During Pandemic 2020, we are doing what we can for the greater good by staying at home as much as possible. We are mourning with those who are suffering, and fighting for joy. There is something about being told to #ShelterAtHome that makes you think of a thousand places that you would like to go. When access to healthcare is greatly reduced, new aches and pains seem to crop up randomly. Strange times.
We are created for community, but temporarily need to spend the majority of our time with those in our immediate household. Ladies like myself with big hearts and long prayer lists will benefit from self-care and self-prayer. Being strong for others begins with simply being strong!
Here are seven points in my practical guide for hunkering down with the family:
1) Let Gratitude Rule The Day
If nothing else has taught us that we are not out here running things, this public health event makes it clear. I humbly write from a place of comfort that there is always something to be thankful for. My personal prayer is that I will be able to say the same in any situation…
If I am ill, I am blessed that you are well to pray for me and to help me. I am still also able to contribute because I can pray for you and encourage you. If I am well, my health is not only for my benefit. I am well on purpose – for a purpose!
What God allows, He can use for His purposes as Sovereign Ruler. Hard to comprehend when we are suffering, yet even in times of trouble, He offers shelter in His Love:
“Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.”
Psalm 91:1 NIV
2) Become A Model
When I worked in the fashion industry, I learned as a showroom model that store buyers were looking to see a product on the ideal frame, -all of which took work!
Our fight for joy in tough times takes work as well. May our moment to moment behavior and speech in our households be an example of how we would want our children to handle things. It is possible to lead from a place of peace even in the middle of a storm. It is the way that we share our words that will be remembered -just as much as what we actually say.
3) Pack Away Your Stash
Most of us stocked up on some extra food and resources when we heard about the pandemic. Put the reserves away and take out only what you need today.
Watching a pile of dwindling resources is not as good for the mind-space as being surprised by just how long the little that you put out can meet your needs. Have faith that you will have what you need to be okay, and take it one day at a time. Home will feel more normal, and you will make the most of those food rations! Conserving resources should now become a new way of life.
4) Carve Out A Daily Routine
If you are blessed to be able to earn during this time, set daily work hours and create a peaceful space. Those in your family are now your co-workers, so be sweet to them!
Essential workers on the front lines will need extra time for prayer covering and the recommended sanitation measures. Those financially impacted by closings have time to plan an economic recovery as a good fight of faith. May we all be able to give out of an overflow! As the church mothers of old would sing, “I’m so glad, trouble doesn’t last always!”
News stories can be overwhelming, so each hard-to-hear update and prayer request goes directly on my intercessory prayer list. Praying over this list is a great way to greet each day in order to grab hold of new mercies that arrive when the sun comes up…
“It is of the Lord‘s mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness.”
Lamentations 3:22-23 KJV
Thankfully, I am able to structure days to include exercise, rest, family time, work and cozy time reading in bed. For married folks, this is a unique time to study and cater to your mate. Let it be said that you came out of this event even closer than before.
5) Cherish The Ones You Are With
This is precious time for long talks, the discussion of ideas, and to learn more about the people that you share space with. From a place of non-judgement, we have an opportunity to hear what is on our family’s heart -from the silly thoughts to their goals and dreams!
Take out the china tea set, play some games or exercise together in order to use this time well. For those who are solo, scheduled time on apps like Google Duo, Zoom or FaceTime will help you interact with those that you love.
6) Maya’s Quote: “Nothing Will Work Unless You Do”
Regular readers know that I am a super-fan of Maya Angelou’s writing. We can all take this quote to heart!
There is a closet that needs organizing, clothes or pictures that need sorting through and surfaces that need disinfecting -it’s time to get to work!
Productive days provide a sense of accomplishment and make our surroundings beautiful. Give full rise to creativity and the genius of your gifts and talents. You will have something to share from this time of intense focus. Learn a new language, practice your instrument. We are waiting for your offering!
7) Strength For This Journey
As a Christ-follower who lives on this planet, I understand that earth is not Heaven because of the words of Jesus:
“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”
Enter JOY! There is a plan that is bigger than my plan. I do not need to have all the answers. Continue to plan for brighter days, trusting that The Lord knows the number of each of ours. If you do not know God as Savior and Comforter, be inspired by music artist Lecrae’s journey. No one is too far from the reach of the love of Christ.
My music artist husband composed the perfect song for such a time as this, so I leave you with this encouragement. Nurture your home, and be well!