The Lord has provided a rather unique opportunity lately in learning to bloom where you are planted, and to choose joy even in the middle of dire circumstances.
Around the globe, there are folks everywhere who have come down with Covid-19; not only causing a massive death rate, but a sense of global panic as store shelves empty and the economy is swirled with uncertainty.
As someone now categorized as “high risk” myself for actually catching said virus, it has definitely caused a time to stop and think about how things are going, and what it could possible mean for my family and those who are dear to me. We are practicing self-isolation as best as we can at the minute. No tuning or teaching piano, or photography shoots for me, and Daniel is going out only to pick up necessities and to go to work.
It has been interesting realizing that staying away from others during this time is a way to very purposefully love your neighbor. Because so many of the folks carrying Covid-19 are a-symptomatic, it is being spread to those most at risk without it even being realized. My heart is burdened for the many, many elderly, immuno-compromised, COPD, high blood pressure, etc. folks both in my life and that I do not know, that will likely be affected by this in some way or another. I am praying God is the Lord of their life and that those who do not know Him will be drawn to Him through this crisis.
My heart hurts for all of those who have lost their jobs, or work, and have no idea how they are going to provide for their family. With so many people working what is deemed as “non-essential” work or services, I know they are grasping at straws to figure out how to pay their mortgage, or even just to get enough groceries for the next few days. I am praying we all keep our hearts and eyes open to see how we can minister to these people as we navigate through this crisis, and that when we recognize a need, we are willing and able to (safely) help fill it.
One of the things that is particularly important is making sure we keep our eyes on the things above, even as things are in mass chaos here on earth. Our God is a God of order, and we will be able to best maintain peace and joy when we stay focused on Him and on the truths found in His word- not being swayed by the circumstances that flow in and out of our lives. We must not live in fear- no matter what happens, the Lord has planned all of it, and He knows already the outcome. In that, we can rest secure. <3
Around New Year’s, I posted on instagram that my big goal of the year was to really focus on making my home a safe haven for my little family and our guests who visit. I want the love of the Lord to exude abundantly, and I want it to be a calm, peaceful place for us to live. It is very important to me to be a homemaker with intention. This season has been a good test in choosing to not drag the extra drama from the outside world into our home, and to continue to focus on making it a place of peace, growth, and safety for my family.
Now that all of my time for the foreseeable future will be spent at home, one of the ways I am “choosing joy” is making time for things that I didn’t make time for before while balancing a schedule of being home AND away from home. I am determined to not only make time for some fun things I don’t normally have time for, but I also want to be able to look back at this time as a time when there was much accomplished around my home and farmstead.
If you are looking for some ideas of how you can fill extra time, here are some of the things I have been working on or will be working on soon:
-Today, I pulled out my dusty fiddle case and was able to squeeze in practice time for one of the first times since we moved here almost a year ago. I forgot how much I loved to play fiddle!
-I am continuing on with finishing up some web projects I have going for my web clients, and I have a few custom jewelry and vinyl orders that I will be shipping out in the next couple of days. I’m also looking forward to making some new things and getting them actually listed in my etsy shop as well.
-Daniel and I have been busy outside on the farmstead and our orchard is planted, seeds are started to go in the veggie beds that Daniel is finishing building this week, our bees are here and happy, and I’ve gotten quite a bit of weeding done in our flower beds. (Details on all of these projects to follow soon on our farm website.) Seeing how empty the grocery store shelves have been, it has been an important reminder and incentive for us to focus and get our farmstead going so that we have our own sustainable source of food that is not dependent on the grocery store each week. A larger chicken coop is in the works in a few weeks so that our ladies have a bit more room to run around.
-We’re still working on the inside of the house too. Thresholds for the guest bathroom floor transitions are coming soon, as is our faux fireplace! I can’t wait to share pictures when we start that project.
-I’m getting freezer meals put away for when baby gets here, or for us to eat sooner if needed with the potential for food shortages. It is so nice to see those meals starting to stack up on the freezer shelves!
-I recently finished up a whole-house decluttering challenge with some friends of mine, and it was really eye-opening as to where we were wasting space, and how much extra junk we had that we didn’t use! I am so glad we were able to get that stuff cleaned out and had room to put away some extra diapers and such.
-Some of the extra time has been spent really thinking through what Oliver’s daily routine looks like now. At 14 months, he is very busy and needs different activities to keep him busy and out of trouble through the day. I am thankful to have been able to spend some uninterrupted time on that without needing to be distracted running errands and with other out-of-the-house activities.
-Finally getting some reading done, haha! I hadn’t really spent any time reading at all since Oliver was born, and realized I needed to be feeding my brain. It has been nice to see my reading challenge list start to actually fill up on Goodreads!
-Along the same lines of increasing knowledge, the man and I are planning on taking some of the free online classes being offered over the next few weeks. I know for sure that we will be doing some beekeeping classes through the extension office, and Daniel found an engineering class he’s considering doing as well.
-This one seems small, but it’s actually quite big. Playing inspiring, uplifting music throughout the day has been a great way to bring some joy and cheerfulness into our home. Even Oliver knows what it means when I say that Mama is about to turn some music on, and he gets the biggest grin!
-I am also trying to make time to touch base with folks I haven’t spoken with in a while, whether through a quick text, or old-fashioned snail mail. If those notes could bring even a little bit of encouragement to someone having a rough day, than that would be wonderful!
My dear friends, wash your hands, maintain social distancing, and choose joy. Prepare wisely, love your neighbor, and don’t live in fear. Enjoy the way the sky lights up as the sun rises and sets. Take in the sights of the bees dancing from flower to flower. Feel the warm spring breezes blow through your yard. Soak up the precious extra time you are getting to spend with your family. Sip that first bit of coffee and enjoy all the little flavors and the gentle aroma coming from your mug. Listen to the birds singing, or a favorite song, or ask for suggestions for new tunes. Write letters to the elderly stuck in nursing homes unable to receive visitors. Learn a new skill. Learn to listen instead of talk. Pray for our leadership as they are having to make hard decisions. Be a servant to others, rest in Jesus, and wash your hands. <3