Dear Readers and Friends,
My heart and prayers are with you and what concerns you. I am praying daily for the world, our nation, for those that have succumbed to the COVID-19 virus and their families, those impacted economically, in addition to other individual prayer requests that come my way. The global crisis we are all facing, justifies our anxiety and our concerns bordering on fear. Our new reality is unsettling to be certain and, to make matters worse, much of it is truly out of our control. If you’re like me, you’re unsure what to do and convinced that you’re not doing enough. That being said, there is something we all can do to affect positive change and keep us from being overcome with concern. Now is a time like no other to fight back fear by enacting our faith through fervent prayer and trust in God of all creation, for He who knows all and sees all. Let us praise Him, lean on His power and authority as we pray for all mankind. Let us call upon the the Holy Spirit within us, declaring God’s promises and who He says we are, as we ask for guidance, healing, restoration and peace. Let us trust Jesus, our Savior and Friend, for all things. With the prompting of the Holy Spirit we can be assured we are doing our part in the unfolding of God’s plan (Ref. Ephesians 3:14-20). Please take this opportunity to express your trust in Him through prayer. Know that He cares about you and everything that concerns you. And, let me know how you are doing. Any specific concerns you would like me to pray over your life can be sent to me privately at: firstname.lastname@example.org
May God bless and keep you always,
The ties that bind us to life are tougher than you imagine, or than any one can who has not felt how roughly they may be pulled without breaking.Anne Brontë. Agnes Grey
Confined! Right now that is where we are. That is how we feel, especially when schools, restaurants, and businesses (virtually everything) are closed and we are asked to shelter in place together at home. We are told to be happy for the family time this situation allots. We are told to take time with one another, be grateful and get creative. We are being told to keep the sunny side up in our family community while our world order and systems everywhere have been flipped upside down. It seems quite unrealistic, doesn’t it?
Well, I believe it is fair to say that it can be an uphill battle against anxiety, irritation and frustration under our current circumstances. In close quarters, any conflict that was easily avoided with former obligations and activities outside the home, those things under the surface of relationships that threatened harmony, are most likely now exposed and causing tension or worse. From personal experience, I can relate. As a family, we have lived through hurricanes and blizzards that have kept our family housebound and without power for weeks. We have also faced various times of financial brokenness. Let me just say, it wasn’t always pretty, but we got through it with God’s help.
Perhaps your wondering what to do about it in your own home? Before cabin fever lights the fuse under these issues and causes potentially irreparable damage in your relationships, there are a few things I recommend: 1) Create a plan for your day, but be flexible because nothing is perfect 2) Set boundaries and expectations for family members 3) Give everyone a job they are responsible for in the home (even the little ones) 4) Allow yourself “time outs” when needed 5) Designate time for daily prayer and self-reflection 6) Love well – Be present and really listen to one another before you react 7) Have reasonable expectations with yourself and your loved ones.
Remember, everyone longs to be heard, seen, appreciated and respected especially by members of their own family. Also, the uncertainty and change of our current situation is felt by everyone. Recognize that they may process it differently than you, and emotions can be heightened. So, when the children are fighting in front of you or are acting out, it is because they want your attention or reassurance. When your spouse or sibling does that thing that drives you mad, they want your reaction. In both examples, you have a choice. You can confront it, ignore it or redirect the situation with grace.
Perception Is Realityunknown
As the youngest child of eight children, I struggled with feeling truly loved and valued. In fact, I fought against feeling ignored which translated into feeling unworthy of love in my own mind. Time and time again I tried to prove my value to my family, which was mostly unsuccessful, because they were all busy with their own agendas. It ended usually with me stomping off sad and angry. There is no blame here. This is about my perception of my reality. We were all driven to prove our worth, parents and children alike. Love was something we accomplished, something we earned.
To this day, in my most intimate relationships, to ignore me is one of the most effective ways to hurt me. I find it cruel. With God’s help I counteract it by remembering who God says I am: I am worthy, I am valued, I am loved, I am His child.
Exposing this to you, writing a blog for the world to see, is an act of bravery. I confront real fear of rejection, but it is Christ, His exemplary life, that makes me brave. I no longer become callous to those who reject me or ignore what I say, for I remember all Jesus did for mankind while knowing He was rejected, yet He did it for us anyway. Through knowledge of God’s love, I process hurt most effectively through prayer, forgiveness, reading His Word and being open to effective communication.
Start your next step forward in gladness, because of the unconditional love God offers you, and be thankful. In that head space, the Holy Spirit, who is always within you and driven by God’s grace, can initiate a clear understanding and direction on how you can be present for others.
Reach out to your loved ones in faith. Forgive and give your sincere heart, for we have all been that child who has felt the sting of rejection. Who knows? Your response through love, may start a trend in your family that could last a lifetime.
Just my thoughts in hopes to help as we all navigate through this unprecedented time, together.
In Him, I pray!