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As we approach the holidays of Thanksgiving and Christmas. I would like to take a moment to say how thankful I am for my life, my family, and all the many people I am privileged to call friends. I have been blessed to have each of you in my life.

This past year has taught me up close and personal, life can change in a moment. The sad events in our world over the past several days have reinforced those thoughts even more. Each day I live is a gift to be treasured, to be enjoyed, and shared. I love these words by Anne Lamott  “Life is motion, change, stagnation, bloom: nothing ever seems to happen, or awful stuff happens, or beautiful stuff happens and we say “Amen.” I am so grateful for each of you who were there to share in the awful stuff, the stagnation, the blooming, and the beautiful. “Amen.” You prayed so many prayers, crossed your fingers with mine as I waited and joined in my joyous moments. You have encouraged me,  laughed with me, and cried with me.

Life doesn’t come with instructions or warning labels for that matter. No scary music plays when danger is approaching. I’ve made some dumb choices and some brilliant ones. I have learned by trial and error, what it means to be human. I am not sure how I’m doing, but I’m working hard at being the best human I can be.

This is the time of year helps me to rediscover my footing in gratitude. I love so many things about the holiday season. I enjoy our traditions both old and new, the ornaments, and the decorations. I love the family gatherings with my kids and grandkids; the aroma of our favorite foods cooking; the laughter that trickles out around the table in conversation and games that are played late into the night. Now, more than ever before, I am also conscious of those who are missing, and others who are alone.

Thank you, my dear family and friends. I pray your hope is renewed along with mine as you gather with loved ones, see the lights of Christmas, and hear the stories of Chanukah. May your heart be opened not only to your own family but also to the human family. Let the love and the joy of the season spill out of your life into good deeds.

Please join me over the next few weeks  when Theresa Snyder, Kari Nichols, Susan Ricci, and Alexia Stevens a few of my author friends will be my guest bloggers and will share their holiday memories with you.  These are lovely ladies and I know you’ll enjoy their memories.