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barbaramarincel

Minneapolis, Minnesota

I live in Minnesota with my husband and cocker spaniel, am currently earning a master's in theology with the goal of becoming a chaplain.

When I'm not scrambling to finish a paper at the last minute, I'm into painting, drawing, music (choir), writing creative non-fiction, reading everything I can get my hands on, yoga, learning to cook and knit (although not at the same time), hanging out with family and friends, and long walks around the lakes in Minneapolis or along the Mississippi River, and volunteering. My passions are spirituality, art, books, and interfaith dialogue.

We are also in earliest stages of the adoption process, probably through the foster care system. Adoption feels like a natural way for us to build a family since I am an adoptee myself! It has been a long, difficult road, however, and is not over yet, although we try to remain optimistic.

I deal with chronic pain on a regular basis: primarily fibromyalgia, complicated by a Harrington Rod in my back from having kyphosis and scoliosis surgeries, occipital neuralgia, chronic migraines, and spinal arthritis. I have also struggled with depression and PTSD since I was a child. I am writing this blog partly to encourage others, to let them know it is possible to live a full and creative life even with mental illness and chronic pain. And I'm also looking for support myself.

All of these challenges, however, for me underscore the importance of being grateful for every blessing and remembering that life is made up of the little things. It's amazing to find grace in the middle of suffering, but I have, time and time again. My family, friends, and my faith (and my sense of humor!), not to mention most of the Minnesota medical community, have seen me through much over the last few decades.

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