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Reflections: Seven Gifts We All Need…

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“Born for success he seemed, With grace to win, with heart to hold, With shining gifts that took all eyes.” Ralph Waldo Emerson

Reflections: Seven Gifts We All Need… the gift of wisdom in all things

Reflections: Seven Gifts We All Need… some of our first batch of tomatoes

This afternoon, I observed an encounter between two birds that got me thinking about the seven gifts of the spirit and their practical application to daily living. The bird in the photo above, flew over to my tomato plant and started eating a tomato I had intentionally left on the vine for birds in my yard to enjoy. I photographed his delight in finding and feasting on fresh food. After a few shots, I put my camera away and turned my attention elsewhere. A short while later, another bird arrived, eager to enjoy the tomato too.

My little feasting friend looked at the second bird and would have none of it. “We won’t be sharing this today… go away!” He seemed to say. The second bird stood his ground and, as I watched the scene unfold, the first bird turned away from the tomato, probably had his fill, and went into attack mode. Soon they were fighting and chasing each other around the garden, screaming and shouting… the rest of the tomato long forgotten and uneaten. This is what my mom used to describe as being a dog in a manger  … Greed.  It made me shake my head in disbelief; it was a reminder that we all need to learn how to share wisely. We need the  seven gifts of the spirit; wisdom, understanding, right judgment, courage, knowledge, reverence, and wonder/awe of God and life…

Wisdom: Wisdom to know that sharing with others enriches us too.
Understanding: Understanding that a world where only a few feel entitled to life’s bounty is a world where we all end up losing even our meager share.

We need gifts that help us live peacefully and wisely in this world; the more the better. Above and below are seven adapted from those special seven that I believe we all need; especially during troubled times. What do you think?

More below

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

Reflections: Seven Gifts We All Need… the gift of good judgment… our first tomatoes

We tried, for a few years, to grow tomatoes and other fruits and vegetables in our yard, but to no avail. Last year, we had the idea to grow tomatoes in a pot on our balcony. We nurtured, fertilized and watered our tomato plant and it grew into a magnificent little tree; with no fruit aboard. By the end of the summer season, we were disappointed but promised to try again. This year, I bought tomato plants that were already seeded with flowers and they have done well.

Counsel (Right Judgment): Good judgement to know that the right, well prepared, plant will bear fruit.
Fortitude (Courage): Courage to start over even after an abysmal failure the previous year.

What we didn’t know last year is that the tomato plants needed to be pinched and fertilized at the appropriate time. What we needed was not a magnificent tree but a fruit bearing plant. This year has been successful with still some lessons to learn; pinch early and then find the courage to pinch some more.

“There is no such thing as a problem without a gift for you in its hands. You seek problems because you need their gifts.” Richard Bach

Reflections: Seven Gifts We All Need… the gift of knowledge and healthy eating

For a while now, I’ve been trying to get back on track with healthier eating. I became a vegetarian many years ago; I wasn’t much of a meat eater and enjoyed the way my body felt with eating differently. I don’t eat meat but I love desserts and, as we all know, too much of anything is… well, too much.

Knowledge: Knowledge that we are both what we think and what we eat; eating healthily is imperative.
Piety (Reverence): Reverence for our lives; mind, body and spirit, will help us make better life and food choices. This is not about dieting, simply about healthy eating.
Fear of the Lord (Wonder and Awe): Maintaining a spirit of awe and gratitude is fundamental to all we do… the truly happy know that when we keep our minds fresh and open to new experiences, with a beginners eyes, we will always see wonder around us.

This summer, gratefully, I’ve been making dishes like you see above; avocados, mangoes, plus adding tomatoes from my plants, and I love them… With a lot of effort and those seven gifts on our side, we can meet our daily duties with ease and grace. The seven gifts; wisdom, understanding, right judgment, courage, knowledge, reverence, and wonder/awe of God and our lives … are truly a wonderful foundation for living. What about you? What are your thoughts? Which of the seven gifts do you need most? What would you do differently? Do share! Thank you. 😉

Positive Motivation Tip: The seven gifts of the spirit are available to all of us; especially during troubled times.

PHOTO CREDITS/ATTRIBUTIONS: All Photos from my personal collection.

Until Next Time…
Ask. Believe. Receive. ©
Elizabeth Obih-Frank
Mirth and Motivation
Positive Kismet

39 Comments leave one →
  1. 31/07/2011 12:16 am

    “There is no such thing as a problem without a gift for you in its hands.” – That’s why I avoid the word “problem” and use “challenge” or “handicap” instead.
    Great Post, thank you!

    • 31/07/2011 12:30 am

      Thank you Maria! I love that quote too… Sorry you might have missed the rest of my post in transit… 😉
      Do stop by for the rest. Happy weekend! 🙂

  2. 31/07/2011 12:22 am

    Another Amazing Post!

    • 31/07/2011 12:32 am

      Hi Sharon, Good to see you here! Hope all is well and that you are enjoying the summer.
      Lately, I write and submit partial posts… then fill in the details as needed. 😳
      Hope you come back for the rest. 🙂
      TY and happy weekend to you!

  3. 31/07/2011 12:46 am

    lovely post! the plate of mango, tomato and avocado made my mouth water 🙂

    • 31/07/2011 12:50 am

      Thank you Lorraine and good to see you after such a long while… hope all is well. It was delicious; especially my fresh tomatoes. 😉

  4. 31/07/2011 1:36 am

    Yum, something I never would have thought pairing…tomato, mango, avocado. I’ll have to get the goods tomorrow….ah, those beginner eyes 🙂

    • 31/07/2011 2:04 am

      Oh Angeline, you made me smile. What I didn’t say is that I squeezed lime juice over and, carefully, added some salt to the avocados and tomatoes before adding the mangoes to the dish. Enjoy! 🙂

  5. 31/07/2011 2:11 am

    great post! can I add the gift of friendship to the list 🙂

    • 31/07/2011 2:24 am

      Thank you Stacey, friendship is a great gift always… long time no hear. How are you? 🙂

  6. 31/07/2011 2:37 am

    Inspiring as ever. Life is truly a gift. We should value it, take care of it, preserve it and nourish it. We should balance a healthy body, mind and soul. And we should never forget to enrich our souls. thank you for such a beautiful post. Sometimes, it takes another person for us to realize how precious life is.

    • 31/07/2011 3:53 am

      Thank you for your comment… Those birds were just like some humans… I should have taken a picture of both of them together… Yes, the seven gifts are truly a wonderful foundation for living… 🙂

  7. chi chi permalink
    31/07/2011 3:15 am

    So true we are what we think, and what we eat….
    Your beautiful plate of fruit encouraged me to ditch the 3am cookies for a hand full of cherries,great post thanks Liz…:)

    • 31/07/2011 3:50 am

      Girl… you are back and up? Are we going to see Alexander Wang at The Met, then? Thank you for your comment… always appreciated. 🙂

  8. 31/07/2011 4:27 am

    My gift is my our children. My life is not only for ourselves but also for others.

    • 31/07/2011 6:37 am

      Yes indeed they are… and we live so others can do same. TY! 🙂

  9. 31/07/2011 9:20 am

    Hi! I just wanted to say thank you for “liking” the most recent post on my meditation blog ( – I appreciate it! 🙂

    • 31/07/2011 2:57 pm

      Thank you for stopping by, I enjoyed reading your post about your meditation practice… Blessings! 🙂

  10. 31/07/2011 9:34 am

    Thanks for the reminder about taking only what I need. The pix of your vine ripened tomatoes look yummy!

    • 31/07/2011 2:59 pm

      Thanks James, I hope we get more off our plants as we got a nice little crop that was quote delicious. These were beefsteak tomatoes of varying sizes… Nothing beats fresh! 🙂

  11. 31/07/2011 10:13 am

    I love home grown tomatoes. They can be eaten just so. I’m glad you persevered — look how juicy they are!
    The dog in the manger — haven’t heard that in a while! I think it was my geography or Spanish teacher who first used and explained it. We have a lot of dogs in mangers these days fighting over what they perceive to be scarce benefits. If we’re not careful, their voices will drown out those who want things to be shared. We do need to be reminded to take only what we need.
    Thanks for sharing, Elizabeth.

    • 31/07/2011 3:04 pm

      Thank you Marcia, your sentiments are mine… Lots of shouting dogs in mangers out there lately, eager to keep the loot and watch others lose benefits and starve to death. What’s sickening is that some are willing to watch others starve while they feast like royalty… May God help us all. 🙂

      • 01/08/2011 9:48 pm

        You’re right. Only God can help us. We can help by sending prayers and positive thoughts.

  12. 31/07/2011 10:43 am

    Pelo conteúdo tão rico e maravilhoso , como palavras simples
    norteiam grandes verdades e como podemos aprender com
    tudo isso .

    Abraços com carinho

    • 31/07/2011 3:07 pm

      Obrigado por seu comentário bonita. Tenha um dia abençoado! Não, eu não falo português … Traduz Google me ajudou. 🙂

  13. 31/07/2011 10:46 am

    Nothing says “summer” like a fresh off the vine tomato! Glad that your seeds are bearing fruit. 😀

    • 31/07/2011 3:08 pm

      Yes, they are quite delicious… It was a lovely surprise to get them this tasty. I’m pleased! 🙂

  14. 31/07/2011 2:32 pm

    Nice post, Eliz. That plate of vegetables looks great–a little chili peppers and a fresh tortillia filled with those vegetables . . . mmm. It wouldn’t be summer for us without our homegrown tomatoes.

    • 31/07/2011 3:09 pm

      Who knew how wonderfully it would turn out. I am very pleased. Stop by and have some salad! 🙂

  15. 31/07/2011 10:28 pm

    What a great message. I especially love the Richard Bach quote, I’m huge fan of Richard and of course his favorite rebel bird Jonathan. I’ve been a vegetarian for many years too and I’m in the same boat. Just ‘cuz I don’t eat meat doesn’t mean I eat right.

    • 01/08/2011 12:49 am

      Yes, it is a struggle for vegetarians to maintain a balanced diet; unless vigilant… What can I say, we do the best we can. I do eat seafood and have the occasional chicken meal, so I’m not as strict as I was before my children were born. I love the Bach quote too. TY! 🙂

  16. 01/08/2011 8:26 am

    Healthy eating – a topic of much debate in our house at the moment. Far too much rice and bread, far too much sugar, far too much salt, not enough variety, not enough vegetables (although that is improving!!!). Little by little we will get there.

  17. 01/08/2011 10:23 pm

    I love what Stacy added by the gift of Friendship, and as we have all been blogging buddies the friendship network here is amazing. The support and the learning experience is so wonderful. I was moving and now I am in the new place…nice to be back, gotta get back into posting and out of this “funk.”

  18. 02/08/2011 4:47 pm

    Great post and lots to think about. I shall come to reread it again and again.

  19. 03/08/2011 11:38 am

    Your pictures are so amazing Eliz! I feel as though I can reach out and taste the tomato on the plate. The pictures are a wonderful touch to your post.


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