One week ago, I should have been blogging. Instead, I was browsing through stores on Fifth Avenue in Manhattan with my 13-year-old. Hardly my usual Friday morning activity, but once I discovered that we couldn't get Internet access at our hotel anyway, I decided to give myself a week off.
A week off from writing, but not from giving. And that feels like a break, because that's actually how it's been. The giving part of this blog doesn't bother me in the least -- in my head, the money is already spent. It's sort of like having a gift card now, already paid for but waiting to be cashed in. It's the writing part that's proving to be a bit of a chore. I so admire Betty L. (inspiration behind this blog) for doing it daily last year -- I can hardly make myself do it weekly! I don't love to write. I like adding things to my to-do list even less. So the giving is still fun, but the writing is just discipline. Not a bad thing.
So I need to give (and to write!) double this week. The first donation is going to the ALS Society of Canada, in honour of two people I love. One is my grandmother, whose husband Gord died of ALS quite a few years ago. Nanny is taking our whole extended clan to a resort for Thanksgiving, as she generously does every year, and her building memories and relationships in this way makes me extra thankful this weekend. The other is my friend Mary, whose mom died of ALS one year ago this month. Mary is soon running a half marathon, along with her brother Will, in honour of their mother. ALS (also known as Lou Gehrig's disease) is an agonizing illness that causes your muscles gradually to shut down as your neural pathways degenerate. (Mine would gradually shut down if I were to attempt a half marathon!) The ALS Society provided practical and essential supports to both Gord and Mary's mom as they battled this disease, and it's my pleasure to support it in continuing to do so.
The second donation on this first week of the month (international week -- have a look back at the Rules of the Game if you've forgotten!) goes to the David /Jonathan project. It's a microenterprise initiative, working mostly in South America, giving start-up capital (usually $200-300 dollars -- perfect!) to [female] entrepreneurs living in poverty. It works out of a belief that even those in the most dire of circumstances can improve their lives if given an opportunity to do so. Its founder Vince is a long-time friend of ours who has recently left his job to work full-time with this project -- you can see his picture here. He's a successful, passionate, godly guy whose enthusiasm is contagious. (Plus he has a son named Jonah, which gives him bonus points in my books!) If you're curious about the reason behind the name (David/Jonathan, not Jonah), have a look at 1 Samuel 18 for some context.
Be thankful on this glorious weekend, and every day!
Phew. That wasn't so hard.