If EVER there was a time to be reminded that there is always, always, ALWAYS something to be thankful for, I think it is this week.
I am thankful:
~ for Sawyer’s full and complete recovery from strep throat and scarlet fever! His salami rash slowly receded and eventually stopped itching, and he is doing great. Perhaps the greater miracle is that NO ONE ELSE GOT SICK!!!! Glory to God!!!!
~ for a fun and relaxed Spring Break week before the crazy hit. It blows my mind to look back through all the pictures I have taken and realize this was all THIS WEEK.
~ for my favorite Spring Break tradition. Six years ago, we had just had a major life change. The population explosion of 2013. That next March we had 8 children, including three newly adopted kids and a four month old. Spring break plans were out of the question for lots of reasons. And I was also completely overwhelmed with the question, “How can I give each child the time and attention he/she needs?” So our Spring Break plan became one-on-one breakfasts with mom. It was just a tiny thing, but a sweet opportunity to get away with each child. And that has become our thing. The kids are chosen at random, no one knows they’re going until they get the tap in their sleep in the morning. They pick the place, and usually we play a few rounds of 20 questions while we eat. I absolutely treasure it.
~ for lovely weather. We went on walks, picnics, went to the park, and to the pond to feed the ducks.
~ for movie night. Finally got to watch Frozen 2, and it was so good. We love us some Elsa.
~ for an unexpected quick visit from Aunt Gina and Cousin Jackie.
~ for a sweet early St. Patrick’s Day goodie from Grandmommy.
~ for Pi Day (3.14, March 14). I will take advantage of any opportunity to make AND EAT a pie! (Thank You Lord, for my pie-loving girl that I can use as an excuse to bake pies!)
~ for one tiny purple violet smiling in my yard. Hooray for spring!
~ for Andy’s Frozen Custard and Rounder’s Pizza. Love us some local yumminess!
~ for the best help for Dad to put together our new fire pit.
So. We had a lovely, low key Spring Break week. And then things started to get crazy. At first we didn’t pay much attention, because it didn’t seem like it had much to do with us. Then the crazy started taking over. Headlines. Social media. Emails. Cancellations. Hysteria and hoarding in the grocery aisles.
I have plenty of opinions, but they really don’t matter. The fact is, this is what we are living in right now. I have lived a lifestyle of “social distancing” for more than 3 years. No crowds. Masks. Wiping down surfaces with bleach and hospital grade disinfectant. Militant hand washing and hand sanitizer at every door. Changing clothes as soon as coming home from school/work. When you live with someone who is immune-compromised, life looks different. The “outside world” feels scary, with danger lurking on every surface. (I can’t relate to the toilet paper frenzy, though…) I know what it’s like to want people to respect that my son couldn’t fight off “just a virus,” no matter how minor it was.
I read somewhere that what our kids will remember most about this season is how their parents acted. We have been very mindful of this with our kids. Telling them we don’t have to be afraid, but we do have a responsibility to make wise choices to keep ourselves and others healthy. God is bigger than any virus, and none of this has taken Him by surprise. That doesn’t mean that if you “have faith” you ignore the warnings and barrel through.
I have faith. I know that God is in control. I know that no matter what happens, I STILL KNOW how the story ultimately ends. And in the meantime, I plan to do the best I know how to care for my family, and be a compassionate and responsible citizen that is mindful of others. I also have been open with the fact that I routinely struggle with anxiety, and health concerns really ramp that up for me. So I walk a very precarious tightrope of faith vs. fear.
Today was named National Day of Prayer for our country. Let’s do it again tomorrow. PRAY! Pray for the broken-hearted families who have lost loved ones. For those who are sick. For those who are scared. For the first responders and doctors and nurses and healthcare workers who are CHOOSING to work on the front lines and provide care to the masses. For families with critically ill loved ones in hospitals that fear being exposed. For the kids who are missing meals because the only time they get to eat is at school. For the moms and dads who have to choose between keeping their job or caring for their kids at home. For the businesses and employees who don’t know how they will manage with their loss of income. For the store managers who are fielding nonstop complaints about the shelves they can’t keep stocked. For the truck drivers feverishly trying to get those cargos delivered. For the nursing home residents who are on lockdown. And for the elderly people and immune-suppressed people for all different reasons who know they are potentially in danger. For the leaders of our country and our states and cities who have important decisions to make as best they can.
Let’s look past being irritated and inconvenienced. Turn off the sources spreading rumors and panic and frustration. And start SPREADING KINDNESS. Let’s find the good in a slower paced, more simplified lifestyle. Let’s spend time with our kids. Read. Call people we miss. Be creative. Clean. Take walks. Pray.
This Thursday is Sophie the Brave Day. Sophie Skiles would be turning 5 on March 19, but she will spend it in heaven with Jesus because of cancer. Her incredible parents, Jonathan and Shelby, have dedicated this day to spreading Christ’s love across the globe in Sophie’s memory. Do something! Call a hurting friend. Drop off a care package to a hospital. Order from Amazon and have supplies delivered to a nursing home. Send cards to a shut-in. There are plenty of ways to #domoreforsoph that don’t violate safe social distancing practices.
Let our faith be bigger than our fear.
Kindness is contagious.
Thanks for giving thanks with me. (And wash your hands.)
“Through Jesus, therefore, let us continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise—the fruit of lips that openly profess his name. And do not forget to do good and to share with others, for with such sacrifices God is pleased.” (Hebrews 13:15-16)
“Let love be genuine. Abhor what is evil; hold fast to what is good. Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor.” (Romans 12:9-10)
“Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. Share with the Lord’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality. Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn.” (Romans 12:12-15)