Tag Archives: Inspiration

Tuesday:) True Heroes: The Two Legged and Four Legged Kind

7 Nov

“Hard times don’t create heroes. It is during the hard times when the ‘hero’ within us is revealed.”

~Bob Riley

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Sunday afternoon, I had the privilege to attend a salute to Veterans featuring best selling author and true American hero, Jason Morgan. The program was sponsored by the McKinney Public Library, Friends of the Library, the City, Arts Commission, Collin College, Open Door and Open Minds@Collin.

Native Texan, Staff Sergeant, USAF, Jason Morgan, is a moving motivational speaker and author. I’ll admit that a few tears slipped down my cheek while I listened to a story of courage, despair, tragedy, and absolute inspiration.

While listening to Jason Morgan’s journey, I couldn’t help but think of all the trivial problems and complaints that I thought were so devastating over the years. We have all gone through some hard times, but this story made me realize that my life has been a Disney fairy tale in comparison.

Thank you, Jason Morgan, for your service to our country, but most importantly, for you continued inspiration to all who hear your story. I will treasure my autographed book of courage and hope.

Simon & Schuster review:

A Dog Called Hope

A Wounded Warrior and the Service Dog Who Saved Him

By Jason Morgan and Damien Lewis

Lone Survivor meets Marley & Me in this “inspiring and very moving” (Bear Grylls, host of the hit TV show Man vs. Wild) memoir of an extraordinary service dog whose enduring love brought a wounded soldier back to life.

A decade ago, special forces warrior Jason Morgan parachuted into the Central American jungle on an antinarcotics raid. He’d served with the famous Night Stalkers on countless such missions. This one was different. Months later, he regained consciousness in a U.S. military hospital with no memory of how he’d gotten there. The first words he heard were from his surgeon telling him he would never walk again. The determined soldier responded, “Sir, yes, I will.”

After multiple surgeries, unbearable chronic pain, and numerous setbacks, Morgan was finally making progress when his wife left him and their three young sons. He was a single father confined to a wheelchair and tortured by his pain. At this very dark, very low point, Morgan found light: Napal, the black Labrador who would change his life forever.

A Dog Called Hope is the incredible story of a service dog who brought a devastated warrior back from the brink and taught him how to be a true father. It is the story of Napal, who built bridges between his wheelchair-bound battle buddy and the rest of able-bodied humankind. It is the story of Jason, who found life’s true meaning with the help of his faithful companion. Humorous, intensely moving, and uplifting, Jason and Napal’s heartwarming tale will brighten any day and lift every heart.

Saturday:) Sometimes You Have To Break Free

30 Jun

“You don’t have to live with whatever life throws you–or whatever you’ve gotten yourself into…

You can choose to Change Your Story!”

Kirstin Leigh

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On my recent walks, I’ve been infatuated with this flower that has been bursting through the confines of a six foot wooden fence a few blocks away. I laugh to myself as I think of the analogy on life that this bold flower represents. I think we can all relate to wanting to break through the fence that holds us back from doing the things we want to do are are meant to be doing.

This flower represents our lives. Nothing should hold us back. Don’t be kept in the shade behind a tall confining fence. Find a tiny crack or space to squeeze through and burst through. Feel the warmth of the sun and the fresh blustery breeze. Be free! Great analogy, right?

Friendly Farewell To Father Charles

27 Jun

“The heart of a father is the masterpiece of nature.”

Antoine François Prévost

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Today, at St. Gabriel’s, Father Charles celebrated his last morning Mass. Our beloved Father will be going to St. Francis soon. During his homily, he thanked all the people who made him feel so welcome during his years at St. Gabriel’s. We have become his family, and will always remain family. Fortunately, he won’t be too far away.

After Mass, people gathered to say farewell and get in some last minute hugs. The children, especially, will miss the kind and friendly Father.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EHlYqqWwFP0

Farewell lunch for Fr. Charles

Sunday, July 1, 2018, 12:00 PM
Location: Community Center
Say goodbye to Fr. Charles as he moves to his new assignment at St Francis and JP II High School. We will have a lunch for him after the 11am Mass. The Kenyan Choir will also sing at the 11am Mass. You will also be able to give him a card and say goodbye after each Mass. We will miss you Fr. Charles! Thank you for your sincere service to the people of St. Gabriel.

Thank you, Father Charles.

Tuesday:) Toni’s Treasures for Today

2 May

“You can either be a victim of the world or an adventurer in search of treasure. It all depends on how you view your life.”

~ Paul Coelho

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The cloudy morning skies threatened rain all day, but so far, nothing to write home about.

I was able to get in an early morning walk before zumba, then another longer walk afterwards. On my walk, I was crossing the street when I noticed a small round piece of metal lodged in the crevice of grass. It couldn’t be a coin, could it?

I’m always excited when I find a lucky penny or coin, but I didn’t think this anything. Plus, how in the world did I even notice this thing. I took it home, cleaned it and noticed the ,”In God We Trust.” A hidden treasure.

I love that I can find hidden treasures in my tiny little world. I guess if you walk as much as I do, there are more opportunities to meet new people, make friends and find treasures.

So, on my third walk of the day, I was pumping those old arms and decided to go just a couple of more blocks before heading home. Tomorrow is garbage day, so a few neighbors had their cans out already. One house I scooted past had a for sale sign in the front yard and next to their trash cans were an old dresser and a metal plant stand strewn on the grass. I checked out the plant stand, it was cool, and was going to walk it home, but it weighed a ton. I scurried home and got my car and picked up this terrific treasure. I thought it would be perfect on my back porch, and even if it got rusty, cool, it would add to the charm. PLUS! It was free.

It will be perfect to put a drink or food on when I have friends over, and just look pretty all year round. A few accessories, and voila! Toni’s treasure for today.

A terrific Tuesday.

Wednesday:) Words of Wisdom and Thriving

25 Apr

“You are not your past. You are the warrior that rose above it to become the example of someone who didn’t survive, but thrived in creating the most beautiful last chapter of their life.”

Shannon L. Alder

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On my daily walks, I’m reminded how resilient mother nature and people can be. At the entrance of our subdivision, there is a long row of Knockout Roses lining the sidewalks. Seriously, there are over two hundred bushes. Sadly, they are all deceased. Rose Rosette Disease (RRD) is the disease that has plagued many of the local rose bushes that previously touted being disease resistant. Nothing and no one is perfect.

What amazes me is, even though diseased and surrounded by other sickly bushes, stunning bursts of color force their way through the bare branches and wilted leaves. I smile as I walk past these marvelous examples of fortitude, often relating to the thriving roses blooming amongst the ugly diseased foliage of past years.

My personal motto for most of my life has been, “I bloom where I’m planted.” Like those obstinate rambunctious roses, I’m going to keep blooming and thriving, no matter where I’m planted or what obstacles come my way. That’s how my Mamma raised me. Thanks Mom.

I hope all of you reading this can relate to these stubborn roses and you keep thriving and blooming and sharing your beauty.

Thursday:) Things To Think About From Facebook

2 Feb

“I get all my my news, information, and inspiration from My Facebook page. It’s all real and factual, right?”

~ Toni Armenta Andrukaitis

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Just a few photos, cartoons and inspirational snippets found on my Facebook page today.

Theme Song Thursday:) Clouds

7 Apr

“A compassionate heart radiates rays of beauty that removes the clouds of million hearts.” ― Amit Ray

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The day slithered away. It was a cool and cloudy day in Elgin. I was going a bit stir crazy, being used to going to Zumba, walking, lunches, shopping, and constant running around, usually all in one day, by 5:30 pm, I decided to bundle up and go for a walk on the nice path around Mom’s place. I think it’s almost a 1/4 mi. path or 1/5, not sure. My goal was to get around ten times. I went for fifteen instead. Walking inspires me. It’s my thinking time. Then, I rode the stationary bike for twenty minutes up in the exercise room. 

Today, I was inspired by the beautiful clouds that followed me around as I walked. I even sang a few tunes as I walked. Yep. I sing out loud when no one is around.


I’ve looked at clouds from both sides now

From up and down and still somehow

It’s clouds illusion I recall

I really don’t know clouds at all.