Tag Archives: blessings

Sunday Sermon and Some Other Stuff

6 Apr

“Never let your ego get in the way of asking for help when in desperate need. We have all been helped at a point in our lives.”

― Edmond Mbiaka

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I’m giving my Toni’s Extrovert Diaries a rest. A dozen days was enough. I only foresee a dozen more weeks or even months of sheltering in place and going stir crazy. I wake up each day with no alarm, not knowing what day it is. But on Sunday, I set my alarm for 8:30 am, so I can watch 9 o’clock Mass in my pajamas. ( “I shot an elephant in my pajamas. How he got in my pajamas, I don’t know.-Marx Brothers.) I miss all the hugs and handshakes greeting at the door before Mass.

Today’s Gospel was the very long Palm Sunday reading, starting with the Passover Last Supper, and the betrayal of Judas. Then, the agony at Gethsemane where the apostles fell asleep instead of keeping watch…

He advanced a little and fell prostrate in prayer, saying,

“My Father, if it is possible,

let this cup pass from me;

yet, not as I will, but as you will.”

When he returned to his disciples he found them asleep.

He said to Peter,

“So you could not keep watch with me for one hour?

Watch and pray that you may not undergo the test.

The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.”

Withdrawing a second time, he prayed again,

“My Father, if it is not possible that this cup pass

without my drinking it, your will be done!”

Then he returned once more and found them asleep,

for they could not keep their eyes open.

Later, Judas betrayed Jesus, and Peter denied Jesus three times as predicted, the trial before Pilate, and all that followed up to the crucifixion and burial in the tomb.

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My take on it… through all His agony and torment, even Jesus asked His Father for help and guidance. “If it is possible, let this cup pass from me.” We all need help and guidance at times, and we shouldn’t be afraid to ask. “Your will be done,” demonstrates that our requests may not always be answered in the way we might hope for.

So, participating in the Mass in my pajamas is starting to get a little too comfortable. (I hope that when this is all over that I don’t show up at church in my pajamas!) But, I am happy that I don’t have to miss the rituals, prayers, hymns, and blessings.

Later in the afternoon, I made some phone calls, checked emails, dawdled over Facebook posts, and got to FaceTime with my adorable granddaughters.

The days are all dragging by, and this sequestered Extrovert is going zonkers. But, thank goodness for Sundays. I am truly blessed.

Theme Song Thursday:) LEAN ON ME

24 Jan

” There’s nothing we can’t accomplish if we just lean on each other.”

~Toni Armenta Andrukaitis

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What a wonderful day of sharing, caring, friendship, peaceful prayer, and silly singing. I am so blessed.

When it comes to blessings, I have more than my fair share. I started out my morning running errands, bank, post office, and grocery store. One of my stops was at St. Gabriel for Adoration. A few prayers for those in need, light a candle, but most of all, just to say THANK YOU FOR MY BLESSINGS, my constant prayer.

When I got home, I gathered up several bags of food donations that I had for Holy Family School and a couple of bags for Community Lifeline. When the store has a great sale, I stock up to share with others, and every couple of weeks, I drive over with my donations.

Last week, I took some cereal and granola bars for the adorable preschoolers over at Holy Family School. This week, I took some oranges, gold fish crackers, peanut butter and apple juice.

My visits and donations are always appreciated by Miss Sondra and the staff. My thought is if everyone helps just a little bit, so much would get accomplished.

My next stop was Community Lifeline with some canned goods and pasta for the food pantry.

It seems like the more I give, the more I get back. When I got home, my neighbor and good friend, Mr. Mike, came over to replace my broken Ring Doorbell security system, and to install a security camera in my back yard. Needless to say, Mr. Mike is in security, and he takes very good care of me. I have the best neighbors. We look out for each other. While he worked on the installation, I made a huge pot of mostaccioli for his dinner. More like enough for a few days. I love to cook.

Now, for the rest of my fun evening. Tonight was karaoke at Delaney’s with the regular suspects, more great friends. We tend to lean on each other and share good times and bad. Just like the song says, “Lean on me..” We have the greatest time. How lucky am I!

https://youtu.be/82BmY4VhQUU

Life is good. Thanks Miss Loretta.

Saturday:) Sitting Around Just Counting My Blessings

19 Jan

“Don’t count your dollars to see how rich you are. Count your memories. Count your friends. Count the hugs you get every day. Count what really matters.”

― Toni Sorenson

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When people are asked how much they are worth, I’m sure they usually have a dollar amount in mind. How sad. It’ not how much money you have in the bank, or what kind of house you live in, or what kind of car you drive, it should be how many blessings you have and how much love you feel and receive and share. You can’t put a dollar value on any of that.

Today, I FINALLY got around to reading the little slips of paper in my “GOOD JAR.” I’ve been doing this for a few years. Starting in the beginning of the year, I write down blessings, fun memories, special phone calls or visits with family and friends. I’ve even asked friends to jot something down when they come for a visit. I was still in Chicago January 1st, so I didn’t start recording until I got home. I took the slips of papers, coins, etc., and put them in a bag until I had a chance to sit down and savor each notation. Today was the day.

Some notes were about my sons calling on a Sunday, FaceTime with the grandkids, fun lunches with friends, holidays with my family, Thanksgiving with the Murphy’s, my oldest dearest friend calling to say her lab results were good and the tumor benign, and friends saying how much I mean to them. There were many more blessings in the GOOD JAR.

Also, in the jar were the lucky pennies and coins I would find along my walks or travels. Here’s the run down… A dollar bill, 36 pennies, 8 dimes, 2 nickels, 2 quarters, a 10 centavos coin from España, 1 shiny plastic Texas Lottery coin, a rusty washer, and 3 tiny sea shells from my visit with Matt in CA.

So, if you ask me how much I’m worth today, there’s my breakdown, a couple of dollars in lucky coins to signify my endless luck, and a jar full of memories reminding me of my countless blessings, fabulous friends, and loving family.

After relaxing all day in my warm comfortable house, with nothing to do and nowhere I had to be, counting my blessings and feeling so blessed, I did slip on my shoes and drove over to Fire Station 9 to take them the cute cupcakes Miss Pat sent home with me last night to share with our friends in blue. The guys said, “Thank you, and the peanut butter and jelly cake you sent earlier in the week was fantastic.”

You see, my life is so blessed. And, I’ll keep counting my blessings and put them in a jar for safe keeping. ❤️

Thankful Thursday:) So Many Blessings

22 Nov

Be true to yourself, help others, make each day your masterpiece, make friendship a fine art, drink deeply from good books – especially the Bible, build a shelter against a rainy day, give thanks for your blessings and pray for guidance every day.

John Wooden

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It was a cloudy drizzly Thursday, and you would think that would be a bad thing. Nope! I grabbed my umbrella and went for a long walk. We could use the rain, so it was a blessing. I saw a butterfly in my driveway and smiled. The trees were spewing colorful leaves, and several neighbors were hanging Christmas lights, competing with the fall pumpkins and scarecrows.

I ran some errands, post office, bank, and the grocery store. I ran into my friend Rose at Kroger. A quick hug and, “See ya tonight at karaoke.”

Then, a visit to church for Adoration, for quiet prayer, and to light a candle. It’s always so tranquil and calm sitting totally alone in the huge sanctuary. Another time to count my blessings and just say, “Thank You.” I could feel my heart beat slow down and my muscles relax. Gratitude changes your attitude.

Thursday night karaoke at Delaney’s Irish Pub is always a blast, good friends, good food, singing and dancing. Bob belting out “God Bless the USA,” More blessings. Life is good.

Montage Monday:) A Week in a Peek

19 Nov

“Live your life the right way, and the blessing will come.”

~Chris Mullin

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Another fun and busy week. I’m feeling especially blessed, spending time with good friends, phone calls and FaceTime with my sons and family, time with amazing artists, beautiful weather, and living life to the fullest. Life is good.

A week in a peek…

Wednesday:) What Ya Been Up To, Miss Toni?

15 Aug

“I’ve been busier than a horsefly at a rodeo.”

~Toni Andrukaitis and maybe someone else

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I’ve used this quote before many times, and I thought I made it up many years ago. I just Googled it again to see who may have said it originally, but the only name that comes up is mine. So, maybe I’m not the first one who said it, but I’m on Google’s short list.

Since I’ve gotten back from my wonderful relaxing vacation in California, I hit the ground running. Yesterday, I had my complete air conditioning system replaced. I wasn’t the busy one, but these poor young men spent well over 8 hours in the unbearable heat outside and in the attic. A big thank you to D and Brandon from Bill Joplin’s AC and Heating. I got a photo before they were drenched.

So, today I am cool and well, I’m just all around pretty cool! I got up and went over to pick up Bella, my little doggie buddy that I keep an eye on when Mr. Mike travels. It rained last night, so it was cool this morning. After our walk, I did my own solo walk of a couple miles.

I went over to the Independent Bank to take care of something that I could have done online, but I rather deal with people face to face. Plus, they know me there, and they say, “Good morning, Miss Toni.” And I say, “Hi, Miss Monica. How are you?” You don’t get that online. (Monica and Amber)

Then, my friend, Linda Grossman, (World’s Greatest Realtor) and I were texting and she asked what I was up to, so we met for lunch. She’s been super busy, (because she is the World’s greatest realtor) but we hadn’t seen each other in a while. She needed a little break and catch up time.

What else did I do? Oh, I returned something at the store, dropped off some brownies at Fire Station 5, then came home and walked the dog. The garbage truck was coming down the street, so I chased him down a couple houses to give him a cold Dr. Pepper. He’s fast. It was really hot out there.

It was after 6 pm, and I wanted to go visit Mr. Jerry over at Baylor Hospital. He was doing a little better this evening after having a rough morning. (If you can say a little prayer for Mr. Jerry?) I stopped in the chapel on the first floor on my way out.

Then, off to our St. Helen’s support group at church at 7. I got home a little before 9, then remembered when I saw mine, that Mr. Mike‘s garbage cans were still out. I scooted over there to take them in his garage. The moon was so big and beautiful. I had to stop and take some pictures. Isn’t that grand!

Home to walk Bella in the park in the dark with a big flashlight. She loves the park. I came in and started writing about my adventures of the day. Are you exhausted yet? I am. But, this was just a wonderful busy day in my wonderful busy life. I am blessed with so many friends and daily blessings.

Happy Wednesday, my friends.

Thankful Thursday:) The Trilogy of Miracles

11 Jul

“When God sends you a sign, you are blessed. When He sends you three, there’s no doubt in your mind that God performs miracles.”

~Toni Armenta Andrukaitis

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Today is 7-11. July 11, 2013 was the worst, most painful and devastating day of my entire life. I will never forget that awful day, and all the trauma, heartache and betrayal that followed. That’s the day I confronted my now ex-husband about his affair with the waitress at his country club. But, there was so much more, and such unfathomable disgusting behavior that I can’t even begin to reveal. My heart was broken and my life was in turmoil. I said it was the “day that will live in infamy.” When I saw that day on the calendar, I cringed. Not any more.

Fast forward two years later…7-11 was the day my son got married to the most beautiful and amazing girl. 7-11-15, I danced at my son’s wedding and celebrated with friends and family. Now, this is a day of celebration and joy and love. They had no idea that this particular day was the worst day of my life, and was now transformed into a day to celebrate. BUT, God did.

Happy Anniversary Joe and Lindsay. May all your dreams come true. Thank you for blessing me with your beautiful family and my adorable grand-daughters.

There were only three dates on the calendar that were painful memories for me. 7-11, 8-23, and 12-5. This was just the first miracle. I’ll share the others when they come up. God erased all three horrible days, and now all three are celebrations. All my friends and family can be witness to this. One date, luck? Two dates, coincidence? Three dates, miracles. Yes, only God could have done that.

Montage Monday:)A Week In A Peek

19 Mar

“Whenever there are friends, there is a party!”
– Anonymous 

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I have been blessed with SO MANY friends that pretty much every day is a party. Literally! There were a lot of parties, dancing, singing, dinners, drinks, food and friends this week. Wait! Wednesday, I didn’t have a party to go to. Hmm? How did that happen?

A week in a peek… my beautiful blessed life…

Sunday Sermon and Special Friends and Family

4 Mar

“No beauty shines brighter than that of a good heart.”

~Shanina Shaik

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It was SO cold this morning! How cold was it? It was so cold that my sock monkey hat had a frozen banana for breakfast. (Just kidding) I was alone greeting before Mass this morning. As I held the huge heavy door of the new church open for people, everyone commented, “You must be freezing!” I just replied, “I’m from Chicago. I’m tough. This is a piece of cake.”

Today’s Gospel asked the question, can the blind lead the blind? Can a bad tree bear good fruit, etc.?

My take on it… you reap what you sow. If you fill your heart with evil and hate or associate with bad people, that is who you become. On the other hand, if you fill your heart with goodness and love, and associate with good, kind, loving people, that is who you become. I have been blessed with the kindest most loving family and friends. My heart is full with the best of the best.

Gospel, Luke 6:39-45

39 He also told them a parable, ‘Can one blind person guide another? Surely both will fall into a pit?

40 Disciple is not superior to teacher; but fully trained disciple will be like teacher…….

45 Good people draw what is good from the store of goodness in their hearts; bad people draw what is bad from the store of badness. For the words of the mouth flow out of what fills the heart.

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After Mass, I stopped for coffee with Mr. Jerry at McDonald’s. I don’t drink coffee and usually get an iced tea, but today it was a large hot chocolate.

I stopped at Sprouts to pick up a few things. Avocados were on sale 3 for $1!!!! Wow! I bought 9. Don’t judge me…I love avocados and you can freeze them, but I usually don’t get that far. Cucumbers 3 for $1 too. Be still heart.

Then at 12:30, I met Miss Pat (the cookie lady) and Miss Loretta for lunch at Braum’s. It was a quick 3 1/2 hour lunch. What can I say? We had a lot to catch up on, as we hadn’t seen each other in over a week.

Of course, Miss Pat had a big plate of cookies for each of us to take home. I didn’t get that far. I ate a cookie in my car on the way home. A girl’s gotta have a little dessert after lunch.

So, it was a fine Sunday. Of course, the highlight of my evening is when I get that call that asks if I want to FaceTime with the grandchildren. ❤️❤️

Truly blessed. I hope your heart is filled with love, kindness, goodness and that you are blessed with a wonderful family and loving friends.

Happy Sunday, my friends.

Sunday Sermon and Other Stuff

17 Feb

“Money gives you permission to just walk away from everything that isn’t pretty and perfect. You can’t put up with anything less than lovely. You spend your life running, avoiding, escaping.”

― Chuck Palahniuk

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A very chilly day again here in North Texas, but the good news was, another chance to wear my sock monkey hat while greeting before 9 o’clock Mass. The church is finished and the first Masses will start next week in the glorious new building. ( I wonder if my sock monkey hat is too tacky?)

Today’s Gospel was Jesus talking to the crowds about who will be blessed and welcomed on judgement day, also known as the Beatitudes…

20 Then fixing his eyes on his disciples he said: How blessed are you who are poor: the kingdom of God is yours.

21 Blessed are you who are hungry now: you shall have your fill. Blessed are you who are weeping now: you shall laugh.

22 ‘Blessed are you when people hate you, drive you out, abuse you, denounce your name as criminal, on account of the Son of man.

23 Rejoice when that day comes and dance for joy, look!-your reward will be great in heaven. This was the way their ancestors treated the prophets….

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My take on it… No, you don’t have to be poor or impoverished to be blessed. You don’t have to go hungry or sad and crying all the time to be blessed. But, if you have been blessed here on earth with enough money, food, and other worldly blessings, you have to be humble and share this with others. Even a kind word or a good deed goes a long way in brightening up another’s spirit. Three words… SHARE YOUR BLESSINGS.

Now, for the other stuff. I did get over to Fire Station 5 last night to share some treats with them.

The, I called a few of my senior artist friends at Towne Creek Apartments for an impromptu dinner. Remember all those leftover sandwiches, snacks and sweets from my party? Well, they were a big hit with my ladies.

Well, so much for “Blessed are the hungry…” because no one goes hungry because Miss Toni loves to cook and bake and share.

Happy Blessed Sunday,