What does gratitude mean to you?  What does it DO to you? 

For me, it churns up my insides… but in a good way.  It is a stirring, a turning.  It is a cultivating of my inward parts, the spiritual light and darkness, turned to meet the goodness in the world.  It is a physical sensation.  Butterflies of gratitude.

 I knew I touched gratitude when day after day as I laid to nap with my young son–the windows open and the smell of autumn caressing our cheeks—and the warm stirring consistently returned, like a covenant. I knew I touched gratitude when I sat down to a meal with friends and I felt spiritually full before the fork even touched my lips. I knew I touched gratitude when I saw Sister Stella of Uganda smile the Spirit’s smile when she told us a story of a hard life none of us would be able to smile through, let alone be grateful for.

 It’s hard for us as adults to cultivate gratitude. We see the weeds, the heavy tools, the bugs. But children…children remind us that this tangled garden of life is a joy. They toss out the hoes and dig in with their hands.  They kick off their fancy waterproof boots and plunge their toes in the dirt. For children, gratitude is as close as breath. Likely it’s us—adults—that gradually squash that intimate joy.

 At Global Women’s Project, we are trying to continue cultivating gratitude through our Children’s Giving Project  A stewardship opportunity for your congregation, the Children’s Giving Project introduces children and adults alike to the meaningful work of GWP, and to our very special friends at SITEAW, our partner project in Uganda.

Join us in cultivating gratitude, and let the children show the way!  The giving project will continue through Summer of 2012 and its never too late to start.  Proceeds will go to Global Women’s Project to support remarkable women like Sister Stella and those at SITEAW in Uganda.  Go to https://globalwomensproject.wordpress.com and click on “Children’s Giving Project” for stories, pictures, and suggestions for starting your project.

Together we will cultivate more than gratitude.  We will cultivate justice.  Together, we will cultivate a New World.

(October E-Links, by Carrie Eikler) 


In addition, please enjoy sharing this delicious fall recipe with your family and friends! 

Pumpkin Chocolate – Chocolate Chip loaf

3 ½ cups sugar

1 ¼ cups vegetable oil

3 eggs

1 can (29 oz.) solid pack pumpkin

3 sq. (1 oz. each) unsweetened chocolate melted and cooled

1 ½ teaspoons Vanilla

3 ¾ cups flour

1 ½ teaspoons salt

1 ½ teaspoons baking powder

1 ¼ teaspoons baking soda

1 ¼ teaspoons cinnamon

1 teaspoon ground cloves

½ teaspoon nutmeg

2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips

In a large bowl, combine sugar and oil. Add eggs; Mix well. Stir in the pumpkin, chocolate and vanilla; Mix well.  Combine dry ingredients. Stir into pumpkin mixture just until blended. Stir in chips. Transfer to 3 greased 9”x5”x3” loaf pans (or whatever containers you want … just adjust baking time.) Bake 3 larger containers @ 350 degrees for 55-65 minutes.  Cool 10 minutes before removing from pans.

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