Tag Archives: Inspiration

Sunday Sermon and Other Stuff

7 Sep

“It’s a funny thing about life, once you begin to take note of the things you are grateful for, you begin to lose sight of the things that you lack.”― Germany Kent

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This morning, I actually got dressed and got ready for 11am Mass. No pajamas today. I only had to take about twelve steps from the bedroom to the living room, but it was the preparation and the journey that counts, right? I prepared my cup of tea and got out my cracker for my virtual communion. (I know, it’s silly, but virtual communion is better than none.)

Today’s Gospel was interesting.

MATTHEW 18:15-20

15″If your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault, between you and him alone. If he listens to you, you have gained your brother. 16But if he does not listen, take one or two others along with you, that every word may be confirmed by the evidence of two or three witnesses. 17If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church; and if he refuses to listen even to the church, let him be to you as a Gentile and a tax collector. 18Truly, I say to you, whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven. 19Again I say to you, if two of you agree on earth about anything they ask, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven. 20For where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I in the midst of them.”

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My take on it… we should try our best to forgive people and listen to their side of the story and live in peace. Go directly to the person who has wronged you. Try and solve your differences. If they refuse, look for outside help or mediation. If that doesn’t work, just step away. Sometimes there’s just NO reasoning with bad hurtful people. Not everyone deserves forgiveness, nor do they want it. How you live your life on earth now will be reflected in the next life.

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This morning, after watching Mass, I was looking at my Facebook posts and catching up with friends’ photos and comments. I also spent a lot of time deleting UGLY political commentary posted by friends and family. I just don’t want to see it. I don’t get it. They can have their opinion, but I don’t understand why they have to post mean, ugly, hurtful, negative pictures and comments. Seriously? What purpose does it serve? Does it make them feel better? I just lose respect for them.

After much deleting, I ran across an uplifting story about Heratio Spafford, posted by my friend Joni Goen. She has such a wonderful loving spirit.

Heratio Spafford endured such pain and heartache throughout his life, but still had the strength to survive, appreciate his life and his gifts and his family and friends. He didn’t blame man or blame God. Even after all this suffering and loss, he wrote “It Is Well With My Soul.”

IS IT WELL WITH YOUR SOUL???????? Let’s be kind to ourselves and one another.

Did you know⁉️The song “It Is Well With My Soul” was written by a successful Christian lawyer Heratio Spafford. His only son died at age 4 in 1871. In 1872, the great Chicago fire wiped out his vast estate, made from a successful legal career. In 1873 he sent his wife & 4 daughters over to Europe on a summer trip on the ill fated SS Ville du Havre. Since he had a lot of work to do, he planned to follow them later. The Ship sank and he lost his 4 daughters with the wife being the only survivor. She sent him a famous telegram which simply read, “SAVED ALONE….” On his return home, his Law firm was burned down and the insurance company refused to pay him. They said “It’s an Act of God”. He had no money to pay for his house and no work, he also lost his house. Then while sitting and thinking what’s happening to him, being a spiritual person, he wrote a song – “Whatever, my Lord, You have taught me to say – It is well, it is well with my soul”. My dear friend, a good attitude will determine your altitude. When you look at your life, career, job or family life, what do you say? Do you praise God? Do you blame the devil? A good attitude towards God makes Him move on your behalf. Just sit down and say, “Today, God, it is well with my soul, I am thankful I had a peaceful sleep, I am thankful I am alive with possibilities, I am thankful I have a roof over me, I am thankful I have a job, I am thankful that I have Family and Friends. Above all, I am thankful that I have the Lord Jesus Christ on my side.” Be blessed and don’t be envious or shocked when others are prospering because you don’t know what they have been through to get there (test, trials and tribulation) so thank God for what you have. “Little is much when God is in it. It Is Well With My Soul!” Touch someone’s life with this message. If God is for us, who can be against us? A blessing is coming your way, my friend.

Saturday:) Miracles and Anniversaries

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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(I share this miracle every year on this day. It’s the first of three, and everyone who has heard my trilogy of miracles will agree that only God could do this.)

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 tears, trauma, heartache, hospitalization, and betrayal that followed. That’s the day I confronted my now ex-husband about his affair with the waitress at his country club. We were married 39 years. 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 and my health was in turmoil. I said it was the “day that will live in infamy.” For two years, when I saw that day on the calendar, I cringed and I cried. Not any more. Now it’s a celebration.

Fast forward two years later…7-11-2015 was the day my son got married to the most beautiful and amazing girl of his dreams. That beautiful July 11th day, 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 5th Anniversary Joe and Lindsay!!! I love you “To the moon and back.”

It’s been five years now, and this beautiful couple has also blessed me with two beautiful granddaughters. Even more reason to celebrate. I love 7-11.

7-11-2015 A celebration and miracle.

More celebrations!

Look at this ever growing miracle!

Throwback Thankful Thursday:) My Sister, JoAnn and Women’s History Montho

12 Mar

“The success of every woman should be the inspiration to another. We should raise each other up. Make sure you’re very courageous: be strong, be extremely kind, and above all be humble. ”

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With March being Women’s History month, I thought it only appropriate to recognize the women in my life who have made a difference in making this a better world. Of course, the most important influence in my life was my mother, Trini Armenta, who was an inspiration and role model for, not only her own children and siblings, but for everyone who came to know her. In her own way, she played an important role in making the world a better place by raising her daughters to be strong, hardworking, talented and courageous women.

By her example of strength and tenacity, she was an inspiration for my sister, JoAnn Armenta, who pioneered and persevered her way through a male dominated field many years ago. Jo Ann is my inspiration of what a strong independent and determined woman can achieve.

Jo Ann Armenta was the very first Latina Illinois State Trooper, serving her community from 1979 until her retirement well over twenty years later. She blazed a trail for other Latinas, and all women for that matter, in the field of law, enforcement, back in the day when women were still expected to be home cooking dinner for their husbands, and raising a brood of children.

I can’t imagine how tough it was to get through the grueling training and studying to become a State Trooper, much less dealing with the less than generous or cooperative male counterparts who outwardly showed their disrespect for women “on the job.” Jo Ann never backed down from any challenge and never let her gender dissuade her from being the best State Trooper that she could be. That is inspirational, and that determination has never ceased.

Jo Ann Armenta’s photo may never grace the cover of any magazine, nor will she be recognized in a book or on the news as an outstanding woman in history, but she, like many other women just like her, have paved the way for all women to step up, step forward, and make a difference.

This tenacious woman still carries on her legacy through her generous support of Latina women in her community by sponsoring scholarships to college students, serving on the local library board, she has volunteered with the Salvation Army, and currently has spearheaded the CHEF program, Community Harvest Educational Foundation, whose goal is to bring healthy nutritious food and lifestyle awareness to the community. These are just a few of her many accolades and accomplishments.

Jo Ann Armenta may not be mentioned in any history book, but in “my book,” she is worthy of outstanding recognition for Women’s History Month.

Wednesday:) Words of Wisdom

5 Sep

“Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony.”

Mahatma Gandhi

Affirmations are our mental vitamins, providing the supplementary positive thoughts we need to balance the barrage of negative events and thoughts we experience daily.”

― Tia Walker

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I find that sometimes words of wisdom, inspirational quotes, and even some song lyrics can make me feel better and inspire me. Sometimes a song speaks to me or a quote brightens my day. And yes, positive personal affirmations are a must. My personal daily affirmation is, “I AM AMAZING!” Plus, I have a bracelet that says som and a lot of other people trained to confirm that statement. I say, Toni is….?” And they respond “AMAZING!” I love it when your friends play along with your silliness.

Here are some words of wisdom for today, and feel free to borrow my affirmation because YOU! My friend… ARE AMAZING!!!!

Wednesday:) What’s Your Word for 2019?

3 Jan

I am AMAZING, and I am smart.

I love to bake, and I love my art.

Writing every day renews my soul.

Walking each day, a personal goal.

Strangers I meet will become a friend.

My gifts and my blessings have no end.

I am AMAZING, you already know.

I am AMAZING because I said so.

~Toni Armenta Andrukaitis

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This is a brand new year, and time for a brand new start. Each New Year’s Day, people all over the world make resolutions, set goals, and make plans for a better year. These don’t always last too long, do they?

Yesterday, I wrote about counting your blessings, and writing down the blessings and wonderful things that happen to you. Then, you put the slips of paper in a jar all year round. January 1st of the next year, read all your blessings. Keep the blessing jar in sight at all times and it will be easy to keep up with.

Another thing so many people do January 1st is to pick a word for the year. You pick a word that you want to be, or something you want to do or become. Pick a word that inspires and motivates you. Choose a positive word with wonderful energy and power. It’s like your mantra. Every day, think about your word. Become your word. It can be a new word or one you’ve used before. Define your word, envision it, and live it.

It is suggested that you pick your word. Look up the definition. Have the word become a part of you. Have your word written somewhere you can see all the time. Say your word out loud every day.

WHAT IS YOUR WORD FOR 2019?

I chose my word right away. It’s a word I’ve used before and I’ll use it again. It might be my forever word…

AMAZING

I am AMAZING! Whenever I wear this leather cuff, I tell people, “Look! I am amazing, and I have a bracelet that says so.” (I made this bracelet in a leather tooling class.)

amazing FL adjective

Definition of amazing 

: causing astonishment, great wonder, or surprise

an amazing story of personal bravery and survival

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I like this definition and example. Causing astonishment, great wonder, or surprise. An amazing story of personal bravery and survival. Yep!

So, what is your word???? Pick a word. Share your word. Live your word.

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.