I remember how exhausted I felt when my kids were younger. There was always something to do and even when we were home it was laundry, homework, projects, chaos. The one thing missing from our lives was quiet and downtime. Life was like a merry go round that just kept spinning and I wanted to jump off. Day after day it was the same thing until we fell into bed exhausted preparing to do it again.
For me and I imagine for others, this time at home has brought a sense of peace I haven’t known for a long time. I see it in my kids and my husband. The freedom that comes with taking a pause from the demands of the grind are more valuable than what we have left behind. It has taken us back to simpler times before everything and everyone became too busy for the things that matter.
I hope that you are in a place of peace despite this pandemic. I pray you are being transformed back to your true self before the world told you who you had to be. We don’t have to keep up with the Jones. We don’t have to put our kids in every year round sport. We don’t have to work so many hours that not one is left to even fit in a deep breath. This is a time of change and transformation like we have never known. Fall into in. Embrace it. Things will get back to normal but in this house our new normal will be redefined. We are never going back to that…
The sun came out here for the first time in 8 days. I’m counting my blessings in little things like a few hours of sunshine. How is everyone holding up? We are all in these unsettling days together so I wanted to reach out and just say hi and see how everyone is holding up. There’s nothing better than a community that stays connected. Blessings to all!
I remember when we put our daughter on the plane on January 6th. She was flying to Rome by herself to study abroad. My mamas heart was torn as she walked through security and disappeared from our sight. We told her to expect the unexpected and stay calm through the things that didn’t go the way we meticulously planned.
We had no idea that those words would lead to her coming home early and unexpectedly due to a virus no-one thought would reap so much havoc.
I find myself repeating those same words to myself today. Flow with the unexpected and navigate through the murky waters. It may seem dark and scary and certainly may not look the path I started on a few days ago but I will keep walking one step at a time into the unknown until my feet feel grounded. This is a new norm and I will approach it boldly. I love this particular verse and it seems so fitting for the times we face…
We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed.
I do not know what tomorrow may bring but I do have enough to focus on today. I will count my blessings as each day comes and keep moving forward in whatever way that requires. This too shall pass but for now it is a time to be still and wait for the storm to pass.
As so many sit in fear over the thought of isolating for 14 days, I sit here by the bedside of a little boy. He doesn’t get to go to school like other children. His momma can’t do the things we take for granted like run to the store, take a long shower or lay down to take a nap. She can’t go out for lunch or on dates with her husband. They are isolated all the time. Isolation has become their new normal due to medical issues. Somehow, someway they have become lost in a world that looks the other way. Imagine if a few weeks of being trapped in our homes causes so much turmoil and angst, how a lifetime of quarantine and seclusion would feel. My heart hurts knowing how much we are failing people right in our own communities who have been crying out for help that never seems to come. I urge you today to reach out to the people who need you to look at their situation and offer whatever services you are able to give. How do they continue to go on when family and friends look the other way while they drown in their situation. It’s time to surround them with love, with help, with any kind of support we are capable of giving. Once you look it’s almost impossible to look away. It takes a village and each one of us is part of that village. Will you do your part?
What you invite in will make itself at home.
Guard your heart and mind and distance yourself from bitterness and negativity.
Be a light. Be an encourager.
These are crazy times we are living in. This morning I was certain I woke up in the twilight zone. Schools are switching to online instruction, sports are shutting down, concerts are being canceled. Even SAT testing is being postponed and there is hardly a roll of toilet paper sitting on the store shelf. Sometimes when everything is spinning out of control I ask the question where are you God and He shows me how His hand is gently guiding the circumstances in my life. Most people I know are exhausted. They have schedules that never seem to end. They are pulled in 17 different directions and they don’t have a single second to take a breath. As these distractions and other worldly contamination is slowly removed I believe people will start to hear and recognize God in the stillness that will come from these unusual circumstances. We are moving back to a time when our families spent time together and had heart to heart talks and we didn’t spend all our time driving from one activity to another. Remember a time when we finished clearing the table after dinner and then stayed there to play some good old fashioned board games? Welcome back to these times. We are returning to the things that really matter. We’ve lost ourselves, our sanity and our balance amidst these distractions and we didn’t even notice. Our priorities have been out of whack. People are now coming together in ways like never before because instead of being on opposing sides of a situation we are all in this together rooting for the same outcome. I believe God is working all things together for our good and He will use this situation that was meant to harm us and turn it around to bless us in unexpected ways. Look for the blessings! You can put your faith into this virus or you can put your faith in God. I choose God every time. He is in the stillness if you can see through this chaos. I will not live in fear but I will embrace this change and see the good in every second. My eyes will be on Him and not the local news. What are you going to do?
Is your well being and happiness based on circumstances and your expectations of what your life should look like?
As I sit here thinking about the past six months I have to laugh. Never in a million years would I have guessed that my husband would lose his job and my daughter would be sent home from a semester in Italy due to an unexpected virus. There have been other things too that are less than favorable but I have chosen joy despite our circumstances. If I focused on the bad parts I bet I could easily fall into a pit of despair but I put my trust in the Lord and I continually look for and celebrate the blessings. His hand is in all of it. Even the hardships and the disappointments. I remind myself to keep my eyes on Him and not what I see before me. It’s a choice. It’s choosing to overcome the battle of the mind by shutting the negativity down and not inviting it to live inside of me. There are blessings if you are looking but the question you have to ask is what am I looking for? You will find it whatever it is so why not look for the good?
Find joy in spite of it all. Sometimes we have to die to our flesh and expectations before we can see beyond ourselves but I promise the view from this place is a beautiful one if you dare to climb out of yourself and take a look.
Disappointment: unhappiness or sadness from the failure of something hoped for.
Disappointment doesn’t respond to tears. It doesn’t respond to logical arguments or talking about details. It doesn’t respond to the words…this isn’t the end of the world because for someone in this moment it feels like it is.
Disappointment does respond to empathy and encouragement and a silent supportive energy from someone who truly cares. Disappointment responds to time and allowing that space to prepare a place where peace will eventually settle in and that disappointment will lose its grip.
The disappointment will fade and you will find joy through the pain, in spite of it. You will not just go through the pain but you will grow through it and come out on the other side forever changed.
Life doesn’t always look the way we think it will. We have a path perfectly mapped out and in an instant that path gets ripped out from underneath our feet. Sometimes we have to pause and regroup until the world stops spinning and we get to step off of the disappointment and chaos that’s trying to keep us in that uncomfortable place. Reality is knowing that when one path leads to a dead end there is always another way. It may be hard to take that first step in the new direction but reluctantly we put one foot in front of the other and we start to walk. One step at a time, one day at a time until the disappointment is far behind us. Joy will come and this time will pass but until then we just breathe in this place of pain and we pray this heaviness on our heart starts to lift. Sometimes Gods plan is not our plan and we have to trust that He is leading us to a better place far better than we could ever imagine. He will see us through to the other side of this unexpected mess. It just takes a little time…