December 2021 Updates

We made it!  2021 is coming to a close and we are grateful for all the good things that happened in the year and for surviving all the challenges the year brought.
It is easy in the midst of the pandemic we have struggled with for two years to see only the challenges, respond only to our fear and anxiety.  When we do this, we miss all the joy that is right in front of us.  Perhaps it feels a little “off” to talk about joy when we think of all we have experienced this year; maybe we should just talk about surviving, keeping our heads down and trying to simply get through the days.  If you’re like me, I’m sure you have had several days like this in 2021.  I am  reminded, however, of the words of the writer Angela Williams Gorrell in The Gravity of Joy, perhaps “we can give ourselves over to the what if? of joy. We can live postured toward joy, alive to its possibility, even in the unlikeliest places, even in close proximity to our sorrow, even and most especially in the midst of our suffering…We can look, listen, and be open to the awareness that any thing, any person, and idea could unexpectedly seize us with joy.”
In this month’s newsletter, we are sharing stories and photos representing all the joy you brought to our lives this year.  All the joy that sometimes is right in front of us and we just miss it.  Look at the smiles on the faces of those in our care. See the happiness your care and attention brought to them – and to us!  If you’re feeling a little overwhelmed by all that is happening in our world, I hope the stories and pictures we share will give you a glimpse of the possibility of joy, the promise of it from the angel announcing the birth of Jesus, “But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid; for see—I am bringing you good news of great joy for all the people: to you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is the Messiah, the Lord.”

November 2021 Updates

Thanksgiving – the act of giving thanks.  When you read this, it will be after what I hope was a blessed holiday for you and your family.  It is good that we designate a day to give thanks to God for our lives, our family, our community and all the blessings we receive.  The challenge, sometimes, is to keep this spirit of gratitude throughout the year.
Thanksgiving isn’t a noun, but a verb.  It is an action, not merely a feeling.  It is telling and showing others our gratitude for the difference they make in our lives.  It is not meant to be kept to ourselves, but shared liberally and deliberately.  As I reflect on all for which I am grateful, Cedar Lake is one of those things at the top of my list.  Specifically, I am grateful for those for whom we are so privileged to care.  I am grateful for the shy smiles of some and the wide-open arms and infectious joy of others.  I am grateful for their trust and belief that we at Cedar Lake are going to love and care for them every day. And I am so very grateful to you, for you make our ministry possible.  I am grateful for those who have supported our mission from the day we opened our doors and for those who joined us for the first time at our “Hearts of Gold” Gala. I am so incredibly grateful for those who help us keep our promises.  In a world that often overlooks or excludes those who are differently abled, Cedar Lake is a welcoming and loving light. We are able to keep our promise to give loving, compassionate and excellent care because of you.
As we begin the journey to Christmas and the end of 2021, I am challenging myself to actively give thanks, to be “thanks-giving” every day.  To not only say thank you to generous donors like you, but to give you an opportunity to be a part of this mission, to see the difference your generous gifts make every day.  We finally can visit our programs again and I want to invite you! In 2022, we are going to arrange specific times and opportunities for people to visit, but you don’t have to wait for these official events.  If you would like to visit the Lodge or Park Place, Sycamore Run or the Enrichment Center please call or email me and I will be honored to introduce you to those in our care and to the amazing staff who work with them.  You can reach me on my cell phone, 502.963.2470 or by email at ksanders@cedarlake2.wpengine.com.  Let’s spend a day giving thanks for the ministry of Cedar Lake and let me share my gratitude with you, showing you the way your gifts change lives every day.  For all this, I give thanks.

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