My Morning Prayer ❀

GOOD MORNING ❀

“God, I receive the gift of this day,
and I open my heart to your desires
for my life and this world.
I dedicate all my work today to you
and promise to express myself with respect and decency.
Please fill me with your grace
and help me find peace and contentment.
Amen “

Each morning offers a new opportunity to live a good day.
No matter how I may feel or
what circumstances surround me,
I can’t move forward with my day
before reciting my morning intentions.
This short prayer has become my proclamation.
It sets my mind in a good place and reminds me
why I am on this earth; to do good,
be productive and kind, help others, and give thanks.

Despite all the violence, anger, and vulgarity
infiltrating our society, I know that as long
as I stay connected to God, I will be blessed
with his grace and love and protected from
becoming pulled into the angry rhetoric
that so many have adopted as the new norm.
I will not let that happen to me
or to the people I love.
My life is too precious for that.
So is yours. ❤️

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EASTER MORNING ❀

Easter Morning

I love Easter Morning. ✞
I open my eyes to the perfect sound of quiet
following several hectic days of preparation and
before serving this huge meal to a
houseful of company.
The sun has begun to peak over the hillside
just enough to see the outline of the horizon.
There is no noise, no conversation,
no decisions to be made and no one else is awake.
I step out of bed,
slide my feet into my soft slippers,
wrap my body in something cozy,
shuffle into my quite kitchen,
brew a hot cup of coffee and gaze out the window.
It is in these very private moments
that I find my peace with God.
“Good Morning Lord”.
My first prayer is for the rest of my family
to sleep a little longer.

On these very special holiday mornings,
I sometimes feel that God is actually waiting for me.
As though one day he is going to jump out and say
‘Surprise sleepy head”.
I know this may sound rather silly
but over the years I have come to cherish
these quiet mornings
because in this tranquil still space
of my humble kitchen I can feel his grace.

Is my life perfect? Not by a long shot.
Am I truly happy? Sometimes.
Does my family all get along? Not a chance.
But in these moments of solitude,
God’s grace fills my soul and in that short space of time
when he and I are alone,
I thank him for this crazy life of mine.
I thank him for everything, the good and the bad,
the perfect and the imperfect.
I thank him for sending his son and to help
me live more like him.
I ask for his forgiveness and I pray for his protection.
I send my love to my dear mother and grandmother
and I ask them to continue their watch over my children.
Time seems to drift through me.
My mind is floating like a soft cloud.
I feel totally relaxed. My body and soul are still.
I breath. . . . . .

Before I realize it, the sound of footsteps
snaps me back to reality
and my very special alone time is over.
I dry my eyes, take in a deep breath
and pull myself back to reality.
How much time has passed? Is he gone?
I refresh my coffee and collect my thoughts.
Breath. Breath again. . . . Alright, I’m here.
Someone shuffles into the kitchen.
“Good Morning” “Happy Easter!” ✞
❤️

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NATIONAL WOMAN’S DAY ❀

Since the early 1900″s, this international day of celebration
has been recognized in honor of all the women
who have fought tirelessly to live an equal life
to their fellow man.
They weren’t just fighting for equal pay and opportunity,
they were fighting to be heard, to be counted,
to vote, and most importantly, to be acknowledged
as a vital part of society.
Each of them forging through years of prejudice
and constraints and often times paying
the ultimate price for their freedom.
I wonder if they imagined a world like we have today
where a woman can do absolutely anything.
Thank you to all the women who came before us
that stepped out and spoke up for equality.
We are living proof that your voices were heard. ♡

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MOTHER’S DAY 2017 ❀

MOTHER’S DAY

I love this photo of mommy and me.
The pure joy in her smile.
So young and beautiful. 

Lost in the innocence of the moment.

On this particular Mother’s Day,
I want to remember this 21-year-old girl
and dream about how happy she must have been.
Before all the craziness of her life took hold
of her, I want to imagine how much in love
she was with her new husband and first baby.

I want to dream about her laughing
and feeling excited about everything.
Just today, I’m going to put aside the rest of her story
and imagine what this particular day was like for her;
looking at her little baby girl with so much hope and excitement.
Pure sweet love between a mother and her baby.
(I know the feeling well.)

Happy Mother’s Day Mommy.
Just like in this photo,
I hope you are smiling down upon my two children and me today.
We sure do miss you.

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APOLOGIZE ALREADY ❀

“It is better to offer no excuse than to offer a bad one.”
~George Washington

We all make mistakes.
It’s human nature to stumble every once in a while.
So when it happens to you, just admit it,
apologize and try to make it right.
After all, it was just a lapse in judgment,
a hick-up, a big oops!
Don’t try to make excuses when
the person affected by your oversight
is glaring at you in disbelief.
They already know what you did wrong;
making an excuse will just delay any chance of clemency.

So jump in, guilt and all, and say,
“I’m sorry”; unless, of course, the dog did it. ♡

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NATIONAL PIZZA DAY 2017

February 9, 2017 – National Pizza Day

Can you believe that the average American
consumes an average 23 pounds of pizza each year.
(I feel full just reading this.)
In the USA, over 3 billion fresh pizzas and
1 billion frozen pizzas are sold every year.
As you would expect,
the first Pizzeria opened in Naples, Italy in 1738.
(Of course it was.)
The first in the USA was opened in 1895 in New York City.
So get started my friend, because after today,
you will have 22 pounds of pizza to finish
before the end of the year. Mangia

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LIFE IN BALANCE ❀

“There are as many nights as days,
and the one is just as long as the other
in the year’s course.
Even a happy life cannot be without a measure of darkness,
and the word happy would lose it’s meaning
if it were not balanced by sadness.”

➺Carl Gustav Jung

I needed this reminder as I struggle through these
dark short days of winter. Suffering through the flu,
a bad cold, and sore joints makes me appreciate
the jubilant feeling of the sunshine on my face
and the warm temperatures filling my body
with healthy endorphins.
But I can’t get to the summer without first
surviving the winter just like I need to get through
the tough times to celebrate the good ones.
Life really is a balance.
We all may lead different lives but not one of us
gets through without our own ups and downs.
So don’t let yourself get too down on life
because something wonderful is just around the corner. ♡

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HAPPY NEW YEAR MY FRIEND ❀

~2017
Let us learn from the years already gone by.
Don’t waste one day on regrets.
Don’t waste time complaining.
Don’t say negative things about yourself or others.
Don’t abuse your body.
Don’t forget to keep God in your life.

Please ~
Do take care of yourself.
Do speak kindly about yourself and others.
Do charity work.
Do learn something new,
Do go somewhere you have never been.
Do something you have never done.
Do meditate for peace and balance.
Do walk every day for your heart and your mind.
Do pray for your soul.
Do keep God in your life. ✞

*Wishing you all a blessed and joyful 2017!!

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CHRISTMAS CHAOS ❀

The Christmas Season has arrived
and with it craziness abounds with endless lists
and immeasurable pressure on all of us.
Makes me feel like a scrooge every year
and I’m afraid I have impressed this
disgruntled attitude upon my children.
“Sorry!”

However. . . . today I woke
with an overwhelming feeling of calm.
“What the heck is this?” Was my first thought.
I closed my eyes, took in a few deep breaths
and pretended to wake again just in case
I was still dreaming.
But I was neither dead nor dreaming
so before I lost that loving feeling,
I decided to ‘embrace’ it!!

As I sipped my first cup of coffee,
mmmm. . . . I slowly gazed upon the
multitude of lists I have taped to my cabinets.
Go here, buy this, wrap that, bake these,
send this, clean that. . . and instead
of feeling my heart rate climb to a
dangerous level, I simply continued to
enjoy my morning coffee.
I told myself ~ RELAX Claudia !!!
And I am. . . . and I’m sending this
message to you to try your best
to do the same.

I know it isn’t easy. . . Really I do!!
But at least try, even if it
only lasts for this one day!
This cup of coffee will probably morph
into a sparkly glass of Prosecco later. ♡

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“Sweet Sneakers”

The “Care Bags” project has provided over 275 bags
of clothing and personal items to the young girls
who are placed within the Adelphoi Organization.
I am so proud of all we do to help them.
When I receive their hand written notes of thanks,
my heart is reassured that we are doing a good thing.

Recently I have come to learn that several of these
young ladies are coming in barefoot.
Just the thought that a young girl does
not own a pair of shoes is more than I can even imagine,

That is how “Sweet Sneakers” came about.
If we donated one pair of slightly worn or new
tennis shoes that were just sitting in our closets,
we can give some dignity back to a young girl
who has gone through unthinkable heartache and pain.
I brought a pair in this week and this particular
young lady had them on her little feet in seconds.
The smile on her face was all the thanks I needed.

If you think you can help,
just message me. All sizes needed.
Thank you – from the bottom of my heart.
Claudia

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