Looks like Spring Break just doubled or quadrupled or turned into an eternal summer.
A forced sabbatical for our go-go-go nation.
I’m ok with forced rest. Years of chronic illness and debilitating health taught me that. Here are 17 other things I learned to thank God for that came out of my years of sickness.
But rest is not about just binge watching Netflix. And rest is not about leisurely retail shopping online. True rest is about getting into the presence of Jesus.
That said, I just want to take a minute to remind you of the first line of defense in times like this.
Get still. Take some deep breaths and just get still. Have your moment with the Lord.
Do some battle. This is the most powerful thing you can do. How much time have you spent worrying and wondering and talking about these historical global paranoia and how much time have you spent praying about it? That convicts me. Had a friend, Ms. Mary Jo, recommend that we pray for the helpers, the doctors, the authorities and those who are sick every time we wash our hands. Brilliant, tangible reminder!
Laugh and Watch a movie. Here are my top recommendations on movies that will not only take some stress off, they’ll give you historical perspective, make you laugh, and inspire you to reach out to others.
Prepare. My church in Omaha had a woman who worked on the Eboli outbreak and who is now helping with the bio-contaminate unit for infectious diseases. She said, yes prepare about 2 weeks of stuff. But don’t go crazy. Truthfully, most households already have this in stock. Trust me. As a military family, we know how long it takes to go through a deep freezer and we have to start eating it up to empty it out about 6 months before each move. You are not going to starve. But if you take 5 bottles of ibuprofen or all the frozen broccoli, then the next family who actually needs it and finally got their paycheck has none to buy when its their turn to get to the store.
Think of others. Last week, neighbors I only met once on Halloween came to mind. I don’t even know their names, but I felt like God wanted me to stop and ask what they needed since I was on my way to the grocery store. Sadly, they didn’t open the door (because they probably thought I had the coronavirus! Just laugh! I’m kidding.) But I obeyed. I’ve met lots of widows lately and am checking in on them as well. And remember the old testament teachings about leaving some wheat to the ground so that the poor and widows can gather the grain? Leave the last bag of spinach or the last roll of toilet paper for the next family who may need it much more than you. I can’t imagine having diarrhea at a time like this! 🙂
Give. When I freaked out about toilet paper (sorry, but it was already a concern of mine!), the Lord asked me to give some of my toilet paper away. After that, the fear disappeared. If you are well stocked for the next few weeks or months, then you have been given a great opportunity. Seek out the local school leadership and see what families desperately need school meals and food pantry supplies. Even the food pantries are shut down in my county until end of March. It’s time for the church to rise up. Jesus wasn’t kidding… It’s truly better to give than to receive. Times like this will test our belief in that. But you can never out-give God! So give and get set free.
Read a book. The idea the Lord gave me is to read Heaven for Children by Randy Alcorn. Setting our sites on things above and hopefully we’ll get a visual of where our daddy is right now. Another timely book to snag right now is In Want and Plenty by a beautiful soul, Meredith McDaniel. Just released this January. Written in advance for times just like this today.
Thank God. Gratitude will immediately turn your heart from a spirit of poverty and fear and send you to the place of peace. Write down some things you are thankful for. I’m going to start with: I’m thankful for running clean water, internet, electricity, and sunshine.
Seek the Lord while He can be found. Guys, time with the Lord, building up intimacy with Him, storing up His word in our hearts… it’s going to get harder and harder to do. Start now. Build it up now.
Hug somebody. Did you know that after 20 seconds of a hug, oxytocin is released in the body? Seriously. Hug somebody.
Get some Vision. Our culture is very good at keeping busy to distract themselves when they get worried. I see it especially in women when their husbands deploy. People start shopping, come up with projects, and getting busy. But what if God has other plans for your time? Don’t waste these weeks ahead. Honestly, just take a minute and say, “Lord, how do you want me to spend today? How do you want me to spend the next week?” His answer may surprise you, and I guarantee you’ll be glad you asked Him.
I know a lot of people went into 2020 wanting clarity, focus, and fresh vision. I went in wanting clarity in the form of hindsight. It all works together. Spend some time offline and seeking God about your priorities and callings and catch His vision for your life. This is something I do on a regular basis. So I put it into printable workbook form to help guide you through that process. For such a time as this. It’s pretty life-changing.
Giveaway Instructions for In Want + Plenty:
Deadline: Friday, March 27th at stroke of midnight 😉
1.) Subscribe below and get access to your free printable library!
2.) Share this post on your social media OR direct email it to three friends. Encourage them to subscribe with you!
3.) Comment below with DONE! Bonus, tell me one thing you’re going to focus on in days ahead!
and BOOM… I’ll enter you in a drawing for your own copy if In Want and Plenty!***