Grateful for….

Hello friends,

Do you believe in coincidences?

They come from heaven! They are God’s way of placing us where we need to be at a specific time. I am here! Just before Thanksgiving Day! I am not ready yet! Scared! Excited as well!

“Knowing” there is a reason for it, I am humbled and overflowing with gratitude.

Life’s Incredible Journeys is a dream becoming reality.

Immersed I am in it and in Life itself. I need to swim or else! I am moving my arms and feet to float. I get tired and want to give up.

Where did the angels come from? They pull me up and cheer me! They hand me a thrift wood and show me the way!

Oh, I am grateful!

I am grateful for Spyro, my husband of 47 years, our children and 9 grandchildren for the joys and challenges they brought into our lives…

For my 92 year old mother who lives with us, helping and inspiring us with her strength and wisdom

For our physical friends, online friends, Jeff Goins and the Tribe Writers, all accepting me with my limitations and always helping me stay afloat.

I am grateful to be here! Hope to make many new friends, to share with you what I know and learn from your wisdom.

God has placed every one of you in my life to help me grow and mature to the spiritual being He meant for me to be. I am grateful to you for accepting the role of teacher and friend!

Grateful I am for God’s great abundance in my life!

Counting blessings every day, we leave little room for Life’s hardships to take over our minds and hearts.

I know from personal experience that persons who are optimistic and grateful by nature are more focused mentally and less prone to depression.

When I count my blessings, I feel more at peace, physically and mentally.

Being grateful for the chance to care for many, it gives me strength to go on giving with patience and love.

Not expressing gratitude is like wrapping a present and not giving it.

Gratefulness is not programmed in our genes. It is a matter of attitude. It’s a choice. Overlooking blessings brings us to what is lacking in life.

We don’t need much to live happy and spiritually fulfilled lives. Yet, we are blessed with many gifts.

Our life is a precious gift! Did you have something to do with it? I did’t. It came to be without my own doing.

Every day presents me, all of us, with countless moments of beauty and happiness. Are we grateful for such moments or are we focusing on life’s difficulties?

Love is part of life. That’s the best blessing of all. Even amidst difficulties, one or more persons will be there to love us or for us to love and cherish — parents, family, and friends…pets too.

Most of us have food and water; a roof over our heads; good health or, at least, not major problems. All, Godsend gifts, are often lacking from the lives of many people in the world.

I don’t want to take such assistance for granted. I make a conscious effort to count and appreciate what I have, not focusing on what is lacking.

Being grateful for what we perceive as godsends should be easy.

Can we choose to be thankful when adversity takes over life?

Difficult but achievable! A matter of choice and perception!

Looking beyond the hurt and anguish of misfortune, we have the capacity to perceive the hardships of life as miracles in disguise…

…lessons or training which will strengthen our character, moving us to a higher level of inner maturity.

We must trust that a reason we cannot understand is at work. Then, we can accept difficulties as opportunities to cultivate patience, trust, compassion, and humility.

Having gone through quite a few crises in my life, I can vow that… choosing to be positive instead of negative helps both physically and spiritually.

As Christians we have been giving “thanks” for almost 2000 years.

The word Eucharist comes from the Greek word Eucharistia. It means “thanksgiving.” When Jesus was no longer on earth, His disciples gathered together daily. They broke bread and drank wine in remembrance of Christ’s Last Supper, thanking God for each other, their food, and Jesus teachings.

Partaking in the feast of Eucharist during the Divine Liturgy, we thank God for being in our lives and for having allowed us to know Jesus.

As we express our gratitude, we hold on to our lifeline with Jesus and God.

The Eucharist is a wonderful, mystical way to nourish body and soul.

Gratitude can be mystical and nourishing!

We are unique individual souls inspired by Spirit itself. No other treasure on earth is more valuable; no animal is stronger than our spirit that draws strength from God Himself.

Are we grateful for the divine energy that runs through us, grateful for who we are?

Appreciating the sacredness in our own heart makes it easier to be thankful for everything and everyone else in our life.

Keeping a gratitude journal where I write down a list of belongings or people who made me happy during the day keeps me in touch with my blessings.

What are you choosing to be grateful for and how do you express your gratitude?

Please, share with a Comment!

About the Author

Katina Vaselopulos

Originally from Greece, Katina Vaselopulos and her husband, have made their home in Chicago for the past 47 years. Their four children and nine grandchildren offer countless adventures. Katina also enjoys cooking and baking, teaching and learning, reading and writing. Her soon-to-be-published book, Sailing Toward Ithaca, takes the reader on a journey through one year of her life. She invites the readers along, to sail through life’s journey open to all possibilities and to nurture relationships with self, others, and God by striving for self-knowledge and inner growth. Other projects include What Is Cooking in Niles, a cookbook of Greek cuisine, and a thesis, “Dostoyevsky’s Major Novels: Polemics against Liberal Thought,” for which she received high honors at Northeastern University of Illinois.

Comments

  1. Look at you, Katina! You pretend to be baffled by technology, and then launch a beautiful site with a great title, and strong words! 😉

    • Oh Mike,
      It’s not me! The credit goes to all of my Tribe Writers and friends who guided me, supported me, gave detailed instructions, and shared wonderful ideas. I am thankful to have all of you in my life!
      Happy and blessed Thanksgiving day tomorrow!

  2. Great job, Katina! I can’t wait to see more posts. Congratulations on this new journey. :-)

  3. Anastasia, What a pleasure it is to have you as my first visitor!
    Thank you so much for your warm and encouraging words!
    I love to have you as a companion in my journey! Learning from each other could teach us a lot about ourselves and the world!

  4. Patty

    Very nice article, Katina! It felt good reading it! Looking forward to your future reads!

    • Patty mou,
      Thanks for visiting and encouraging comment!
      Without your detailed directions, last night, on how to add my post to the site, I would not have done it! So often, you have been a life saver for me! I am blessed you are in my life!
      Have a wonderful Thanksgiving Day tomorrow with your family!

  5. Vicky Constantinou (Galatsianos)

    Congratulations on a job SUPER well done!
    Two of my faves: “Overlooking blessings brings us to what is lacking in life.” “Gratitude can be mystical and nourishing.”
    Thank you for your continued wisdom and optimism…
    Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours, and best of luck!

    • Vicky mou,
      I am grateful for your loyalty and appreciation!
      I never thought I could connect in such a meaningful way online as I have with you and quite a few other new friends.

      Just remember, every day is a Thanksgiving day!
      All my love,
      Katina

  6. Lovely site, Katina.
    Very impressive. lmc

    • Laura,

      Thank you for visiting my new site!
      I am grateful for your support and encouragement!
      You are a great teacher and role model! I feel blessed we connected in Tribe.
      All my best,
      Katina

  7. Lovely post, Katarina (and a beautiful blog!) I absolutely love the header photo.

    Many blessings to you and your family and a Happy Thanksgiving!

    • Joan,
      I am sorry for responding late! I just realized it.
      Thanks for visiting and reading! Your encouragement means a lot. I am blessed to be part of the Tribe! Blessed to be taking this journey with all of you.
      All my best and God’s blessing to you!

  8. Katina, What a pleasure to come and visit you on your site. It’s beautiful. I can imagine how excited you are. Can you see me? I am smiling big. Very excited for you. And so glad that God let our pathways cross.

    Have a Great Thanksgiving tomorrow with your family. Thank you for the delicious treats!

    • Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family Anne!

      Thank you for visiting and for your always encouraging feedback!
      Sharing the joys and accomplishments with, and of, friends is a blessing. You and the Tribewriters have taught me so much! We are here as a result of that.

      Glad you are enjoying the truffles!

  9. Rita Stathas

    You got there Katina. What a wonderful piece to read on the evening before Thanksgiving. Life is indeed incredible, and we are very blessed.

    • Thank you Rita mou for visiting!

      Crossing each other’s path has its purpose! If we honor this idea, then we see the sacredness in every person in our life!

      Looking forward to reading from your book!

  10. Bonnie Smith

    Very well written!!
    And to answer what I’m choosing to be grateful for….. My husband was homeless at the age of 5 and pretty much lived on farms he worked on or in the woods. He would get sent to a children’s home now and then but always ran away. I was a very rebellious teenager and because of some traumatic events in my life ended up in foster homes off and on. We were married about 4 yrs ago and we both have always wanted to be able to provide a foster home that is loving once my children were grown. We just recently completed all the classes we needed and are now down to passing inspections like a fire inspection however to do that ALL our windows in the house need to open and close easily. We have a home built in 1967 and it has the old crank out windows that just aren’t made anymore. Most the cranks for them do not work so to pass our inspection we will have to replace around 8 -10 windows. We just don’t have that kind of money. I had to tell you all that to tell you I am so blessed and grateful for a beautiful sweet lady who donated enough money today for 2 windows! She is one of the most loving ladies I know! Her father just passed away, her husband requires 24 hr care and she is taking care of everyone. I have been praying for God to help us with this and He has!!!
    I am blessed!

    • Bonnie,
      What a heart-warming story this is! Thank you for sharing it! It deserves to be a post in itself!

      I am hubled and honored that you shared it with me! I would love for you to share it with othes by guest posting in my site.

      I am proud of you and bow to your souls’ greatness for taking you and your husband out of despair and distruction and into a place of love, hope, and service for others.
      The God in your soul has plans for you and will not let you down as long as your intentions come from love and you keep holding on to the Life Line!

      All my best to you,
      Katina

  11. Katina, Congratulations! Your writing is now published. I look forward to reading more stories.

  12. Wonderful post about gratitude Katina—I’m so grateful for the good gifts God gives every day, grateful for my family and friends, and for all my new friends from Tribe Writers, including you. Bless you–your site looks beautiful! We’ve come a long way together in just a few short weeks!

    • Kathleen,

      I am also gratefull for being blessed with so many wonderful new friends. Our journey together will be one of love, sharing, supporting, and growth so that, as we reach our destination, w’ll be better than when we began.

      Thank you for visiting and your wonderful words!
      All my best,
      Katina

  13. Hi Katina! I am so happy to see your beautiful words on this great page! It will be a great joy to follow you! Many happy greetings! :) <3

    • Lotta,

      Thanks for coming by from …so far away! :)
      I appreciate your support and encouragement! I enjoy your posts as well…Not having luck in posting a reply. I haven’t replied yet to comments on my guest post. One of these days, I will try to figure that one out.

      All my best to you,
      Katina

  14. Rick Gibbs

    Katina, great job! You should be very proud. Its a pleasure to be with you on this journey!

    • Rick,

      The pleasure is all mine!
      All of you, Tribewriters, got me here.
      I am grateful!

      Looking forward to this journey!
      Katina

  15. LOVE IT!!!

    • Barbara,
      I am so happy you visited and loved my site! I am grateful for all the help I got from the Tribewriters. Without all of you, it wouldn’t have happened.

      We have a lot more to talk about and learn from each other!
      Looking forward to a great journey together!

      Katina

  16. maria vaselopulos

    Mom…..it is beautiful!!!!! So proud of you and what you have done….You have been an inspiration not only to me, but to those who have entered your life….and we are truely thankful for that!!!!! I LOVE YOU VERY MUCH!!!!!!!

    • Oh Mary mou,

      Thank you so much for visiting from the other site of the Antlantic!

      Life itself is a blessing and a testing ground for us to grow and mature. I read somewhere that only the most courageous souls are send to Earth to aquire a higher degree in their education so that they continue in some higher up position.

      Hard are the lessons we need to learn, but counting the joys and the blessings makes the heavy loads much lighter.

      You are couragious and bold. That is why you were placed here. We learn from each other and the situations we find ourselves in. I am proud of you too. You always put yourself in difficult situations because you need to learn something. Don’t miss the chance to “see” what you are supposed to see and move ahead. You are in a “good place” now. Use it as a stepping stone to climb somewhere higher where you have a better view and your vision is more clear.

      I miss you! I love you!

  17. Christina Tzamala

    Katina mou, it’s Sunday afternoon and this is the most beautiful surprise for me!
    Thank you for inviting me to travel with your beautiful thoughts. I’m trough a period of my life that this is a precious present.
    Congratulations for the great work and keep on!
    Yours,
    Christina

  18. Xristina mou,

    What a beautiful surprise for me as well!
    Thank you for accepting my invitation to visit my site!

    My words touching your heart just at the moment of need is a blessing that fills me with love and hope. It encourages me and validates my beleif that any time our intentions come from love, no matter what actions or words we use, they create harmony and peace not just for those close by but accross the world.

    I am sorry you are going through a hard time. If you want to talk, I am here. Just remember that hard times are part of life that help us become stronger and better persons.

    Sogyal Rinpoche says that just as the rocks at the beach are not broken by the force of the waves but rather are sculptured into beautiful and intricate shapes, that is how we are also sculpted by life’s hardhips into beautiful souls

    I will keep you in my prayers.
    All my best and God’s blessing to you!

  19. Very Well done post!

  20. Thanks Laura!
    I am grateful for your support and constuctive feedback!

    I have a long way to go. Step by step!
    Need to work on shorter posts and iron out some things in my blog.
    Hopefuly soon!

  21. Kathy Baboulas

    Mrs Vaselopulos,

    Your writing is beautiful. I am so impressed . Great Job!

    • Kathy mou,

      Thank you for visiting!

      Your words encourage me as I am taking baby unsteady steps in my journey.

      We are rich with blessings! Let’s count them every day!

      Looking forward to seeing you again!
      All my best to you and your family!

  22. Kathy Vaselopulos

    Dear Mom!

    It took me a while, but I finally visited my first blog…. YOUR blog! I am soooo proud of you and all your accomplishments: juggling family, grandchildren, the launching and promoting of your first book, as well as blogging. It’s exciting to see how excited and passionate you are about your journey.
    You are truly inspiring, as I am in the beginning of my journey, still struggling with the tech part of it all….you move me to keep going and move forward, difficult as it may be. Even though we are on the opposite side of the world, you are in my thoughts and prayers.
    Stay strong and believe in yourself and what you are doing!
    Love you,
    Kathy

    • Kathy mou,

      How wonderful you visited my new site, being so extremely busy!

      Thank you for your support and encouraging words.
      All four of you, my wonderful children, always encouraged me to venture into unknown territories! I am so grateful for that!

      Stirring hearts, even as slightly as the lightest brieze stirs the leaves of the trees, will be the greatest reward ever! Yet, the joys and the knowlege, the new friendhips and connections in this journey are just as fulfilling and wonderful, and necessary to take me from here to there!

      They are blessings!

      Your own journey is exciting as well. Step by step you move forward. The hurdles on your way are part of the marathon and can only make you stronger!

      You have my support and I trust in God and you to bring you where you need to be.

      Love you and miss you! Oh, how much I do!
      God be with with you!

  23. Dimitris Vasilakos

    Dear Katina,
    I agree 100% on your position regarding the importance of coincidences.
    According to Carl Jung, ‘Synchronicity’ is an unusual connecting principle that links seemingly unrelated events and people and it makes itself particularly apparent during times of personal crisis, or when we are deeply focused on something. The resulting coincidences do not appear by chance, but thanks to the alignment of puissant universal forces in the context of Time. Only through intuition can we become aware of them and draw conclusions in order to shape our lives based on the ‘hidden messages’ that they entail.
    Synchronicity is the underlying inter-contentedness that permeates the universe and eventually the lives of people. Therefore, it is very important that people become conscious of the resultant coincidences. By becoming conscious of the uncanny conjunctions, one can decipher the various events meaningfully. Synchronicity should not be taken lightly since it goes hand in hand with the universal principle of sympathetic attraction, also of situations and the people involved.

  24. Dimitri,
    Thank you for validating what I have been saying for years!
    Both, Carl Young and Carolyne Myss believe in, and write about, Synchronicities!

    I write a lot on my book about it. I often try to allert others in being vigiland enough to listen to the blessed Knock-on-their-door!

    As a matter of fact, I would not have written my book, if I paid no heed to coincidences, as the were coming one after the other.

    Some time in the future, we should do a post on this topic!
    Looking forward to sharing more interesting topics with you!

  25. georgia houpis

    I am so happy and so proud of you.. You have come a long way baby!

    • Georgia,
      Thanks for coming by!
      I hope you enjoyed my blog and writing!

      I am grateful for our friendhip!
      Many blessings this holiday season!

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