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“Interrupt anxiety with gratitude.”

That was the message I scrolled past on Pinterest Thursday night after watching an hour-long Canadian National News broadcast covering a myriad of updates concerning the Covid-19 virus that’s currently plaguing the entire world.

I spent Thursday in town — the first time I’d been out in a week (normal for me — weekly shopping), and it was a trip I made with a mask on, toting a container of homemade bleach wipes.

My dad was with me, and he too was sporting a mask, and being extra vigilant not to touch too many things, and to wipe down carts, etc. On the entire trip, I saw one other woman with a mask, and one elderly man who pulled out a pair of rubber gloves when he arrived at the grocery store. But that was it.

We got plenty of looks (not all pleasant), and encountered a few childish people who thought they were in drama class and assumed it was appropriate to put on an impolite little show when we were in the same aisle.

By the time I got home, I was agitated to say the least. The weekly shopping trip always exasperates me, but this one was more nerve-wracking than most thanks to other people’s blatant lack of concern, their disregard for the well being of those around them, and a really hot mask that had me literally dripping sweat out of every pore on my face.

I’m not someone who gets scared easily. I think that panicking in any situation is a recipe for disaster. And I like to be prepared — even when there isn’t a pandemic sweeping the entire world.

But… right now, life is not normal. And ignoring that fact will not just make the problem go away. If you happen to be one of the (unfortunately) many people who still want to claim the “ignorance is bliss, this is all a sham” motto…

Screw off.

Seriously.

Shut your mouth. Right now. And consider that it’s people like you who facilitate the spread of disease — in more ways than one.

YOU may not get sick and die, but the point is that you can carry a sickness and spread it to others who aren’t going to be as capable as you are of fighting it off like it’s nothing.

Right now, what you need to be doing is thinking about other people, and what YOU can do to help them. Because life is not all about you. I know that since you were an insufferably bratty little child, you’ve probably been told that it IS. But now that you’re an insufferably bratty adult with the IQ of a garden snail’s slime trail, you are in desperate need of someone to tell you the truth.

And the truth is that like any disease, the Covid-19 virus is very serious, and even deadly, to some people. And the people who are susceptible to its effects need for you and me to sacrifice just a little bit of our own comfort in an effort to try and keep them safe.

That’s how life is supposed to work. We look out for each other. When you need help, I help you. When I need help, you help me. The end.

Just show a little consideration for the people that you might cross paths with today. You don’t know what their situation is — and honestly, their situation doesn’t matter. Treat everyone else the way that YOU would want to be treated. Behave the way that you would want others to behave if YOU fell into the “at risk” category of people.

It really is that simple, guys. I know it’s not pleasant when your routine is interrupted and your plans are sidetracked. But that’s LIFE. That’s called being an adult. So try acting like one.

*exhales* Okay, common sense lesson on what it means to be an adult, done.

So by midnight on Thursday… I was a bit worked up. Mentally, I mean. My dad is over 65. He has underlying health issues. I’m worried that I won’t be able to fill his prescriptions, or that I’ll end up getting him sick. I’m worried about the people all over the world whose family members have already died from the virus. And the many more who are sick and just waiting to see what will happen.

After completely drowning myself in copious amounts of scary bad news, I decided that a few minutes on Pinterest (okay, it ended up being over an hour — that’s the way it goes with Pinterest!) might help me to settle down.

And that was when I saw the pin.

And you know what? Instantly I settled down. The Lord always sends encouragement when we need it, and for me, that night? That was the encouragement I needed.

Philippians 4:8 says, “Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable – if anything is excellent or praiseworthy – think about such things.”

It’s a nasty looking world right now. But that doesn’t mean that there aren’t still good things abounding — things that we should be grateful for.

“Interrupt anxiety with gratitude.”

So I started thinking — about all the things I’m grateful for. Some superficial. Others much deeper. Some altruistic, others more selfish. But the fact is that we all have things to be grateful for — big and small — every single day. Remember what Philippians said: Think on the good things.

And I found that the longer my list of gratitude got, the calmer and less negative I felt. The more I thought about what I had to be grateful for, the less my mind was obsessing about the scary situation and all the things that could potentially go wrong.

So all I want to do today is tell you some of the things I’m grateful for, and challenge you, my readers, to do the same. In the comments below, tell me at least one thing that you’re grateful for right now. Nothing is too small. Maybe you’re just grateful that the cup of coffee you had this morning tasted amazing instead of burnt — that’s a completely valid starting point, just build from there!

Just be grateful, guys. Show some gratitude for the blessings which God has bestowed upon your life. Do that for yourself today. I promise, you will feel better. ♥

Firstly, I’m grateful that I live in a part of the country where no one has tested positive for the virus yet.

I’m grateful that my elderly dad lives with me and that I already work from home.

I’m grateful that I have a wood stove to keep us warm, and to cook on, should the power go out.

I’m grateful that if my grandma had to pass away this year, that it happened before there was a pandemic which could very well have forced her into isolation away from us and ended her life in a really painful and scary way.

I’m actually grateful that I don’t have a huge family with tons of people — because the more people you love, the more you have to worry about.

I’m grateful that despite working in the healthcare system, my best friend of 27 years is now in a job where she can work 100% from home if she needs to.

And I’m grateful that in 2020, we have the technology and devices which made it possible for her and I to have a 2+ hour video call Sunday afternoon, complete with hot tea and a real-time game of Words With Friends (I won — by 144 points — sorry, K, love you!)

I’m grateful that I have a freezer stocked with food. And food that I didn’t have to push past other people to panic-buy — like Dr. Stockton in Twilight Zone’s “The Shelter” warned us: The time to prepare is before there’s a disaster — it’s good to have extra essentials on hand at all times. Remember, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure — something to keep in mind especially now.

I’m grateful that we’re now past the Ides of March, and there’s no stopping Spring now! The first snowfall was a full foot on Halloween night, and I haven’t seen the bare ground ever since. I’m ready for Spring.

I’m grateful that I can afford my medication, and that after many, many years of suffering, my chronic condition is under control enough that some days, I even forget I have it.

I’m grateful that my dad’s health is also well managed. That I understand what his medications do, and that I’m able to care for him.

I’m grateful that despite all the negative people who abuse social media, it allows me to stay in touch with my friends who live very far away, and that I can check on them every day, and know that they’re safe.

I’m grateful that no one in my circle of loved ones is battling cancer, or any other terrible disease.

I’m grateful that I have internet access, a telephone, electricity, running water, hot water, a warm bed, and a house and vehicle that are paid for.

I’m grateful to have friends, some of whom have never even met me in person, who care enough about me to write and ask if I’m doing okay.

I’m grateful to have people in my life that I love more than life itself; and I’m grateful that there are people who love me back just as much.

I’m grateful that my new weasel friend, Emma, has learned to co-exist with my precious squirrels, instead of trying to kill them — as she was doing when we first were introduced through the kitchen window over a month ago!

I’m grateful that even though I only had my mom for a short time, she loved me, and taught me what it was to do right. And that while I might not be able to remember the sound of her voice, I do remember the feeling of what it was like to be near her.

I’m grateful that right now, I’m able to be writing this blog post, on a Monday afternoon, sitting comfortably on my couch with a blanket, beside a nice, warm woodstove that’s puffing away.

I’m grateful that over the weekend, my dad and I were able to clean the chimney, and now I won’t need to worry about that again until the fall.

Guys, I’m grateful that I have so many things to be grateful for!!!

And finally, last, but certainly not the least, I’m grateful that I have Jesus to lean on in times of uncertainty, disaster and fear. But not only that — also that I have Him in good times too — a friend not only to comfort me in my times of need, but a friend to rejoice with me in times of great joy and happiness as well!

With Jesus, I really have nothing in this world to fear, because even if I die, praise the Lord, I put my hope in Jesus that something even better is waiting for me on the other side.

“For the perishable must clothe itself with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality. When the perishable has been clothed with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality, then the saying that is written will come true: “Death has been swallowed up in victory.” “Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?” The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.” (1 Corinthians 15:53)

Even if we die, death is not the end. Jesus said, “I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die.” (John 11:25)

Jesus said that He didn’t come to take us out of the world, but that He would protect us from the Evil One. The Devil is Falsehood and Hatred — he is the Evil One. Hard times come in everyone’s life, and we have to go through bad things. That’s just life. But if we put our hope in Jesus — Jesus who is NOT a man, but God Himself! Truth and Love, the Immortal God, taking off His immortality for a time, clothing Himself with mortality, come, crucified, and risen alive again, immortal once more! This is the one in whom we put our trust; the Creator of all, who even in the midst of a worldwide pandemic is still giving us an abundance of things to be grateful for — if only we stop, open our eyes, and SEE.

Life itself is a gift. Wake up every day and realize that. And before you fall down the deep, dark rabbit hole of despair, reflect on the good things you have right now, show a little gratitude for them, and you will gain some measure of peace within your life.

Interrupt anxiety with gratitude. Be thankful for what you have, and be content in whatever state you find yourself in.

Never forget that faith is an action — it requires that you do something. So if you have to go out, wear a mask, even if you feel weird because no one else is. Wipe down the cart at the grocery store. And please just stay home if you can. Don’t underestimate the impact of one single person’s actions. Because a whole lot of single persons together makes for a huge group. From little things, big things grow — and that can either be for the good… or the bad. Your choice.

God bless, friends. ♥