What Shouldn’t End When This Pandemic Does

Remember back to a few months ago when the majority of us thought that this virus was a joke and something people were overreacting to?

It was after my family and I came home from worship on a Wednesday night to find out that the NBA was canceled that we realized that this wasn’t a small joke anymore because America loves their sports, one does not simply cancel them, and yet, they did.

Now here we are, most of us have been in lockdown or a shelter-in-place of some sort and it’s starting to feel like this will never end and like this is our new normal.

However, everything earthly eventually ends.

What End Shouldn't When This Pandemic Does

If I was going to be dramatic, I would write that this pandemic could last until Jesus comes back, but then, that also could be in the next five minutes so it would still be a short life lived for this virus.

Eventually, we know that this pandemic panic will end and people will start working to put their lives together after being out of work, it might take a while, but this will end. 

What shouldn’t end?

This has been a question on my mind lately.

I don’t know about you, but I am ashamed to admit that I’ve listened to more sermons and spent more time in God’s word these two months than I have since the first two months of becoming a Christian.

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So, here’s what shouldn’t end when the lockdown does, here’s what we shouldn’t stop doing when we stop social distancing:

 

      1. Taking the time to study God’s word

Like I said before, I am not proud that I’ve been in God’s word more than before, because we should always be in His word and making time to pray to Him.

Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful. But his delight is in the law of the Lord, and in his law doth he meditates day and night.”-Psalm 1:1-2

1 Thessalonians 5:17 tells us to pray without ceasing

Without ceasing means incessantly, regularly.

Are you incessant with your prayers?

Why does it have to take a pandemic to get us to draw closer to Him? Let it be our hearts, our desire to learn and live for Him that draws us closer, not free time, anxiety, and boredom.

We make time for what is important to us, so let’s make time for the Bible. Let us prioritize Him, even when life gives us additional priorities.

 

     2. Spending time with our families

Y’all know I was homeschooled and that my family is a big homeschool family, you guys also probably know that I agree one hundred percent with my parents’ views on homeschooling over public schooling and the importance of family in daily life.

I feel for the public school families that have been thrust into being together all day when they are not used to it, but I hope that this time has helped many to realize how much they need each other.

“And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.”-Ephesians 6:4

I can’t imagine how hard it is to raise your children, especially if both parents work and the kids go off to school, and obviously, I am not one to give parenting advice or anything of that sort.

However, I do hope this time has helped people re-evaluate and come up with plans to continue to grow their relationship with their parents, siblings, and children at this time.

Our relationship with our loved ones matters, and we need to continue to make time for them.

 

       3. Checking on our friends

“Therefore comfort each other and edify one another, just as you also are doing.”-1 Thessalonians 5:11

Once again, I didn’t do this as much before, and honestly, I’m still terrible at it.

But during this time, I’m sure most of us have been reaching out to people more often with how are yous? and encouragement.

Why stop after this? Why stop calling or messaging your new sister or brother in Christ to see how they are doing spiritually just because you start seeing them in public again?

Do you know how much people won’t tell you when there’s others around?

Technology is such a blessing in this regard because we can be in touch in six seconds, so why stop using it to be there for others even when you aren’t in person?

I personally dislike talking over the phone, and studying the bible over the phone isn’t my favorite because I cannot read facial expressions and the tone of voice is muffled, but after this, I hope to use technology more in order to reach out to people and then make plans to get together in person.

 “Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful. And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works, not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching.”-Hebrews 10:23-25

This verse is used in the context of assembly for worship, but as Christians, we should be a part of our brethren’s lives more than just twice a week if possible, we need each other.

 

        4. Being grateful

“In everything give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.”-1 Thessalonians 5:18

A while back I wrote my post The Spoiled Americans, which was on how we are all so spoiled to be complaining about our situations when we are still so rich in the eyes of so many countries and people who simply weren’t born in the same country or with the same privilege as us.

But while I know I’m spoiled and I know others are (sometimes I just say “I’m spoiled” to myself when I want to complain about my circumstances), I’ve seen so much acknowledgment and gratefulness online as well.

I’ve seen people with good hearts for helping others and once again, let’s keep on working on not only being grateful but realizing how blessed we are to be capable of helping others with greater needs than our own.

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This pandemic will end, but let us not put the lessons we learned during this time to the side and not to use in our daily lives after. 

 

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What would you add to this list?
What are some things you’ve learned in this pandemic?
As always, stay safe and stay in the word.

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Amicable April

April was slower, but it was full of flowers and sunshine so it was also beautiful.

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Happenings 

 

  • My friend taught a women’s devo on Skype one Saturday and she invited me on even though I’m not from their group.

It was cool to meet some of my sisters in Christ who are in New York, even if it’s only virtually right now (hopefully one day I can travel up there to visit my friend and meet other brethren).

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  • People wrote me letters and it honestly made my day.

I had been writing a lot, but I didn’t expect to get any back. They were all so sweet and encouraging. ❤

“Even though you are an introvert, I know you don’t like staying in during this pandemic, either.”

Someone wrote that in their letter and it was so funny and true!

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  • Allergies hit me hard.

I feel like such a nerd stereotype during this season, but allergies!! They’re so bad from this pollen.

 

I woke up one day with my whole eyes swollen shut and in a lot of pain, I video called my doctor after the second day of it, and she put me on some antibodies which made me feel sick and I had trouble going to sleep more than usual, but it did clear it up and now I’m off of it. :))

 

Anyways, aside from headaches and slightly red eyelids, I’m back in the game.

 

  • Read my friend, Brooke’s debut novel, How We Rise, with my cat. 

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It was good! I was actually really surprised on how good it was, which sounds bad, but I expected a typical indie book but it was very professional and easy to read.

It left me on such a cliffhanger!! Ahh!!!

A few characters did swear, which I didn’t like and I don’t support that aspect or agree with it.

I say that because I can’t recommend this book in good conscience without saying that first. It wasn’t a lot of language, but I don’t speak that way and I don’t agree with speaking that way or using those words as y’all know from just my euphemism post on this blog.

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  • I got Facebook.

I always said I would never get one even if my parents let me have it and no other platforms, but a lot of my friends are on there now and it’s one of the only social media platforms I can have.

If you have one, you can find me, I’ll only be accepting people I trust are who they say they are, so if you’ve never interacted with me on here I’m sorry but I won’t accept. :))

 

  • I’ve been listening to and watching a lot of sermons.

Thankfully, my congregation is still meeting, but I’ve also been listening and watching a lot more lessons than typical.

These are a few audio and video lessons that I highly recommend and that convicted me this month:

 

 

Lessons Learned

 

  • I need to study my actions and the heart behind them.

Too often I do things without really taking a second to think about why I am doing them, the same goes for my words. This is something I’ve been reflecting and working on this month.

  • I need to consider what I would be caught doing.

One night I was sitting around with a friend and my congregation’s missionary preacher, who made a very good point/reflection.

Daniel was caught praying, what would the world catch us doing if they busted down our door one day? What will Jesus when He comes back?

Ever since that discussion, it’s been something on my mind and in the back of my head when I realize I am being mediocre or a lukewarm Christian.

 

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How was your month, friend?
What are some of the things on your mind?

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Coffee Dates: Siblings + How We Can Be Better Family Members Starting Today

“Grace is so lucky during this time of a shelter-in-place. She has so many siblings, when she gets bored with one, she can just go talk to another.” a lady told me that her husband commented this one day.

I laughed and I agreed that I was lucky.

I am.

My siblings are great, we all love each other and typically get along.

But boy, do we also manage to drive each other up a wall at times, especially now.

Coffee Dates: Siblings + How We Can Be Better Family Members Starting Today

-Tap my arm one more time, and I will end you.

-Keep on rolling your eyes, maybe you’ll find your brain back there.

-WHY? Just W H Y  would you do that???

-Do you enjoy personifying a gnat?

These are things I feel like I am constantly thinking or worse, saying to my siblings.

Once my mom said something that scared me and still does:

“How you treat your siblings now will determine whether or not they are in your life in the future.” 

It is one of my fears; losing my relationship with my siblings.

I have a vicious tongue, and at times I wish I could just cut it out and be done with it. I don’t want to hurt the ones I love the most with my words, but yet, I do. I feel like I constantly do.

I am thankful for my siblings and for the way they always forgive me when I have done something to hurt them, but it’s one of my fears that one day I will say something in my foolishness that they won’t be able to forgive me for.

I don’t know about you, but I don’t feel like an adequate older sister.

Why am I the oldest?

They deserve someone so much better than me, I am constantly failing as their older sister. Sometimes I feel like all I ever do is let them down, and I really don’t want to.

I love them, and I wish that I didn’t constantly fail to show them that with my words.

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Maybe you’re in the same boat as me.

Some days you feel like you’re doing a pretty good job being a sibling, but other days you feel like all you are doing is failing.

You snap, you sigh, you roll your eyes, and you let hurtful words escape your mouth.

How can we work on bettering our relationships with not only our sisters and brothers but our parents and everyone else around us as well?

This has been a question that has been on my mind lately, and today I am here to share my thoughts with you, but not as someone who has it all figured out and it perfect, but as someone who is still figuring it out and struggling to work on it along with you.

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 We need to look outside ourselves.

Selfishness. It gets the better of us all at times.

I personally think it’s the typical root of all of my disputes with my sisters and brothers.

I could paint my sister’s nails like she’s been begging me to or I could just watch another conspiracy video.

I could try harder to filter my words when speaking or I could just not bother about working on creating that good habit.

It’s so easy to be selfish and to only think of ourselves.

However, we must work hard to do the opposite and to constantly be striving to be better.

My mom has a phrase she loves, I cannot recall where she got it from, but it goes like:

“Good, better, best, never let it rest, until your good is better and your better is your best.”

It’s a good phrase because it can be used for almost anything, and I think it’s a good phrase for when we are thinking of our relationships with our siblings.

Another good way to check yourself is by using 1 Corinthians 13:

“Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up;  does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.”

Can you replace the word “love” in this passage with your name?

Could your siblings? 

Sadly, I know that I can’t, but I want to be able to and I want others to be able to say that Grace Cox is patient and kind. Grace Cox doesn’t envy or boast. She’s not rude or selfish and doesn’t get angry easily. Grace always thinks the best of people and she always wants good and truth. etc.

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This can be discouraging, but we can’t give up, because if we do, we will never even stretch the surface of getting there.

This is going to be an ongoing struggle, but you are not alone and we are capable of being better than we are. 

 

Together, let’s work on being better family members today, let’s strive to have our siblings replace the “love” in 1 Corinthians 13 with our names, starting today, right now, this very moment

“And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart.”-Galatians 6:9

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Do you have siblings?
How is your relationship with them?

 

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