Spring is officially here, however the snow I witnessed on the ground outside my bedroom window earlier this week isn’t convincing me quite yet. I was slightly indignant and had a mini pity party for myself, missing the sunshine and Vitamin D (I’m still a true Florida girl heart and soul). I pulled on my sweatpants, slippers, sweater, beanie, scarf and blanket and shuffled to my kitchen table to start my workday. Yes, that might sound extreme, but I’m frugal and refuse to turn my heat above 66. Turning my computer on, my fingers started to dance across the keys as I answered emails and requests from the weekend. My back was facing the window and I hadn’t looked outside yet as my pity party was lasting longer than I originally intended. As I got up to reheat my coffee flavored with delicious hazelnut creamer, I looked out my kitchen window and discover the snow had already melted. And in that instant, I was hit with the hard truth, reality, and encouragement of this uncertain and historical time we are living in.
The hard truth: I’m being selfish and irrational. I let snow, SNOW, my friends, put me in a less than chipper mood for most of the morning. I can’t control the weather and yet I allowed a small inconvenience almost ruin my normal bubbly and extroverted self.
The reality: this isn’t forever. Just as there are seasons of weather, there are seasons of life. Wouldn’t it be incredible if our seasons of life were accompanied with an announced time stamp? From December 21- March 19, you will experience extreme pain and sorrow, but good news! March 24, you’ll transition into a season of inexplicable joy and peace! Kids will no longer fight, Target is having a year-long sale, laundry will magically fold itself and donuts will have zero calories. Just once, I’d love for life to take that kind of turn. Who’s with me?!
The encouragement: there is beauty in every part of life. Living in complete isolation over the next few weeks due to this beast of a virus, has the potential to create hurting hearts coupled with complacency, anger and perhaps even fear. These next weeks and months will be heavily sprinkled with an increased washing of hands, adults working from home, and kids participating in E-learning. Meanwhile, your dog is barking in the background of your Zoom meeting, your adorable toddler is running through the house naked waving his dirty diaper as tribute, Disney+ is blasting from your TV with yet another round of Frozen 2, your other child thinks school work is stupid, and you may or may not have burned dinner. Your spouse who works in the healthcare industry will distance themselves from you in order to keep the family safe from potential exposure. Perhaps you are a single parent feeling extremely overwhelmed, maybe you already live alone and the reality of social distancing can perpetuate loneliness even more. I am not making light of anyone’s circumstances. They are all real, and hard and present right now in our worlds.
BUT what if we head into these next few weeks with purpose and intentionality? What if we refuse to let fear and frustration dictate our actions and thoughts? What if we simply chose to see the beauty in what we have been blessed with? And YES, I say BLESSED. Your naked toddler streaking through your Zoom meeting is the comedic relief we’ve all needed. Your burnt chicken parmesan is a chance to order from a local business for delivery. Being home with your children while they complete their schoolwork shows you how amazing and dedicated their teachers are, and you get to come alongside and assist in their education. Talk to your kids. Reconnect with your spouse. Run that mile early in the morning because you won’t need to beat rush hour traffic on the couch. Finish that 1000-piece puzzle collecting dust on the game shelf. Write a letter. Write TEN LETTERS! Paint along with Bob Ross to make those happy little trees. Make a schedule and stick to it. Create, love, and discover all the things you may have been too distracted to pursue. Send that meme, that makes you ugly laugh, to your friends and family, goodness knows they are everywhere! Snuggle your loved ones a little longer and FaceTime with those you can’t be near. Do your research and perhaps go for a bike ride or walk. Stop hoarding all the toilet paper, try a new recipe, pray for those who aren’t working and those who are working, and intentionally and verbally acknowledge the blessings in your life! Show one another grace, have a pillow fight or karaoke contest via Skype and I won’t judge you while you watch the entirety of The Office for the 3rd time. Yes, we have been asked to stay home, but I hope you realize it’s not a prison sentence, it’s a chance to grow, bloom and appreciate the beauty and gift of life, just in time for spring.