The Howells Group Blog

Gratitude Lenses


It’s often said that the eyes are the windows of the soul. I have to confess that all too often my eyes are clouded, robbing my soul of much needed light. Daily challenges, less than welcome surprises and disappointments quickly become the focus –and cloud my ability to truly see. In an attempt to “see” more clearly, my husband Rob and I decided to do a “retrospective” of 2013. At first, we could hardly remember what we’d been so busy doing! Soon, as we pieced together the facts, the clouds of current difficulty were replaced with perspective. We remembered the numerous guests who’d visited, Rob’s surprise birthday plane ride over the Gorge and Mt. St. Helen’s with his closest friend. The loss of my best friend and the 2 trips I’d made that were hard but precious. Not enough time on our kayak… but at least a few times out to paddle. Practical accomplishments like a new roof, new paint and new gutters.  In reconstructing, we began to see the whole of the year, not just the hard things.

Many of you know that our 27 year old son suffers from a chronic illness called Cystic Fibrosis. His health has declined over recent months and we are waiting to hear if there is a lung transplant in his future. Just yesterday he was approved for the first step in the assessment process. No guarantees and not a “green light” yet, but an encouraging first step! I have been asking myself, “how can I see with eyes of gratitude throughout this process with so many unknowns and no control”!? To keep light in my soul, how do I keep my eyes clear so I can see and be grateful?

Well, to begin with – our  son is still alive; many CF patients never make it this far. He has an amazing doctor who has been a faithful advocate for him through the maze of the health care system. My husband and I celebrate 37 years of marriage today; we have jobs that play to our strengths that are flexibility, helping us care for Nathan. I am cancer free, after a 3 year journey of surgery and treatment. We have an amazing support structure who are rallying around us with this latest development with Nathan. Our beautiful daughter and her husband live close by and we enjoy a growing closeness.  And this morning as the sun comes up,  Mt. Hood is splendid on a bright, crisp November day.

So Happy Thanksgiving to each of you… and may each of us bring the sentiments of this holiday alive by choosing to see ALL in our lives through the eyes of Gratitude. I’d love to hear from you on how you keep this gratitude focus in your lives beyond one holiday, so share with me your thoughts….

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