Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Light in the Darkness

As I sit here in my living room on a quiet late afternoon, the sun long set, the glow of our Christmas tree warms my heart. We set it up this weekend. It's fake but that's ok with me. Even though I grew up with real trees and I love them, there's no way we could get away with a real tree in our house with Leo (our yellow lab). He'd see that and think "STICK!" and I can only imagine the destruction that would ensue. I don't mind the fake tree, it's sweet and it's long and lean so it doesn't take up too much space in our small home.

I've been really getting into the Christmas spirit this year because I've needed it. I've needed the sense of magic, the playful and heartfelt emotions, the pretty lights and familiar songs. I've chosen to ignore any of the commercialism or Black Friday type mayhem that goes along with this season. It doesn't really affect us so why give it any bit of thought? I'm choosing to be nostalgic and carried away and it's doing wonders for my mood and outlook.

Our humble home and lifestyle may frustrate us at times but it's so clear how blessed we are as we laugh and love as a family together. I don't have to look far to be reminded of how lucky we are to have a home, to have oil in our furnace, to have food on our plates, and aside from the seasonal sniffles, we all have our health. Thank God. I don't often share my spiritual feelings in this medium and I won't be much in the future either. But I do thank God for the greatest gift of true love with my husband and best friend and the three blessings of children that make me a better person just knowing them. I thank God for hearing my prayers, for hearing all of our prayers in saving my mother four years ago. I am thankful every day to have her in my life and I am thankful for my father for being there for her always in all ways. They have taught me so much about life and love, forgiveness and growth. They inspire me to strive beyond what's comfortable and known, to push towards goals knowing that my faith in achieving them will take me half the way there. I'm thankful for my dog who has shown me that it's possible to live a life of pure joy! When I see him bounding through the snow retrieving a stick I can't help but hear his soundtrack as "It's the most wonderful time of the year!".

Lastly, I thank God for our special relationship and the blessing of creativity. Our wordless communication through paint on canvas, the acceptance and the spark that is always there, accessible whenever I simply allow myself to acknowledge it. The spiritual reward of painting carries me along and I've mixed finances with my greatest passion but sales and marketing and bla bla bla aside, it's my heart and soul and it was here from the beginning. I cannot help but assume my creator made me this way on purpose. So I paint and I am rewarded and I find that good things come into my life when I just allow myself to be my true self and live accordingly. I feel, I sense, I know that this spirit that I do not assume to understand accepts me, forgives me, believes in me and wants good for me. I am eternally grateful for that feeling, for that knowing.

Whatever one's personal connection to faith may or may not be, there is a universal message that light shines in the darkest times. Be it a star, a candle, or Clark Griswald's outrageously lit up house. I really FEEL that this year in such a personal way, becoming acutely aware of how the season (the lack of light) affects my behavior, my thoughts and feelings, my emotions. This light lifts me up and makes me smile. It's comforting and hopeful. It takes away my fears and replaces them with peace. It reminds me of the light that always shines within me, within all of us, no matter what.

Thank you readers for following me along my journey and for your insightful, funny and wonderful comments. I wish you peace and happiness as we look towards a new year together.


Kendra Zvonik said...

I am very happy to read this, Jessica. I am very happy knowing that your life is so full and that you are so full of grace and gratitude. Beautiful!
Enjoy the season, the lights, your family and painting!
Love you!

Unknown said...

I cannot thank you enough for the emotional and creative support you've given me through the year and the friendship that has blossomed between us Kendra. I have a really really good feeling about 2010 and the conversations that we will have celebrating success, culminating in a toast of frosty bevys in sunny Florida! It WILL HAPPEN!

Love you my dear. :)