Packing and preparing for our annual trip to Pennsylvania for Thanksgiving, my soul feels FULL. Full of gratitude, full of love, full of peace.
I am thankful for my family - for five children who are smart, thoughtful, loving, and who still like to pile in my bed to watch a good movie or read books; my husband whose love for me seems only to have multiplied as our family has grown, who supports my decisions no matter how bizarre they may seem, and who is my hands and my feet when mine are failing; for parents who are supportive in so many ways, whose light shines through their good works, and whose sense of humor has served them, and me, well during this past year; for my in-laws who welcome us always with open arms, whom we don't see nearly often enough, and whose love and care conjures life-long memories for our family even during the briefest of visits; and for family and "adopted" family members without whom life would be lacking in ways to innumerable to list. You all abide in my heart every moment of every day.
I'm blessed with a community of friends whose kindness, love, and mutual support nourish my spirit. With a faith community that lifts each other up, learns together, and strives to walk more closely with God. With sacred spaces that restore my soul. With new friends who have entered my life just when I needed them.
That I can wrap myself in the warmth of love from family, friends, and from God whenever the need arises is the manna that sustains me.
Those who challenge my point of view, disagree with me, and tell me like it is whether I like it or not - you are among the biggest blessings of my life. You open my mind to new insight; force me to see things I can't, won't, or don't see; and encourage me to grow.
I am thankful for dis-ease - for psoriatic arthritis, spondylitis, depression, anxiety, celiac disease; and my other yet-to-be-diagnosed health issues; for pain and stiffness; and for exhaustion. Slowing down, appreciating life, learning to accept help, gaining perspective, eating well, finding balance, letting go of worry, and realizing the value in simple things are only some of the lessons dis-ease has taught me ... lessons that cannot be learned nearly as easily through a life of ease.
My soul is FULL - not because life is perfect, but because my eyes are open to the blessings of the full spectrum of life.