April 1, 2020.
I woke up yesterday to a lot of snow falling in big flakes. Weather report said highs would be -2. It was cold and windy and the patch of dead grass I’ve been watching for weeks in hopes that it would turn into a whole snow-less lawn was quickly filling in. We’ve been staying at home-all 7 of us-since about March 16th. March 18 in earnest.
I was doing great until the cold blowing snow and the grey sky. Yesterday I decided it didn’t matter what I did, who I tried to encourage, what my projects were. I stopped being thankful for all the amazing blessings of each day and I decided to just do whatever I felt like for the day. It wasn’t a conscious decision…I just didn’t get up for my prayertime in the dark, watching the sun rise, as I have been doing, but letting slip. What did it matter? I could do it later. When I started my prayertime later with listening to a deep spiritual song that would focus my mind off of myself and onto God, I then slipped into checking things on my phone…and the day was off. I tried to do some work, but got frustrated and decided to watch a movie instead. During my work day. Why not? Deadlines were all being delayed and who cared anyway.
Yesterday I broke the rule that a wise older preacher once burned into my brain. “Don’t Ditch in the Dark What You Learned in the Light.” (Thank you Keith Price!)
The day was okay-I did what I wanted for the most part. But by the end, the dreariness of it all got to me. Everything felt blah. I didn’t want to learn anything new or work on any exciting crafty-project. Everything was grey. My entire life turned grey. I was bored. I was boring. Following whatever I feel like always seems to lead me to this grey place when I give myself no boundaries at all.
It was Tuesday night. Date night. I went to see my husband, who had worked as hard as he always does, virus or no virus, deadlines or possibly ease of deadlines. Guilt. He always has projects to do. Always has things to keep busy with and enjoy. It helps that he runs his own business on our property! But he always keeps things in their boxes, simple. Always works hard.
I have so much to be thankful for. Oh, and I also have guilt. I don’t always….well, ‘anything.’ Consistency is not my strong point! I jump into everything I feel like doing with both feet, do some amazing things sometimes, flail around at the frantic pace, and flop onto the dock, exhausted.
We had our date. Just like last week. We drove off the property! We ordered take-out and carefully picked it up with gloved hands and followed all the recommendations by the lady my kids are now referring to ‘Mom’s Guru: Doctor Henry.’ We drove to a remote spot that had no snow. We ate in the vehicle and looked out at the view. We enjoyed being together. I’m so thankful for a stable man. One that I know is only going to listen to my rambling complaining for so long and then he’s going to stop allowing me to wallow. One who’s going to say, “Are we going to go out tonight? Because if you’re going to be all moody, I’m not going.” Okay-so he had already said that. I knew I had to smarten up. He’s all the date I had. And he was just what I needed. We hiked after our dinner. We stopped and listened to the Western Meadow Lark. We talked about what God is about. What He’s doing in us. What His business is in us. What He’s saying and doing and leading. We did what I didn’t feel like doing: being cheerful, getting exercise, being thankful. And I was healed.
Today is a new day. I knew I didn’t want to do yesterday over and over.
I didn’t want to pray and I didn’t want to meditate on the Ancient Words and I didn’t feel like I loved God and I didn’t feel like talking to Him. But you know what? He is the ‘God who Supplies Everything I Need!’ Jehovah-Jirah, My Provider. I can ask Him to give me what I lack. Every single time. So I did. All through the night, as I woke up and thought, “Am I going to get up and pray? Do I feel like it?” I prayed, “Lord, please give me love for You. Help me to want to be with You.” He answered that prayer.
I got up early and went back to what I had learned in the light: I love to spend time watching the sun rise and having my tea and listening to a Hymn, meditating on a verse-and it was a great one today-and just talking and listening to the Lord. All the colour was back in my life!
I worked on my schedule and helped the kids work on theirs. I decided not to just do what I felt like. I know that climbing that hill last night felt amazing once I got to the business of it. It’s always worth it. Making a quilt is something I’ve learned to love, once I make myself get started on one step and not just go until the joy runs out-and even if I do it differently-without my cherished friends to chat with-I could still plan a time to chat with them as I sewed.
I made plans for: Myself… What do I love? Spiritual… What do I want to develop? The Family…my Husband…Reaching out to others…Work for our home business…A skill I want to develop… A project I want to do…Exercise…
I wrote in some time ideas. I made a plan. I am excited about my life and plans again. If we’re here, doing life like this for another 3 months, I enjoy it as the gift that it is.
The Ancient Words I meditated on: Just simple.
“This is the day that the Lord has made. Let us rejoice and be glad in it!” Psalm 118:24. And I found some other great verses in that Psalm too.
Today’s Mountain Trailways for Youth:
“He delivers me from my enemies. You also lift me up above those who rise against me…” (Psalm 18:48) “Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth.” (Colossians 3:2)
“It’s safer flying high,” declared the pilot;
We climbed another thousand feet or so;
“The higher up we are, the better landing,
Emergency airports ahead, below.”
“It’s safer flying high”-sometimes it echoes
When conscience indicates the need of care,
When tempted to some base or fleshly interest,
And sin presents itself in colors fair.
The sky way is the highway for the victor,
For those who wish to live among the few
So evident in life as in air travel-
The farther from the earth, the fuller view.
The hills of difficulty are no longer,
The mountains of despair are ironed smooth;
When high and looking down upon your problems,
The deep and darker valley seems a groove.
No fogs will blur the lines of demarcation,
And make the black of wrong a blended gray,
When you are living in the open sunshine,
Where altitude will brighten all your way.
“It’s safer flying high,” says the apostle,
The world beneath, and God’s own blue above;
Remember, Christ is seated in the heavenlies,
And you are with Him there-climax of love!
How worthless then the world, how dull its glory,
When you live high, and far enough away
To get a sense of values, wise and proper;
Then why not live your altitude today?
-Dr. Will H. Houghton
Bless you today, my friends, as you work out this new normal of life in quarantine. My challenge for each of us today is to ‘not ditch in the dark what we learned in the light!’ Let’s remember that today is a gift. We have an amazing opportunity to be home, most of us safe and healthy. Take stock of your life. Don’t just ‘entertain’ your time away. Spend today as the gift that it is!
(PS-doesn’t anyone else consider ‘if I ever were to be locked up in jail, not able to leave my cell, this is what I’d do?!’ Well this is way better than jail, but we do have a lot of our usual lives restricted! If we don’t get to those things now, will we ever get to them?)