Taken at a Catholic retreat, I am surrounded by incredible friends. Pittstown, NJ ©

In everyone’s life, at some time, our inner fire goes out. It is then burst into flame by an encounter with another human being. We should all be thankful for those people who rekindle the inner spirit.
~Albert Schweitzer

Many of the women you see in this picture carry heavy burdens. Many care for elderly parents, a handicapped child, or a terminally ill spouse. Some women struggle with an illness of their own and the physical limitations that go with it. And there are some who mourn the the death of a child, a husband, or loved one. Then there’s the challenge of living an ordinary every-day life.

But looking at this picture, you wouldn’t know it. It’s because those hardships do not define them. They are women of gratitude. They are women of hope. They are women of faith and prayer. They are women of love. Together, they help each other carry their burdens. Together, they help each other see with eyes of gratitude. Together, they see each other as gift and inspiration. For by their friendship, their lights are kept burning brightly.

I am so thankful that I am surrounded by such amazing friends.

If you would like to share your version of “Thankful Thursday” (photos or text or both) today or in the future, you can link your post to my post on Thursdays in the comments section with the title “Thankful Thursday”.