It’s November, Feelers- the month of Gratitude and Thanksgiving.  Facebook is filled with daily gratitude posts, and I love reading them!  These posts are good for a variety of reasons, but the two reasons I connect with most are:  1) The posts are a great way for the people who write them to reflect on what they are grateful for, and 2) these posts make me reflect and take pause, and start to think about what I am grateful for.

So, Jen’s grateful for a bunch of stuff, but why is this post titled Sanctuary, you may ask???  Well, here’s the answer, and it’s going to fuel this entire post, people:  I am grateful now, in November- and ALWAYS, for a multitude of things, but mostly, because in my greatest times of need, I have been continuously astounded and filled with gratitude that I could never fully express in words by the sheer love and support of my family and friends.  They have been, and continue to be MY SANCTUARY. 

According to Merriam-Webster, Sanctuary is defined as:

1: a holy or sacred place. 2: a building or room for religious worship. 3: a place that provides safety or protection a wildlife sanctuary. 4: the protection from danger or a difficult situation that is provided by a safe place. defines another example of what sanctuary is:

The word sanctuary has religious roots, and can refer to a temple or church, but its use has broadened to include anywhere people go for peaceful tranquility or introspection. … Now, it’s a word for anywhere a person feels especially safe and serene.

So many times, we find ourselves in almost unbelievable situations- whether they are sad, happy, filled with turmoil, chaos, or loss- and it’s during these times when we see the true colors of our family and friends.  Just like we can find sanctuary in places, like a church, a forest, or wherever it is where each of us feels safest- we can find our safety and peace in the love and protection of people.  How many times have you found yourself in a bad situation, or have had a traumatic life event, and your family and friends came to the rescue?  How many times have YOU done the same for your family and friends?  We, as humans, are gifted with the ability to seek out and to BE a sanctuary- a place of safety and unconditional love and support and what a gift we have been given!  As much as I need to be surrounded by a fortress of support from my family and friends, is as much as I desire to be a part of each one’s fortress of support, also- because I have known what it is to feel lifted up in my darkest times. 

During this month of Thanksgiving, please reflect on what it is to be a sanctuary for someone, and remember what it feels like to seek shelter in a personal sanctuary during your times of need.  Happy Thanksgiving- be good to each other. 

I leave you with an original poem:


In times of trouble, you cover me

In your love

Like the wings of angels, I am

Surrounded, protected

And I give thanks

You are my sanctuary

My serenity, my peace

When chaos is all around me

Still, I am safe

And I give thanks

Forever I will live in your love

The sanctuary you give me lasts eternally

Though times will come that are good and bad-

And I give thanks

When your time comes

I will surround you, too

In the love and peace that you show me

I will be your sanctuary, as you have been mine

And still, I will give thanks

Jennifer Angarano Ricci is a wife, mother & creative soul-searcher.  She is a musician, artist, and baker, and runs her home business Baked By Jen, in addition to running her local community theater group.  She loves to sing, create and help others and tries to connect all three passions whenever possible.

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