Happy Monday, friends. I'm linking up with Tanya today for this blog post and at the end, I am borrowing an idea from her that I liked the thought of for my own blog in years to come.
We had a good weekend! My husband worked on Saturday night, all the guys were out and about and I stayed home. I watched the latest episode of The Good Doctor, then I started on a show on Netflix my sister Trish told me about months ago—Sweet Magnolias. It's not that I didn't believe her when she told me how good the show was, it's just that when I watched the first episode, I couldn't really get into it. I started that episode over and then proceeded to watch about four more after that one. I finished the show by Saturday night and I even enlightened my best friend's life about it and she made a good dent in it herself on Saturday while she was home all day.
Which leads me to Saturday, when I had every intention of getting out to run a couple of errands, but the rain and my head stopped me. By the afternoon, my head, throat and ears were bothering me and the sinus medicine took FOREVER to kick in. I felt better after dinner, but I even went to bed with a headache.
I was at church Sunday morning and choir practice again that afternoon, then I was home for the rest of the day. I read, straightened up the house and kind of sat down and wrote out some things I'd love to accomplish here at home this week. It's spring break week for us, so I have no commitments all week and I am so excited!
That brings me to this part of the post. I love having my blog to look back on and I wrote a lot about the pandemic while we were going through it in the last year. I feel like I vented a lot and then I also shared what all was going on in our home during all the time we were at home together. Here are some very specific questions about that time, though. I always love a walk down memory lane. (The figurative one, not the one a street down from where I live. 😉)
2. What was the biggest change? The biggest change was that everything shut down, including our church services that were in-person. It was so strange being a part of those services for the online viewing, though. As part of a praise team, a small group of us would meet at the church on Wednesdays at 5:30 to record the music and worship for the following Sunday. It was so weird having to make it seem normal and smile as if people were there, but there were only about ten of us in the room. I don't find it easy singing and smiling into a camera. This was a year of hard things for most of us.
Also during this time, we had no full time worship pastor. Our old one had resigned and another pastoral staff member, Les, stepped in and served as our interim. All during this time, he and my Pastor were the two men I prayed for the most. Les did a phenomenal job of leading us an interim worship pastor for over one whole year. He didn't sign up for any of what we went through, but he handled it all with ease, thanks to the Lord for helping him through. As I write this, he has served his last Sunday as interim, because our NEW worship pastor will be here next week! He will actually be with us today at our choir practice.
3. What were you coping mechanisms? My coping mechanisms changed throughout the time we were at home. What stayed consistent was my time that I spent with the Lord everyday, though my prayer life left much to be desired. It's hard for me to pray when people are at home with me and that's one reason why I don't have my quiet time until everyone is gone. I also was in the process of writing our first Bible study as a writing team with ladies at my church and I spent a LOT of time studying and writing. And then I read a lot. I had to switch back to my comfort series of books, the ones I've read a hundred times. I needed all the light and fluffy and that still hasn't changed.
4. What did connection in your relationships look like? Connection looked like making the effort, like when we went to see Dad on his birthday and sat outside. About four or five weeks into the lockdown, my best friend and I had the brilliant idea of starting to meet. Our first night found us at a pretty lake by her house, with our dinners from home and our lawn chairs. The next week we invited another friend and then we did that every Thursday night for weeks. Our friend was working full time during all of this as an essential worker and she always told us how badly she needed that time to decompress. Her husband bought her an early Mother's day gift and gave her a reclining lawn chair for our nights out. The weather was mostly nice at this time, we always had dinners together and I always had on my UGG leopard slippers. It became a joke and started as an accident. 🤣
5. What will you remember most? I will remember most how life just slowed way down. It became simpler and once I got used to us all being at home together 24/7, I began to enjoy the time more. I'll remember the feeling of how I lived in the kitchen and how shopping for toilet paper became quite the ordeal. I'll also remember not being able to find meat in the grocery store, so I was forced to start cooking things that I never had before and how it became a family favorite. (Turkey breasts with veggies and rice.) We went through a LOT of rice.
6. What was the biggest challenge? The biggest challenge for me was just getting used to us all being here all the time. The boys would go drive around or go to a friend's house, but even that eventually slowed down as most of their friends weren't allowed to do that anymore. I will say that we never really stopped them from hanging out with friends. Some of them always ended up here, or they'd all go drive around, or they would meet somewhere to play basketball outside. (We have a couple of churches nearby with outdoor basketball goals.) Todd stopped working outside of the house and their business completely stopped. I wrote the Bible study portions I was assigned and struggled through Zoom meetings. (To this day, I hate Zoom calls.)
7. What was a beautiful memory? Strangely, one of the things I most struggled with also became the most beautiful. All the time that we spent together became my favorite memories. I think back to the week that Todd, Bill and the boys spent building our deck. It was quality time for all of them, it helped them learn how to do a bit of carpentry work and they got to see it through to completion.
8. What do you believe now that you didn't one year ago? I learned a few things, like the fact that teenagers are way more resilient than we give them credit for. They've had to adapt and slow down their lives and miss out on big events, but the ones I know who had to walk through that did so with grace and ease, even if they had a few moments of struggle. I also learned that we can do hard things when we press in to Jesus and lean on one another as a family.
9. What would you do differently? I'd try to not stress out so much about something unknown that nobody really knew anything about. At first I drank all the kool-aid the media gave to us and I believed everything they said. That changed very quickly and these days I don't buy anything of what they say. So maybe I would stop depending on the media, like I did before all of this began.
10. What will you carry forward? I'll keep living a simple life. I hope to remember that it doesn't do any good to worry and fret over something like a sickness I may or may not get. (My whole family got it, by the way, and for us it wasn't bad. I may never be able to smell again, but I can live without that sense.) I'll live each moment to the fullest, but as a believer, I already did that. I'll talk about Jesus as much as I possibly can and I will be sure to mention His name, because there is no other name above the name of Jesus. I'll pray for opportunities to share Him and I'll pray for supernatural boldness. Life is short and there have been several deaths within our church family recently, so I will try my best to make the most of every moment here on earth I am given. Praise God that when I breathe my last breath, I'll be opening my eyes to seeing Jesus.
Do you know Him? Do you know where you will go when you die? It's worth thinking about, because we will all go somewhere when we die, either heaven or hell. Don't wait too long—none of us are promised tomorrow.