New Joys, New Possibilities

There is no greater disaster in the spiritual life than to be immersed in unreality, for life is maintained and nourished in us by our vital relation with realities outside and above us.” C.S. Lewis.

Lewis is so right but not just about our spiritual life. Living in unreality is a disaster in every way. It touches us on every level. I impact our physical self. No matter our level of activity it is not the same as it was. Even how and what we eat has been impacted.

Our emotional/psychological life has been impacted. We can’t do the things we used to do. Our social interactions have been curtailed. Whether we are introverts or extroverts this is still a change. I am sure that everyone is feeling this distancing in some way. I used to be an extreme extrovert but in my latter years I am more in the middle. This change has affected me in many ways.  I miss the touch of others, the face to face exchange of ideas, the fun of simple conversation. I am lonely.

Our spiritual life has most assuredly been impacted. In some ways mine has expanded in that I spend more quiet time and intense connection with God that I have in quite a while. There are not so many distractions. I miss the camaraderie of our church community in addition to the services themselves.

Quotes about Possibilities (558 quotes)This time has created a different way of being. One that can either strengthen or break us. We have to maintain perspective. Though maybe months distant there will be a change. The view will be changed making us find a new path into the world as it emerges. We have the ability to blend into the new world around us and adapt and make it better.

Part of my nightly prayer from the New Zealand Prayer Book: Night Prayer says:

The night heralds the dawn.Let us look expectantly to a new day,new joys,new possibilities.

May we all do so with enthusiasm and creativity.

Strength is required

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Things have been difficult here in the last few days. I hope we are on the up side. It is pretty scary to think that in the middle of covid 19 I would have to take my husband to the hospital. That is the last thing I want to do. But if that is what it takes to get him well then there is not choice. However, for now each day seems a little better but it is slow.

Today I was wondering what it must have been like the day that the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor. One day there was war “over there” and suddenly it had come home. What fear and panic must have been felt by everyone. We are facing something not at all fun but it will pass long before WW2 did. They lived with it every day for years.

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They were strong. They had endurance, faith and hope. We have the same things available to us. Whatever we have to do to keep on is what we will do.

Life as we know it

Not everything can be fixed « unpack the ratAs a nurse there is one thing that I have learned well….not everything can be fixed. Often people grow up with the idea that there is nothing that can’t be solved in some way. Working in the hospital it is evident that things go wrong, people die, life is not perfect.

We live in a world where we expect everything to be fixed. Get a headache take a pill. Go to the doctor..get a diagnosis..get fixed. We don’t want to wait for anything. We want everything to be done at once.

Because of that this time is a real eye opener for some. I can’t go to the store and expect to find everything I need. I can’t hop in my car and go out to a restaurant. Everything I want is not available. What a shock.

Rationing in the United States - WikipediaI was born a year before Pearl Harbor. I don’t remember much about the war as I was very young but I do remember rationing. You couldn’t get everything you wanted. Gas was limited so you couldn’t go where you wanted all the time. We mostly stayed home. My father was working on the pentagon (construction contractor) and was exempt from going to war. This grieved him and he tried several times to go but to no avail.

My parents built a house shortly before the war began. They had extra rooms and took in war wives whose husband were overseas. They lived with us throughout the war. That was the environment I grew in. We were comfortable but certainly weren’t able to choose the life we wanted to live. I was blessed with a sense of extended family and lots of love but we lived in frightening times. Even as a small child I could sense that angst.

This time reminds me of those days. Something from my distant memory pulls feelings from the past. Those feelings are attached to the way things are now. Just like that time we can’t fix it. We just have to wait it out and live with whatever comes afterward.

Remember…patience, patience and waiting. It can’t be fixed but it can be endured and lived beyond.

“All shall be well, and all shall be well and all manner of thing shall be well.”
― Julian of Norwich

Isolation means lack of human touch

Another day of feeling isolated. No matter how many times we talk with people electronically it doesn’t take the place of face to face. This is one of the things that has worried me about the electronic communication generation. I worried about them not knowing how to communicate in any other way. Now look at us. We have all have had to do the same thing.

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I hope when this is over that we will understand how crucial person to person contact is. Humans are meant to be communal. We don’t do well without others. We need human touch. Children who don’t have it from birth have serious problems including attachment disorder.

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I hope that we will learn from this isolation and appreciate the contacts we will have later. Take the time to enjoy the extra time we have and know that “this too shall pass.” And God bless those whose lives are put on the line for us each day. They are busier and at risk.

We each bear our own burdens

Ahhhhh! Today I worked in the garden. Just being in the fresh air and doing something ordinary gave me a new lease on life. Good physical work with my mind concentrated on the job. It really felt good.

I read the post today from https://fracturedfaithblog.com/2020/03/24/coronavirus-northern-ireland-3/ and learned that they are restricted  in their outdoor time. I am so thankful that we can spend as much time outdoors as we want. Of course we are in a neighborhood with lots of room to move about without coming within yards of anyone else. I would really be stressed if I had to stay indoors. I feels such compassion for those in New York City who are also trapped….usually in very small apartments.

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The answer is both!

There are always people who are worse off than we are. Each of us has restrictions with this virus but each place is different. The only burdens we bear are the ones around us. I have talked before about not wanting other’s problems. This is a perfect example. As an older couple we are staying in except for food and medicine. Many do not have to restrict themselves so much. I don’t feel put upon because of this. It is our own cross to bear and we are grateful to have lived this long and pray for many more days.

I am sure that we all hope that these restrictions don’t last for a really long time. Most of us can live with a few weeks or more but months would be horrible.

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Please take care, stay healthy, and from the nurse. WASH, WASH, WASH YOUR HANDS!

Friends are there!

I have been thinking today about friendship. Even in this time of social distancing we can still be close to our friends. Communicative today is very different than it was years ago. For centuries communication was telegraph, some telephones, and mail. Maybe smoke signals. Now the world is connected.When my husband was in Viet Nam we only had letters to hold us together. Even those had to be numbered as many came at odd intervals or got lost. I never knew from day to day if he was alive….yet we managed.

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Today I can pick up a phone, electronic device, computer, Kindle…..whatever and even see the person I’m talking to. I remember seeing an example of that years ago and being amazed (also wondering if I wanted to always be seen). Now we can choose.

This is so wonderful for me. I have spent time with friends on the phone, email and text messages. I can help them if needed and they can help me. We are there for each other and will continue to be. We are willing to share what we have (even toilet paper) or run errands for each other. Most of my friends are “old” like me and just as at risk but where friendship is concerned it doesn’t matter.

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There are also those who I consider friends on Word Press. I know that I can share concerns, fears, hopes and ideas and others will respond. How wonderful!

Thank God for friends and family!

 

There will be a new day

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We are going through a tough journey right now. Each day, each step forward is toward something new. Going back is not a option. Time doesn’t stop. It doesn’t reverse. It just moves forward and takes us with it. Look to the new day.

Take a deep breath. Look toward and new day a new beginning.

Rely on God

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There is so much fear out there…..with good reason. For those of us in places not usually touched by war, bombings and attacks fear may not be an everyday thing. We are not used to it. But we are now. We are concerned about our safety and the safety of our loved ones. But God tells us to rely on Him.

Proverbs 3:24-26 New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

24 If you sit down,[a] you will not be afraid;
    when you lie down, your sleep will be sweet.
25 Do not be afraid of sudden panic,
    or of the storm that strikes the wicked;
26 for the Lord will be your confidence
    and will keep your foot from being caught.

Hunkering down

Like most of us these days I am concerned about Corona Virus. You would have to have your head stuck in the sad to not be aware of the danger around us. Since my husband and I are in the vulnerable group we do have to be careful.

I think this is the first time in my life where I have felt anxious about being at risk. When we are young we think nothing can hurt us. As we grow older we can see the pit falls that could harm us but to some degree feel they happen to other people.

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The thought of being quarantined in the house for weeks is daunting. I am an extrovert and enjoy people. I will miss my interactions with others but I will manage. When I think about it I can feel my anxiety pulling at me and I am holding fast to my ways to avoid any problems. If one of us get the virus then I will be panicked so we will hold the fort at  home as much as possible.

I have written about this happening before so I am not surprised that it is happening. After the two other viruses (Mers and Sars) it was like waiting for the other shoe to drop. Thank God, although serious enough, it is not more serious than it is. I pray we don’t have another anytime soon.

Polygamy: what do you think?

Did anyone else read about the state of Utah having a bill before its legislature about polygamous marriage being legal? I was fascinated by this idea. As I see it the problem is that marriage in one state is legal in every other state. This creates a conundrum for many states. The polygamous marriages reported so far have been far from pleasant. The reported ones have been abusive. There may be others that are fine but I don’t know about them.

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I am not sure how I feel about this. I guess I haven’t spent much time thinking about it. As a proponent of women’s rights I am concerned whether this would create any impact on the status of women. I guess this would give women the right to marry multiple men also. Interesting thought.

My concern is there are women who are easily swayed into living in conditions that will be detrimental. Maybe this will work for some people.

Anyone have any thoughts on this issue?