When the package arrived on my doorstep, every inch of my being wanted to tear it open and let the love inside spill out. But I didn’t; I waited till the kids were quiet, my phone was turned off and projects were done, knowing I’d need some alone time to process whatever I found inside the box.

I mean…I knew what it was, just not exactly. My friend soul sister Lori Portka had told me it would be coming….one of the 100 glorious paintings she created for people who have touched her life in meaningful, positive ways. It makes me well up just thinking of it, to know that I weaseled my way into a big enough space in her heart that she’d not only feel grateful for it, but paint it into being.

Once the house was still, I sat down in my dudio to open the box ever-so-carefully. When I pulled out this canvas, my heart skipped a beat. Seriously. It was like looking in a mirror and seeing my best self staring back. Surrounded by angels and sunshine and tulips, looking as content as can be and having a really good hair day. ;o) Every little detail holds so much meaning for me.

I’ve seen Lori in the throes of creating her art, so I know her magic-making is time-consuming and heartfelt. This makes it all the more stunning to me that she accomplished this feat, painting a hundred thank yous. And to then give them away!? I know how protective I am of my own art; when I sell or gift an original, it’s like a little piece of me goes with it, hoping it finds a loving and appreciative home. So, when I look at this painting, I not only see the very best pieces of me reflected back, but I know it also is infused with the very best pieces of Lori. It’s the ultimate friendship gift and I am forever grateful.

Want to know more about Lori Portka? Visit her blog here and check out her positively glowing art shop. Her Hundred Thank Yous project will also be featured in the upcoming documentary, 365 Grateful. Can’t wait.