We’re Grateful..

We’re Grateful..

We’re grateful, but we’ve got a list. A post Covid-19 list.

We’re grateful for masks, being healthy throughout the pandemic, being able to at least be out walking, take out, creative meals, the caring people out there that will put safety protocols into place to folks can be out and about enjoying life! But….

  • First and foremost we would love to visit our sons, daughter-in-laws and granddaughters. We are grateful for video chats, but it still isn’t the same as that physical time together.
  • We want to be able to spend time with our family that lives near and far, but we haven’t seen since this all started. We are grateful that we are all healthy, but we are also very cautious
  • We want to be able to hug people! I’m a hugger, this is hard.
  • We want to be able to get together with our new neighbors, have a beer, sit in the air conditioning and see each others faces.
  • We want to go to a several crowded local breweries, sit at the bar and strike up a conversation with the person sitting next to me, not 6 feet away.
  • We want to get on a plane and go to Aruba, Jamaica, Akumal… you name it.
  • We want to go places, be with people, hug, visit, eat, drink, just be and not have to count down the next 2 weeks to make sure we are in the clear.
  • We want our families to be able to get back to a better normal life, not one as uneasy and hectic as this is.

We are sure as time goes on and we continue to adjust to the new normal this list will expand. Again we are so grateful for all that we have. For all the people that keep us safe. Even for those that argue against the safety protocols and think this is all a hoax because as frustrating as they are to us, they do make us feel as if we are reading The Onion without having to pay for it. We are blessed, we are grateful… But…

So what’s on your post Covid list?

Why Do We? Why Don’t We?

Why Do We? Why Don’t We?

There are so many thoughts running through my mind right now I pray that I can do justice to what I am thinking in this post!

As we work our way through the Covid-19 quarantine and our new normal we are confronted with the murder of George Floyd and Black Lives Matter movement. Protests, violence, the additional murder of Rayshard Brooks.

So yesterday morning I was listening to Don Lemon’s new Podcast “Silence Is Not An Option”. He starts the podcast off with an absolutely thought provoking statement…

We live in a society where it’s no longer enough to simply not be racist—we must proactively choose to be antiracist. And that choice means showing up and doing the work, every single day.

Don Lemon- Silence Is Not An Option

Questions throughout the podcast brought so many questions and thoughts to my already overloaded brain.

Let me start with a little bit of my history. I grew up in Parma, OH a white suburb of Cleveland. One day my husband asked me how many black kids we had in school. I laughed and replied back “Are you kidding me? We didn’t even have any black families living in Parma.” I am embarrassed to say that it wasn’t until the mid 1980’s that Parma was forced to integrate and that was not without a fight. I grew up in a prejudicial household, not only toward blacks, but toward any person of color. When I was in high school I took a class on Afro-American Literature (which by the way ended up being one of my favorite classes ever) and I thought my grandmother was going to disown me. “Why do you want to read those books” is what she would say. A black person would come on TV and she would turn the channel off. I loved my gran greatly and I never said anything. I kept silent. But, I continued throughout my growing up fighting the prejudice in my family and swore I or any children I would ever raise would not ever think this way. We are all God’s children and He loves us no matter whether we are red and yellow, black or white- we are precious in His sight. But was that enough? But, when I would hear someone make a racist comment or demean someone of color I didn’t always speak up. I was afraid to. I didn’t want to offend them or get into an argument or conflict with them.

I step away. I don’t speak up. I sit silently.

Yesterday on FB one of my friends had posted she was fed up and working through it. The thread went on with lots of comments, but one struck me to the core. It mentioned that sometimes you just need to step away from the onslaught of insanity in order to save your own sanity and that is hard for the activist’s heart. We went on with commenting back and forth about stepping away, but it is also difficult to do because we just want to fight for what is right. I couldn’t tell you how many times I have commented on a post or posted something myself because I just feel it in my heart that I need to say something, it must be the Esther in me to say something, but then I find myself deleting it because I don’t want to offend someone, start a FB back and forth, tit for tat or make anyone mad at me, etc. So I delete the comment or post and continue on with my life.

I step away. I don’t speak up. I sit silently.

Then last night we were watching Padma Lakshmi’s “Taste The Nation”. Her guest, Ali Wong, talked about her upbringing as a Chinese-American. She stated something to the effect that her Father lived by parables and one of them was to “worry about what your family thinks, but don’t worry about what others think”. Really? Tough to hear for someone that is a 1000% people pleaser!

Of course my mind then jumps to another question. In talking with Jon this morning I likened this to sharing our faith. I know this is a big jump, but hang in there with me. As life-long Lutherans we are, I think it’s safe to say, not always very vocal and comfortable in sharing our faith, our story, making disciples, telling people about Jesus or God or anything religious. . What’s even worse is that as a Pastoral family we tend to stay away from that conversation because of the difficulty of parishioners not knowing what we mean. Because of heavily imposed social standards we sit silently rather than witnessing to someone, maybe losing the chance of bringing them to Jesus and changing their life.

I step away. I don’t speak up. I sit silently.

This morning my first thought as I sat down to FB was…

I will not post… I will not comment… I will not post.

I step away. I don’t speak up. I sit silently.

Then the wheels started turning and the puzzle pieces started coming together. I truly believe that God places situations, people, podcasts,tv show, whatever in front of us for a reason. There is a reason I listened to the podcast yesterday. There is a reason my friend had posted that she was fed up. There is a reason I heard what Ali Wong had to say.

Why do I step away? Why don’t I speak up? Why do I sit silently?

Stepping away, not speaking up, sitting silent is not an option.

Keeping the Main Thing the Main Thing

Keeping the Main Thing the Main Thing

I’m actually “stealing” a phrase that my husband has used so many times when talking about keeping our focus where it needs to be. We so often get caught up in the dailies of life that we take our eye off the main thing-God, Jesus, the cross, etc. So with his permission I’m just gonna take this down my road.

Covid-19. What an invasion into our everyday life.  Life has drastically changed in the last several months.  There have been no getting together with family or friends. No hugs, no physical contact. We’ve been thrown into a life of “social distancing”, eating at home, schools closed, work places closed and people either working from home or not working at all, no haircuts, manicures, pedicures. We’ve had to set aside so many things!  Folks  are trying to keep as normal of a lifestyle as possible, but also trying to adjust to a totally different lifestyle.

Our lives have all been turned upside down, inside out.  We don’t even know what day it is half the time.  Every day is like groundhog day!

Now, states are slowly starting to open back up.  Restaurants have opened up, with restrictions. Retail stores are slowly opening up.  But, kids are still out of school and folks are still working from home.  It’s a slow process with adding things one by one.

So, where am I going with this.  Well last night we went to a restaurant for the first time in 3 months. Tonight we sat eating our take away pizza from a local restaurant.  We actually went to Target yesterday, the first time since February.  Yes, we have masks on and we are still staying 6′ away from others, not lingering in the store. When I think of how good it felt to go to the restaurant last night and how excited I am about my upcoming hair appointment I began to think how this has really made me so appreciative of the “little” things.  We actually have survived without the extra things that we think we can’t do without.

I find myself turning more and more to my daily devotions, even adding extra ones as I crave for those words of hope and not despair, trust and not worry, patience and not impatience. I find myself soaking in the fresh air when I’m out for my walk in the morning my face not covered by a mask. I find myself so loving even more our video chats with our family, even if it’s a 5 minute one. I find myself not getting frustrated by the cold air conditioning of the restaurant, but appreciative of just being able to sit at a table other than our own. I find myself learning to actually enjoy planning meals and feeling somewhat creative with trying out new recipes and bringing back some old family favorites that we haven’t eaten in a long time.  I find myself absolutely savoring that first bite of our favorite local ice cream in a waffle cone as we sat eating in the quiet of our car.  I find myself really absorbing the wonder and beauty of God’s creation that in the midst of this horrific disease that ravages our world there are still beautiful sunsets on the beach where we can walk with our toes in the sand and the sound of the waves.

1076D3BA-81E3-4EA9-A33F-A6E0F346CBA5

I am reminded to Keep the Main Thing the Main Thing.