A Thanksgiving Prayer: Remember the hungry, the jobless, the homeless and the suffering

A Thanksgiving Prayer

O God, when I have food,
help me to remember the hungry;
When I have work,
help me to remember the jobless;
When I have a home,
help me to remember those who have no home at all;
When I am without pain,
help me to remember those who suffer,
And remembering,
help me to destroy my complacency;
bestir my compassion,
and be concerned enough to help;
By word and deed,
those who cry out for what we take for granted.

Samuel F. Pugh

Images of praying hands and Thanksgiving dinner via Wikimedia Commons.


heatherfromthegrove’s Seven New Year’s Revelations Wrap-up… and on to new beginnings

As I say each year, on this day, the 8th of January:

 “For those of you who have been following, reading and enjoying each of my seven New Year revelations …. Thank You.

I would like to point out that they are not New Year Resolutions. I don’t make New Year Resolutions anymore. They are my own personal revelations. Epiphanies. Discoveries. In the past decade, I’ve faced some daunting challenges and heart-wrenching events. I’d like to think that I’ve handled them with dignity, compassion, grace, and humor. Always humor. It helps take the edge off.

So, the lessons that these “life tests” have taught me are my “revelations.” As I move forward with my life, I will use them as my guide. Wisdom has to be earned. For me, it’s an ongoing journey, as I’m sure it is for all of you, as well.”

Here’s a synopsis (the numbers have a hyperlink back to each revelation post):

New Year’s Revelation No. 1 Today is Tomorrow

New Year’s Revelation No. 2Humility is attractive, and Arrogance… not so much

New Year’s Revelation No. 3 Stand by what you say and what you do

New Year’s Revelation No. 4 Be comfortable in your own skin

New Year’s Revelation No. 5:  Freedom from Fear

New Year’s Revelation No. 6:  Respect Human Dignity… through Kindness

New Year’s Revelation No. 7:  Love Thy Neighbor, it’s that simple

And on it goes.

I’m looking forward to whatever 2014 has in store for me.  

I wish you all a blessed, healthy and happy  2014 and may your own personal journey bring you deep fulfillment and wisdom… and loads of wonderful opportunity and adventures!



So long, 2013… it’s been a slice

“Drop the last year into the silent limbo of the past. Let it go, for it was imperfect, and thank God that it can go.”

Brooks Atkinson

This was a very tumultuous year for many, including myself.  Lots of dark, threatening clouds. Yet, like a rainbow peeking through the sky after a surprise sun shower, the light managed to shine through… every once in a while.  Kind of like reconnecting with a very dear old sister friend who has come back into my stratosphere after a seven-year absence.  My arms are wide open. 

That said, I will not be sorry to see the last of 2013.  Although, for me, 2014 will involve (to some degree) cleaning up the mess of 2013, I will still embrace 2014 wholeheartedly. 

Dearest readers, thank you so much for reading, following and liking my blogs!   Many blessings for 2014 and may tonight’s New Year’s Eve celebration be filled with laughter, good food, plenty of bubbly libation, and the company of those you hold dear!

And, as always, a very special shout-out to my family and friends across the globe.

Stay tuned tomorrow for the first of my annual seven New Year’s Revelations (not to be confused with resolutions!).  And a new chapter begins ….

“We will open the book. Its pages are blank. We are going to put words on them ourselves. The book is called Opportunity and its first chapter is New Year’s Day.”

Edith Lovejoy Pierce



Holiday Greetings from heatherinthegrove


“What is Christmas? It is tenderness for the past, courage for the present, hope for the future. It is a fervent wish that every cup may overflow with blessings rich and eternal, and that every path may lead to peace.” 

— Agnes M. Pharo

From my home to yours, I wish you all the blessings of the holiday season.  May you savour your feast, revel in the company of those you love most, and bow your head in thanks for all the goodness in your life.

Merry Christmas! Happy Holidays!

Warmest Wishes,




Photo:  Copyright © 2013 by Heather Joan Marinos. All Rights Reserved.

Reflecting on Grace

“All the natural movements of the soul are controlled by laws analogous to those of physical gravity. Grace is the only exception. Grace fills empty spaces, but it can only enter where there is a void to receive it, and it is grace itself which makes this void. The imagination is continually at work filling up all the fissures through which grace might pass.” 
― Simone WeilGravity and Grace

For many people, myself included, this has been a difficult year. Despite that, I’ve come to the realization that all of the year’s blessings, though considerably less in number than the hardships, are (one-by-one) mightier (in force) than all the challenges combined.  

The few blessings have given me hope, solace and joy. 

The few blessings have somehow managed to outweigh all the pain and suffering.

The few blessings have made me deeply grateful.

The lesson to be learned is that “Grace fills the empty spaces.”  The blessings I’ve received this year are nothing short of pure grace.

In the spirit of this holiday season, count all of your blessings.  The challenges come and go. The blessings, however, have staying power.


 Note: the pictures are of “Ollie” — I rescued this abandoned kitten <she was 5 hours old, see photo at the very top> and she is now a little over 3 months old <photo above>, and thriving. 

She is my greatest blessing of 2013.

“A cat has absolute emotional honesty: human beings, for one reason or another, may hide their feelings, but a cat does not.”

Ernest Hemingway

Photos: Copyright © 2013 by Heather Joan Marinos. All Rights Reserved

That Gut Feeling


“The truth about life and lie about life is not measured by others, but by your intuition, which never lies.”

Santosh Kalwar

Following from my May 16th post, Maximize Your Five Senses, today is the last of a series of blogs on each of the five senses (plus one).  In each post, I shared some of the wisdom that my mother imparted to me – which, to those who were wondering, is why she is mentioned in every one of the blogs.  This series was written in memory of her.

Today, I will talk a bit about the sixth senseintuition, or what I call gut feeling.  This is not a sense that one should readily dismiss.  It is very real and we all have it, to some degree.  All too often, we choose to ignore it, usually to our detriment. 

Now, I want to be clear.  When I use the word “intuition,”  I am not referring to psychic ability.  That is another thing altogether – a more advanced level of intuition.

My mother was most definitely not a psychic, but she was very, very intuitive (as was her mother before her, and as am I).  She called it both a blessing and a curse.  A blessing, because when she listened to her sixth sense, she was able to circumvent potential problems or challenges, as they cropped up.  A curse, because she intuitively guessed what people were thinking or how they were going to act (again, not in an ESP-type of way), and sometimes she would have preferred to be wrong.  The following real-life scenarios illustrate her point.


The year was 1966. One morning, my mother was getting us all ready for school (I was in Grade 2; my brother and sister were in high school) but as she was moving about the kitchen, she seemed very out of sorts.  A sensitive little girl, I asked her what was wrong and she looked at me strangely and said “I really don’t know.”  I offered to stay home from school (not because it would have been a good excuse to miss class, but because I was truly alarmed by her demeanor), but she insisted that we all had to go so that we wouldn’t miss our respective school buses.  Mid-afternoon, my father received a call at his office.  It was my mother. She told him that he needed to come home right away, because she was dying (her exact words were “Come home now. I’m dying.”).  Now, although the women in my family have always had a flair for the dramatic, my father instantly realized this was not one of those moments.  He immediately called an ambulance, and rushed home (his office, thankfully, was nearby).  Her blood pressure was almost fatally low, due to internal hemorrhaging. She received an emergency blood transfusion. The doctor said that had my mother waited five minutes longer to make that phone call, she would indeed have been dead.  

When she woke up that morning, she knew that something was very wrong but could not pinpoint what it was.  She felt no pain…  just very uneasy.  This had never happened to her before, so she did not have a frame of reference.   She listened to her gut instinct and, as a result, she lived on for another forty-two years.  A blessing – for her, and for our entire family.


If you ever wanted a character assessment of a friend, lover, fiancé (fiancée), or husband (wife) – my mother was the go-to gal.  The problem was that her “gut feelings” were not always what one wanted to hear.  She was always right – no exception.  She instinctively knew whether someone was a betrayer, an opportunist or just simply bad news.  Family, friends and friends of friends would all flock to my mother for her “opinion” and she would inevitably warn them with “You may not like what I have to say.”   She was more than willing to dispense her wisdom, because she fervently believed that it was “better to be safe, than sorry.”

One day (circa 1970), a young woman (friend of a friend) bumped into my mother at the shopping center.  They chatted for awhile and the woman, “Pat” (not her real name), went on and on about this new man she was seeing.  She said he was perfect.  He was nine years older than her (she was twenty) and treated her like a princess (he took her to nice places, and bought her jewelry).  In her eyes, he was Mr. Right.  Then, Pat’s brow furrowed.  She told my mother that she was confused about one thing.  He was very reserved about his family life.  He preferred to keep conversations light and easy, at all times.  At this point, my mother tilted her head and looked at Pat carefully, then asked her How serious are you (about the man)?”  “I want to marry him,” was the response, and then I would like your opinion of him.”  My mother said, “Let’s arrange a random meeting here at the shopping center. Bring him with you.  I’d like to meet him.”

The next day, they “accidentally” ran into each other.   After the standard pleasantries, my 4’11” mother looked up at the 6’1″ man.   “John” (not his real name) was indeed very handsome and he spoke smoothly.  My mother always looked a person in the eye.  This man’s eyes kept shifting away from her gaze, as they spoke.  She ended their chat and they said their goodbyes.  That evening, Pat phoned my mother – to hear what she had to say.  My mother said only two words:  “He’s married.”   Pat shrieked NO, HE IS NOT!”  and hung up the phone.  She called back a second later and said, in a subdued voice, “How can I know for sure, without asking him directly?”  The answer she received was Well, if you ask him directly, he’ll probably lie to your face.  You could always hire a private detective or… you could tell him that you love him and that you want to marry him.  Then, see how he reacts.”  Of course, my mother knew exactly how he would react. 

A week later, my mother received a call from Pat, who said she felt that her world had come crashing down on her.  When Pat told John that she loved him and wanted them to get married, he recoiled and then told her that he was married and had two small children.  She never heard from him again.   Pat said that she wished she had never asked my mother to meet the man.  My mother informed her that she knew what he was, before she even met him. She also told Pat that she was a naïve, young woman who needed to do some growing up and that, one day, she’ll find the right man. 

Years later, “Pat” married a lovely fellow and they live happily with their three kids and two dogs. 

Odds are, however, that “John” is no longer married.

My mother did not enjoy being the bearer of bad news, the curse of her strong intuition.  Yet sometimes, even curses can transform into blessings.

It’s all a matter of perspective, I suppose.

In the past, whenever I’ve ignored my gut instinct, I’ve lived to regret it.  And, since I strive to have as few regrets has possible, I always listen to my inner voice.  It never lets me down.

My mother was right.

Image via omtimes.com.