Tuesday, March 24, 2020
Survive or Thrive?
But blessed is the one who trust in the Lord, whose confidence is in Him. They will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green. It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit.
The spread of the Covid-19 virus is causing millions of us to change the way we go about our everyday lives. If the daily news regarding the pandemic isn't stressful enough, being in close quarters, quarantined with immediate family, can create an atmosphere of breaking-point tension. Does that apply to you? How are you surviving the situation in your home?
Here are some things I'm doing to alleviate apprehension and emotional strain.
Walking the neighborhood - Once I conquer the Driveway of Doom and our Cul-Death-Sac, the bulk of my walking is relatively easy.
I'm used to the treadmill at the gym, so my first forays into outdoor exercise gives my leg muscles a painful wake-up call. Yet, the fresh, cool air blowing on my face and the myriad songs of the birds, work wonders in dissolving all negative thoughts. It's also become the perfect opportunity to pray!
To most of you, this will sound absurdly silly, I know. But without appearing in public, so to speak, I've dropped this routine from my morning schedule. This frees up some extra minutes to indulge in more . . .
Reading - The last time I visit with my mother, I borrow some books from her generous library.
I don't often read history, preferring fiction over non-fiction, but this is proving to be a positive change. I'm in the middle of 1776, and I can't give it enough praise! Thankful to have the other two waiting in the wings.
Watching shows that make me laugh - Right now, I'm on Netflix, enjoying old episodes of The Andy Griffith Show.
Not only am I magically transported back to my childhood, but the humor and quality of acting successfully distract me from the situation at hand. So entertaining and uplifting! (Fun Trivia: Did you know that the characters of Andy and Barney are first cousins? And that Opie (Ron Howard) and I share the same birthday, March 1?)
Playing games - Yes, my husband, Danny and I are indulging in extra rounds of backgammon! A game of both chance and strategy, it definitely engages our minds in a positive way.
And most importantly . . .
Immersing myself in God's Word - I'm being so challenged by this Lenten study I choose, Rediscover Jesus by Matthew Kelly.
Each day, a new entry invites me to more fully understand Jesus' radical love for us, and how we can more effectively be His hands and feet in this hurting world.
And I love, love, love my new Jesus Bible that Danny gives me for my birthday!
The commentaries are insightful and illuminating, and the NIV translation makes the Scripture easy to read and digest. I absolutely need God's inspiration, comfort and wisdom, and I look forward every morning to spending time in His presence.
Because I long to be that tree planted by life-giving waters. Thriving, not simply surviving.
God knows our struggles, our fears, our stresses. He stands ever at the ready to offer us His peace and grace, urging us to dig deeper into Him, to replenish our souls from His Living Water.
With our Father's help, we can all learn to thrive, not simply survive, these troubled times.
What are you doing to alleviate stress in your life these days? Please share in the comments!
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