Letters to The God Box

Mom liked to keep her God Boxes handy—even if that meant crossing state lines! She kept boxes in Florida where she and Dad lived in the wintertime, but also in her bedroom in our Pennsylvania house where they stayed each summer.

Wendy Parsons of Jenkintown, PA sent in her story that takes ‘God Box geography’ to a new level. Here’s what she wrote.

“The gift of my God box is peace of mind.  I actually have two God boxes — one at home in my kitchen and the other at work in my office.  They cover the two main arenas of my life — family and  career. 

I keep my family God box in my kitchen because we spend so much time together there–cooking, eating, checking email, helping with homework and just catching up with each other.

I often put in prayers of thanks for the many little and big blessings of my life.  We also put in special requests — if one of my daughters is having a struggle with a particular challenge at school, or if we need guidance on making a decision, we write a prayer asking for wisdom.    I also include prayers for my friends who need help, assurances, or just the experience of extra love in their lives.  

I have another God box at the office in which I place prayers for the success of my work, my colleagues’ work, and for the good outcome of any problems that arise.  My God boxes are a way for me to have conversations with God and keep me connected with my divine guidance and bigger truths of my life. This has opened up the whole heart experience of feeling more gratitude and consolation. 

Thanks for sharing, Wendy!

Do you have a story to share about lessons learned from your Mom or loved one…or experiences with your God Box? Send them to me at marylou@theGodBoxproject.com–along with photos or videos –and we can post with your permission.

 

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Wow! How can 23,699 people be wrong?

Phenomenal Likes and Shares for “The God Box” on JesusDaily.com Thanks so much!

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Loving Hands Around the World

When my Mom and I used to say “hands on”, we didn’t realize what that would mean for The God Box project. Literally dozens of hands came together to create what has become a book, a play, a growing movement. As handmade as the team was, and as serendipitous as the ways we came together, this project turned out to be one of the most powerful workplace models I have ever been part of. The challenge: how could we gather the best talent in a fluid, virtual, global way so that The God Box project would reflect the most creative and artistic craftsmanship we could find? I hope you will enjoy this piece that just hit Forbes.com that gives credit to the wonderful partners who made this dream come true.

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Letters to The God Box

Over the past month, I have been receiving beautiful letters from readers and keepers of God Boxes. This week, I received one from a woman named Sheila McCarthy. Sheila, who lives in a retirement community of 70,000 in Central Florida, describes herself as a 66 year old grandmother of ten and a mother of four grown children. I would describe her as “loving”.

Here is an excerpt of her letter to me:

Hello

I just wanted to tell you how deeply touched I was by your beautiful tribute to your mother.

Your book was a gift to me from my nephew and I will treasure it always.  I also have a God Box and have had it for over a year.  My God Box is also filled with short notes to God for petitions about my family and extended family. It’s a square velvet box that I keep on my dresser and it was given to me by a very special friend of mine. Ironically, when I first saw a copy of your book, I purchased it for this friend. 

I have always been very spiritual and with such a large family, there have been so many prayer requests.  I’ve been thrilled to have a place to “offer up” my requests and then to “let go.”  It has been a great help to me. I am a product of 12 years of Catholic school and the need to turn to God in times of concern is second nature to me.

I loved your tribute to your mother.  God bless you!

Sheila McCarthy

The Villages, Fl

 

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Happy Father’s Day to all the Dad’s in our lives

I wrote this blog about my Dad, Ray Finlayson, for the Speakeasy column in today’s online Wall St Journal. I miss my Dad every day and I can remember trying to give him ties and tools on Father’s Day…but all he wanted was time with us. Funny…that is all I wish I had with him now.

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Mizpah

I am taking a bit of my own advice (and Mom’s) and letting myself let go this weekend. Ever since the launch of “The God Box” in mid April, I have been going 100 mph every single day trying to do all I can to make it fly. And when I think back on it, I’ve kind of been at this pace since that first “God Box” article in Real Simple in November 2010. And I need a break.

So I am heading out of town with a longtime friend for some girlfriend R and R, to a place where they discourage email, twitter, cellphones and civilization in general. I know I will sneak some peeks, but my goal is to rest, reflect and refresh. As my wish for you, I want to share a beautiful email I just received from a lovely woman named Carolyn Sayres. Carolyn attended the event that I presented last night in NY to benefit my alma mater Saint Joseph’s University’s SheUnited program for women. I had shared the story of my Mom and our farewell of love, “Hands on.”

Here is what she wrote:

“Your presentation was incredibly moving and I felt that all of us in the room were joined together by a common bond.  I was reminded of something my mother would always say to me when we were leaving each other:  ‘Mizpah – May the Lord watch between me and thee while we are apart one from the other.’

I was reminded at how these seemingly little things are sometimes the biggest expressions of Love.  Thank you for reminding me of this.

Best,

Caroline Sayres

 

So to all, Mizpah and Hands on!

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A Rainbow over New York City


Goes to show you that no matter what happens in NYC, there is always a rainbow waiting in the wings!

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press & praise
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  • "A beautiful story of love, faith and family. It reads like an intimate, familiar prayer."
    – ELIZABETH GILBERT, AUTHOR OF "EAT, PRAY, LOVE"
  • "The courage and wisdom from the messages left in her mother’s God Box will inspire you to create a God Box of your own."
    – GAIL SHEEHY, AUTHOR OF "PASSAGES IN CAREGIVING"
  • "Mary Lou Quinlan shares her mother’s handmade and heartfelt gift of how to persist, believe and move forward with joy."
    – LEE WOODRUFF, AUTHOR OF "IN AN INSTANT"
  • "What a beautiful and profoundly human book....I will keep The God Box in my heart for a long, long time."
    – LAURA SCHROFF, AUTHOR OF "THE INVISIBLE THREAD"
  • "A wonderful legacy…Keeping a God Box is an incredibly moving and hopeful ritual that we should all consider adding into our daily lives."
    – REBA, MUSICIAN, AUTHOR, ACTRESS
  • "Mary Lou Quinlan has told the story of her mother in a way that entertains, moves and inspires. The thoughts about life and values will stick with you forever."
    – JIM LEHRER, EXECUTIVE EDITOR OF PBS NEWSHOUR
  • "In the slips of paper that carry this sweet story forward, we can see the love in our own families and the great possibilities of simple faith."
    – JEFFREY ZASLOW, COAUTHOR OF "THE LAST LECTURE"

The God Box App is shiny new and ready to welcome your cares

December 15, 2017
by Mary Lou Quinlan

Since The God Box book was published in the spring of 2012, so many readers have told me that they started their own God Boxes. I love hearing stories of children creating God Boxes and married couples joining their prayer and cares in a family box. (And my mother would be thrilled!)  A 'real' God box is a constant reminder that we are not in control and that letting go is the first step to finding comfort, hope and relief for life's worries. But did you know that many thousands have gone virtual with their God boxes? To help the many busy ...

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