop Desmond Tutu  •  Tamara Woodbury

Tell me, what difference is your love making today?

Pass It On!

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Every day is a day of blessing. Today, among my many blessings, I count these and so many more:

  • Family and friends who open their hearts and long arms of love to me again and again, even in the midst of seemingly impossible circumstances. An aunt who recently lost her sister after her long bout with cancer, who cooks daily for her extended family and welcome neighbors into her home anytime, ministering to their many needs.

    Burnished leaves of fall

  • A dear friend who after serving in the Peace Corps in Botswana recently returned to the US. She returned  months earlier than planned so she could cradle her precious grandson to her bosom, the fragile little tyke whose life is a singular blessing from God. All praise for this miracle child and for His loving embrace and protection.
  • A deep bow to my husband, John, my soulmate, friend, and first listener for all my triumphs and trials. Mighty blessings and kisses for my daughter, Quinn, who called me earlier this week for a luxurious conversation. She wanted to be sure she had all the family recipes down as she prepares her very first Thanksgiving dinner. As I combed through my memory for those savory recipes that probably never will be captured in written form, I chuckled at how much I sounded like my own dear mom, “Well, honey… you just need a little pinch of this and about a handful of that… go easy on the butter….”

However you count your blessings, when all is said and done, the blessings we hold most dear are those filled with people and infused with love given and love received.

Have a blessed and joyous Thanksgiving!

Pass It On!

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As we move from the golden days of summer into the misty, muted days of fall, harvest time is in the air. Whatever we’ve planted this year is now ripe and ready to be plucked and savored.. or put aside until the chilly, dormant days of winter.

Burnished leaves of fall

What seeds have you planted this year that are ripe for harvest?

Here are a few stories about seeds sown from friends, family, and clients.

A home-school mom: “Every day I get to be with Rafe, my 8-year old son. Being a home-school mom is the best way I know to plant seeds that will bear fruit today, tomorrow, next week, next year, and for years to come. I wouldn’t trade this time with Rafe for anything. ”

A retired postal clerk: “In my work, I did a lot of walking over the years. Now that I’m retired, I also walk a lot, but things are different. Now I have time to slow down and talk to people. I have time to listen to the birds, enjoy the breeze, admire the trees… I even have time to stop and smell the roses. You can’t beat that.”

A teenager: “It’s been about 5 years since I last saw my dad or even spoke to him. When he left, he said he never wanted to see me or my mom again. But the other day, he called. At first I didn’t want to talk to him. But I’m glad I did. He told me it wasn’t my fault that things went bad between him and my mom. He told me how sorry he was for all the horrible things he’d said to us. Best of all, my dad told me how much he loved me. That meant the world to me.”

A hair dresser: “You would think in this recession that business would be down. In fact, it’s just the opposite. I’m doing really well. Next month, I’ll be expanding and doubling the size of my salon. For me, it’s all about relationship, about showing people how much you care. That caring attitude is what keeps people coming back… and they tell their friends. How cool is that?!”

Tell me, what seeds have you sown, and how are you harvesting your bounty of blessings and sharing your wealth with others?

The truly wealthy are those who give until it feels good.

Pass It On!

Follow me on Twitter: http://twitter.com/gloriaburgess.

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