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The Touched by Grace Blog

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Memorial Day

What do you do to celebrate Memorial Weekend? A. Go out of town to visit relatives, B. Have a backyard barbecue, C. Visit a veterans cemetery to pay respects to the members of the military who have died serving the country, or D. Go to the mall for Memorial Day sales? If you chose any of the first three answers, your tradition has a link to the past. Many decades ago, people drove hundreds of miles to gather with family members to decorate the grave sites of soldiers

On Forgiving

Kathy Lee Gifford ended her 30-year feud with Howard Stern. If it’s about mending broken fences, it’s worth reading. For 30-some years, Stern has been saying terrible things about Gifford and her family. Gifford just ignored the insults. One day, when Gifford learned that Stern was on the same show as she was, she felt the Lord tell her to say hello to Howard. Gifford introduced herself to Stern. Stern was stunned. Later that day, he called her and profusely apologized. He

Physical Fitness Month

Did you know that May is National Physical Fitness and Sports Month? The month's goal is to promote awareness of a healthier lifestyle through physical activities and sports. There are a myriad ways to be fit. (Here lies the advantage of multitasking.) If we like watching TV, we can stretch or run on a treadmill while watching our favorite shows. We can also go to the gym. Or play sports. And while we’re at it, we can also push out the negative thoughts in our lives (well, a

On Following the Call

What do Elsa, Mulan, Belle and Moana have in common? (Well, aside from being Disney heroines.) They all followed their calling and found true meaning in their lives. Much like the disciples of Jesus when they were called. Jesus came and changed their lives. With hearts set afire by the Holy Spirit on Pentecost, they went far and wide to spread the Good News of Christ. They found their true meaning in evangelizing the world. Let's quietly listen to our hearts. In there we wi

Better Than "Thank you."

In the 1980's, I was blessed to have a stable job. Once in a while, I invited to lunch a dear friend who was pursuing post-graduate studies. Since she was a full-time student, I was more than delighted to treat her. (No, it’s not to any fancy place. It’s just to McDonald’s or some pretty inexpensive fast food.) One time after placing our orders, as I was getting my wallet, my friend gently held my arm and stopped me. “Please give me the pleasure of treating you.” I was deep

Blogging a Crazy Idea

My journey to blogging began as an inconceivable idea. In 2014 I started writing stories of God’s graces and shared them with friends. A dear friend suggested I start a blog. “I will subscribe to your blog,” she even quipped. “Me? Are you serious?” I replied. I didn’t know anything about blogging. I’ve read people’s websites, but not blogs. I was born in the fifties so this is something new to me. A few months ago, Paul and I were excited to finally have a quiet evening a

On Mother's Day

How did you celebrate Mother’s Day last year? Are you going to do something similar or are you going to try something different? There are so many ways to express our love and appreciation for our mothers. Rightfully so. Mothers do so much for the family. I once asked my mom what I can do to thank her for all she has done for me. Her reply was, “You have no obligation to me. Your obligation lies to your children.” Beautiful and big-hearted. In every way a mother. My name's

Parking Woes

Everyone’s experienced parking woes upon arrival at school presentations and activities, at Saturday special sales at the mall, and amidst the Thursday (No, it’s not Monday.) rush hour in Los Angeles. Recently parking woes have no power when my heart is full of thanksgiving to God for all my blessings. When my heart is still, I find a car pulling out of a parking slot in front of the entrance, just in time for me to park. Giving thanks works its magic many times over for me.

The Riddle

Have you read or watched “The Hobbit”? There’s a creature named Gollum who played riddle games with the hobbit Bilbo Baggins who was lost in a maze. In the final riddle, if Gollum wins, he gets to eat Bilbo. (Yes, EAT. It's not a typo.) If Bilbo wins, Gollum shows him the way out of the maze. Here’s the riddle: This thing all things devours; Birds, beasts, trees, flowers; Gnaws iron, bites steel; Grinds hard stones to meal; Slays king, ruins town, And beats mountain down. Do

My Favorite Day

I love Mondays and Fridays. Mondays bring a fresh start to a healthier diet after a weekend of Mardi Gras nutrition. It’s like redoing New Year’s resolutions every week! And Fridays are family movie and junk food night. I also love Saturdays and Sundays. Saturdays because I get to sleep in (unless I forget to unset my alarm and end up waking at 5:45am). Sundays are a blessing because I get to go to mass with family and give thanks to our Lord. I see people I know by face a

Just Do It.

Just do it. That’s Nike’s famous trademark. And rightfully so. In just three words, it tells one to not give excuses. Just do it. The truth is – it’s easier said than done. I can think of a thousand (well, maybe just a few dozen) things I have been planning to do for weeks, months and even years but have not started for a lot of reasons: It’s too hard. (Not many things are easy.) I don’t have time. (One has to find time, make time.) It can wait. (We don’t live forever.) It’

On Humility

I might have been 12 when I overheard my mom’s business associate tell a story. It was about two of his acquaintances trying to outdo each other in business. One said his businesses earned double this year compared to last year’s. The other responded that he had tripled his income. They later argued about who had wealthier friends. The two continued on until the stories became beyond what was probable. At this point, Mom’s associate left the men. “What a waste of time,” the

Little by Little

Years ago, I was opening a jar of orange marmalade for my toast. The cap would not budge. Not a millimeter. I put the container upside down in hot water. Then I tried to pry the cap with a knife. It still would not budge. The following morning, I pried the cap again with a knife. I put the container upside down again over a saucer of hot water. I twisted and turned to no avail. On the third day, the cap squeaked and opened. Little by little did the trick. Over the years I’v

On License Plates

I like looking at car plates. Especially during slow Los Angeles traffic. Do you? It’s nice to read what people put on their license plates. If I were to change my license plate, I would choose one of these: TNX2GOD, HVNSGUD, BTHNKFL, GDBLESU, HAVEF8, PRYALWY. (Sorry if these are existing license plates. I just came up with them!) If you had the opportunity to change your license plate, what would it be? How about something that’ll uplift other people’s spirits as they dri

My First Blog Post: Hello!

Hello and welcome to my blog! If you’re new to this site, my name’s Anna Maria De Guid. People just call me Maria. That works perfectly because my sister-in-law’s name is Ana and it just makes things easier during family gatherings. Decades before “growing-the-family” time took over, my hobbies were playing the piano and guitar, caring for plants (though the plants didn’t care much for me), singing in the shower (my vocal cords didn’t care much for singing either!), cooking,

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