Tag Archives: Blessings

Give Thanks

What Are You Thankful For?

Another November is drawing to a close; and once again my thoughts returned to being thankful for my many blessings. Overall, I consider myself to be a grateful person, but November usually brings thankful thoughts more front and center to mind.

For the last decade or so, I’ve been participating in #30DaysofThanks challenge. I believe it is mostly on social media, hence the hashtag ?, but my reflections were mostly private during my devotion time. I really like the 30-day format because it helps me to really concentrate on the everyday blessings that could otherwise be taken for granted. Continue reading

Let Tracy Helps You do your grocery shopping for you - you'll be thankful you did.

Tracy Helps You’s Thankful Thoughts for Today ~ 11/13/14

November 13, 2014 ~ Today I am thankful for modern grocery stores. It truly is a blessing to be able to just “run to the store” when you are out of something. I think many people take them for granted, I know I do. If you live near a city or its suburbs, the grocery store is more of mega center. You can get practically anything you can imagine. They usually have aisle upon aisle of specialty foods and most ethnic ingredients you might need.

Many of the national chain type grocery stores are actually superstores. These stores combine department store items with food items under the same roof. Some of these stores even have a car maintenance department on site so you can get your oil changed while you are shopping. Some of these mega stores rent space to other businesses like hair & nail salons, eye doctors or bank branches. All very convenient for one stop shopping, which can save time 🙂

♥ Today I am thankful for modern grocery stores ♥


2014 ~ My To-Do List, aka … Personal Goals / New Years Resolutions

It’s New Years Eve … a day to reflect on the passing year and to think about new beginnings.

Many people make New Years Resolutions … I do too, but I like to call them Goals for the New Year. Resolution has an all or nothing feel to it … you either accomplished it or you didn’t. I tended to think in black and white (which I’m in the process of changing – one of my ongoing goals is to be more encouraging and positive), so you would think I would be in favor of resolutions. Sadly, I found myself feeling like a failure sometime around February or March.

I have learned, however, that life is lived one day at a time … and that there are lots of “gray” areas, so I’ve decided that I prefer the term Goals. With goals, you can have steps toward achievement. Improvement counts toward achieving the goal … it’s not necessarily all or nothing – pass or fail.

The planner / organizer in me loves making lists … so I make a yearly To-Do List 🙂 I actually break it down into a few lists … Business, Personal, Home and Relationships. I usually list a few areas I need improvement in with a couple of ideas to start working on them. I don’t put them in any particular order … with asterics, not numbered … no specific importance rating. I try to break things down into doable bite-sized tasks. My goal for the end of the year is to have worked on these improvements consistently enough throughout the year that they have become habits. 

I like to reflect back on my goals for the past year and see improvements, whether large or small, they are steps in the right direction 🙂  Sometimes I need to roll-over items to next year’s list, but I choose to believe that I am a work in progress (positive and encouraging), not a failure. 

2014 is a clean slate, a new beginning … we have to let go of the past and look forward to the future. Forgive ourselves, let it go, and work toward improvement in the new year.


Thanksgiving Turkey

Tracy Helps You’s Thankful Thoughts for Today ~ 11-28-13

November 28 ~ Today I am thankful for traditions. It’s Thanksgiving Day … a day set aside for expressing gratitude for your many blessings. It’s also a day full of traditions with family and friends.

Like most American families, we indulge in a huge feast of turkey “with all the fixins”. Turkey, stuffing, and casseroles, oh my … and let’s not forget pumpkin pie with whipped cream 🙂

This big meal is the backdrop for families as they gather around a heavy-laden table and share their heartfelt gratitude. It is a day filled with love for family and friends.

Many families have certain traditions that they continue from year to year … grandpa always carves the turkey, watching football, the after dinner nap, or go to see a movie. Some families exchange names for Christmas gift grab bags or scour the ad papers for Black Friday specials 🙂

There are many different traditions, but what’s important is that traditions bind families together and are passed down from generation to generation. Traditions make memories … HAPPY THANKSGIVING !!!

♥ Today I am thankful for traditions 

photo by: Ruocaled
Autumn Colors

Tracy Helps You’s Thankful Thoughts for Today ~ 11-18-13

November 18 ~ Today I am thankful for changing seasons. I’m blessed to live in an area of the country where the seasons actually change. The weather in the Chicagoland area often gets a bad rap. It seems we have every extreme known to mankind (slight exaggeration … maybe). From hot & humid to frostbite below zero wind-chill temps … from drought, Smokey the Bear warnings dry to flash flooding … and throw tornadoes and blizzards into the mix and well, you get a pretty good picture 🙂

Along with the multitude of weather scenarios, we get all four seasons. Fall is my favorite … I just love the gorgeous color of the leaves, and pretty much anything pumpkin flavored 🙂 I count it a blessing to live in an area where we get to experience the change with each season.

♥ Today I am thankful for changing seasons  ♥

Aunt Terri's Visit ~ November 2013

Tracy Helps You’s Thankful Thoughts for Today ~ 11-5-13

November 5 ~ Today I am thankful for my Aunt Terri. All week I have been posting about our adventures during her visit to Chicago, but today I’m sad that she is leaving. This afternoon, she will be boarding a plane heading for home.

I am thankful to have spent a busy, fun-filled week with her. I’m so glad she chose to stay at my house this visit. Many times during the week, I’ve had the realization that we are alike in so many ways. One of our similarities came to light each night when we would get home after a long day of being out and about, we would both comment on how good it felt to be home. We’d put on our jammies, kick up our feet and veg out watching an old episode of “Law & Order” on Netflix. We are both multi-taskers, so of course, we would both be on our computers while watching 🙂

I will miss her, but will always cherish the new memories we made while remembering and sharing our old family memories 🙂

♥ Today I will focus on the blessing of making memories ♥

Computers and internet are a huge part of modern technology

Tracy Helps You’s Thankful Thoughts for Today ~ 11-4-13

November 4 ~ Today I am thankful for modern technology. This, of course, is a huge topic … PCs, laptops, tablets, smartphones, wifi, etc.  I’m focusing on computers and the internet for now. When you stop to think about it, it is truly amazing how information is delivered instantly by the click of mouse. Mind-boggling!

Since starting Tracy Helps You earlier this year, I feel like I’ve made leaps and bounds in my knowledge of the internet. My cousin Terri (a phenomenal genealogist … if you’d like to learn more about your family history) has been my teacher / mentor in my technological education. My friend Julie gave me a beginner’s crash course in social media marketing. I count their support and friendship as one of my many blessings.

It was just last week while I was with my Aunt Terri and cousin Terri (aka the 3 T’s), that Terri (cousin) and I were talking about my website and some wordpress plugin updates. My aunt interrupted us to say she had no idea what we were talking about … it sounded like we were speaking a foreign language. In that moment, I felt proud of myself when I really thought about how much I had learned about technology in a relatively short period of time.

♥ Today I will focus on being thankful for modern technology ♥

photo by: Johan Larsson
Thankful for no alarm clock days

Tracy Helps You’s Thankful Thoughts for Today ~ 11-3-13

November 3 ~ Spring forward … Fall behind … Did you remember to turn your clocks back an hour??

Today I am thankful for an extra hour of sleep 🙂

Sadly, I’ve entered an age of life where I can trick my mind into believing I get an extra hour of sleep, but unfortunately, my bladder didn’t get the memo. I am however thankful that the sun was shining when I woke up this morning. I was tiring of the overcast, rainy weather Chicago has had for the last several days. Since I gained an extra hour, I will spend it enjoying some free time. Today, I’d like to take a nice long walk in a forest preserve with my aunt. We both love the colors of autumn and hope to get lots of pictures capturing the wonderful spectrum of colors of the changing leaves. So many of the tree varieties are simply glorious in the sunshine.

♥ Today I will focus on enjoying some free time ♥ 

photo by: Alan Cleaver
Visit to the first house I lived in

Tracy Helps You’s Thankful Thoughts for Today ~ 11-2-13

November 2 ~ Today I am thankful for old family memories. Yesterday, I was blessed to be able to spend the day with my aunt and one of my cousins wandering around several different Chicago neighborhoods. My aunt lives in California and comes back for occasional visits. Over the years, it has become our tradition to drive by some of the old houses / apartments that she lived in growing up. We would park out front of the building and she would tell us old family stories. Some of the stories I’ve heard before but are fun to hear over and over … but it seems that I learn something new with each of her visits.

Yesterday, we decided to park and walk around for close up looks. We’re lucky no one called the cops on us, cause we probably looked like stalkers and we may or may not have trespassed 🙂   At one house, the current resident saw us pointing at her house and taking pictures. She asked if she could help us (probably a polite way of saying what are you weirdoes doing??). We explained that we grew up there and she was so kind as to actually invite us in and show us around. I didn’t even recognize it, they had completely gutted and remodeled the place. It was gorgeous and so much nicer than when we lived there. Back in the day, we also owned the empty lot right next door and used it as an extension of our backyard. Now there is a house built on that lot. We also got to take pictures of my cousin re-enacting her job when we planted the tree out in front of the house as kids.

Like many families, we have some pretty wacky stories, but I think that’s what makes oral history so fun 🙂  I think it’s a good way to relive childhood memories and keep them alive. I find it particularly interesting to hear my aunt’s and cousin’s recollection of the same memory. How circumstances are perceived at different stages of life … my aunt being older and my cousin being younger than me.

I came home exhausted, but full of new memories of old memories … thanks to the adventures of the three T’s 🙂 

♥ Today I will focus on being thankful for having old family memories ♥

Our home in autumn

Tracy Helps You’s Thankful Thoughts for Today ~ 11-1-13

November 1 ~ This morning I woke up thankful for my nice warm and dry house. The overcast, wet, stormy weather the last couple of days reminds me to be thankful for shelter.

I only recently heard the phrase, “first world problems”, I don’t know about you, but I feel convicted when I think back on many of my whiny complaints.

So what if we only have one bathroom; we have indoor plumbing complete with running water – hot & cold. So what if the utility bills are expensive; we have lights and warmth.

♥ Today I will focus on remembering to be thankful for my house ♥