This last week was a bit of a roller coaster for me and I must confess I didn’t always feel grateful. Some very exciting and rewarding things happened, top of the list being the official launch of our new Godspacelight Community Cookbook. But other very frustrating and challenging events wiped out some of my joy. Godspacelight crashed four times over the last week and will probably continue to have problems until we are able to do a major rework of the site and that of course will be very expensive. How do we cope in the midst of such ups and downs?
First we give thanks, and not just because this is American Thanksgiving week but because it should always be one of our first responses to both good and bad events. My gratitude garden above always reminds me of this. As I made this list my joy cup overflowed.
First I am grateful for the Murdoch grant that Circlewood, which was birthed out of Tom’s and my ministry Mustard Seed Associates, just received. One of the main reasons they received this grant was because they own the land, which Tom and I gifted to them about 5 years ago. This, plus other generous donations will make it possible for them to build infrastructure and finish the building we began seven years ago. Some of you may remember that it was vandalized twice in a couple of months. It was part of the motivation for us to step back and let James Amadon take control.
Second, I am grateful for my good friend Kim Balke, who had a heart transplant done just before the pandemic lockdown. Some of you may remember the beautiful poems and artwork she shared here on Godspace. She is currently in rehabilitation following a hospital stay of 100 days. A good friend started a GofundMe Campaign to help with alterations that need to be done to their house in order for her to come home. I am very inspired by Kim’s perseverance as she works to regain her strength. I am grateful for the many friends who have contributed to her recovery.
Third I am grateful for our new Godspacelight Community Cookbook and the opportunity to launch it with a zoom call with Galloping Gourmet, Graham Kerr on Thursday. Tom and I shared a delightful Facebook live session with him that warmed our hearts with the invitation to share the flavours and stories of the book as though we were sitting down at a great international banquet table. I am also grateful that we will be able to give 10% each to Bread for the World and World Concern, two organizations working with those who rarely have enough food on their tables. You can view the session with Graham Kerr on my YouTube channel if you missed it live.
A couple of weeks ago I discover the website World In Prayer, which provides a weekly email prayer that keeps me in touch with those most vulnerable in our world. Friday’s prayer focused on the successful implementation of the carbon reduction discussions at the COP27 Conference in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt and prayers for those who are already impacted by climate change. Reciting this prayer each morning helps me keep my own small challenges in perspective and for that too I am grateful.
Fourth I am grateful for the many of you who expressed your concerns when the website kept crashing and I mentioned that we need to do a total, and very expensive, website overhaul. Thank you for those who said “we use Godspace resources all the time, how can we give?” and thank you for those who suggested a GoFundMe campaign which we will probably launch in a few weeks. At this point the best way you can help is by purchasing copies of the cookbook and other Godspacelight resources or by registering for the Advent Quiet Day in a couple of weeks. Most of the profits from these go towards the upkeep of the website.
Fifth, this week, I was able to give one of my beautiful cabled beanies to a friend with cancer. I am very grateful that I am able to use my talents in this way and share the love of God with those who feel God is a long way away.
As you can see the list goes on and on. Once we sit down and intentionally give thanks, we realize that life is very good and filled with joyful gratitude.
Second we share both the highlights and the downturns. One of my frequent reminders from this week is that we are all meant to be part of community. When we carry burdens alone we are easily overwhelmed by what we carry. When we share it the load becomes manageable. Sharing our joyful gratitude also helps. As I mentioned above, following Kim’s journey inspires me to persevere in situations that initially suggest I should give up. And sharing about the crashing of the website made me aware of how many supportive people want to help.
Dreaming is usually at the top of my list, my first step towards resolution. However, this week I discovered it can also be a response to support and encouragement. Expressing gratitude, and sharing my concerns with friends are great ways to stir my imagination and seed the possibility of creative responses. I love that I can involve others in this dreaming too. If you have suggestions for revamping the Godspacelight website so that it can become an even better place for people to come to access resources, please let me know.
Prayer cards are available in the shop for many occasions and seasons–from everyday pauses and Lenten ruminations to breath meditations and Advent reflections, enjoy guided prayers and beautiful illustrations designed to delight and draw close. Many are available in single sets, sets of three, and to download–even bundled with other resources!