What I’m Learning from Sheltering in Place
I am used to staying home most of the time, but the past several weeks have been a whole new level. At the beginning of this current global pandemic I had no idea it would actually come so close to home.
I remember sometime in February asking Mama what she thought, and should I start stocking up on groceries and toilet paper like everyone else?
She told me not to panic, but it didn’t take us long to realize how quickly things were getting serious near us. Then everything seemed to happen all at once. Local congregations were cancelling services or shifting them to online only, events and activities were being cancelled right and left, and all the toilet paper and hand sanitizer disappeared from the shelves of all the stores.
Sam decided he wanted me to get out as little as possible, and he began running errands and buying groceries for us (the only reasons I had left to get out as everything else had been cancelled).
Life has definitely changed for us, but it has still been good, and I have learned many lessons. Here are just a few…
I miss people
I am an introvert. Staying home with my family is one of my favorite things. I enjoy being around others, but my retreat is always in my home.
The past few weeks have taught me just how much I love and need to be around others. I miss hugging and talking face-to-face with members of our local congregation. I miss seeing Mae run around with her friends and seeing how much they have grown, or what silly thing they are doing lately.
I miss meeting up with friends for coffee or play dates. I miss coaching the homeschool track team and seeing the runners and their parents every week.
Being with my family at home is wonderful, but I am learning just how much good other people did for me!
Little things make a big difference
The sun shining
Walks in the beautiful spring weather
FaceTimeing friends and family
Supper cooked by my husband
Chick-fil-a take out
Making cookies with my family
Seeing the faces of our church family, even through car windows or computer screens
These past few weeks, more than ever, I have noticed and appreciated so many little things I often take for granted.
Whether or not the sun is shining determines if Mae and I can spend time outside and go for walks or runs. The sun has never made me happier and it has never meant so much to me to spend time outside.
Having a break from cooking dinner has never felt like such a relief. Chick-fil-a has never tasted so good.
I pray the little things will not lose their appeal, and I will continue to thank God for them every day even when our lives resume their “normal” busyness.
I like being in control
Right now everything feels out of control. When will I be able to go to the grocery store or run errands like normal? I have no idea.
When will our church be able to meet together again in our building instead of the parking lot? We are making plans, but we don’t know.
Will everything be back to normal when our baby is born? Will Sam be able to be with me, and will I get to see Mae in the hospital after the birth? I have no idea.
I have always liked the feeling of being in control, of knowing exactly what my plan is and being able to change it if needed. In reality, I have never been in control, but this pandemic and quarantine is revealing to me just how little control I have.
The biggest comfort in all the seeming loss of control is that the One who is in control is all wise, all powerful, and all loving. I’m glad everything is in His control, and not mine.
Everything else has stopped, but God hasn’t
Instead of sitting in a pew beside our church members, passing plates of unleavened bread and fruit of the vine, and singing praises
alongside each other every Sunday, we wave through closed car windows and listen to Sam conduct our worship through the radio.
But God hasn’t stopped. It looks different, but we have not stopped coming together through Him.
He hasn’t stopped listening to our prayers. He hasn’t stopped sustaining our lives every moment we continue to live.
Our garden has been a reminder and testimony to me of God’s continuous power in the world. A few weeks ago Sam tilled our garden plot and built two new raised beds and we filled them with plants and seeds. Mae and I go out nearly every morning to tend to the garden, pull weeds, and water the plants.
I have never been more excited to watch plants grow. Every day new growth is evident. Sometimes we go out twice a day, and more sprouts have come up, or new leaves have unfurled since the morning.
God is still in control, and even though it seems like everything else has stopped, plants still grow, we still live and breathe, and God is controlling it all.
He hasn’t stopped.
What have you learned?
I know there are countless other things I could list, and I’m sure you could add to my list as well. What have you learned over the past few weeks?