A sweet friend of mine, whom I know through our speech and debate league, asked on her social media feed how we are connecting to other people while being at home. Is it shameful to say that I’m not?
Maybe it’s the fact that it feels like there are a hundred people living in my house that never leave because they can’t. Perhaps because it has been raining like it did in Noah’s day. Maybe it is simply the 90% introvert in me. It could also be the fact that we just went through buying and selling a new house and I’m still setting up my home. . .and I’m tired.
I think it’s more. I think it’s the still small voice in my heart that seems to be calling me to be quiet before the Lord. The call is to slow down. Rest. Know He is Lord. Know that He loves me. Know that He accepts me just as I am. Know that He expects and knows I will fail. . .but He still loves me.
There is also a sweet call to listen. Turn off my podcasts. Turn off my music lists; yes, even the instrumental ones. And listen to the world around me. Hear the birds again. I always hear birds. This morning there were many more than I remember. I heard the hawk squawking after seeing me walk outside with Toby, my small, tasty little puppy snack. I heard chickadees, my favorite. I saw robins, although I cannot yet identify their call.
I am literally slowing down to smell the roses. Or at least waiting for them to bloom. I can’t wait to see them bloom. The tulips have come alive, in this season where we are near celebrating Life.
I have been living in the winter of my soul, overwhelmed, living with pain that people and even the church causes. I know there is something within my heart waiting to burst forth but no matter how I pray about it, the less I know. What is it that wants to escape from within my very being?
I listen and wait.
Sadly, I’m enjoying being sheltered in place, checking off everything I planned to do in one day, and then having time out of doors to walk in the quiet of my neighborhood or a local park. I’ve connected with a few people via text or jumped on Facebook, although I’m doing that less than I was a week ago.
I needed this forced sheltering. I needed the Lord to intervene on my behalf because I am a child. His child. I don’t always know what is best for myself. I make silly choices. I struggle to tell my children “no”. I especially struggle to tell myself no.
The shelter in place order has allowed me to breathe again. I’m returning to things I enjoy and telling people “no” sometimes. I’m picking up homemaking skills that I used to have: baking my own bread, preserving food, crafts, sewing, knitting. I’m doing more read-alouds with my little girls. I’m building a new home. I’m especially learning the art of living simply, which means I am purging like crazy. Simplicity will be a topic for another post.
Life will pick back up again in the near future. Like many, our season of outside activities have been cancelled for the rest of the year. I intend to use this time to seek the Lord in what things look like moving forward. I do not think much will change regarding our activities. The change will be what changes me most. It will be me turning to the Lord more for my comfort and strength to get through my days when the introvert in me is being stretched by the extroverted nature of a large family that homeschools. Ultimately, it will be a quieting of my soul and spirit in order to commune more with the Lord. It will involve more listening and seeing: people, birds, flowers, trees. I am learning to be still and know that He is God and He’s allowed a virus to slow me down so that I may listen and see more.
I call up you, for you will answer me, O God;
Incline your ear to me; hear my words.
Wondrously show your steadfast love,
O Savior of those who seek refuge
From their adversaries at your right hand.
Keep me as the apple of your eye;
Hide me in the shadow of your wings. . .