Yikes. I’m writing this on Friday with no confidence that it will be the least bit relevant by Sunday when you read it. Unprecedented times for sure!
Consider this… Every single person on this planet is experiencing this storm. While the particulars may be unique from person to person, no one has escaped the talons of Covid19. None of us did anything to deserve this, and yet, from east to west, north to south everyone has been impacted in some way. If the blood pressure of our world could be taken right now, it would be dangerously high — on the brink of a heart attack high.
We share a common denominator… STRESS. There is the stress of uncertainty, stress about health, stress about finances and stress about our day to day behaviors. And… stress takes a toll. If you’d like to read more on the subject—- I wrote about it long before our current pandemic.
Today’s Community Check In
With today’s CHECK IN I’d like to appeal to this online community to lift each other up. How are you coping? I am NO stress expert. But these ideas have helped me to better cope.
1. Start your day with the Lord.
And… that favorite excuse of I’m too busy… I’m not buying it. John Eldredge recommends a one minute pause, when our lives are consumed with busy-ness. I think it’s useful exercise when our lives are consumed with stress too. There is even a free app for your phone called PAUSE. Over soft music phases that bring peace are spoken…. it takes one calming minute.
“Jesus, I give everyone and everything to you Lord. I give myself to you Jesus. Fill me with your Holy Spirit that brings comfort and peace. I trust you Sovereign God. I give everyone and everything to you Lord.“
This one minute of an intentional pause is a perfect reset.
2. Get dressed.
AS IF you have someplace to go, get dressed. This is advice is from my dear sweet mama who is quarantined, living with Parkinsons, in assisted living. As a kid growing up on those rare occasions when I didn’t feel well, she would advise, “get dressed you’ll feel better.” Mama is always right.
3. Step outside.
Breathe deeply. I understand even the canals in Venice are running clear due to decreased human impact. Notice things. Notice things you have no control over — the brightness of the sky, the wind, the quantity of buds on the tree, the fact that the sky is not falling. Using all of your senses, notice that God is in control.
If you’re able to get outdoors, that is a bonus. I’ve enjoyed walks, my bike and yard work. If the weather doesn’t cooperate and you’re stuck indoors… get some exercise anyway. There are many FREE resources available. Endorphins and blood flow help to combat stress.
5. Watch your caffeine and sugar intake.
If you’re like me, too much time at home tempts me to drink more coffee than usual. Caffeine spikes your adrenals which exasperates stress. Sugar causes your insulin to spike then crash adding to that sluggish yucky feeling.
6. Bless someone else.
Text and email are great tools. But in our busyness we have gotten away from a good old fashion phone call. Take time to visit over the phone. Especially if it’s someone alone or older or overwhelmed with kids underfoot. I’m an extrovert and love to talk. And I’ve discovered there are others out there like me. I’m willing to bet this isolation is even a lot for the introverts among us. A simple phone conversation, to pray, commiserate, strategize, and encourage, blesses both parties. What other creative way can you bless someone else?
Laughter is good medicine. Find something in your day that you can laugh about. Some hilarious memes are floating around social media. And in my view, we could all benefit by looking at the light side of this crisis. Here are a few of my favorites…
Even though I love to cook, it can be challenging with limited pantry items. Have you seen the cooking show Chopped? (Confession, I have a recurring dream that I’m a contestant on Chopped. And yes, of course, I win.) But in these times I can play a real at home version. I even allow cheating… I go to google… “recipes using frozen asparagus, mushrooms, quinoa and parmesan”. Shazam… delicious. Include family bored family members who usually don’t venture into the kitchen unless they are eating.
8. Tackle an overdue project.
I deposited all of the change that has accumulated from Doug’s pants pockets. 86$ to the good. And because productivity makes me happy, I painted our fireplace hearth, to loud music of course.
9. Pray throughout the day.
Prayer can be habit forming. What a great time to establish the habit. Here are some specific, beyond my own close family and friends, that I have been focused. Pray for our leadership local, state, national and beyond. (Imagine their stress?) and for the Lord’s wisdom to influence their decisions. Pray for our health care workers for added stamina and protection. If you’re still able to work, thank the Lord, you are in the minority.
It seems as if God has sent us all to our rooms for a time out to think about things. Pray that the Lord uses this grand pause powerfully in the lives of those who don’t know Him or are distant from Him.
10. TURN OFF THE NEWS.
Last but definitely not least… turn off the news. Seriously. Even if you’re alone, when you open your computer or turn on the TV you will know in just ten minutes all you need to know.
What has helped you to cope? This online prayer community is more important than ever.
GodsGotThis, Debbie Hucke
I love hearing from you…and when you post publicly everyone benefits. To leave your comment…. simply scroll to the very bottom, beyond any other comments, and you will see a white box labeled… leave a reply. You write what you’d like in the box then hit the gold tab (this color) that says POST COMMENT.
Emmy shared a beautiful poem by her granddaughter. This sweet granddaughter, she writes, has had to postpone her May 9 wedding.
The buildings were big and people would smile And travel they would mile by mile. But sick they become in numbers it grew Business worried, communities too. Things stopped for a but the world slowed its roll. The virus has certainly taken its toll. But what they then saw from slowing things down, is in fact they now had less reasons to frown. Families now gathered, what game shall we play? Pass me the blue crayon, give mommy the grey. Dad’s home guys! He’ll read us a book. Then all of us together will cook.The lungs of the planet caught a small break. Less travel meant less pollution to make. People did realize they’d all be ok. They don’t need so much to get through the day. Maybe this virus that causes so much stress Show the whole world that more can mean less.
Debbie Hucke says
Emmy this is beautiful. Thank you for sharing with everyone. She makes a powerful point.
Karen S says
Wow, that is spot on! Thank you, Emmy–what a lovely heart you have. May God bless you in your own disappointment.
Nancy Bartlett says
That is a wonderful poem! Thank you for all your ideas and encouragement. Yes, prayer and positive human contact (using mainly technology!) are a tremendous help to all in this very stressful, uncertain time.
God Bless you and all!
Wooohoo Nancy. You figured out how to leave a comment publicly. Way to go. And thank you.
Anita Muscarella says
Your suggestions for coping with stress were good reminders and I’d like to add one more—sing praises as if no one is listening! I realized yesterday that I was really missing a daily dose of praise music. When I am in my car I am constantly listening to a Christian music station, but at home I cherish a quiet household especially now that there are NO sports for my husband to watch on TV. This morning I turned the music back on to listen and sing along to some of my favorite praise songs and my heart is full of joy!
AND… if you turn up the volume those of us with bad voices don’t sound as bad. 🙂
Anne kole says
Too much TV or computer news brings fear. God’s word brings peace. One of my favorites:” Be still and know that I am God.”
I think God is giving us this time to be still in order to know him better; to encourage us to pray and to reflect on what is most important: who he is and that he is our loving king; our human relationships and how important they are. Being still is a gift.
Thanks for your ideas about ways to spend this time.
Karen Aylor says
It was last Wednesday – Day 19 – when your entry focused on Isaiah 26:3 and the reminder that “He is in control of what appears out of control” – that our trust will grow as our mind stays on Him. Then the same day (3/18) Jesus Calling tells us to ” Trust Me one day at a time.” How is is it that so often these critical messages mesh so beautifully and speak directly to our hearts? His Voice.
And one quick question – what is cheapo-air?
Debbie Hucke says
Ha… Cheap o Air is like Travelocity without the frills. Discounted airfares, but questionable customer service I’ve discovered.
Thanks for the suggestions on coping. Getting outside for a walk really makes a difference. The trees are so beautiful right now and reminds us that God renews us just like he does the trees in the Spring.
Spring WILL come. I do love that consistent annual proof of new life. Thanks Margie.
Cheryle Jane Harbaugh says
Making some phone calls to people I only see on Sunday mornings. It is good to hear a familiar human voice. Sitting in the backyard and soaking up some of God’s wonderful sunshine, as I looked around and saw the trees and bushes budding because Spring is here. Taking on a long-term project like sorting all the legos by color so the next generation can enjoy making the creatures. Sewing needed face masks to help others and making my daughter-in-law’s favorite cake to just see a smile on her face.
Great constructive use of your time. Thanks Cheryle.
I must disagree with you on your comment on day 17 when you mentioned you don’t have formal training as a writer or know anything about blogs. You could have fooled me! Your blogs and comments are so beautifully and professionally written, you are actually a role model. And your last daily prayer regarding this pandemic impact on your son—— so profound and another example that my problems are nothing compared to so many others. I am actually lucky when I consider what I do have. I don’t thank the Lord enough but you remind me to do so.
Debbie Hucke says
I’m humbled Kerry. Be assured that this Blog and my writing is His doing. I promise you that. Thank you though for the encouragement. It helps my motivation. All for His Glory.
Gail Cooley says
This past week was a scary one for me. My Dad resides in a home for Alzheimers and because he was coughing and had a fever was rushed to the hospital where he had to stay in isolation for two days while awaiting test results. For someone with dementia this was pretty awful. The test came back negative, praise God, and he was discharged but it took him three days to semi-bounce back. before then he was not eating or drinking and could not walk and did not talk. Finally he started eating and drinking and even smiling. I learn all this from his caretaker since the home does not allow any visitors. God truly does provide! And Debbie I agree with what was said about your blog. 🙂
Praise God Gail. That was scary. I appreciate knowing the positive ending to your scare! And thanks for your kind words. It has been a labor of love.
Amy Mathis says
i’m not dealing with this well at all. I’m a home health/hospice social worker so I will still be able to and expected to work. In my case that’s a good thing because I would literally go insane stuck at home day after day. And I’m supposed to have my act together as a professional and comfort others but it’s getting harder. My biggest fear has been that I won’t be able to spend time together with my fiance who lives 25 miles away.
Thank you for sharing Amy. I am 1000% confident you are not alone. You are one of the heros among us. Perhaps an exercise to thank God for all you have instead, all you are missing is in order. Having such purposeful needed work is quite a gift at this time. But I’ll be praying for you. Debbie
Connie Brandow says
I enjoy this Lenten prayer challenge and your blogs so much. Sometimes I relate, sometimes I empathize, but through it all, I’m growing closer tho Jesus.
Thanks also for the laughs from your memes.
Blessings to you and your family.
Thank you Connie. So pleased you’ve found us.