It was only a year and a half ago, just north of Santa Fe, in the mountains of Glorietta, New Mexico, that I spent an unforgettable weekend with three of the most precious bellas you have ever known.
Each one of us arrived OVERSATURATED, yet filled with anticipation of what those next few days would hold. We unpacked our weary spirits and hungry hearts, and tucked them away ever so gently in hopes that our desperate need for rejuvination wasn't painfully obvious at first glance. But it was.
The lodge was rugged, intended to host a much larger crowd, but as PROVIDENCE would have it, it was just us....four souls unknowingly about to be woven into the very fabric of each others lives....
Our antennas were up, and we were yearning for solitude....the tranquil, stripping, contemplative kind of solitude that would allow us to tap in to the quiet rousing of our souls. We laughed, we cried, we walked, we prayed, we sorted through our confusions and peeled back our layers until the rawness began to sting....we embraced and tended to each others wounds....we carried each others burdens and lifted each others spirits, and our hearts were able to find fresh air again.
We left that mountainside thinking, believing, and loving more seriously than we already had thought, believed and loved...I tell you not a single one of us walked away from that weekend unchanged.
Flash forward to present day....prayers have been answered, hearts have been changed, lessons have been learned, insight has been obtained on how the very trials and tribulations that brought us to our knees were used so precisely to do remarkable things deep within. We have set sail on to new adventures, with new attitudes, and new perspectives. We have allowed ourselves to be stretched outside of our comfort zones, take more risks, be more vulnerable, more alive...and more importantly, moreAWAKE.
And it is with that in mind that I type to you now, at 3 AM in the morning, holding 3 paper plates in my hands that are very near and dear to my heart. You see, on the last evening of our weekend retreat, we presented one another with a "paper plate award." And what an evening it was....With snacks in hand and kool aid grins on our faces, we giggled and snickered into the wee hours of night as we cheerfully decorated our plates with magic markers and heartfelt sentiments to give to each woman in the room as a token of our time spent together. The awards given to me on that memorable evening were the "diligent seeker award," the "compassionate prayer warrior award," and the "heart of joy/song of love" award.
Last night I came to learn that I have been presented with "The Sunshine Award," for blogs that add a little sunshine and inspiration to your day. What an unexpected surprise! As a new blogger, this means a whole lot to me, and I am truly grateful to be able to touch another soul and bring some inspiration and sunshine to their day. And because of YOU, in just 4 short weeks over 100 bellas have packed their bags and hit the road with Mangiabella to journey along with me on this new adventure. unbelievable...I am truly humbled, and I am thrilled to have the opportunity to share more inspirational thoughts and delicious food with you in the days ahead.
Keep Shining Sweet Bellas!
and now....Congratulations to Lucy from Lucilleinthesky.com! You are the winner of Mangiabella's first giveaway....the toddler tutu by Huggabugbaby LLC....
*winner chosen at random using random.org