“For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord. Plans to prosper you and not to harm you. Plans to give you hope and future” (Jeremiah 29:11).
Have we lost our purpose? Is anyone else wondering what this is all about? Life, that is. My life six months ago looked so very different from my life today. I was the gal who used a planner. I was the parent who color-coded every member of our family and for over 35 years visually organized our family. It was comfortable and provided a security in our busy family life.
Last week, I began to search for my calendar planner! It has found its way under a pile of books. I had been canceling all plans. It had been replaced by my journal, in which I write entries each day of this journey.
People ask, “How are you?” and I knew, or at least thought I knew. Initially included in that question was a practical concern of what I might need — groceries, bread, milk and toilet paper. Now that question may carry a multitude of intentions.
I have reached a new point in how I am, as well as how I journey. But, I’m no longer sure how I am. I have become comfortable in this unknown where we reside. I do not like it, but I have found my place. I feel like I am forgetting how my life was. There are so many ways of life I miss.
Today, of this I am sure — God is faithful, God is with us in these days and all will be well!
I have, with intent, found that “how I am” and being well are supported by a few practices. They keep me thriving, not merely surviving. While these may not be the best practices for you, you may find a morsel of insight to lead your own best life in pandemic times.
Next to my favorite chair I have a basket for items to use or grab and head outside. My “basket of care” includes my Bible, a few books of reflections, my journal, my address book, some note cards and pretty-colored pens. And (so important as well) a few treats of chocolate!
The Lord assures us that we are indeed people of purpose. And so, I strive to embrace each day with hope and a purpose. But, it can be a struggle and I need to live with intent in this COVID-19 world.
Each day I begin and end with positive and supportive care from Scripture and reflections. It’s important to be outside in nature when I can with the basket of my supplies.
I have been sending notes and cards to others. It began with family and friends and now others I know from Church and community. Getting mail is fun. It feels good to be thought of and it feels great to think of others.
I journal and write about my days, listing three things I am grateful for, praying for and my longings. I make lists of all I hope to do in the future when “the world of staying at home” lifts.
I try to call others, to check in to ask how I can pray for them, to ask them what they are hoping for and looking forward to in their future.
I believe that God continues to have plans for me, for my life, for our lives. Our God is the God of hope in these moments of slower patterns, to live in that hope and be open for God’s blessings for us in the days ahead.and a future. For now, I will continue to be grateful in these moments of slower patterns, to live in that hope and be open for God’s blessings for us in the days ahead.
Geralyn Nathe-Evans has been called to the vocations of wife, mom, “gammy,” lay ecclesial minister, nurse and friend.