Living through this pandemic CAN be frightening BUT it doesn’t have to be!

Because we have God. Because we can depend on his word.

The Bible tells us to cast our cares on Jesus because he cares for us (1 Peter 5:7) This is very comforting to me. We are told to be anxious about nothing but in EVERYTHING by PRAYER …SUPPLICATION…THANKSGIVING…make our REQUESTS to God (Philippians 4:6)

So yes, the anxiety will show up, but with our focus on God and his truth it can’t stay. We can invite this unwanted visitor to leave!

There have been moments I begin to feel suffocated. I feel the stress TRYING to rise up in my Spirit and physical  body and what do I do?

The word of God can come alive for us during this time in such a fresh way, and if we choose to, the Joy of the Lord can and will be our strength. His peace is his gift to us when we choose to come to him.I love this quote I read from Nelson Mandela! “May your choices reflect your hopes, not your fears.” I choose Jesus. I choose faith.

There have been moments I begin to feel suffocated. I feel the stress TRYING to rise up in my spirit and physical body, and what do I do? I pause. I breathe in and out slowly. I whisper a prayer. I read scripture. I put on worship music. I think about and declare my gratitude. These choices allow room for peace and joy to take over.

What does God do for me in these moments? He lets me rest. He soothes me. He reminds me that the breath I am taking comes from him. He brings joy to my heart through the words of scripture and songs. And he practically touches my heart and life in ways I wouldn’t trade for anything! He sends my son to give me a kiss or ask for, most times he just gives a great big long bear hug and whispers into my ears three precious words…I love you. Then with a smile and a twinkle in his eye, he gazes at me for a while, and we share a moment. That moment is so precious! It is a moment with him and with God. My heart and life become so full again! These are treasures that God is revealing and giving in these times. There are diamonds to be found in these rough mountains we are climbing and valleys we are walking.

Parenting on a good day is a challenge! In these times, being a parent, supervising education, and working from home all at the same time and in the same confined space is adding another dimension of difficulty. Trying to stay calm and be patient with the noise level or attention demands of little humans who are just being who they are…children adjusting to confinement takes an extra measure of grace, especially when there is a meltdown. If I were honest, I would have to say I sometimes feel the same way, but because I am a big human, I have learned how to deal with my emotions or at least to hide them until I get to my bedroom or bathroom.

But God again speaks to me in these moments and opens my eyes to the good happening in all this. We are having more family time than ever before -Our own immediate family and our extended. The games we have learned to play and my online/technical communication abilities have grown so much, and the learning experience has been so much fun! We’ve learned to be creative in different activities that don’t involve spending money unnecessarily! My son has become quite the baker. My waistline is suffering, but this kind of suffering is worth it! We have learned the boys can make dinner one night each! Now, this is a most amazing gift! Why didn’t I implement this before? They are 15 and 12. It is about time! The kids are learning to be more independent, and we are learning their strengths and differences in this area. We are getting to know our children more! I’m reading the Bible more because it’s what keeps me uplifted. All these ways that God is gifting me with special jewels are too many to list!

Am I uncomfortable with this pandemic? Of course. But I am not frightened because “My soul finds rest in God alone” (Psalms 62:1). My foundation and salvation are found in him. By choice, I am choosing to focus on “whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things.” – Philippians 4:8.

This choice is revealing more of God and more reasons to be thankful. This choice has made this journey through this pandemic, and many other difficult times in life, an experience of adventure with God. There are nervous moments. There are many moments of uncertainty. It makes me think about getting on a roller coaster. I say I hate those rides, but I still go on holding my breath and screaming, opening my eyes, and shutting them tightly. Yet I come off laughing and having enjoyed it. God has allowed me to go on this pandemic ride, and by keeping my eyes and mind on him, I will have the same experience…I may not enjoy all of it, but I will have been filled with Joy. God is still on the throne. He is still sovereign. He is still in charge.

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