Two thousand eleven is drawing to a close.  For many of us – and I include myself – this has been a difficult year of losses, changes, and transitions.  But my 2011 has also been an important year of opportunities and growth.  I hope you have found this to be true in your life, as well.

 

In this season of celebration, I wish each and every one of you these blessings:

Faith – in someone or something bigger than yourself

For me, it’s God.  I was raised a Jew, and became a Christian.  My faith is the bedrock of all that I am.

Hope – for the future, for a better world, for a life filled with meaning and purpose

I urge you: never stop moving forward.  Find your calling and work to fulfill it.

Love – for the people near to you, for those who are hurting or in need, and for yourself

I firmly believe that close, loving relationships are a vitally important part of our lives.

Comfort – in that you aren’t alone, we are all imperfect and human and fallible, and help will be there if you reach out for it

Connecting with and caring for others, I’ve found, and accepting their support in return, is at the heart of healing.

Joy – in moments of heartfelt recognition that life is good, even in the midst of pain and difficulty

Joy is a feeling far beyond happiness.  It goes deeper, it feels stronger; it comes to us through struggle as something essential, right and true.

Peace – in this world, in our hearts, with each other

Let go of the past and the things that don’t matter.  Practice thankfulness.  Give of yourself and receive.  In surrender, gratitude, and selflessness we find peace.

 

Charis – grace – and Shalom – peace – to you and yours in this season of light.

 

And now, onward.  I’m ready.  I have big plans.  Bring on 2012.