Showing Thankfulness – How to Express Words of Gratitude

By Benita B Jenkins

In this life there is so much coming at you in a sense of being all you can be. Of course you want to be the best. You want to succeed in being a mother, wife, daughter, whatever it is that we are called to do. We chase after this American dream that no one can live up to without losing something that really is of importance to us. There are certain sacrifices that we sometimes end up making without fully knowing the devastation it will cause us!

Sometimes you just have to look around and be thankful for what you have and even thankful for what you don’t have! There are some married couples that wish they were single. After you listen to all the stories of it ain’t what it is cracked up to be. I am grateful it is just me and my girls. Would I be totally ready for marriage, the ups and downs, the financial struggle of who is going to earn the most?

The choice of who pays what bill! I realize that I am grateful, I am going to be patient and wait on the Lord! Loneliness, the need to feel loved, to feel valued, adored by someone who really can see the true beauty of you inside and out. Someone who will love you with all your flaws and imperfection that is truly a gift that we sometimes overlook. Family is sometimes our worst critic and they know us better than anyone! Needless to say they love us unconditional whether we realize it or not.

My dad has always been my dad, whether he says I love you or not, I know he loves me because when not around, I can see him when I am in his presence struggling to see me through the little sight that remains. My mother will always be my mother, strong as a bull but yet soft as a flower needing that hug! My brother even though he is the oldest will always want to be the baby, and to hear my voice!

My children will always need me, I am grateful because I have so much love to give and so much work to do. Our job is never finished. I am thankful for my family even though apart a lot of times, the silence of the closeness lets me know they are grateful to be in my presence! I am grateful because sometimes the storms of life can truly take us away from the things that matter the most like a simple phone call saying I love you! Is there a family member that you have not spoken to, maybe was to busy, put off visiting, or maybe you have been going through your own trials and tribulations that you have just forgot to tell God, Thank you Lord! It is not about me! What can I do for others? Every Morning I wake up I say Thank you because we never know when it will be our last. Gratitude is often overlooked, but much needed! It starts like this if someone ask you how are you! ”Say good! Thank you for asking! Someone opens the door for you, say Thank you! A kind word, a warm smile goes a long way. Remember we are all in need of Gratitude!

Benita Bianca Jenkins
Let’s share food for the soul, warm each other’s heart!

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Sights and Sounds of Summer

By Carin G Hansen

This evening as I was catching up on paperwork I heard an owl hoot and knew it was time for me to take a break. As I walked out the front door and took a short walk toward the place I thought the sound was coming from I was greeted with other sounds of summer.

I smiled and took in the evening air deeply as the hooting of the owl came closer and closer with each step. Mixed in with the intermittent hoots was the ongoing chirping of crickets and locust. I stood in silence at the entrance to our neighborhood park listening to the sounds as a sense of deep satisfaction, joy and overwhelmed me. What a wonderful world God has given us to live

Here are some more sounds and also some sights and smells that go with summer here in Colorado. Think about and take in each one… feel them emotionally either with memories, current events or anticipated activities prior to fall.


1. Children giggling and chattering during outdoor play

2. Waterfalls flowing across rocks ever down, down, down

3. Thunder claps from late afternoon or evening rain showers

4. Sprinklers rhythmic spewing of water onto parched lawns

5. Marching bands practicing for the beginning of the next school year


1. Wide array of annuals and perennials in beds of all sizes and shapes

2. Swimming pools brimming with children

3. Water fowl gliding across lakes forming v-shaped waves

4. Bicycles, skateboards, scooters and balls randomly strewn across lawns

5. Lightning cutting jagged lines across stormy skies


1. Fragrant roses and flowering bushes like lavender, honeysuckle and jasmine

2. Rain!

3. BBQ’s

4. Freshly cut grass

Life often rushes by so quickly that we find it difficult to slow down enough to listen, observe and breathe in all that wonderful happening around us.

We are so BLESSED, we just need to take moments to be reminded. Make a conscious decision to take those moments. Otherwise the sights, sounds and smells each hour, day and week will pass you by.

Carin Hansen has been helping women and men, of all ages, look their best through articles, blogs, books, seminars and workshops for much of her life. As a Christ follower and cancer survivor for over 23 years, Carin is very aware that every day on earth is a gift from God – not to be wasted. Check out Carin’s blog at for spiritual insight on life’s challenges.

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Children Create Posters for Peace


(NewsUSA) – When Yennie Shyu, a 12-year-old from San Jose, Calif., tried to visualize peace, she immediately thought of e-mail.

“In this age, technology and computers are very popular, so I thought about combining technology and e-mail with spreading the message of peace and love,” said Shyu, whose poster, which depicts little girls e-mailing olive branch-carrying doves, won the 21st Lions Clubs International Peace Poster Contest.

Shyu describes the image as “little fingers typing big messages, spreading love and peace worldwide.”

Shyu’s poster, which was selected from 350,000 entries from 70 countries, portrays the theme “Peace Begins With Me.” As the grand prize winner, Shyu received a trip to New York City for a special award ceremony during Lions Day with the United Nations.

“Lions in many nations have embraced the Peace Poster Contest as a hands-on way to promote peace and to support the young people in their communities,” said Lions Clubs International President Al Brandel. “The contest is another example of Lions being everyday heroes in reaching out and listening to the young people of this world.”

During the past two decades, more than 4 million children from ages 11 through 13 have artistically shared their visions for peace through the Lions International Peace Poster Contest. Lions clubs sponsor the contest in schools and organized youth programs. The contest provides an outlet for children and adults to discuss the meaning of world peace while visually portraying their feelings. Now entering its 22nd year, the contest has been held in more than 100 countries.

“It takes energy and even courage to live in peace,” said Remi Delanghe, a merit award winner from Belgium. “It’s something you need to work on every day in order to be able to create and maintain it.”

Winners have come from all across the globe to share their visions of peace. “Peace is something big and marvelous, full of happiness to be achieved from our own homes and in the heart of each human being,” said Ana Stephanie Rosero Morales from Peru, a merit award winner.

The 24 finalist peace posters will be exhibited during the year at children’s museums and various locations throughout the United States. Visit to view posters and send e-cards.

Toys of the World Celebrate Power of Play


(NewsUSA) – For most children in the United States, finding a toy with which to play is hardly a hardship. A trip to the toy store with some allowance money, or a holiday or birthday, provides plenty of action figures, model cars, dolls, talking robots and video games.

But many children in developing countries around the world cannot afford to buy any toys — and these children often show ingenuity and creativity in making their own toys.

To celebrate the power of play, ChildFund International has created a touring exhibition titled, “The Power to Play: From Trash to Treasure,” which displays 350 handcrafted toys created by children around the world. Some of the toys are easily recognizable, like soccer balls and kites. Others are unique to their place of origin, or reveal the social, economic and political conditions in which their makers are growing up.

“Our traveling exhibition highlights the resourcefulness and creativity of the children who created the toys,” says Anne Lynam Goddard, president and CEO of ChildFund International. “Thousands of viewers will gain new appreciation for the power of play and its role in childhood development.”

Play proves essential to children’s healthy development, helping kids solve problems, test new ideas and gain friendships. So, what kind of toys can viewers expect to see? Warsito and Ade of Central Java, Indonesia make stilts to play a popular game, called “egrang.”

“It’s an exciting and unique game, and I love playing it,” says Warsito. “You can tell when a child is an expert in playing this game. He or she must have a good sense of balance and high skill to play it.”

Tyrel of Dominica has made his own toys since age eight. “I loved playing with toys, but my parents were not always able to afford them, and the ones that they occasionally bought did not hold together for long.”

Nollan, a 13-year-old from Honduras, fashions a toy called “The Trapeze Artist,” which he makes once a year and often lends to siblings and friends.

These unique toys are just a few examples of the types of items in ChildFund International’s Power to Play exhibit, which will be traveling to major museums and other locations across the United States through 2011.

For more information about the exhibit, or to learn how you can improve the life of a child in need, visit