I am thankful today – A smile

I was thinking of what I could share today. Then there she came, one of my students, standing by the door, smiling and greeting me good morning. I felt somehow filled with her smile. The smile was so beautiful that I felt like I was ready to start the day again. Then I remember this!

This is one scene in one of my favorite movies, You Stupid Man (2002).

smile

Nadine and Owen were celebrating Valentine’s day together and they decided to have gift exchange. They were out of the shop with a present for each other. They gave each other the present. Owen opened his and he got a pair of Snoopy sandals. Nadine opened hers, a small present wrapped in a small box. She opened it up and she got a mirror. Her face was puzzled, questioning the reason why she got a mirror for a present. There was Owen said to her,

I think that you have a really beautiful smile. Your smile cheers me up when I am down. So, every time you feel down, you just need to see the mirror and give yourself your beautiful smile.

They hugged each other and they walked home happily that day.

***

Life can wear you out but a smile can cheer you up! 🙂

smile1

What do you see?

 

joyEasier said than done. Too many times our days are nothing but grooves without meaning. We see the same things all over again that we actually have lost their meanings. But to find joy in the ordinary is to take time enjoying every moment, every single thing we are to do. To find joy is to be silent for a little while, to really let the breeze of the grooves slip into the spaces of our fingers, to let the overflowing spirit fill in our hearts that we are ready to wake up again every morning, ready to do the things all over again. We may think that what we do is not that significant compared to what others have done or are doing. But I found this quote some days ago and I am reminded that everyone has his/her own part.

And how does peace come? Simple. By accepting who we are and what we have as enough for us. By recognizing and respecting who the other is and what they have as theirs. By finding within ourselves the pearl of great price, the richest thing there is in life, the sense of the presence of God who loves and companions us through all the pressures of life. Joan Chittister [Source:  “Peace” inUncommon Gratitude by Joan Chittister and Rowan Williams (Liturgical Press)]

Joy and peace exist simultaneously. If we are at peace accepting who we are and respecting who the other is also recognizing what we have as enough for us and respecting what others have as theirs, we have no time to compare ourselves and others. Then as the consequence of that, we find joy to be ourselves and doing what we are to do. We learn that there is that big picture of what we are doing, even though it seems so small and insignificant right now. We learn that no matter how small or insignificant the stuff we’re trusted with, we are all working for one single purpose, we are all heading towards the same direction, we are all part of the big picture and we are not left behind because we are small. We learn that the small puzzle pieces build up the beautiful big picture and if one piece is missing, it’s incomplete.

 

blessedIt is hard to see beautiful things in humble places because we have not been seeing deeper, we have not been seeing through what’s seen in the cover. We tend to see what’s seen, what’s in the outward look than to see what’s behind either the good or bad looks. We tend to judge the book by its cover.

It’s all about our perspective in seeing them. Blessed are those who find joy in no matter how small others see what they are doing. Blessed are those who find joy and understand the big picture of no matter how insignificant things they’re doing or even people they’re dealing with. Blessed are those who are joyfully doing their part no matter how boring it seems to repeat all the same things all over again every day.

Find joy in what you do. Find joy in the grooves of your days. There will not only sun shiny days in life, there will also be some rainy days in between. But surely, there is always, yes, always, something to be thankful for.

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Now, what do you see?

*photos photographed and edited by SUPERRISKA*

Welcoming Christmas season: Thanksgiving.

On the fourth Thursday of November Americans and Canadians (and some other people from some other countries) celebrate the Thanksgiving day. Even it became a national holiday in United States since 1863. Regardless how they actually celebrate it or how the meaning of the day is perceived now, that’s definitely a good thing of having such tradition. Gathering together with the whole family, eating together, enjoying the time together, and just giving thanks to what they happened to experience along the preceding year. I don’t really mind about the how of this day is celebrated, but I really like the idea of having such day in the family, or community, or nation. The meaning is much deeper than just eating turkeys, cranberries, and some other must-have menu. It is about separating a special day to gather and give thanks to the Giver of all things, despite the fact that we actually need to be everyday thankful.

Too many times in our life, we experience those moments that the grass is always greener on the other side.

the grass is always greener

the ultimate reason why we always think that the grass is always greener on the other side is because we just cant stop comparing ourselves to other people. We are just too many times too focused on what is missing in our life, on things we don’t have, on things we can’t afford, etc. When we start comparing ourselves with our neighbors, we tend to feel discouraged, down and sucks. And when we feel that way, it will be very hard for us to be thankful for what we got, because we always feel that what we have now is just not enough.

I believe being thankful is not about being satisfied with what we have now. Okay, I am thankful for what I have now, it’s all enough and I ask for no more. No way. Being thankful is knowing exactly our own capacity and capability gifted by God to us. Therefore we do nothing but our best to make the most of what we have. Being thankful is being fully aware of the talents we are given, without thinking why my friends are given more. Being thankful means getting ourselves not too focused on what’s missing. Every one of us has each part, given according to the mercy of the Giver.  Every one of us has been given each part according to the Master’s plan. We are called to do different things, have different talents and stuff, and also, be different people. Really, God didn’t use cookie-cutter when He created all of us. He has each story for each one. He made it written in the Book of Life all pages complete even before our mother met our father, even farther, before the world began.

I try to reflect this through on my own life.  I am now living in a place where I can find thousands of reasons to curse on the situation. I have all those things to be complained. But I learned that they will never change as I curse on them. But as I walk along, I know I still have a choice, and that is fully available for me to choose. That in this moments of lack, I can choose to be focused on what’s there not on what’s not. Focused on the precious students I have, the fun and encouraging fellows, caring and loving family back at home, and just on things I have. That means including health, new opportunity to see a new day once again, and many other little things that most of the time I just forgot to be thankful for them.

thankful

Well, I chose that option. I took that option instead of living a life full of bitterness. I am just trying to live day to day, trying not to focused on what’s absent, but be thankful for what’s present and just make the most of what I’ve got. I am trying to live right here and right now. Putting all my heart to where I am right now, 100%. I just don’t wanna miss the reality. Because what’s real is right here right now and right where you are. All the sweetness of the past is not here no more, while all the dreams of tomorrow are ready to be unlocked today.

Now, ask yourself this one simple question

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This question must be very hard if you keep yourself focused on what you don’t have and even more what you just can’t afford. I’ve been there and I just don’t want to live there no more. This life is not to be spent that way. That’s plain miserable.

Both abundance and lack exist simultaneously in our lives, as parallel realities. It is always our conscious choice which secret garden we will tend … when we choose not to focus on what is missing from our lives but are grateful for the abundance that’s present — love, health, family, friends, work, the joys of nature and personal pursuits that bring us pleasure — the wasteland of illusion falls away and we experience Heaven on earth.

— Sarah Ban Breathnach

Another day, another lesson learned.

*the first two pictures are not mine.