FreerangeFriday: Gratitude and Grief Practices

by Lilly Lewin
GLOBE and Candles

By Lilly Lewin

Today I am very grateful to be in Minneapolis with my prayer group…we haven’t seen each other in real life in over five years! We are celebrating friendship and God’s faithfulness and laughing a lot! We all met through working for youth specialities and the National Youth Workers Convention.

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It’s a season of gratitude and grief…I honestly have been speechless over the violence and death in the middle east again this week. My heart is broken for all those who are suffering. I pray daily for peace and for the peacemakers. I hate war. and I Hate destruction and death! I hate war.

Ive been thinking about all the waste!
Waste of people, resources, housing. Things will never be the same.
The places will never be the same.
The communities will never be the same. Families never the same.
War is destruction of beauty .
And all in the name of power and hate& revenge.
And someone is making money off of all the waste, destruction and death.
I follow the prince of peace who said,
” blessed are the peace makers”
And love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you. VERY HARD THINGS TO DO! But so needed in our world.

There is a sign on a church near me that says, “It’s Ok Not to be OK.” I feel a bit like Habakkuk raising my fist in the air to God, asking “HOW LONG?”

How long, Lord, must I call for help,
    but you do not listen?
Or cry out to you, “Violence!”
    but you do not save?
Why do you make me look at injustice?
    Why do you tolerate wrongdoing?
Destruction and violence are before me;
    there is strife, and conflict abounds. Habukkuk 1:1-3

I keep reminding myself of what Father Micheal Sparough says…START WITH GRATITUDE when you pray.

It’s why the prayer of Examen begins with gratitude…when we start with being grateful we see how wonderful, and wonder-filled life is even in the midst of all the loss and craziness. Try the Prayer of Examen led by Father Sparough.

It’s a season of Gratitude! We need to get out the GRATITUDE JAR and be reminded of all the things that are good in our worlds. You can download a kit for FREE Here. Each day, you pull out a word or phrase and take time to be grateful for it. Some things are harder so you have to ask Jesus for help and for eyes to see how to be thankful for them.

We have another practice of creating a GRATEFULNESS/THANKFUL window using post it notes. You can buy colorful post it notes and create a stained glass window using them and a pen or sharpie to write down things your are thankful for each day! All ages can play and participate and even if you are living solo, you can create a Grateful/Thankful Window!

I also got out the jars I use for my Advent candles which are labeled with HOPE AND PEACE and put a small globe near the candles to remind me to pray for peace for all the world!

LISTEN: I discovered Jon Guerra’s music this week…It is giving me hope! And Porters Gate’s music helped me survive the pandemic. They have an entire album on Lament. Make a Grateful Playlist and listen to it on REPEAT!


Habakkuk begins with his fist raised and he ends the book with

The Sovereign Lord is my strength;
he makes my feet like the feet of a deer,
he enables me to tread on the heights. Habakkuk 3:1

Pray with me:

Today, I am taking time to pray for peace & peacemakers. Help us Jesus!
Today, I am taking time to be grateful for life and watching for things that bring hope!
Give me eyes to see!
In a world filled with destruction and despair, today I want to bring light and love and joy and hope.
Lord with your help!

©lillylewin and

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