I have a love-hate relationship with Zoom and/or video chats. If there are too many people and they aren’t all muted, it’s distracting to hear background noise or when people talk at the same time. I’m guilty of this, as I have a barking dog or often talk to my self while writing notes, or nodding in agreement.
There are definitely people who ARE good at this. I want you to teach me how to be a good Zoomer. 🙂
The more amazing technology is; the harder it seems to communicate with God. We have everything at our fingertips to relate to human beings, but have we stepped away from conversation with God because it’s just not fast enough or easy? Oh goodness, we are so spoiled. It’s super fast to talk to God, just open your mouth and your heart.
Conversations or prayer; for me, usually involve everyday activities. While folding laundry I pray for people in my life. When I’m working at my desk, I try to update this blog, which inspires people with God’s word.
Are any of you suffering hardships? You should pray. Are any of you happy? You should sing praises.
In the U.S., we will soon celebrate Thanksgiving. This year it is bound to look different; smaller groups of people at the table, less hugs and greetings, no touch football in the backyard, and as cousins and an auntie do in my family; gather to make homemade lefse. Rituals that are ingrained in our very being for many generations will be set aside. Instead of missing what we can’t do; let’s make new plans and ideas!
What new rituals can we create during this holiday season? We can still decorate a tree together, or make ornaments, maybe we can donate canned goods to our local food shelves in lieu of working in a soup kitchen. I’ve seen so many ideas online to help the homeless; keep a few paper bags in your trunk filled with warm socks, mittens, granola bars, bottled water, snacks that don’t need utensils or to be cooked. Hair brush, deodorant, toothpaste, tooth brushes. Care packages. Dog food or treats. Let’s set the world on fire with kindness and care.
We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith. Because of the joy awaiting him, he endured the cross, disregarding its shame. Now he is seated in the place of honor beside God’s throne. ~Hebrews 12:2 NLT
I have been known to spend an entire day binge watching a favorite show, or eating ice cream for breakfast, I’ve went days without reading scripture or doing a meditation, I even have hit the pillow without a prayer in my brain. I’m not bragging; but I am sharing that I’m a human being – like you. I miss out on opportunities that God has put in my path from pure laziness. Trust me, this is part of my “work in progress,” ignoring the nudges does not – a strong walk in faith make.
Just saying I’m going to do better tomorrow rarely works. I have started plastering post-it notes on my laptop, or cell phone; two places I’ve been known to waste a lot of time. They are reminders to pray for certain people or to crack open the rusty Bible.
Yesterday I attended a socially distanced, masks optional, great scones and coffee class on prayer journaling. One of my favorite parts was using a scrapbooking technique to decorate a page in our journal. We cut up magazine pics or phrases, words, whatever was inspiring. It was fun and enlightening. Some people are so incredibly talented and creative; I am not. I am good at writing, but I do like decorating, doodling, making collages, journey boards. I find whenever I take on a project like this; the same words or images appear.
We journal, write, and meditate to draw closer to ourselves, and also our Heavenly Father. In time we can see the progression of our walk in faith.
Do you journal? Are you crafty and do a neat bullet notebook? Do you use your phone calendar for daily living and a customizable journal type book at home? Please share! Inquiring minds want to know!
Proverbs 3:3 Do not let kindness and truth leave you; Bind them around your neck, Write them on the tablet of your heart.
1 John 1:4 These things we write, so that our joy may be made complete.
If you are person living with a fur; dog, cat, ferret, heck-even fish – the you know the importance of this kind of love. It’s completely non-conditional, they want nothing from you, except for love, but they don’t expect it. They may “talk” to you, but it will be more like baby talk-woof, meow, purr, or bubbles in the tank!
The companionship of an animal helps alleviate stress, loneliness and I’ve found to be a very gentle form of healing.
I wonder when Jesus was a child, did He have a pet? Were animals domesticated yet? I know the Queen of Sheba had many cats!
Have you found compassion with an animal? Do you live with a furry creature?
We already are a people that expect change to happen fast, problems to be solved and pain to dissolve.
But in light of the pandemic, we’ve had to slow w-a-y down! We’ve been forced to stay at home for our own well-being and that of others. And perhaps we started eating out of boredom. Binge-watched reality TV, or on the other side of the spectrum, began cleaning and sorting and packing to give away belongings.
But through it all, where was our faith? I found mine slipping away silently from lack of church services and activities. Coffee visits with friends I had relied on for my mental health were now gone “just like that.” Sitting became the new cigarette and (over)eating became the new weight gain.
Discontent is the tool of the devil. He uses it to distract our perspective and attitude. It took a few weeks for me to discover just how deep into discontent I had become. What does the Bible say about this kind of thinking/living?
I first read the book “Hinds Feet on High Places” in my teenage years. In my morning meditation I was pleased to come across Habakkuk 3:19; The Lord God is my strength, And He has made my feet like hinds’ feet, And makes me walk on my high places.
It reminded me how much I enjoyed this book and have since ordered. I hope the copy I receive is well loved with dog eared corners.
Hannah Hurnard wrote this book in 1955, it has since been revised. If you haven’t, I encourage you to find at your local library or online.
Below are the various covers the book has seen in 65 years!
Some churches have opened with specific rules, smaller groups, masks. I have still not felt comfortable to make this journey. Instead my Sundays looks a lot different. I do not “honor the Sabbath,” I do chores and grocery shop and pull some weeds in the garden. I intentionally find time in the Word, with Mother Mary, Jesus in podcasts and prayer. I cling to my rosary beads with a new passion. As a new-two year Catholic, I find the pandemic to be incredibly hard, relating to my faith. I miss the social groups, in-person bible study (not a fan of Zoom/video chats), working in the physical church, praying Adoration on Tuesday, checking out books in the library. It’s a new normal. I am not adapting well!
There will always be prayer that needs to be done, and that can be accomplished anywhere. I am hopeful for the future, that our entire world can heal from this virus and can find the space and comfort in which to worship. Me included.
1 Corinthians 14:26
What then shall we say, brothers and sisters? When you come together, each of you has a hymn, or a word of instruction, a revelation, a tongue or an interpretation. Everything must be done so that the church may be built up.
I think every blogger on the planet is writing about the tragic and strange times we are living in. I miss seeing the smiles on people. Masks may keep us safe, but they are a deterrent to social interaction. Although I can say with a smile I know quite a few people who like masks for this exact reason! 🙂
And then, the social distancing. It makes me feel like I’m standing on hopscotch squares waiting for my turn. Although that was a lot more fun!
Life has we know it, is unlikely to change any time soon. And when it does, it will look very different and I’m sure it will be strict going forward. As the world changes, we are to remain steadfast in our faith and be a beacon for those who cannot see the light.
Our own light will dim at times, and as the flight attendant says: “Inthe event of emergency, put your oxygen mask on first.” Self care is important so that you can care for others without burning out.