Today, I turned the calendar page in our kitchen from March to April with all the grandeur and flourish of the queen of England completing an important ceremonial role. We must get our fun where we can, folks.
Recently, Aimée brought a chai latte to my porch, keeping herself socially-distant in the appropriate way even as her heart stayed close. Faith perfected her Kelly Clarkson lyrics, with a side of JoBros thrown in. James and Ethan’s spring break ended, and online classes began. I wonder if our country internet will hold up with five people working and schooling from home. Since our family has more evenings together than we’ve had in 15 years, we’re going through Ruth and Troy Simon’s Foundations book.
Last week, someone stole my wallet, but I’m able to replace my driver’s license online. Because Jesus loves me this I know, it only took a record 15 minutes to replace my military ID at Peterson AFB. My oven door decided that a shelter-in-place order was an excellent time to refuse to close, but my MacGyvor husband figured out a way to keep it where it’s supposed to be so it can do what it’s supposed to do. Sure, it currently looks like something the Clampetts might’ve jerry-rigged, but it works–glory be! I’ve perused instagram way too much, especially other people’s pictures of flowering trees and lilacs in bloom. We brought out a new puzzle, and I didn’t complain when the pieces stayed out all the live long week (unusual for me).
Above photos by Christie Purifoy and Maplehurst Gardens
The dishwasher is complaining, however, because she’s tired of running every single day.
And so our weeks chug along, maybe like yours. Highs and lows, kind of like my emotions. Happy and content one moment, sad and disappointed the next.
On the Today Show, Brené Brown said we’re all leaning into a new normal while grieving the loss of our old one. Amen to that, I thought. This change isn’t going away quickly, so it’s easy to get weary from it. She also talked about how if we can name our emotions, it’s easier to walk through them. It gives the power to us, not the emotions. I find the same is true in naming what we’re doing, too.
So, I write the Big Important Things like the delicious stew recipe I made for dinner last night in my One Line a Day: A Five Year Memory Book. Writing a short ten words about what our family did that day is a sweet ritual, a regular landmark in my schedule that celebrates the small things in miles of minutia. And it helps me remember that in some ways it’s a privilege to isolate–to have the space to isolate. It’s a privilege to be able to stay on the homefront when so many others are racing toward the front lines.
Others like our dear friends, Joe and JulieAnne, two practicing physicians who, with so many other health care professionals, storm the beaches while others of us stay at home.
And then there’s the mail deliverers, truck drivers, and pilots who fly miles down the road or high in the sky to move life-saving materials.
There’s the National Guard and other military members who do everything from deliver food and medical supplies to provide support and symptom screening at testing facilities.
Also, we can’t forget the military servicemen and women, like our friend Keric, whose deployments and training time are extended because they’re either quarantined or on lockdown.
And then there’s the restaurant owners and food delivery folks, like our beloved R&R Coffee Café, who jump through a circus-full of hoops to get us our food curbside–and a break from cooking.
There’s the classroom teachers, too, who spent their spring break figuring out how to become online teachers and are still doing their level best to teach our kid’s grade level.
And we can’t forget the EMT’s, paramedics, fire-fighters and other first responders who work 24 hour shifts for days on end.
And where would we be without the grocery folks who check us out and bag our food and answer the same question, “When will you be getting in a new shipment of toilet paper?” 57 times a day?
They’re the heroes and heroines caring for us and our loved ones, no capes required. They’re folks doing a thousand things to fight this invisible enemy.
I’ve got a tender heart to all of us now, those running toward the fire and those of us distancing so we don’t add to the flames. I guess this is me naming some of those folks and thanking God for all of us showing up for others in big and small ways.
When change hits on all sides, it helps to sink into what doesn’t. This country has faults, yes, but we’ve got so much marvelous, too. When we’re faced with a crisis, time and time again we see hope bubbling to the top in the form of mighty good people. What’s more, as Ann Voskamp says, “Though we are in uncharted waters–the One we follow walks on water.” Jesus is with us, and He will bring miracles.
In the meantime, may we bring the gratitude for all the good God sends each day.
If you find yourself struggling to accept and adapt to this big change that is our daily lives right now, then consider reading, Girl Meets Change: Truths to Carry You Through Life’s Transitions. Folks tell me it is a big help to them as they process the unwanted, difficult change in their lives.