May 05, 2020 Posted by Chuck Tobar, Board Member - Indiana Parkinson Foundation BlogGiving TuesdayGratefulness

#GIVINGTUESDAYNOW

Gratitude is always a good play

Gratitude is making a curtain-call these days as we begin to weaken the death grip that the corono-virus has on our world. The use of the term “world” is intentional as we are raising up out of the collective fog that has enveloped our world over the last 30 days. Yes, 30 days. That’s it. Not much more than that.

What has made time fly as we’ve fought off the insidious grasp of this disease? To me, it has been the life-saving efforts of our healthcare workers and the supporting cast of quiet heroes like the truck drivers, our educators and our small businesses. It is probably safe to say that without these quiet saviors, we would be in no position in most of our states to be talking about flattening the curve.

We have not been sitting back waiting for someone else to disinfect every single chair in every single restaurant in every single city in every single state. And for that we offer our gratitude and thank those on the front lines who are clearly risking their health and the health of their loved ones – all to help a stranger navigate the turbulent waters of a virus breakout.
Please look for an opportunity today to virtually hug a stranger while maintaining the appropriate socially distancing guidelines. Gratitude never goes away.

Thank You Jesus - Indiana Parkinson Foundation
May 03, 2020 Posted by Kate Lineback, Former IPF Board Member and Founding Family BlogGratefulness

Thank You Jesus

Gratitude. It comes easily when things are going well. Thank you, Lord, for the promotion…the vacation…the obedient kids…good health…when everything on the list is neatly checked off. But, what about when life isn’t so neatly wrapped up with a bow on top? When there is no promotion, but a loss of a job? When there is no money for a vacation, or even to pay the bills? When the kids are having a rough day and so is their mom? When the doctor gives the diagnosis? When we feel like we’re drowning in expectations and responsibilities? Or, what every person has experienced lately—when a pandemic is no longer “on the other side of the world”, but is knocking on our front doors? How can we find peace, let alone gratitude, in such circumstances?

I believe that there is one and only one answer to that question, and his name is Jesus. He loved you and I enough to give us a free gift that supersedes everything else in our lives—the good and the bad. Everything in life pales in comparison with the hope of eternal life we have in Him, if we choose to receive this incredible gift.

You see, even on our best day—the day that is going great AND the day that we do everything “right”—we are still deserving of a terrible fate. Romans 3:23 says: “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” And, Romans 6:23 follows that thought by telling us that “the wages of sin is death”. I know you must be thinking, “this doesn’t sound like reason for gratitude at all!” But, there’s more. That’s not the end of the story. Jesus left the glories of Heaven to live among us, gave His life on a cruel cross to carry the heavy burden of our sin, and He paid the price for our sin! He rose again, and gives us freedom from sin, from death! In light of this, we can have nothing but gratitude! This gospel message is my reason for gratitude, and it can be yours too.

Milton Vincent, in his book The Gospel Primer, speaks this truth in an incredible way:

“The more absorbed I am in the gospel, the more grateful I become in the midst of my circumstances, whatever they may be.

Viewing life’s blessings as water in a drinking cup, I know that I could discontentedly focus on the half of the cup that seems empty, or I could gratefully focus on the half that is full. Certainly, the latter approach is the better of the two, yet the gospel cultivates within me a richer gratitude than this.

The gospel reminds me first that what I actually deserve from God is a full cup churning with the torments of His wrath. This is the cup that would be mine to drink if I were given what I deserve each day. With this understanding in mind, I see that to be handed a completely empty cup from God would be cause enough for infinite gratitude. If there were merely the tiniest drop of blessing contained in that otherwise empty cup, I should be blown away by the unbelievable kindness of God toward me. That God, in fact, has given me a cup that is full of ‘every spiritual blessing in Christ’ and this without the slightest admixture of wrath, leaves me truly dumbfounded with inexpressible joy. As for my specific earthly circumstances of plenty or want, I can see them always as infinite improvements on the hell I deserve…

…I am first grateful for the wrath I am not receiving in that moment…Second, I am grateful for the blessings that are given to me instead of His wrath. (Life’s blessings, however small, always appear exceedingly precious when viewed against the backdrop of the wrath I deserve.)”

I truly do not think I could have true gratitude without Jesus and the gospel message that has saved my soul. “Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift.” (2 Corinthians 9:15) Now, that is amazing GRACE!

May 02, 2020 Posted by Lyndsay Waterman, Former Board member and Founder of Indiana Parkinson Foundation BlogGratefulness

The Blessing Jar

An attitude of gratitude was a quality that was instilled in me as a child. I’m grateful that my parents chose the “glass half full” approach and, as much as possible, would maintain a positive attitude through all of life’s ups and downs. While it didn’t always come easy, and I’m sure there were many times of grumbling and complaining, the overall theme was that we should be grateful for everything we had been given.

It’s one thing growing up in a home environment like this, but at some point, you find yourself on the other side…meaning that YOU, as a parent, are now the one responsible for teaching this quality to your children. Because of my faith, I felt a deep responsibility to instill this characteristic in my children-the ability to give thanks in EVERY circumstance, the good and the bad. I knew this was not going to be an easy thing to do-especially in a world where entitlement is rampant. Breaking that mindset would be a challenge, and something we would always be fighting against!

Thessalonians 5:16-18 says “Always be joyful, never stop praying, be THANKFUL in ALL circumstances.” While I try to set this example simply by modeling the behavior in my home, several years ago I realized that we needed something more to drive this message deeper into the hearts of my children. I was noticing more and more complaining and overall attitudes of ungratefulness. Have you ever experienced this in your own home among your children or noticed yourself fall into these patterns? As I reflected on the verse in Thessalonians, I wanted a tangible way of recognizing our day to day blessings, the big and the small. “The Blessing Jar” made an appearance in our home about 5 years ago and has since become a permanent part of our kitchen countertop décor.

The jar, in and of itself is nothing special, but the contents are like gold. The turquoise jar has a tag hanging from it that reads “counting our blessings”. Inside, you will find little tags with our handwriting on them. They include answered prayers, stories of God’s faithfulness, acts of kindness, and most importantly, things in which we are thankful. During the year, these tags are collected in the jar. Some days, several get added. Other times, days go by without a single tag added. Yes, it is not a perfect system. Yes, we fail at times to see the blessings in front of us. Yes, things get busy and hard and we don’t always take the time to write something down. Regardless, on New Years’ Day, when we dump out the tags in the jar and take the time to read through each one, we realize how blessed we are and we give thanks to God.

Reminiscing on the many ways in which God showed up for us in the previous year is overwhelming…always bringing up a response of thankfulness among my family members. When you choose to focus on the positives, even in the midst of hardships, your whole attitude and perspective change. Sometimes, we have even forgotten about some of the moments we wrote about and reading them on New Years’ Day serves as a reminder of all the big and small blessings we received throughout the year.

Do we still have grumbling kids (and parents at times!)? Absolutely. Do our attitudes always reflect Jesus and our gratefulness for all He has blessed us with? No. We are all still learning to have an attitude of gratitude and to truly look for the positives in all circumstances. Our kitchen also has a sign that reads “Gratitude turns what we have into enough”. This promise, along with the blessing jar, are a constant reminder that being thankful isn’t just a “good thing to do”, but rather an essential part of our daily routine that can truly enrich our life! Create a blessing jar at your home and be blown away by what happens when you and your family start filling it with blessings. Not only will your jar quickly overflow, but your hearts will also overflow with thankfulness!

May 01, 2020 Posted by Avie Lineback, Granddaughter of IPF Founder BlogGratefulness

Gratefulness is Thankfulness

Gratitude for me is being thankful for the little things. Reading a verse that shows me the vastness of God, the feel of sand between my toes at the beach, hearing a beautiful song, seeing the awe-inspiring sky. It’s easy to be thankful for the obvious things like a house and groceries, but gratitude is also seeing all the thought God has put into every aspect of my life. Gratitude is also being thankful for the things I usually take for granted, like a heartbeat or breath in my lungs. Gratitude for me is an attitude…living each moment with a heart of JOY for all the blessings God has put in my life.

May 01, 2020 Posted by Amy Shankland, Grant Writer for Indiana Parkinson Foundation BlogGratefulness

Grateful Amid Global Crisis

I’m grateful for so much during this global crisis – it’s hard to stay within my word limit! Instead, I’ll list the top six blessings I’ve witnessed.

  • The caring, hard-working staff members at my mother’s assisted living facility who are bravely watching out for their residents to keep them safe and healthy.
  • All of the essential workers risking much to keep the world going.
  • The giving spirit of millions of people – young, old, and in between – from all over this earth.
  • The hundreds of foundations working to help non-profits in new and different ways.
  • Funny videos, memes, pictures, quotes, etc. that lift our spirits each and every day! Hard times are better with a good dose of humor.
  • Witnessing that Easter and other religious events are still happening and touching the hearts of so many.

We CAN and WILL get through this. In the immortal words of Dory, “Just keep swimming!”

The Climb Logo - Indiana Parkinson
April 28, 2020 Posted by Bob Bachman, CLIMB trainer at Parkview Health and Fitness in Ft. Wayne, IN BlogGratefulnessParkinson's DiseaseThe CLIMB

Parkinsons Patient’s: Always Grateful

During this time of uncertainty, when many of us are feeling disoriented, overwhelmed and scared, I hope everyone in our Parkinson’s family throughout the state is keeping safe and secure.

As one of the instructors of The Climb program at Parkview Health & Fitness Center in Fort Wayne, IN, I have come to realize that Parkinson’s patients are a grateful family. Even when faced with illness, your gratitude shines through day after day.

As an instructor, this gratitude is rewarding and appreciated, but please realize it is beneficial for your own wellness as well. Research shows there is a strong correlation between gratitude and well-being. Researchers have found that individuals who express gratitude have a greater level of positive emotions, such as happiness, optimism and joy. At the same time, they have a lower level of anger, distress and depression.

So, keep showing the gratitude! Even in times of turmoil it is important for all of us to find ways to be grateful and express those feelings. Stay strong, we will get through this together.

Bob Bachman, Exercise Specialist
Parkview Health & Fitness Center
Fort Wayne, Indiana

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April 27, 2020 Posted by Addie Cunningham, Program Director Indiana Parkinson Foundation BlogGratefulnessParkinson's Disease

Start Each Day with a Grateful Heart

They say it takes 21 days to create a habit. What if for the next 21 days, you created a new practice in your life, one that is life-changing and life-giving…the gift of a life full of gratitude. I don’t know about you, but when I focus on things that I am grateful for, it changes my perspective and allows me to view things through a different set of lens. About 2 years ago, I bought a brand new pair of sunglasses. Now I never spend too much money on a pair of sunglasses cause they will most likely get broken or lost at some point. On my way home from purchasing my new sunglasses, I realized how much clearer I could see. I noticed more details in the things around me, the grass seemed greener and the sky bluer, but over time those glasses got dropped, scratched up and it is harder to see things as clear as I used to.

Isn’t this true about our lives sometimes? There are times when things are going well and we can clearly see the path God has for us and then over time, doubt and fears creep in and we wonder where we are going and if God is really in control. Our perspective gets cloudy and without changing our lens and fixing our eyes on Him then we continue down a path of uncertainty.

Let me show you how this practice of gratitude looks in my life. Gratitude is a practice that I start my day off with, it’s a choice that I move towards each day. I center my mind on God’s truth found in His Scriptures and jot down 5 things that I am prompted that day that I am grateful for. Some days, the things come easy for me to write down, other days they are tough things like the loss of a loved one or for Parkinson’s Disease. These don’t sound like things to be thankful for, but when I see what God has done in my life through these hard things, I am grateful.

My dad was diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease in 2008 and I would say it’s the last thing I am thankful for, however, the Lord through his diagnosis has allowed lots of people to connect through the CLIMB and the CLIMB provides hope and for that I am grateful.

One of my favorite verses which is posted on a sign in my house as a reminder is 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 “Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in ALL circumstances for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”

So will you make the choice towards gratitude and start each day with a grateful heart with me???

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April 25, 2020 Posted by Kim Williams and Addie Cunningham, BlogGratefulnessParkinson's DiseaseThe CLIMB

#StoriesofGratitude Campaign

Today, Saturday, April 25th, 2020 the Indiana Parkinson Foundation is proud to participate in #ParkinsonsAwarenessMonth through our #StoriesofGratitude campaign.

As many of you know, our biggest event of the year, Choose to Move Race to beat Parkinson’s was scheduled for today and has been postponed to Saturday, September 12th. This annual event continues to grow and brings awareness for Parkinson’s to our community.

Since we are unable to “come together” for our race, we are launching a #StoriesofGratitude so we can “come together” in a different way. In the next several days, you will be connected with the faces of the Indiana Parkinson Foundation, showing their gratitude and joy through pictures, videos and blogs.

During these difficult times, we are choosing to find JOY in everything and see how focusing on the good will create more happiness. The Indiana Parkinson Foundation provides The CLIMB exercise program throughout the state, multiple support groups and free educational events. At this time we are doing our best to stay connected and continue our services through online calls, classes and support groups. We find JOY in staying connected to our community. Please consider supporting our efforts to continue connecting those with Parkinson’s with needed resources.

Will you donate to our cause, making a difference in the lives of those living with Parkinson’s disease?

On May 5th, 2020 #GivingTuesdayNow, a global day of giving and unity is set as an emergency response to the unprecedented need brought about by COVID-19. The Indiana Parkinson Foundation is excited to conclude the #StoriesofGratitude campaign on this global day of giving.

We invite you to participate in giving back and creating change in the lives of those living with Parkinson’s Disease through our mission of providing needed resources for the Parkinson’s community.

Nearly one million people will be living with Parkinson’s in the US in 2020, with approximately 60,000 diagnosed each year. The Indiana Parkinson Foundation is committed to improving the lives of those with Parkinson’s through research based exercise and support systems.

Will you partner with us as we continue our mission?

JOIN US AS WE FOCUS ON JOY AND IN EVERYTHING GIVE THANKS!