Gentle Nudgings toward COURAGE
… Grab a cup of your favorite coffee or tea …
So … it has been rainy here, I’m watching an update on the Corona Virus and it’s local and national impact. I’m wrapped up in a blanket with my little Ber at my feet as I sit amazed by the far-reach of this virus. NBA, MLS and others stop athletic seasons … Disneyland Park and Universal Studios and others are closing, travel plans are changing (yep, including mine), and … on and on. It is great that so many privately and corporately are taking serious the need for us all to jointly work together to “flatten the curve” of the rate of spread. Sad it has taken a National (yes, International) emergency for us all to realize we NEED to work together and be kind … but … these are the times we live in.
The last couple of days the thoughts of Preparation for emergencies has certainly ramped up for me … and yesterday I was thinking a lot about the Blizzard of ’73.
May I share with you a personal story? As you may or may not know I grew up on a cattle ranch in Southern Colorado / Northern New Mexico. On the Ranch we were used to snow but … not several FEET of snow all at once! I was in high school at the time and 5 feet of snow dumped on us “on the level” was not something our rural community was ready for.
I remember such things as … my Dad not being able to ride his main “go to” horse “Snooker” to check the stranded cattle as the horse would get high-centered in the snow! I remember the helicopters dropping hay for the stranded cattle so they wouldn’t starve. Our phone lines were on what was called a “party line” so everyone (a number of families in our area) normally had to take turns using the phone (we had a to share! What a concept! :). During the 3 weeks we were basically trapped in our homes … so every hour on the hour … if anyone wanted to talk, needed help, etc. you could just pick up the phone. 🙂 Kind of like a large ZOOM meeting without the smiling faces! Oh, so many memories. Too many to share here.
The other major nugget that stands out in my mind was HOW PREPARED my Mom and Dad were to handle this crisis! As a teenager not seeing your friends for weeks surely felt like a crisis! But really we were not in any danger because our parents were prepared. They stayed prepared, as we lived an hour away from the stores, and our family of 8 (6 kids) always had all the food, etc. which we needed. Mom and Dad made it look so easy but they truly thought through what they needed living that far away from grocery stores and doctors and it taught me so much!
In today’s world in Southern California … the main reason I take the opportunity to prepare is Earthquake preparation. But to prepare for Earthquakes is also the opportunity to prepare for Corona Virus … being inside, hunkered down and ready to stay out of the fray. For example: I recently organized our “pantry” with the canned foods / soups/ etc.that we have. Yes, I did check my toilet paper stash (and YES the local grocery shelves really were emptied!). Do I have my water in case I needed it and how about meds? What do I have in my freezer? Oops … I need to check my flashlights! No need to hoard … simply, little by little … let’s be prepared, albeit remember, it won’t be needed forever.
In light of this new Corona Virus challenge what CAN we DO? So … in my DNA because of how and where I was raised … is the desire to “be prepared” and DO Something when faced with a problem. We can play offense! How? Ideas? Stay healthy! Work to keep our immune system strong! http://my.cbn.com/resources which includes sleep and reduction of stress … how about watching a funny movie? And don’t forget to drink enough water! Yes, I can be and stay informed. In that personal discipline … I am playing OFFENSE!
In being prepared I also need to play DEFENSE (can you tell I love basketball and soccer? :).
We need to DEFEND against:
- Defend against the virus: Hand washing, disinfect around you, not touching our faces and … social distancing (UGH … I love hugs and hugging!), etc. Some resources: https://www.cdc.gov and https://www.coronavirusnow.com
- And … we defend against FEAR! (Isaiah 41:10 “Fear not for I am with you. Be not afraid for I am your God. I will strengthen you, I will help you. I will uphold you with My victorious right hand.”)
How do we defend ourselves from Fear and Panic? Here are some ideas which I shared with my private clients today:
I know we agree that even though fear is real … we can acknowledge we have it … but the enemy wins if he keeps us paralyzed in fear. The Lord God is not asleep in the boat. We can trust Him. He is sovereign. We can talk to and pour out our hearts to Him through prayer. We can and should be a testimony of His peace, His calm, His love to those around us … we can take His story gently, courageously to those around us who are frightened. Some people do not have the Holy Spirit and His peace and do not know Jesus personally. And some others who need you (to be calm) are siblings in the Lord but need to be reassured and reminded of His love, His healing, His care. “COURAGE OVER FEAR.”
- “What we Do and What we Think” is critical right now. (per Lorie Johnson, Health Reporter CBN.com)
- We can prepare (DO) and we should. We need to rest in the Lord, DO what we can do to prepare, be informed .. and do not panic.
- We need to be disciplined to THINK about what the Lord calls us to focus on …remembering Hebrews 11:1 “Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.” Now is a perfect opportunity to put into practice what we hold onto as Believers. Faith over fear. Yep, we have to intentionally “think on these things” … focus on His promises … and Believe what He says is true. This is an opportunity to showcase that our faith is real. Real not because of who we are but because of WHO He is!
- Phil. 4:8 (ESV) “Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.”
- Philippians 4:6-7 (ESV) “6 do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. 7 And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
Facts over Fear. Preparedness over Panic. Courage over Comfort.
May I encourage you to read Psalm 91:5-7 and Isaiah 41:10 (my favorite)!
- We are in a Battle. This is a war. (Lorie Johnson, CBN Health Reporter)
- We are in this together. By the grace of God … we can successfully negotiate these turbulent waters … together!
- This is an opportunity to have the courage to be kind. To reach out within the modes we are able. How about picking up the telephone and checking in on folks? How about mailing an old fashion note of encouragement to someone who may need it? Or … how about spending time texting or emailing a friend (or 2 or 10) and asking how you could pray for them? Or simply asking someone you are standing in line with (or getting tested by 🙂 how you can pray for them? (Recently I asked that question of a young gal in a doctor’s office … she looked at me and said “Wow. No one has ever asked me that question!”)
- This is an opportunity to spend more time in prayer and in Bible study! How about singing to Worship music! How about memorizing your favorite Scripture to have Courage or battle fear and anxiety?
- How about playing a board game? Clean a closet and prepare a pile to “Give Away”? How about reading that book you’ve been putting off as you hunker down and spend more time at home. Do you garden? Watch birds? Sing or play an instrument?
- Use this time as an opportunity while you are at home. This could reduce your stress and increases the strength of your immune system! 🙂 See your time at home as a gift instead of a nuisance … it will reduce your stress.
- And as my Sister-in-Law Emily has encouraged us … that this is a great opportunity as individuals make personal sacrifices to the common good. Amen!
Some great resources to bless your heart during this time … we all need our hearts to be calmed … some wise advise from folks I trust:
https://www.joniandfriends.org/a-calming-word-during-the-coronavirus (Please watch this great You Tube and read the post by Joni Eareckson Tada)
Sermon series on the book of Job by our Pastor: https://citc.podbean.com
Great blog with perspective: https://yellowballoons.net
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And finally … I have an idea!
To go along with the declaration from the White House today that this coming Sunday the 15th of March will be a National Day of Prayer … let’s pray! We can pray from anywhere as a group! (Where 2 or more are gathered …!)
If you would like to join with other women to pray I will be hosting a ZOOM online prayer meeting. My intention is to host these Zoom meetings 2 times per day as I can. One daytime prayer meeting at 2pm PST and One in the evening at 7pm PST. You would need access to the Internet … best on a laptop or desk monitor.
* Interested in taking part in either of these Prayer Times via ZOOM?
If you are interested in one or the other of the prayer times (or know others who might be) you will need to RSVP by emailing me. I will send you the Zoom link and the necessary information to partake in this joint prayer opportunity. Feel free to forward this information to others who pray.
Remember Sister … we’re going to get through this. This is temporary. We have an opportunity to pray, to give, to grow, to be kind, to be generous, to be careful, to be thoughtful, to be prepared and … to be intentional. We will have opportunities to give God the glory as we journey through this storm. Let’s do it together.
BE COURAGEOUS! Be safe! Be intentional. Be surrendered.
Love, prayers and blessings,
800 373 1940
Master Certified Professional and Christian Life Coach
“But as for me, I will sing about your power. Each morning I will sing with joy about your unfailing love. For you have been my refuge, a place of safety when I am in distress.” Psalm 59:16 NLT
Joshua 1:9 “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” NIV
“God has not given you a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind!” 2 Timothy1:7 NKJV
“Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal among you, which comes upon you for your testing, as though some strange thing were happening to you.” – 1 Peter 4:12
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