God Winked At Me Today

I was going to write a blog about the importance of receiving, as I believe it is every bit as important to be a grateful receiver as it is to be a generous giver, and that in receiving, you give back to the giver, etc. I had a very valuable demonstration regarding this earlier this month, and I spent a good deal of time musing on it and had even gathered the quotes and found the mystery link etc., but what I experienced today by far trumps anything that I could put together on my own, so I will share my experience with you.

First, an explanation of the title of this blog. Several years ago a dear friend brought me to a divine little restaurant by the name of The Aroma Cafe in Studio City. Attached to the restaurant is a charming independent bookstore/gift-shop by the name of Portrait of a Bookstore. On one of my visits I happened to be browsing in the bookstore, waiting for that book to find me, and it just was not happening. I was chitchatting with another lady who also happened to be browsing when she turned to me and said, " You look like the kind of lady who would enjoy reading When God Winks by SQuire Rushnell." I asked the owner of the bookstore if she carried it, and she did not, but I scribbled it down and later borrowed it from the library.

I was so impressed with this inspirational little book which could fit in my purse that I went online and bought about 6 copies and gave them out for Christmas presents that year. Now this book is simply a compilation of real life stories of wild coincidences ( SQuire calls these experiences God Winks- God's way of letting you know there is a much bigger picture than the one we usually see- by way of these coincidences ) people have experienced and wanted to share. SQuire ( he capitalizes the Q in his name, and I don't remember why ) hosts a website where people can submit their stories etc. Today, it just so happened that I experienced a fantastic Godwink!

This is how it happened: Our family traveled to Northern California to spend Thanksgiving with my husband's family and celebrate the wedding of my husband's sister. We had a marvelous time and stayed in a nice little hotel near her house. It was a rare treat to have all 6 of us together in one room and as we were sharing one bathroom, the TV went on in the morning while the one by one showers were transpiring.

Friday morning TV was a James Bond marathon and Saturday morning we happened to land on a Cheech and Chong movie. I think it was Up In Smoke, or something like that. It was the one with the "Mamma Talk A To Me Try To Tell Me How To Live" song and we all laughed. Hubby then went on to tell us that when he was a Senior in High School he was enrolled in an Administration of Justice class at Mission College, as he was contemplating pursuing a career in law, and that he did not learn until he met the instructor for office hours to discuss his unexpected poor grade on his class paper, and later developed a friendship with the teacher, that the teacher, Oscar Marin, was the father of Cheech Marin, of Cheech and Chong! My husband shared with us how Oscar had made such a lasting impression on him and is one of his all time favorite teachers. It was a nice conversation, and we went on to talk about school papers and plagiarism etc. I didn't think a thing more about it.

We drove home Saturday, and after a very late dinner, fell asleep while trying to watch The Ides of March. Computer Boy had to be driven about 20 minutes away to the meeting spot where he would be picked up by his friends who would save him the train and bus ride back to Irvine. As hubby had done all of the driving, I told him to stay in bed and that I would take Computer Boy, and I got up and got dressed. Hubby said that he preferred to take Computer Boy as he wanted to go in that direction to buy gas etc., so I sat down at the computer for a few minutes to check out my grocery discounts, and puttered around the house while Bubba, our dog, very anxiously shadowed me waiting for his walk. We finally left around 10 AM and I walked him to the CSUN pond where I like to go to clear my mind.

I was in a melancholy mood with so much on my mind, and I was just trying for a few moments in the now- appreciating the gorgeous weather, blue skies, songs of the birds, firm Earth beneath my feet, crisp air in my lungs, but all the thoughts of what I had to attempt to accomplish, and how many pounds I had gained this year, and the sensation of the pain in my shins (which is unusual for me during walks) kept interfering.

As I am well aware that the source of much of our unhappiness comes from our thought processes rather than our reality, either ruminating about the past, which is useless as we do not get to redo it for a better grade, or fretting about the future F.E.A.R. = Future Events Already Realized, I wanted to get out of both of these scenarios and just enjoy the gift of the present, but I was not able to. When this happens, I have begun reciting the Lord's Prayer over and over, focusing on the wisdom of these words. I have found this to be a successful way to fight a funk. So after about forty Our Father's, I made my way to the pond with Bubba.

I sat down on one of the benches intending to just listen, see and appreciate before taking the walk home. I had barely settled when a woman approached with her gorgeous Golden. She asked if Bubba was friendly, and I told her he was, and so we let our pooches greet, and we chatted about our dogs and all sorts of other things including insurance, and healthcare and Diabetes and Alzheimer's ( her husband who is 15 years her senior, and my father, happen to share both of those illnesses ) etc. It was a lovely conversation, and I was proud of Bubba for being such a patient gentleman.

I told her it was lovely to meet her and she responded by saying that we hadn't formally met and then introduced herself as Julie Marin, but that her real name was Julia. I told her my name is also Julie and my real name is also Julia. Then it hit me! Could this Marin be the wife of Oscar Marin- Cheech Marin's dad- teacher of the Administration of Justice class my husband was talking about??? I asked her, and indeed she was!!!!! I was just floored.

So many things had to happen just so in order for us to meet on this day and time! It was beyond uncanny chance. I have been walking to the CSUN pond quite regularly for the past 15 years. It entailed my family taking a trip and staying in a hotel and not getting up on time and turning on the TV in the morning at a particular time to a particular channel to see a particular show in order for a particular conversation to ensue. Then the next day it depended upon my husband taking Computer Boy instead of me, and then my random putzing around the house, then the fact that my seat by the waterfall where I usually sit was occupied, so I walked down to the pond to the alternate bench at just the time Julie happened to be there. We said much more than, "hello" and finally introduced ourselves and voila. Turns out she did recognize me as I have walked Mr. Bubba past her house many many times, but I do not recall ever having seen her. What a surprise! I think it most definitely qualifies as a Godwink. I may have to send it in to SQuire.

My mood was certainly improved, and I experienced a renewal of faith that people come into and depart from our lives just as we need them to. We could not arrange it if we tried. It is all part of the grand scheme, which we cannot understand but can certainly appreciate. And what better time of year is there to appreciate WHO came into our lives and WHEN and to have FAITH that it will all work out?

EASY DELICIOUS MEAT MARINADE!

I was served this by a brand new bride using all of her Williams and Sonoma wedding gifts including the cook book where this recipe came from. The Weeknight Cook is on my wish list!!

Here is the link to the website: http://www.williams-sonoma.com/recipe/grilled-flank-steak.html

Here is the link to the cookbooks: http://www.williams-sonoma.com/search/results.html?words=williams-sonoma%2C%20the%20weeknight%20cook%20cookbook

Grill 2 flank steaks instead of 1 and you’ll have an extra steak for at least 2 more meals. Flank steak is ideal for a variety of dishes (see related recipes at left).

Storage tip: Let the second steak cool to room temperature, wrap tightly in aluminum foil or plastic wrap and refrigerate for up to 2 days. For the most succulent and tender results, do not slice the refrigerated steak until ready to serve and then, using a chef’s or other large, sharp knife, thinly slice across the grain at a sharp angle.

Ingredients:
1 cup full-bodied red wine
1/3 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup canola oil
4 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
1/2 tsp. freshly ground pepper
2 flank steaks, each about 1 1/2 lb.
Directions:
Marinate the steaks
In a shallow, nonreactive baking dish, whisk together the wine, soy sauce, oil, garlic and pepper. Add the flank steaks and turn to coat evenly. Cover and let stand for 1 hour, or refrigerate, turning occasionally, for up to 8 hours.

Grill the steaks
Prepare a hot fire in a grill. Lightly oil the grill rack.

Place the steaks on the grill rack and cover the grill. Cook, turning once, for 8 to 10 minutes total for medium-rare. The steaks should feel slightly firmer than raw meat when pressed in the thickest part.

Transfer the steaks to a cutting board and let stand for 3 to 5 minutes. Thinly slice 1 steak across the grain and serve immediately. Reserve the second steak for another meal (see note above). Makes 2 flank steaks total; serves 4 to 6

It really was that good. I served it to my family on Saturday and they loved it. Didn't hurt that I used a fine Malbec for the wine :-)

More Quotes:

There is no benefit in the gifts of a bad man.
~ Euripides
Whether they give or refuse, it delights women just the same to have been asked.
~ Ovid

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Enemies' gifts are no gifts and do no good.
~ Sophocles

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A gift in season is a double favour to the needy.
~ Publilius Syrus

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We should give as we would receive, cheerfully, quickly, and without hesitation; for there is no grace in a benefit that sticks to the fingers.
~ Lucius Annaeus Seneca

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Be silent as to services you have rendered, but speak of favours you have received.
~ Seneca

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We make a living by what we get, we make a life by what we give.
~ Sir Winston Churchill

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It is the fact that the identity of the giver is invariably bound up with the object given that causes the gift to have a power which compels the recipient to reciprocate. Because gifts are inalienable they must be returned; the act of giving creates a gift-debt that has to be repaid. Gift exchange therefore leads to a mutual interdependence between giver and receiver.
~ Max Mauss

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What power resides in the object given that causes its recipient to pay it back?
~ Max Mauss

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There are obligations attendent on gift-giving: the obligation to give gifts (by giving, one shows oneself as generous, and thus as deserving of respect), the obligation to receive them (by receiving the gift, one shows respect to the giver, and concommittantly proves one's own generosity), and the obligation to return the gift (thus demonstrating that one's honor is - at least - equivalent to that of the original giver). Gift-giving is thus steeped in morality, and by giving, receiving and returning gifts, a moral bond between the persons exchanging gifts.
~ paraphrased from 'The Gift', Max Mauss

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It is more blessed to give than to receive.
~ Bible, Acts xx. 35

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For of those to whom much is given, much is required.
~ John F. Kennedy
The man who has received a benefit ought always to remember it, but he who has granted it ought to forget the fact at once.
~ Demosthenes

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What a child doesn't receive he can seldom later give.
~ P. D. James

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If my hands are fully occupied in holding on to something, I can neither give nor receive.
~ Dorothee Solle

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We are rich only through what we give, and poor only through what we refuse.
~ Anne Swetchine

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The Return we reap from generous actions is not always evident.
~ Francesco Guicciardini

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Life is a gift, and it offers us the privilege, opportunity, and responsibility to give something back by becoming more.
~ Anthony Robbins

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Should not the giver be thankful that the receiver received? Is not giving a need? Is not receiving, mercy?
~ Friedrich W. Nietzsche

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One would give generous alms if one had the eyes to see the beauty of a cupped receiving hand.
~ Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

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Human life runs its course in the metamorphosis between receiving and giving.
~ Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

***

Giving presents is a talent; to know what a person wants, to know when and how to get it, to give it lovingly and well. Unless a character possesses this talent there is no moment more annihilating to ease than that in which a present is received and given.
~ Pamela Glenconner

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There is a wonderful mythical law of nature that the three things we crave most in life -- happiness, freedom, and peace of mind -- are always attained by giving them to someone else.
~ Peyton Conway March

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I have somewhere met with the epitaph on a charitable man which has pleased me very much. I cannot recollect the words, but here is the sense of it: "What I spent I lost; what I possessed is left to others; what I gave away remains with me."
~ Joseph Addison

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He that bringeth a present findeth the door open.
~ Thomas Fuller

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There would be no advantage to be gained by sowing a field of wheat if the harvest did not return more than was sown.
~ Napoleon Hill

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Do not stand on a high pedestal and take 5 cents in your hand and say, "here, my poor man", but be grateful that the poor man is there, so by making a gift to him you are able to help yourself. It is not the reciever that is blessed, but it is the giver. Be thankful that you are allowed to exercise your power of benevolence and mercy in the world, and thus become pure and perfect.
~ Swami Vivekananda
For it is in giving that we receive.
~ St. Francis of Assisi

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Remember that children, marriages, and flower gardens reflect the kind of care they get.
~ H. Jackson Brown, Jr.

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He who obtains has little. He who scatters has much.
~ Lao-Tzu

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I know what I have given you. I do not know what you have received.
~ Antonio Porchia
I gave you everything you ever wanted, was it what you wanted?
~ U2

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The Dead Sea is the dead sea, because it continually receives and never gives.
~ unknown

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It is better to give than receive- especially advice.
~ Mark Twain
It is more blessed to give than receive; for example, wedding presents.
~ Henry Louis Mencken

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If someone gives you a compliment, receive it – you will give to them gratitude and acknowledgement.

If someone gives you their time and energy, receive it – you will give to them gratitude and acknowledgement.

If someone gives you their support and generosity, receive it – you will give to them gratitude and acknowledgement.

If someone gives you their financial support, receive it – you will give to them gratitude and acknowledgement.

Giving is receiving and receiving is giving.
-Unknown

***

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December 3, 2012

Quotes:


And what desert greater shall there be, than that which lies in the courage and the confidence, nay the charity, of receiving? ~Kahlil Gibran

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It's really important to be able to receive love and receive compassion. It is as important as being able to give it.  ~Pema Chodron

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God has given us two hands, one to receive with and the other to give with.  ~Billy Graham

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Get in the habit of receiving the benefits of the things you do.   ~ Elaine St. James

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Human life runs its course in the metamorphosis between receiving and giving. ~Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

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The difference between a helping hand and an outstretched palm is a twist of the wrist. ~ Laurence Leamer

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A lot of people are afraid to say what they want. That’s why they don’t get what they want.  ~ Madonna

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Truth comes as conqueror only to those who have lost the art of receiving it as a friend. ~ Rabindranath Tagore

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Be thankful for the least gift, so shalt thou be meant to receive greater. ~ Thomas a Kempis

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Should not the giver be thankful that the receiver received? Is not giving a need? Is not receiving, mercy? ~ Friedrich Nietzsche

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The difference between a helping hand and an outstretched palm is a twist of the wrist. ~ Laurence Leamer

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Ask and you will receive, that your joy may be made full.  ~John 16:24

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For every beauty there is an eye somewhere to see it. For every truth there is an ear somewhere to hear it. For every love there is a heart somewhere to receive it. ~ Ivan Panin

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Love and kindness are never wasted. They always make a difference. They bless the one who receives them, and they bless you, the giver. ~ Barbara De Angelis

***

If you wish for light, be ready to receive light. ~ Rumi

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The reality of all life is interdependence. We need to compose our lives in such a way that we both give and receive, learning to do both with grace, seeing both as parts of a single pattern rather than as antithetical alternatives. ~ Mary Catherine Bateson

***

Go to your fields and your gardens, and you shall learn that it is the pleasure of the bee to gather honey of the flower, 
But it is also the pleasure of the flower to yield its honey to the bee. 
For to the bee a flower is a fountain of life, 
And to the flower a bee is a messenger of love, 
And to both, bee and flower, the giving and the receiving of pleasure is a need and an ecstasy.
~ Kahlil Gibran

***

A huge connection exists between your willingness to receive and what you actually get. ~ Amanda Owen

***

Be thankful for the least gift, so shalt thou be meant to receive greater.
~ Thomas a Kempis

***

Each day comes bearing its own gifts. Untie the ribbons.
~ Ruth Ann Schabacker
What if you gave someone a gift, and they neglected to thank you for it - would you be likely to give them another? Life is the same way. In order to attract more of the blessings that life has to offer, you must truly appreciate what you already have.
~ Ralph Marston

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The gratitude of most men is but a secret desire of receiving greater benefits.
~ François de la Rochefoucauld

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We wish to be self-sustained. We do not quite forgive a giver. The hand that feeds us is in some danger of being bitten.
~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

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I hate the giving of the hand unless the whole man accompanies it.
~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

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Asking is the beginning of receiving. Make sure you don't go to the ocean with a teaspoon. At least take a bucket so the kids won't laugh at you.
~ Jim Rohn

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It is better to deserve without receiving, than to receive without deserving.
~ Robert Green Ingersoll

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When you truly give up trying to be whole through others, you end up receiving what you always wanted from others.
~ Shakti Gawain

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Everyone cries out, "More! More!", with the idea of receiving. How great should we call the Giver? His Gifts are beyond estimation. O Nanak, there is no deficiency; Your Storehouses are filled to overflowing, age after age.
~ Sri Guru Granth Sahib

***

There is a secret about human love that is commonly overlooked: Receiving it is much more scary and threatening than giving it. How many times in your life have you been unable to let in someone's love or even pushed it away? Much as we proclaim the wish to be truly loved, we are often afraid of that, and so find it difficult to open to love or let it all the way in.
~ John Welwood

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You can tell the character of every man when you see how he receives praise.
~ Seneca

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Many receive advice, few profit by it.
~ Publilius Syrus

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Every day I remind myself that my inner and outer life are based on the labours of other men, living and dead, and that I must exert myself in order to give in the same measure as I have received and am still receiving.
~ Albert Einstein

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It is every man's obligation to put back into the world at least the equivalent of what he takes out of it.
~ Albert Einstein

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The value of a man resides in what he gives and not in what he is capable of receiving.
~ Albert Einstein

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Generosity is giving more than you can, and pride is taking less than you need.
~ Kahlil Gibran

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The spirit in which a thing is given determines that in which the debt is acknowledged; it's the intention, not the face-value of the gift, that's weighed.
~ Lucius Annaeus Seneca, the Younger

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