Grateful. That was my word of the retreat as we went around the circle for everyone’s closing thoughts – one last check-out for the weekend. I am incredibly blessed to have been able to be so involved in such a beautiful, intense, real community over the past 3 years and to see it grow in Abbotsford, BC this past weekend is such a privilege.
Edenvale Retreat Centre
A cooking/nutrition session with Chef Joseph
I am grateful to have been in attendance and to witness such real community take shape. I know that many supporters would like to come and be a part of such a raw, honest experience with their survivor (be they a spouse, best friend, brother, or sister) but jobs keep people busy and occupied, kids mean someone needs to be home to care for them, and the regular demands of life make it unable for many supporters to be involved. To see God’s hand orchestrate each step of every event and to build me into those experiences is something I’m very grateful for…thanks to Mikey, too, for being open enough to let me in to know what he really went through and to see the value of us experiencing these moments together.
I am grateful for the Young Adult Cancer Canada (YACC) Program Coordinator and my good friend Karine. Her presence is grounding yet energizing, refreshing, genuine, and a comfort to me, and she did an amazing job coordinating the retreat and facilitating community. It was especially wonderful to go for a run together! I am so proud of her for sticking with a running program and am inspired to stick with it too because of her!
I am grateful for my fellow peer supporters and facilitators. Full of selfless, giving qualities, they showed up and delivered (BAM! Nailed it)! They organized as a unit, cleaned up without being asked when there was tidying to do, engaged with others and most importantly, shared their stories in a beautiful, powerful way. It was fun to reunite with them and also to meet two others (Jocelyn, a kind and listening nurse and Stacey, the fun new YACC staff member in Calgary too!) and simply enjoy who God made them to be. Love you ladies!
I am grateful for new friendships. I am grateful for new stories. I am grateful for healthy, nourishing food. I am grateful for moments to run and times to think to myself, to process all the goodness mixed in with the pain and terminal prognoses that we learned about this weekend. I am grateful for times when you can cry without being comforted and in the same breath be laughing harder than you have in ages! I am grateful for experiencing true community.
I am grateful.
To continue those thoughts, I have been incredibly inspired in a few different ways recently, and along with being inspired by new and old friends alike and by my own husband, I’ve been inspired by Christopher McDougall’s Born to Run. I upped my mileage over this last week to see what would happen if every run was “long” (shortest: 7 miles; longest: just shy of 11 miles; longest double day: 16.49 miles) and felt incredible! Total weekly mileage: 42.43 miles! And total monthly mileage turns out to be 124.48 not including hiking miles, all thanks to being inspired by (you guessed it) reading stories. With that being said, check back later this week for a book review!
More on that later. But for now, I just wanted to encourage you to be grateful. I just spent the weekend with a group of people who have many things they could feel justified in complaining about, in being angry about, in becoming bitter about, but who instead choose joy despite their circumstances.
What are you grateful for today?
Live well & be well,