It’s not lost on me. The fact that I started out this year with a deep desire to ‘slow down’, a heavy craving for a more simple way of life. The introvert in me was pushing its way forward, suddenly I longed for a life that wasn’t surrounded by people and noise all the time. My response was to switch off Instagram, a small app that has a huge voice. I have said it before but it became a very noisy place for me and I needed a break.Three weeks later I returned, I had made commitments that required me to be active on instagram. I came back feeling refreshed, with a new appreciation for the community and a determination to keep my time on there as positive as possible.During my time off, however, I made this observation;
I’m immersed in the beauty – the way the light streams into the kitchen, casting pretty shadows over the girls while they tuck into breakfast. The dark lashes against delicious baby cheeks and the tidy corner where I have taken to curling up to put words onto paper. I’m so grateful.
In so many ways, I realise this was God preparing me for what was to come. I have had many conversations with friends and strangers in recent weeks who have also shared how, with the benefit of hindsight, God had shifted something in their lives before this major jolt hit us all. Some of these people are not believers, but even they could see and feel that it was something beyond them and they wanted to hear about my God and if that’s something he would do! Isn’t that incredible.I digress, I went from being frantically busy all.the.time both online and offline. From feeling like I couldn’t keep up anymore, too many people, too many expectations, too many to-dos and never enough time in my sanctuary, my home! To having three weeks where the world suddenly looked a little different to me, my lense had changed, my focus shifted. I created space to notice the little things. Reduced the noise to hear His voice more clearly. I reignited my passion for beautiful and raw pictures, for words and story telling and reading and just being still. I began to paddle in a world that was made up of simple daily rhythms, void of expectations.I can’t help but feel that had I not had this “training” in January, I may have crumbled under the vast change in March. Going from frantically busy with a bustling social life to socially isolated and having endless time at home. It might just have been too much. But God! In His kindness, I had already paddled in the ocean and since the moment my toes touched the water, I had longed to dive in. I longed for telephone conversations without distraction of time and appointments, I longed for the opportunity to stay at home all day, I craved quality time with my girls, I wanted my car to sit in the driveway for more than just one day at a time, I yearned for simple rhythms of gardening, baking, walking, painting, reading, praying, talking, listening, cooking, snuggling, resting!Does this mean it isn’t hard, that I’m not scared from time to time? Absolutely not. I miss my family, my friends, preschool and playdates, gathering as a Church, the gentle hum of a coffee shop and long walks on the beach. I miss the excitement of travel, the joy in dinner dates, the smell of fresh popcorn at the cinema. I fear for our frontline workers, for the vulnerable, for business and mostly for children in vulnerable situations. These things weigh heavily on my heart. I don’t know how we will pay our bills now that our business has closed. I have no idea how life will look in a weeks time, never mind a month or a year. But God! I won’t let my fear rule me, fear in itself becomes addictive and I refuse to let it become my normal. Fear has no place in my home. So, I pray through the fear and worship through the sadness. I resolve to appreciate all the little things and take time to carefully consider what aspects of “normal life” I really want to return to.In this season of waiting and reflection I am focused on my family and this precious time with them. I am conscious of our neighbours and friends and continually trying to find ways to safely serve them. I am grateful for my family, for video calls and care packages. I am falling deeply in love with my home, my children and my husband (honestly I considered that it may be the opposite). And all the while, my eyes are firmly fixed on Him, what He is saying in all of this, how He is ministering to me as the storm rages outside.I am incredibly grateful that I get the privilege of being at home with my family where we can be together, properly together. I pray continuously for those who are not in this situation, for every single key worker who leaves their safe haven and has to decontaminate before they come back. For their families who wave them off and spend every minute yearning for their return. I will never take my situation or their sacrifice for granted.Stay safe, stay home and thank you to every single one of you who serves us at this time.