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The Touched by Grace Blog

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Second Week of Easter

It was a hectic Holy Week. We were hosting Easter lunch, so there were cooking and cleaning everywhere. I also wanted to incorporate an Easter trivia game to the celebration. On top of that, I wanted to restart the Touched by Grace Today blog site and do a Youtube video. But I did not have an Easter story. Thank goodness the busyness of the days left no time for much disappointment of not having a story to share. Then came Holy Saturday. I hope that the rest of this Easter

My First Blog Post - Fourth Anniversary!

Can't believe this site is four years old! Thank God for this blessing. <3 In case you missed my first blogs post four years ago, here it is! 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

God's Perfect Time

My last blog post was February 24, 2022. I took a break from writing, not knowing when I was going to go back. After almost two months of reflecting til today, Palm Sunday, it dawned on me that it is a wonderful time to start blogging again! The Easter season brings an air of hope, new life, and revived energy for things beautiful. As I wrote the Easter blog, it occurred to me to that Easter Saturday, April 24, is the fourth anniversary of this blog! God's timing is always

Happy Easter 2022!

Hallellujah! He is risen! Two years have passed since the height of Covid. I read somewhere that if one contracted Covid during the first few months of its appearance, one has a higher risk of critical infection that could even end tragically. There are now less people wearing masks and hugging has returned. What a blessing during this Easter season! Though there is still the possibility of a comeback, God willing, we will not return to what was before. I am sharing with yo

Palm Sunday

For a long time, I've been wondering why the same people who greeted Jesus, laying down their cloaks on the street and shouting "Hosanna!" are the same ones who shouted, "Crucify him!" Then, I thought of myself. How often have I prayed and praised our Lord, only to blame him when things aren't going well? In life and in the world? Thank God that it is for people like me who Jesus died. As long as I keep the faith and hold him in my heart, I know he understands my every fall

Do As We Say

Then Jesus spoke to the crowds and to His disciples: 2“The scribes and Pharisees sit in Moses’ seat. 3So practice and observe everything they tell you. But do not do what they do, for they do not practice what they preach. 4They tie up heavy, burdensome loads and lay them on men’s shoulders, but they themselves are not willing to lift a finger to move them. Matthew 23:1-4 How many times have we heard people say something and yet do something else? Just listen to how most poli

President's Day

Presidents' Day originally commemorated George Washington's birthday in 1885. It later combined Washington's birthday on Feb. 22 with Lincoln's birthday on Feb. 12. Presidents' Day now celebrates all presidents - past, present and future. It's observed on the third Monday of February and gives most workers a three-day weekend. This weekend is not so much the time for spring sales or discounted furniture or car sales. It is not so much time to rest, but a time to reflect about

Why do our Best?

One of the reasons I do my best and aim for the best that I can be is to give thanks to our Lord. (To win, to be recognized, and to succeed were reasons I used to have.) Another is to inspire other people to do likewise. I was wonderfully surprised when someone whom I randomly met and shared my stories with was so inspired by God's graces that she began to journal her experiences and is now working on her own blog site! I couldn't wait to read her stories! And that's what th

A Heartfelt Surprise

My brother is celebrating his 60th on February 17, 2022! It is a milestone because most of our paternal uncles didn't do well after they turn 50. On January 29, my sister called to say that restrictions in the Philippines were lifted, and it would be easier to go to Manila to surprise our brother. Still, with high Covid numbers, it was not very enticing. Deep inside my heart I was hoping that God would help me decide. I called the travel agent. She quoted me a fare that was u

Two Sides of a Coin

A friend and I often discuss about our faith. She is Protestant, and I am Catholic. Whenever we discuss our differences, I see each of us looking at opposite sides of a coin. She is appreciating the beauty of her side, as I acknowledge the refinements on my side. The same coin that we are looking at from different sides can “buy” the same thing we want. In this case, salvation through Jesus Christ. In much the same way, we are both walking our journey in life taking differe

Blood Pressure

I was diagnosed with high blood pressure and was put on medication. My normal readings were anywhere from 130/80 to 140/90, and if there is cause for stress, then my numbers go as high as 150s. Lately, fatigue has been a close friend. I have been working on two projects, and it has kept me overly busy. During that time, a concerned friend texted me that her dear friend suddenly died of a massive heart attack shortly after moving from her old place to a new apartment. The dec

Close to You

I drove anywhere from three to five hours during weekdays when my sons were still in school, the longest stretch being from Cheviot Hills in the Westside for tennis practices to the San Fernando foothills where our family lives. I devised various ways to make my drive enjoyable. I prayed the rosary and listened to inspirational talks. In between, I played a selection of '70s and '80s music from The Carpenters, the Beatles, Diana Ross, and many other great artists. I had been

Feast of the Three Kings

Epiphany means a sudden revelation or insight into something. The three kings experienced their Epiphany when they saw the Christ Jesus in a manger. One personal note, epiphany is knowing that the uncanny timing of events is one of the many ways God lets me know that he is guiding me. Like when I seek an answer, and the answer comes out in a dream. Or when I need to talk to someone, and the person calls. Or when I seek help, and a solution presents itself. Many call these in

New Year's Eve

What has God blessed you with the past year? For many, it is difficult to see the blessings in 2020 and 2021. There could have been illnesses, financial hardships, and even death for some families. The dark clouds linger longer than we'd like it to. Let us not forget though that hiding behind those clouds is the beauty of the sun still shining. Was there an illness in the family? I pray there were people who prayed for them. Was there financial hardship? I pray that there w

Christmas Eve 2021

On October 19, my siblings texted that they have purchased their tickets to Los Angeles. Their families have finalized their plans of spending Christmas with our family! What a blessing! Then my mind raced to December. I knew that with 14 guests, plus the five of us, it was going the be all pandemonium, sleepless nights, and craziness! I have to finalize food, accommodations, and activities. For a minute I thought I should leave it all to God. Then on second thought, I d

On Patchwork Quilts

The beauty of patchwork quilts is fully displayed often only after the quilt and design are completed. Much like our lives. Many of the events in our lives do not match up, some quite incomprehensible, while others are like a thousand-piece puzzle. Only after we have lived much of our years do we understand why "things" happened. And for some, it may even take a lifetime to comprehend. Sometimes, not in this life. It is one of the lessons from Steve Job's speech at a Stanfo

The Christmas Tree

Joyce Kilmer's poem "Tree*" reminds me of one of God's simple yet beautiful creations. And all the more during one of two most important celebrations we have of Jesus's life. Isn't it interesting that the two main kinds of trees, the deciduous and the evergreens, remind us of Easter and Christmas? The deciduous trees shed their leaves, signifying the giving up of the old, and then sprout new ones to signify new life. Much like the message of Easter's resurrection. The evergre

Have you a Gift for Jesus?

Where did time go? Christmas is around the corner, and if you haven't thought of your present to Jesus, below are some ideas that I believe will warm his heart. There's a whole month to do as many as will allow us. 1. Pack an extra snack or water bottle in your car. You might find someone asking for food or water on the road. 2. Write Christmas notes to people away from home. 3. Visit or call someone who is not feeling well in body, mind or spirit. Or maybe someone who

Top Ten Blessings in 2021... Plus One

Thanksgiving is around the corner, and I thought it's the best time to reflect on God's blessings, big or small, that we have received this past year. As for our family, here are my Top Ten: Our oldest visited us for longer stretches of time thrice this year, and the holidays have not even started! Our youngest in college flew home to surprise us. Our middle child decided to continue to stay with us despite the enticements of being on his own. Hubby retired in January. God ha

More on Birthdays

As a child, I remember there were only two things I looked forward to: my birthday and Jesus's. For sure it was a time to get gifts, to have a feast complete with a birthday cake, and to act entitled was part of the day. As years passed and maturity grew (Thank heavens!), I learned that it was also a time of reflection and of much gratitude. Thanks to Mom, she lived a life of giving thanks especially on her birthday. She made sure she thanked God for the year that passed, for

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