She asked to rearrange the pretty dishes one sunny afternoon last week.
“Is that okay, mom? I think I can make it fit better and I don’t mind wiping down the glass too.”
A task I personally did not want to take on, but this girl? She loves to organize and beautify spaces left cluttered and abandoned. She’s good at it too, so I often welcome her delicate hands and artistic eye into these forgotten corners of our home.
Rearrange; a word we’ve all been playing out in real time this past week. With the world in upheaval It seems there isn’t a life un-shifted by COVID-19.
Even fellow homeschooling families have been impacted and had to reposition their days to suit an isolated lifestyle. We have all changed our routines, cancelled our eye appointments, pushed piano recitals out, abandoned desks and co-workers, pulled children home from public schools and learned how to communicate in ways deemed safe for now.
But can I whisper to you what I'm whispering to my heart today?
In the presence of fear do not shrink back. Even within your own walls, do not be overcome by the dawn of tomorrow. When you rest your head at night and every panicking breath holds onto your sleep deprived body making you prisoner to what tomorrow will bring, cry out for rest from the Lord who desires to rearrange your heavy burden onto His shoulders. There is no antidote for anxiety like the arms of Jesus.
And when you're reading the rising numbers and feel the pressure in your blood rising with them, breath easy because God is above us and around us and still working through us even in the darkest hours.
There isn't a procedure or rhythm of breathing able to heal your restless heart, no horoscope or technique will fasten your soul or set your feet firmly like casting your cares at the feet of Jesus.
"My son, do not let wisdom and understanding out of your sight, preserve sound judgment and discretion; they will be life for you, an ornament to grace your neck. Then you will go on your way in safety, and your foot will not stumble.
When you lie down, you will not be afraid; when you lie down, your sleep will be sweet. Have no fear of sudden disaster or of the ruin that overtakes the wicked, for the Lord will be at your side and will keep your foot from being snared. Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due, when it is in your power to act. Do not say to your neighbor, “Come back tomorrow and I’ll give it to you” — when you already have it with you." Proverbs 3:21-28
Rejoice and be glad, the Lord is near! And then check on your neighbors, stuff their mailboxes full of flowers, give your mailman/lady lunch money enough to bless their work and prolong the businesses with take-out only signs, sing songs with your little ones before naptime, have tea parties every day, pray over your spouse in bed at night, video chat with family you've missed, write all sorts of letters to people you don't even know, and look up at the stars thanking God for His constant care over your life.
An empty house for the weekend; Andy and I had plans of painting some of the grimy lived in walls and floors of our home while the children spent the weekend with Mema and Papa. But the wind is strong and often dictates my hopeful date nights with Andy. But life goes on...
Three hours into my now solo painting project, worship music ringing through my uninterrupted mind, I remember I had prayed for this. For some alone time to think and breath and just listen to the still small voice of God. Clarity fills my eyes and heart as I look around me and see this quieted home is full of God’s goodness.
Though the finger prints and permanent stains will be covered over, the presence of the Lord is thick and deeply etched into every corner. This surprise alone time was fully planned by God and given to me as a gift to enjoy, to work, to worship and to pray.
Though there is fear pressing down on so many hearts right now, meet that fear with praise. If the Coronavirus finds its way into your life, let it find you singing and cleaning, playing cards and reading aloud to your family. Don’t let panic steal your peace, don’t let perilous times find you hidden in a corner clutching items you bought at the store. Meet fear with prayer and breath peace into the people in your home.
“The Lord sits enthroned over the flood; the Lord is enthroned as King forever. The Lord gives strength to his people; the Lord blesses his people with peace.” Psalm 29:10-11
"My life passes as swiftly as the evening shadows. I am withering away like grass." Psalm 102:11