Thursday, March 26, 2020

Fight Loneliness and Find Comfort - A free printable to help

by Emily Conrad

Even as an introvert, I value time with others. I enjoy my family's game nights on Fridays, I'd been looking forward to celebrating my birthday with them, and I usually spend one-on-one time with a friend at some point during the week.

On Monday, just as I longed to spend time with my mom and sister, our governor announced new restrictions. Wisconsin joined the shelter-in-place states.

That launched me into a bout of self-pity. My birthday was this week, and I didn't want to spend it alone--I was already feeling lonely enough!

As I worked through my feelings, I remembered one thing Wendy Speake taught in her book, The 40-Day Sugar Fast, which I read as I participated in the fast she led earlier this year: we need to turn to Jesus for comfort.

Even now, Lord? She wrote that book long before quarantine became an everyday word around here.

Of course, even now.

The challenge is I don't often feel like Jesus is right with me. When I long for company, it's usually the kind that I can talk to and hear an audible response from. I wish for someone to shop with or walk with or eat with.

Relying on God for company is hard.

But, by the next day I already felt worlds better. God showed me ways I can connect with people. I can text. I can call. I can video chat. I can post little pictures of my day and interact in comments.

More importantly, He also met with me by drawing my attention back to a project I've let sit unfinished for--I suspect now--just a time as this. A project I'm excited to share with you in hopes it'll help you as much as it's helped me.

Thursday, March 19, 2020

When Fear Spreads Faster than a Virus

by Emily Conrad

The map tracking the spread of COVID-19 on Johns Hopkins University’s site is covered in red circles. It’s the sort of thing I’m used to seeing in movies, and now it’s the world we live in.

History is unfolding around us.

Actually, this time, the events are closer than “around us.”

When a neighbor started to approach to say hello while I was walking my dogs, I held up a hand and said, “Don’t come close. I think I have a cold, but we can’t be too careful.”

She stopped where she stood, fifteen feet away.

History, this time, affects the little moments of our days.

I’m against panic and fear.

I am for love. For responsibility and consideration of others.

Because of that, I'm practicing social distancing and trying to heed the advice of the experts.

They have told us lives depend on us doing our part to prevent the quick spread of this virus, and I believe them.

But the virus is not the only thing that is spreading across our globe right now.