I sit here at the keyboard reflecting upon how long I have been away from blogging , looking back at how life has changed since we arrived at Jojoba Hills SKP Resort in Southern California. Although I have missed what has gone on in your lives, this quiet time has given me the space to work on some personal issues, while embracing this new community we find ourselves in, a community where we feel supported and deeply connected with our neighbors. Jojoba Hills, which I will write about in more detail after the holidays, is a rare gem, a place where we felt we were returning home, although our first visit to the resort.
I wanted to take a moment to wish all of you a most blessed holiday, filled with the love of family and friends, quiet time to reflect upon the many gifts you have been given this year, and more joy than you could ever imagine. Wherever you find yourself this holiday and however you celebrate the season, be present with a grateful heart. I am filled with much gratitude for the love and support I have been given this year and am looking forward to reconnecting with all of you in 2015.
We have survived our arduous commitment with Amazon and can now look forward to getting back to a “normal” schedule. In a couple of days we will head to Indiana to spend time with family during the holidays. We hope you all are surrounded by the love of family and friends during this very blessed season, and experience deep joy and inner peace.
I am most grateful to all of you who have followed along this year and supported us during some challenging times. Over the past several weeks of working long days I have missed your blogs, your eloquent writing, stunning photography, and beautiful artistry. I look forward to catching up on your lives and returning to writing after the first of the year, from a much warmer, sunnier location. 🙂
Before the senseless act this past Friday that stole twenty precious little angels from grieving families and six heroes trying to protect these beautiful babies, my holiday greeting may have read differently but it is just as heartfelt.
The world is grieving these twenty innocent little children who never had the chance to dream their dreams and make their mark, as well as the six adults whose selfless devotion to these children put them in harm’s way. We grieve because we can only imagine how it would feel to have our world turned inside out, to feel such a crushing loss. Some of you may grieve because you have experienced such a loss.
These unthinkable acts of violence occur far too often, all around the world. We do not visualize them happening in sleepy little communities where everyone feels part of an extended family. No one can fathom laying to rest innocent little babies; it is just beyond comprehension. Lives of families touched by such violence are forever changed, and happening during the Christmas season will forever dampen the joy normally felt at this time.
My wish for everyone this holiday is that we truly remember the reason for this season and have God in our hearts and in our homes. Now more than ever we need hope; we need to feel connected to our family and loved ones; we need to feel needed and loved and have someone in our lives to offer us strength.
If you are missing this in your life, reach out to another for help, and if you are blessed to have great joy in your life at this time, touch someone else’s life, passing on this beautiful gift. There are so many lost and troubled souls in the world right now. Perhaps if we extend a loving hand some of this violence can be averted. We need to start somewhere.
May all who are suffering this holiday season be given the gift of inner peace and let us hold all those close in our hearts who are suffering the devastating loss of a loved one. Fyodor Dostoyevsky said “the darker the night, the brighter the stars,
the deeper the grief, the closer is God.” God must be very close indeed right now.
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And the Grinch, with his Grinch-feet ice cold in the snow, stood puzzling and puzzling, how could it be so? It came without ribbons. It came without tags. It came without packages, boxes or bags. And he puzzled and puzzled ’till his puzzler was sore. Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn’t before. What if Christmas, he thought, doesn’t come from a store. What if Christmas, perhaps, means a little bit more. ~Dr Seuss
Well, it is that time of year again when the commercialism of the season besieges our senses. My prayer for all of you is that you can take a little quiet time for yourselves and reflect upon your blessings. It is so much easier it seems to look at what is wrong with our lives instead of everything we have to be grateful for. So many of us are struggling with work, family, health, etc., etc., etc.
Loss is something that has weighed on me this year, as I lost my most precious friend Barbara, my anam cara (soul friend). Although I feel the pain of her absence daily, I am determined to celebrate and give gratitude for the time I had with her and the profound impact she made on my life. I feel blessed to have had a friend in my life whose energy, when I was near her, filled me up. May we all have someone in our lives who blankets up with their love and may we do the same for others.
I came across this quote some time ago, and it seems fitting for all of us to reflect upon as we head into 2012:
Faith makes all things possible; hope makes all things work; love makes all things beautiful!
As most of you know, we headed north of the border in early December to spend time with family and friends during the holiday season. The first leg of our journey began in Phoenix, where we had stored our vehicle and personal belongings. When we opened our storage unit and began to pare it down even further, we were struck by what minimalists we have become, which made me reflect on what is important to us and what we all (if we are honest with ourselves) at times lose sight of, with the hectic event that has become our daily lives.
We spent the first two days in Phoenix with our good friends Carl and Marcia, whose kindness and generosity of spirit are so uplifting and my hope is that each of you have someone in your life who gives so freely of themselves as they do.
From Phoenix we headed to Sedona for several days, to spend time with our friends Rosie and Jim, as well as Barb and Pete.
Rosie and Jim, as always, were generous with their time and opened their home to us. Jim went out of his way to keep us fed, cooking for us and others daily. Thank goodness we hiked most days to counterbalance the additional calories we consumed. I don’t know what made my stomach hurt more; too much of Jim’s good cooking or his wacky sense of humor, which kept us laughing.
Last, but certainly not least, are Barb and Pete, two special friends that we always look forward to spending time with in Sedona. Most of you have already heard me speak of Barb. Barb is my anam cara, my soul friend, who has been ill for many years. She and her husband Pete have such courage and strength in the face of adversity. I pray that I could conduct myself with the same grace that they do everyday if I were faced with the same challenges.
We are fortunate to have friends spread across the country, as well as friendships developed in Mexico. Kevin and Erin are two we met in Mexico, friends and mentors, who so generously give of their time and their knowledge and made our transition to Lakeside so easy, and we feel blessed to have them in our lives.
It would be lovely to spend the holidays with all our friends but obviously, this is unrealistic, so here is to all our friends fondly remembered at this time. May we all step away from the stress of the commercialism of the holiday season and take a few moments to practice loving kindness for family (those close to us and those estranged), friends, and all those known to us and unknown who are suffering at this time.
This year we are fortunate to be spending the holidays with family, unlike years of the past. May this season find you embracing family and friends and may 2011 bless each of us with a sense of peace as we navigate through the waters of our lives.