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Perhaps this is how the kingdom of God comes—one lonely effort after another to care for our earth and its inhabitants a little better, joining over time with other lonely efforts, until we are no longer lonely because we are working together, in community.

Ellen Painter Dollar

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Like you, I've been thinking about the devastation in Houston this week, pretty much nonstop. The fierce compassion and bravery of the rescuers has been calming, even medicinal, to me and to many of us who are plagued by outrage fatigue and discouragement right now. And, like you, I'm looking for ways to help Harvey survivors. From all I've read, it's far more useful to send money than "stuff," unless that stuff is listed on a nonprofit's wish list. Here are two good, simple options to give via Amazon: Texas Diaper Bank Disaster Relief and the Red Cross. Here's a more comprehensive list of reputable organizations to support, published in The New York Times.

In my book, Wholehearted Living, the month of September is focused on practicing simplicity and stepping away from "stuff" that holds us back, including clutter in our homes and in our relationships. When I wrote it, of course, I wasn't thinking of people who had just lost, literally, everything. So instead of disregarding what's happening in the country right now, I'm skipping around in Wholehearted Living and sending a reflection today that reminds me to keep clicking on those Amazon links and sending needed items to my neighbors four states away in Texas. We all can help, as my friend Ellen says, "one lonely effort at a time."

I wish you peace.

Jennifer Grant

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Jennifer Grant is the author of five works of nonfiction, including Love You More: The Divine Surprise of Adopting My Daughter and When Did Everybody Else Get So Old? Indignities, Compromises, and the Unexpected Grace of Midlife. Wholehearted Living is a 365-day book of short reflections on living mindfully. Grant's first book for children is Maybe God Is Like That Too. A writer, editor, and speaker in Chicagoland, Jennifer Grant is a lifelong Episcopalian, the (good enough) mother of four, and wife to bicycle-obsessed David. More at jennifergrant.com.

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