That's how many days have passed since we learned that Covid-19 would likely be shutting our country down and we have been at home in some capacity- either on quarantine, working, etc.
The first week I spent time getting adjusted to what would be the new (but hopefully temporary) normal. I set up my home office, pulled out a few pieces from my wardrobe that would be appropriate for Zoom (yoga pants for the bottom though) and hunkered down. Soon, I began to have a daily routine that began with prayer, setting my intentions for the day and devotion, and ending with thanking God for another successful and peaceful work day. I started to eat a full breakfast and stopped eating out for lunch (because everything was closed LOL). We tried to keep some sense of normalcy at work by continuing to meet every morning at 8:30. I would mitt, at first I was not sure about meeting every morning at 8:30 and we have never done it before. I was so grateful to have that standing meeting on my calendar, because I believe it help me to keep everything in that allow me to keep my sanity. Things began to settle after week 1.
But something happened around the middle of April.
People in my community started dying from Covid-19.
Friends of friends.
Suddenly it became scary- we were not just "hanging out at home", we were home because a deadly virus was killing our family and friends. I spent the rest of April worried sick about myself, my husband (who is a truck driver), my mother (who lives in Assisted Living), my son (who works with people every day), my dad (who works at a hospital and is a funeral home director) and everyone around me who could possibly catch Covid-19.
Then May. It's Spring so there must be SOME good news, right? Wrong. At least in my case.
My mother tested positive for Covid and had to be in isolation for 2 weeks- I had already not seen her for weeks at this point. So again, I spent my days worrying, waiting for her daily call with her temp and O2 levels and in prayer. One evening in April I sat on my couch and pictured my mother sitting at my kitchen table like she has done so many times. Once I could imagine her sitting there again, my worrying lessened. My niece was also positive for Covid.
Then I joined a group ran by my friend Tori, which allowed me to spend every Saturday at noon with a group of women in prayer and fellowship. Suddenly I had a virtual space where I could share my fears, faith, cry, and even encourage others. I could see I was not alone in how I felt. I received scipture-based tools every week that helped with the following week. Every week I knew, no matter how crazy the week was, I had daily checking for work and my Saturday group to keep me anchored.
It has now been 112 days.
in a few days you’ll be able to say that a pandemic claimed at least a quarter of 2020.
Lot's of scary stuff,
BUT lot's of GOOD stuff too like:
My mother never developed Covid symptoms!!
My niece recovered from Covid
My bff got engaged
I was featured on RollingOut.com
I released a new single
I led a youth writing workshop for Girls Inc of the Valley
I did a read aloud for Springfield Public Schools
Seeing my friends more on Zoom and socially distanced than before Covid.
Seeing artists at the most intimate level through the Verses series (Jill Scott vs Erykah, Teddy vs Babyface, Jadakiss vs Fabulous, etc.)
Driveway birthday parties
Wine fairies leaving wine baskets on my doorstep
Drive by parades for graduations and retirements
My friends all releasing something dope! Like Brenda's Child's weekly Grown Woman Wednesdays series, Qwes' Instagram concerts, Charmagne's new song, Tianna's meditation moments, etc.
I started a Bible in 90 days group again for the first time in three years. We have 22 people reading the New Testament together from now until September.
Where do we go from here?
No one knows. A lot of this is out of our control!
But I know what I CAN control:
My home space.
My reactions to others.
My work ethic.
I will continue to focus on the good and believe that God knows what lies ahead of us and I encourage you to do the same. It's okay to have down days! Just keep focused on what is in your control, wear your mask, wash your hands and keep moving. Every storm runs out of rain.
When decided I wanted to be a writer as a teenager, I always imagined sitting in front of a big picture window in Venice, writing the next great American novel. I even pictured a desk that was made out of oak, and a big comfy chair I could sit in all day without my back hurting LOL
Back in the 80’s, computers were not as accessible as they are now, so I pictured typing my book on a Brother word processor like the one my dad got me for Christmas that year.
But when the time finally came for me to write my first book, I was living in Chicopee, Massachusetts, not Venice.
And that big oak desk I dreamed of sitting at as I wrote? It’s replacement was this lap desk from Barnes and Noble. That was 14 years ago.
Since then, I have written and published seven books and all of them were written using this lap desk. As you can see, it has been broken several times and re-taped with black duct tape. It has remnants of washi tape and letters I use when I do Bible journaling. My husband has even purchased me a new one, and it is just sitting in the corner in the living room. 🤪
We all have dreams of our future and how we think it should. We may even imagine certain items or scenery when we picture with our future will look like. We may be SET on a certain set of circumstances we believe need to be in place in order for us to be successful.
But I encourage you to be open to dream modifications. We will still reach our dreams, but the TOOLS we use and our location may look different than what we saw when we imagined our success.
"It was planted in good soil beside abundant waters, that it might yield branches and bear fruit and become a splendid vine." Ezekiel 17:8
When my aunt was ill, I visited her home a weekly basis to water her plants. I would fill up one of her watering cans and water each of the plants. 4 in all.
Or so I thought.
Then one day I was visiting her in the hospital and she asked how her plants were doing. I told her the 2 plants in the kitchen were fine. She asked then how the plant in the living room was doing.
I said: "Both plants in the living room are doing great!"
"Both plants? There is only one plant in the living room. That other large plant is fake."
Then I realized: I had been watering a FAKE plant for almost a month! I had spent time and energy on something that was not even alive, and would never grow.
This prompted me to think about my own life and how many "dead" things I may be watering and nurturing (friendships, projects, etc.) It made me think about how many things I was watering that would never "bear fruit." By the end of my reflection time, I had a list of a few things I could now let go so that I could have the energy and resources to nurture something that would be fruitful.
I encourage you to do the same! Take some time this week to make a list of all of the things that require your time and energy. Then, also think about the return of investment on those things. Are you constantly sowing into the dreams and projects of others and have no room for your own? Now is the time to stop "watering" what will never grow so that you can see your own harvest come to fruition.
Prayer focus: Focus, Time management