Happy Thanksgiving 2020
My Special HomeGoods Story
I want to share a sweet story with you that is so appropriate for this Thanksgiving holiday. A few weeks ago, my husband Sharbel and I stopped by HomeGoods, one of our favorite places to shop. We had been there recently and bought two Santa Claus figurines and two ceramic angels with sparkling silver hair. Those two angels, added to the two we already purchased, became part of our collection of four Vivartis angels that are handmade in Poland. We were looking for some pictures for our office, but didn’t find any.
Wandering down the aisles where the Christmas items were, we saw that shelves previously stocked well were now sparse. However, we were happy to find two other Vivartis angels there we had not yet purchased. The bigger one with silver sparkling wings was holding a blue flower and the smaller one was holding a cat in her arms.
Although I haven’t had cats in a while, I still love and admire them. My two cats, Samantha, a black smoke tabby otherwise known as Mantha Panther, and Elizabeth, a jet black cat with bright yellow eyes, otherwise known as Dizzy Beth, will always hold a very special place in my heart.
My yellow-eyed cat Elizabeth, otherwise known as Dizzy Beth, is seen here sniffing the flowers of a holiday bouquet. Photo by Donna El Haber. All rights reserved.
We decided to walk around some more and come back to look at the angels again as we were heading out. I told my husband they might be gone by then, but he said that if it’s meant to be, and we want them, they will still be there. If not, then it wasn’t meant to be anyway.
So we walked around the store and did not find anything else we wanted to buy. We landed back in front of the two angels. I was hesitant because I wasn’t sure where we would put them. My husband said, “Don’t worry about that honey. We can always find a place for them. Just see if you like them.” I did like both of them very much. So we put them in our shopping cart and proceeded to the waiting line for checkout.
Standing behind a woman who was admiring the bags of Italian chocolates hanging on the point-of- purchase stand, we were soon called to cashier number one. She was a lovely woman with long curly hair and glasses. We found out that she was originally from Mexico.
As soon as we put the angels on the counter, her eyes lit up and she began sharing with us how much she liked them and how beautiful she thought the angels were. She noticed the angel with the cat and became even more animated about her admiration for the angels. “Do you have a cat?” I asked. “Just one,” she replied, still gazing at the angel and turning it around in her hands.
She told us she had many angels in her house. I shared how much I love angels and how I am an ordained interfaith angel minister. Gazing at the angels on the counter, she seemed almost lost in reverie, handling them very gingerly. She shared how she was so busy that she didn’t have time to get out on the floor of the store and have a look around, lamenting how she hadn’t yet seen these angels.
Then she began packing the angels with layers of paper and lots of scotch tape. It almost seemed that she continued to put more and more tape on them not only to protect them in layers of paper, but to delay their exit from her hands. When she placed them in a shopping bag, she did so with great care and encouraged us to be very careful with our precious cargo.
At one point, I shared with her that she was the real angel because of her sweetness and love of angels. I could see only her eyes smile as her mouth was hidden by her mask. As my husband and I walked the short distance to our car, I was thinking about how much these angel figurines affected her.
Divine destiny had led us to buy these two beautiful angels despite our hesitancy. And that same Spirit directed us to cashier number one where a very open-hearted employee shared her delight about our purchase. As my husband opened the back of our SUV, we looked at each other in a knowing way.
I asked him, “Are you thinking what I’m thinking?” He said, “These are both your angels and it is totally up to you, but I think we should give the cashier the angel holding the cat.” I totally agreed with him. So I told him to go back to the store and give it to her while I waited patiently in the car. I regret not accompanying him because I would have loved to have seen the sweet expression in her eyes when he handed her the angel that she had taken so much time to carefully wrap.
This picture of a Vivartis Angel Holding a Cat appears on this site. Vivartis angels are handmade in Poland. I have bought several of them at HomeGoods stores.
He told me she was busy helping another customer with her purchases as he politely asked to speak with her. “This is a gift to you from me and my wife because you love this angel so much,” he said. Her eyes opened wide and she exclaimed, “Oh my God! Oh my God! Thank you so much!”
We felt so good about sharing this gift with her. I am sure it is not easy for those in retail, standing on their feet for many hours, wearing masks that sap both oxygen and energy. I think the angels just used us as a channel for good to brighten her day and add some joy to her life with an unexpected surprise.
This small act of giving also added an aura of sweetness to our evening. Always when we are living in a more open-hearted way and sharing with others, whether in big or small ways, and staying open to the flow of giving and receiving, we are also gifting ourselves with positive energy and the possibility for future expansion and joy.
My husband found a great spot for the beautiful bigger angel we bought with her sparkling silver wings and blue flower. She sits on our gray and white quartz kitchen counter next to a sweet placard of an English springer spaniel. I once thought of naming my business Animals and Angels or vice-versa because both captivate my heart in such special ways and I work with both so often.
I waited in the parking lot in our car while my husband went into the store to give the figurine of an angel holding a cat to the cashier. Photo from www.yellowpages.com.
Our new Vivartis angel stands happily on our kitchen counter. Photo by Donna El Haber, 2020. All rights reserved.
Doing this small random act of kindness reminded me of a weekend spiritual retreat I attended in New Jersey a number of years ago. You can read about the retreat here on a blog post that is still on my former blog post site.
At the retreat, I received a gift from someone I had partnered with for the weekend and also gave him a gift in return. As we were admiring our gifts, we soon learned that everyone at the retreat had to find someone they didn’t know and give their gift away with love. The time limit to do it was within one week. It was a big lesson in non-attachment and service. I wound up giving my gift to the first person I saw upon leaving the hotel, a young woman who needed the “light” and hope the candle I gifted her with provided. She was actually staying at the hotel to reflect on the possibility of asking her husband for a divorce.
In that post, I also shared about how Linda Tellington-Jones, creator of The Tellington TTouch Method®, asked students in a Tellington TTouch® training that I organized to buy and exchange gifts with fellow students. I played music as the students walked around clockwise and counterclockwise in two circles. When I stopped the music, students in the two circles faced one another and exchanged their gifts.
Linda Tellington-Jones, pictured at the far right, smiles as she participates in the student gift exchange during a Tellington TTouch® training in New Jersey. Photo by Donna El Haber, 2009. All rights reserved.
It is always so sweet to both give and receive gifts. Perhaps that is why so many people love Christmas. It is a holiday of amazing surprises with Christ’s birth among the most miraculous of all surprises and one of the most spectacular gifts to the world.
Thanksgiving During a Challenging Time
Thanksgiving has its own charms of gratitude and abundance. There have been so many difficult challenges in 2020 with SARS Co-V2 COVID-19 infections escalating worldwide, lockdowns, physical distancing and face masks replacing smiles and laughter. There were long lines of hungry people in cars waiting for food and others feeling sick, waiting for physical testing.
This is a picture from www.reddit.com of people waiting in their cars for food.
Businesses suffered — especially small business owners. There were serious immigration issues and shocks of racial inequities, injustices and tensions that shook our country to the core of its humanity. Some deep and dark divisions in our political landscape and ongoing election twists and turns permeated the news and our lives.
During this very stressful year, so much was taken away from so many. For some it was a difficult year of lack and hunger, isolation and loneliness. For most, it was a time of restricted travel and letting go of the familiar.
Despite all these hardships and challenges, there were also so many blessings and so much light that shone from the hearts of those who kept their vibrant faith and who remained in service to others. Light will always rise up from the cracks of darkness.
I love Andra Day’s beautiful and inspirational song “Rise Up.” You can listen to it by clicking on the picture below or by clicking here.
It is not easy to “rise up” when life’s circumstances and challenges seem to be submerging the corks of our spirit under water. I celebrate all of you who have managed to continue to shine your lights brightly during these precarious times. And for those who might need help in regaining your balance and faith, please reach out to friends and family or to professionals who can help you renew and recharge.
Angel Counseling and Healing Session for You
If you think you might benefit from an angel counseling and healing session, you can book a free half-hour get-acquainted session with me to see if I can help. You can check out the various single sessions I offer here. Click here to book your free chat with me. And here is where you can find a description of my angel counseling and healing session.
I ask for Ooniemme, the Angel of Gratitude, to bless you and to open your hearts to the many blessings in your lives despite whatever is going on. I wrote a blog post called “Beautiful Blessings in the Challenges” that you can check out here.
Message from the Angel of Gratitude
In her message from “Angel Blessings” Oracle Card Deck, Rev. Dr. Kimberly Marooney, channeling the wisdom of this angel, writes:
“Set aside time each day to thank God, the source of every good and perfect thing. In the morning, thank God for your life and dedicate the day to expressing divine will in all your actions. At night before sleeping, review your day. Thank Spirit for your blessings, the happy moments, the successes, the loving people, and the beauty you have experienced. Review the situations that have made you uncomfortable, angry, fearful or worried. Give thanks they have come to your attention and discover what they are trying to tell you. Ask Ooniemme to open your eyes and reveal creative and positive solutions; then let it go and have faith that your call will be answered.”
May Ooniemme bless you and your family on Thanksgiving and always. From “Angel Blessings” Deck of Oracle Cards by Rev. Dr. Kimberly Marooney.
If you click here, you can access a talk on gratitude that my husband and I did back in December 2014, six months after we were married. On that page you will also find an Angel of Gratitude meditation that I did and another gratitude meditation by my husband.
Celebrate Thanksgiving with an Open Heart
May you have a magnificent Thanksgiving weekend celebration filled with so much love, joy and very delicious food. Let this holiday of gratitude usher in a time of great abundance and grace for you and your family. As you move forward in your life to 2021, knowing you are always so loved, guided and protected, stay open to love and miracles.
Look for ways you can share your love and light with others. Perhaps there is a small gift you can buy for someone you have never met. You might even unexpectedly light up that person’s world with your generous heart. If you do, then be prepared to open your own heart and arms to the abundance that will be boomeranging back into your life.
The angels take extra delight when we become Earth angels and help them in their mission to bring more joy and light into the world and help raise the vibration of others.
With love, healing and miracles and so much gratitude for the miracles you all are,
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Donna and Sharbel, you absolutely helped me transform my life by helping me enter a process of radical forgiveness. I am so grateful for this beautiful post and grateful for you!