Is there a life richer than the one you're living?
If You Gave God a Gift, you'd experience a more balanced life. By striving to not just take but also give, you'd be pleasing your Creator and bringing out the best in yourself.
This anthology/memoir boasts over 370 words of wisdom and complementing photography from Rosanne's travels. The insights come from a rich spectrum of writers, figures (traditional and contemporary), and spiritual references.
For years, Rosanne transcribed uplifting thoughts into her journals and desired to share what she'd collected. The title came to her in a dream, and the format evolved, taking on a spiritual direction of its own.
The collection is organized by "gifts," for not only the Higher Power but for all of humanity. It provides a framework to assist in living a well-intentioned life. Rosanne's wholehearted reflections of her faith journey jump-start each section.
In a world spinning out of control, let this be your guide for calibrating your internal moral compass. Through easy reading in tandem with thought-provoking images, you can finally slow down and achieve equilibrium.
|Product dimensions:||8.50(w) x 11.00(h) x 0.29(d)|
Read an Excerpt
IF YOU GAVE GOD A GIFT ...A Collection of Inspirational Quotes and Images
By Rosanne Pallini-Verlezza
Balboa PressCopyright © 2012 Rosanne Pallini-Verlezza
All right reserved.
To be thankful widens the expression of your heart, and increases your ability to nourish the good in and around you. Joy Drake and Kathy Tyler
Gratitude As I See It
It was a small island, where the Atlantic and Caribbean met. The lavish hotel hid the poverty that draped the streets outside the resort area. I was curiously drawn to the locals, and the sense of serenity they seemed to radiate.
Driving past the peaceful seaside cemetery I was intrigued by the aged crumbling stones that dotted the graves. Vendors gathered outside small huts selling conch shell embellishments. As I wondered how they tolerated the flies and humidity, I glanced to the right. In the water was a small fishing boat that called out to me. The words: "Thanks God" flanked both sides of the vessel. Wow! The scene was idyllic; the vast sea was the perfect backdrop. Like an epiphany, those words stood out in bold bright letters.
Vacationing in the Caribbean often, we made sure we rented a car so we could get a more realistic feel for how the islanders lived. However, this trip enlightened me like no other. It must have been the words on the small drifting boat. In the midst of what seemed like hardship, instead, was a sense of gratitude: thankfulness for small blessings. In turn, I thanked God for providing the boat for that person. I thanked God that I noticed it floating in the sea. I thanked God for all the blessings I took for granted.
Many in this community seemed to be just getting by, yet they still held some secret for happiness. Perhaps their issues helped them recognize the preciousness of each day. From what I could discern they hadn't fallen prey to "why me?" Their positive energy was attractive and contagious.
As we drove a few blocks further, I noticed several women on the street corner ... not selling their bodies but spreading The Good Word. Bibles in hand, they infused passersby with Bible verses. How they adored their Creator and openly lived their faith!
Coming from such a disparate place, I was impressed at how grateful the people were here. Was all our superficial materialism masking our blessings? When we have so much is it harder to notice God's graces when they come? Were we missing the clarity of God's presence in our lives?
That weekend I was enticed to attend one of their religious services. I sat in the back, embarrassed by my tee-shirt, shorts and sneakers while the locals donned their Sunday best. I admired the diversity of their faces. Some weathered with time. Some budding with youth. Most smiling with the hope of a risen Christ! The sight was riveting as they prayed with dignity and fervor. It left a beautiful imprint on my heart. I felt God's presence and imagined how proud He must be of these people!
Their deep-rooted passion was obvious as their voices echoed in praise. Was I listening? Their prayers weren't "I need ..." but "Thank you for ..." It was inexplicable; there was a serenity that only complete trust in God could provide. Spiritually, they seemed to be at a much higher level. Prayer was priority in their lives; church reinforced their faith as they were immersed in the present moment.
I realized that the skies didn't have to open up for divine revelation; all I had to do was observe the richness of grace in the hearts of God's people. The experience grounded me and I would remember that small boat and the true meaning of gratitude long after I left the island.
Though we travel the world over for the beautiful, we must carry it with us or we find it not. Ralph Waldo Emerson
... God has made everything beautiful for its own time. He has planted eternity in the human heart, ... Ecclesiastes 3:11 (NLT)
.... To tell you all the good and beauty I've found in my life, I'd have to go on, and on, and on, and on forever. Have you looked for the good and beauty in your life? Have you? Have you really? Have you ever? Irma Rilling
Like a child standing in a beautiful park with eyes shut tight,... we merely need to open our eyes and realize what is already here, who we already are ... Bo Lozoff
If I were to begin life again, I should want it as it was. I would only open my eyes a little more. Jules Renard
If a little flower could speak, it would tell simply what God has done for it without trying to hide His blessings. St. Therese of Lisieux
I said to the almond tree, 'Sister, speak to me about God'. And the almond tree blossomed. Nikos Kazantzakis
There are two graces in breathing: drawing in air and discharging it. The former constrains, the latter refreshes: so marvelously is life mixed. Thank God then when He presses you ... again when He lets you go. Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe
When life is sweet, say thank you and celebrate. And when life is bitter, say thank you and grow. Shauna Nieguist
The most important prayer in the world ... "Thank You." Meister Eckhart
A single grateful thought raised to heaven is the most perfect prayer. Gotthold Ephraim Lessing
....Lord of Life, I humbly thank thee for all the beauty around and in me Flower, snow, wind and tree Your blessings are everywhere endless and free. Arlene Gay Levine
Do not wish to be anything but what you are and try to be that perfectly. St. Francis de Sales
Very little is needed to make a happy life; it is all within yourself, in your way of thinking. Marcus Aurelius
Do not neglect the gift which is in you. 1 Timothy 4:14 (AMP)
I am determined to be cheerful and happy in whatever situation I may find myself. For I have learned that the greater part of our misery or unhappiness is determined not by our circumstance but by our disposition. Martha Washington
He is a wise man who does not grieve for the things which he has not, but rejoices for those which he has. Epictetus
Gratitude is the memory of the heart. Jean Massieu
Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you.... 1 Thessalonians 5:18 (NLT)
God gives us what we need, not what we think we want. Joyce Meyer
Talent is God given; be humble. Fame is man-given; be thankful. Conceit is self-given; be careful. John Wooden
Who is truly a humble person? ... someone who is aware that he has nothing that he hasn't been given. St. Therese of Lisieux
The highest heavens belong to the Lord, but the earth He has given to mankind. Psalm 115:16 (NIV)
We need to be delivered from our guilt complex, from thinking we have to deserve God's gifts to us. We think we have to earn everything, but God wants us to know we only have to receive and enjoy them in thanksgiving and gratitude. Joyce Meyer
Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for Him. Romans 12:1, The Message
It was a genuine relief to express an enjoyment of life and pleasure at achievement, knowing that it was all possible because of what the Lord was doing in my life.... He had made it all possible.... He is the Giver of our gifts, the Author of our profound thoughts and expressions, the Source of the serendipities of life. Thanksgiving grows out of realization that all our capacities are entrusted to us and all that has happened has been arranged by Christ's infinite goodness. Dr. John Lloyd Ogilvie
The invariable mark of wisdom is to see the miraculous in the common. Ralph Waldo Emerson
God is always coming to you in the Sacrament of the Present Moment. Meet and receive Him there with gratitude. Evelyn Underhill
At times our own light goes out and is rekindled by a spark from another person. Each of us has cause to think with deep gratitude of those who have lighted the flame within us. Albert Schweitzer Cancun, Mexico
When I think of those who have influenced my life the most, I think not of the great, but of the good. John Knox
Appreciation is a wonderful thing. It makes what is excellent in others belong to us as well. Voltaire
Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more.... It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend.... Melody Beattie
... I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through Him who gives me strength. Philippians 4:11-13 (NIV)
A moment's insight is sometimes worth a life's experience. Oliver Wendell Holmes
To recognize and appreciate gifts within and around you, not only pleases the Giver but invites more of these graces into your life. Rosanne Pallini-Verlezza
An unopened gift is worthless. Rick Warren
... By denying someone's gift ... you deny your chance to be spiritually generous in the form of gratitude. Ladies Home Journal
As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them. John F. Kennedy
Life is a promise; fulfill it.
Unknown (on the wall of Mother Teresa's home in Calcutta)
Life As I See It
As the cancer progressed I watched my father's health fail fast. The disease crept in, like the fog, only to engulf him within a matter of months. I felt an urgency to save him; yet his overall calmness paved the way to accepting that death was inevitable. So I sat by the hospital bed clenching his hand until the waves of his final breath washed over him. I'll never forget that outward sign of closure when his chest quivered and his breathing ceased; the passing into some invisible new life. I was jolted when I noticed that the ARTIFICIAL rose buds we had placed by his bed had miraculously BLOOMED. Was this some symbol of rebirth?
Not long after his passing my mother called me on the phone because she came home to an overwhelming scent of roses. Within minutes I was overtaken by the same unmistakable, gripping fragrance. It was unexplainable to the both of us and we were miles apart at the time. Mysterious things continued happening ...
As most family members do, after a harrowing ordeal, we spent time overcome by grief and self-defeating regrets. It seemed like the blinds were pulled over the daylight of our lives. A shadow was cast on life as we knew it. With no relief in sight, we decided to visit a well-known psychic medium to help us move along the grieving process. One of the many things the medium told my mom was that her husband was handing her ROSES! This validated his love and confirmed the mysterious fragrance.
The psychic continued ... to me, dad was opening his arms and releasing butterflies as a gift. Although I loved the image, skeptically I figured it was a nice comforting thought that could have been said to anyone. Then I remembered the BUTTERFLY sympathy card I had framed with his picture. Coincidence? Make no mistake; it was more than that. Soon the butterflies began to enter my life, in situations too impacting to be ignored. One butterfly centered itself perfectly over my front door for an entire day as if it had been embossed there.
When I first traveled after my dad's death, my husband and I were surprised by the largest butterfly we'd ever seen, propped above the handle of our hotel door. After some research, I found out that it was known as the Black Witch Moth. My favorite myth about it was the Hawaiian belief that it embodies a dead person's soul, coming back to say goodbye.
Some time later we journeyed to my father's home town in Italy. When I dined alone, a butterfly landed on my café table. It was so persistent that the waiter rushed over to shoo it away with his napkin. On another vacation with my mom and sister we entered our hotel room only to witness a butterfly walking across our bed pillow. Yet again, when I brought my fifth grade class on a camping trip, I found the cabin stripped clean except for a glittery, rainbow butterfly sticker found on my cot!
The little signs continued back in our hometown. One night my dog was staying at my mom's house and fell ill. I remember tearfully rushing there to help. When a traffic light turned red I brought the car to a grinding halt, tapping the bumper of the car in front of me. The driver, seeing my distress, waved me off saying that no damage was done. Right after, in the beam of my headlight was a butterfly fluttering its wings. For a scant second in the gleaming light it appeared like a tiny fairy. I gasped and knew my father was near.
On two other occasions, during the night, in a twilight dream state, I saw a glowing butterfly image flutter across the ceiling, leaving a residual trail of silvery-white light behind it. According to dream interpretation the butterfly represents a soul that is immortal and free. The encounters continued ... too many to write about and too many to be happenstance. They were fleeting greetings from the afterlife.
Around the anniversary of my dad's death I came across an opportunity: a butterfly release in honor of a loved one. How apropos! Was it incidental? Call it what you wish. To me it was anything but. Not surprisingly, I eagerly signed up. It was my turn to send a butterfly to my father. The event began with a preacher sharing his view that butterflies are a symbol of life. They emerge from a cocoon to a free spirit in flight. In the same way, my father's spirit was now liberated in the afterlife. While for some, butterflies meant nothing, they carried a profound message for me. My dad was sending me "life" with every butterfly I encountered. Reminders that I needed to live that life. The way a butterfly sheds his cocoon I needed to work on shedding ... my anxiety, my fear, my lack of confidence ... shedding everything that held me back from living a freer life!
One does not discover new lands without consenting to lose sight of the shore for a very long time. Andre Gide
Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover. Mark Twain
A ship in harbor is safe, but that is not what ships are built for. William Thayer Shedd
We shall not cease from exploration and the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started ... and know the place for the first time. T.S. Eliot
Live in the sunshine, Swim the sea, Drink the wild air ... Ralph Waldo Emerson
Give yourself permission to explore! Eugenie Juliet Theall
Life shrinks or expands according to one's courage. Anais Nin
Fear not that your life will come to an end, but that it shall never have a beginning. John Henry Newman
Still round the corner there may wait, a new road, or a secret gate. J.R.R. Tolkien
Jesus is the Way-to be walked. Jesus is the Light-to be lit. Jesus is the Life-to be lived. Mother Teresa
Cathedral of San Nicola, Taormina, Sicily Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it. Matthew 7:13-14 (NIV)
... Two roads diverged in a wood, and I- I took the one less traveled by, And that has made all the difference. Robert Frost
Do not go where the path may lead; go instead where there is no path, and leave a trail. Ralph Waldo Emerson
To travel hopefully is a better thing than to arrive. Robert Louis Stevenson
Not all those who wander are lost ... J.R.R. Tolkien
Living is a form of not being sure, not knowing what next or how.... The artist never entirely knows. We guess. We may be wrong, but we take leap after leap in the dark. Agnes De Mille
Some days there won't be a song in your heart. Sing anyway. Emory Austin
Mahopac, New York So don't worry about tomorrow. Tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. Matthew 6:34 (NIrV)
You can not prevent the birds of sorrow from flying over your head, but you can prevent them from building nests in your hair. Chinese Proverb
Most of the shadows in this life are caused by our standing in our own sunshine. Ralph Waldo Emerson
When you stop comparing what is right here and now with what you wish were, you can begin to enjoy what is. Cheri Huber
One of the most tragic things I know about human nature is that all of us tend to put off living. We are all dreaming of some magical rose garden over the horizon- Instead of enjoying the roses that bloom outside our windows today. Dale Carnegie
Let us not look back in anger or forward in fear, but around in awareness. James Thurber
Far better is to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs, even though checkered by failure, than to take up ranks with those poor spirits who neither enjoy much nor suffer much, for they live in that grey twilight that knows neither victory nor defeat. Theodore Roosevelt
For all sad words of tongue and pen, The saddest are these: "It might have been." John Greenleaf Whittier
Excerpted from IF YOU GAVE GOD A GIFT ... by Rosanne Pallini-Verlezza Copyright © 2012 by Rosanne Pallini-Verlezza. Excerpted by permission of Balboa Press. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
A must-read for the mind, heart, and soul June 3, 2013 By Michele M , Westchester County, NY This amazing collection of inspirational quotes, proverbs, and images inspired me on every level. In a world where so many wonder why living a full, satisfying, and peaceful life is so difficult to achieve, the author so effectively conveys the path to a more balanced life. Through both her own personal experiences and the words of philosophers, presidents, Mother Teresa, cherished authors, and Confucius, to name a few, she explores concepts such as gratitude, charity, love, growth, and forgiveness. The photographs were all taken along the author's extensive world travels and the text is so cleverly woven into the images. The most unique experience about If You Gave God a Gift is that is was not a book I read but a book I felt. It touches a level in the human being that most modern-day media only touches upon superficially.