While this time of COVID has been challenging and at times frustrating, it has also given me pause to reflect. When life slammed on the brakes in March, life became, in many ways, much quieter. Suddenly my calendar was cleared and things that just days before were important, suddenly weren’t anymore.
Lots of things in life became more clear and this time at home has brought some new perspectives. I want to share some things that I’m newly thankful for during this time.
7 Things the Coronavirus Has Made Me Thankful For:
- My office – Suddenly the church office became super quiet. I was the only one in the office each day; for weeks on end. Gary and Zack both chose to work from home. While the quiet was good for a while, I miss the normalcy of the routines of church ministry. I miss seeing my co-workers’ faces and hearing about their lives and talking through work situations. Gary is now back in the office most days and Zack is returning a couple of days each week, so I’m excited and thankful about that.
- My church family - I love all the people I get to interact with through my work; but it isn’t as fun to do, all alone, via a quick chat on the phone or through zoom. Actually connecting with my church family, face to face is life giving. I’m so thankful that more of you are willing and able to pop by the office for ‘any old excuse’; to pick up a library book, a Daily bread or Church Directory, or just to say hi and have a coffee (socially-distanced of course) and share with us a little of your life right now. It makes me realize how truly grateful I am for all of you; a blessing in my life! I have been much more deliberate in praying for you as your names pop into my mind; which is frequent as God places you on my mind throughout my days and even sometimes at 3:00a.m. when I can’t sleep. And so, I’m thankful that God has been teaching me not to take my friends and family for granted.
- My calendar– My life used to be super busy; probably too busy! (some people have told me that. LOL) I have learned to appreciate the slower pace of this time, but I also miss looking at my calendar and seeing all of the meetings, events, and appointments in the weeks. My husband in particular, has really enjoyed having me at home in the evenings and we’ve spent a lot more time just relaxing together. So I’m learning to relax; just a little. I still can’t ‘just sit’; I have to be doing something with my hands all the time, even if it’s working on an on-line puzzle, or checking up on my friends on Facebook. I hope when my calendar begins to fill up again, I’ll have this new perspective to maintain better boundaries. But I am looking forward to a few things back on my day-planner; but not as many though. I’ve actually begun to enjoy the slower pace of life very much and have gotten used to it and quite love it! So I’m thankful that God is teaching me to be content where I am; even if there’s nothing to do and no place to go.
- The weekend– The days run together. I struggle sometimes, to remember what day it is. (I’ve heard that from quite a few of you too!) I miss the rhythm of the week and the anticipation of the approach of the weekend. It reminds me not to take my weekends for granted. They are a blessing in my life.
- My family– This time has given me a new appreciation for each of my family members, including my extended family; parents, siblings and their families. It has been great to have time to go into the mountains and do some 4x4-ing or target shooting, or just to sit together and listen to them; enjoying their laughter; spending quality time together.
- Technology– I never thought I’d say it, but I’m thankful for technology. I think we’re all amazed and grateful for the internet right now. Technology makes it possible for many of us to work from home, communicate with teachers (Help!), visit the doctor, and even research a new recipe. This time could have been WAY more difficult if we didn’t have our current technology to keep us entertained. So, though it was in many ways a huge learning curve for me, I’ve come to appreciate technology in new ways.
- My faith– This has been a crazy time. For some of you, it’s been scary or lonely and sad. For me it’s been the quiet that I’ve had to adjust to the most; and the feeling of being out of control. And with so much uncertainty in the world it can lead me down a path toward anxiety. There is more out of my control than in my control and I don’t do well with that. However, I know that my faith is what has kept me anchored when I start to feel overwhelmed by the uncertainties. I’m anchored by the truths that are unchanging. My God is real and He IS IN CONTROL. He’s not surprised by what’s happening in our world and He’s walking with me through this. He has not left me and He has a plan for my good. I can trust Him because He has ALWAYS been faithful. He has an excellent track record. I can trust Him with it all! It reminds me of the old hymn “Day by Day.” Have a listen here. I hope you enjoy it.
1. Day by day and with each passing moment,
Strength I find to meet my trials here;
Trusting in my Father’s wise bestowment,
I’ve no cause for worry or for fear.
He whose heart is kind beyond all measure
Gives unto each day what He deems best;
Lovingly, it’s part of pain and pleasure,
Mingling toil with peace and rest.
2. Every day, the Lord Himself is near me
With a special mercy for each hour;
All my cares He fain would bear, and cheer me,
He whose name is Counselor and Pow'r.
The protection of His child and treasure
Is a charge that on Himself He laid;
"As your days, your strength shall be in measure,"
This the pledge to me He made.
3. Help me then in every tribulation
So to trust Thy promises, O Lord,
That I lose not faith's sweet consolation
Offered me within Thy holy Word.
Help me, Lord, when toil and trouble meeting,
E'er to take, as from a father's hand,
One by one, the days, the moments fleeting,
Till I reach the promised land.
Yes, this has been a crazy time and it certainly isn’t over. There are still so many things out of my control. But there have been lots of hidden blessings in the midst of all the uncertainty and change. One of them is this list of things that I now realize I’m thankful for. It actually keeps getting longer.
What about you? What are you newly thankful for during this season?