Hearing

I have a tendency to ignore a lot of auditory input unless it is what I have chosen.  I just tune it out and, if I can’t tune it out, I leave the room. There are things I don’t like hearing because they pull me in to listen and, sometimes, it isn’t good stuff to listen to for whatever reason. Also. sometimes listening is hard work.

Let’s take the coronavirus news as an example. At first, I was hearing so much that I had to stop and listen a bit. In the initial days of the coronavirus, when there was so much conflicting information, I had to weigh some things against my mind and heart. I heard a few illogical things. Things that, when I heard them, I thought — that makes no sense.

But then, it was front and center all day long. If the news was on, I tuned it out. The conflicting reports. The ever changing recommendations. And the variety of responses from the public. Hearing from all of the available sources on the coronavirus: from the CDC to the medical field to the state officials to other nations to business owners to struggling families is a lot to hear.  The perspectives are never ending. And there are not enough hours in the day to hear it all. It isn’t that I don’t have compassion or care about what this means, but I cannot solve this problem.  I can support those close to me who are struggling. I can pray for the vaccine makers to find what they need to find. I can pray for people to love one another, share their resources with those in need, and help in the ways they are called. I can do those things, too. I can listen to my friends as they process and grieve what this means for them. I can do what God is calling me to do.

In the end, here is what I do to limit my exposure to the coronavirus — I wash my hands more. I wear a mask when I am out in public. I don’t hang out in big gatherings.  I had to find a sustainable path for myself.  Mind you, I may get it Covid-19. It seems to be lurking everywhere — all across the world. And whether I live or die, it’s ok. I have peace. I have the blessed assurance of Heaven.

Scripture does not address the coronavirus but it does address the fear the coronavirus brings. Yes, there have been heartbreaking deaths — people dying alone with their families unable to be near them but who desperately want to be there. There have been a lot of hard things from livelihoods being completely disrupted to serious financial challenges. Of course, this situation has made my life uncomfortable and stressful in a few ways, but I am thankful that I have God’s peace. God’s promise is not that we will have an easy life. This is Earth, after all, not Heaven.

Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:6-7 NIV

I am so glad that verse is tucked into my heart. I even know it set to music, which is a bonus. Music always helps me memorize!

When there are sounds all around me, disrupting my day, I need to investigate them. I’ll talk more about Listening next time.

God’s blessings on your week!
Liz

Disrupted

I had just discovered a daily routine that I could base off of when my travel schedule interrupted. And then, the coronavirus hit. And just like that, every routine I had was disrupted. There are a lot of unknowns. Things are not going as I had planned. And it seems we still have a long way to go. I think this is just the beginning.

We all go through times when our lives are disrupted:

  • a diagnosis
  • a pregnancy
  • a run-in with the law
  • moving
  • an accident
  • a new job

And we make adjustments. We grieve. We do what we need to do to move forward. It’s more on a personal level and our people circle around us and support us.

But, sometimes there are regional, collective disruptions – things that affect multiple people in your circle or location

  • a death or diagnosis in your family
  • tornadoes, hurricanes, wildfires, or flooding in your neighborhood
  • your workplace shuts down

More people experience the stress. Those who might have encouraged you in the midst of your personal struggle are caught up in this group catastrophe. You work together to figure it out but everyone is in various stages of grief. It’s a time to support one another and walk together.

And now, nearly everyone is impacted in such a variety of ways with the coronavirus pandemic — people all over the world. If they haven’t been exposed to the virus they are feeling the effects of it. Supply chains are impacted. This is huge. It’s like coming to the scene of a really bad accident and trying to make triage decisions but without the blood and twisted metal.

How do we start reconnecting and deciding what is a part of our new routine? How do we make sense of the disruption? How do we find peace in the midst of all of this? Will those times on our knees become a part of the new normal? Will the breath prayer “Lord, I have no idea what this day is going to look like but walk with me,” continue to be the start of our days?

For me, I can’t even say what the new normal will look like but I do have today. And that is a fine place to start. I may not know what tomorrow will look like so I will just be present today:

 I will sing of your strength,
    in the morning I will sing of your love;
for you are my fortress,
    my refuge in times of trouble.

 You are my strength, I sing praise to you;
    you, God, are my fortress,
    my God on whom I can rely.
Psalm 59:16-17

“Separated…

Until the veil was torn….”

“Light of the World by darkness slain.”

It’s a beautiful day here in southern Indiana. It is a good day.

It is Good Friday.

And we are headed into the Easter weekend on Day 20 or so of restricted activity. I actually stopped counting because keeping track is just a bit much for me.

And while I am separated from some of the ones I love, I am pretty thankful for the extra time I get with the others I don’t see on a regular basis. Our two youngest have been staying with us for the last three weeks and it has been a good thing for all of us!

So, while I am separated from some of those I love, I haven’t been separated from all of them.

And I wonder if that is a bit of how God feels….

The sadness of not being a part of the lives of some of His Creation…

The longing to have them recognize His great love for them…

The burden for them and the pains and losses they have endured…

The desire to help them…

The hope of the day that they will come to know Him…

The delight in the relationships He does have…

Each person is unique… each one important… each one loved… even if they don’t realize it!

Below are two songs. Enjoy them. Rest in His grace and hope. The world is changing and we are here to witness it. How we share God’s love and grace is important but how we understand it on a personal level is essential.

Go forth in God’s love and grace!

All of Creation ~ MercyMe

In Christ Alone

Back to Basics

I was just getting into a decent rhythm but it has been shaken up a bit with this incredible health crisis. How about you? However, I am extraordinarily appreciative of the downtime but I still feel a bit scattered.

The Lord is my light and my salvation—
    whom shall I fear?
The Lord is the stronghold of my life—
    of whom shall I be afraid?
Psalm 27:1

I find it very hard to focus on things at the moment. Our two youngest are staying with us which helps provide entertainment and distraction. They are funny people. But I need to come up with a temporary routine as we shelter-in-place in Indiana.

I do love how the world is coming together to share resources — from penguins walking around zoos so people can see the animals to illustrators giving video lessons to read alouds through the libraries. Churches who have not moved to the digital age are stepping out there and learning new things for their members. People are giving what they can in new ways! Let’s embrace and share those good things!

As for me, I am not full of fear but I am full of unknowns. I am waiting it out — all of it! Times are interesting, that is for sure.

Step away from the news. Hunker down in your homes. Cook new things. Try your hand at creating. Check in with the people you love!

And pray without ceasing…..