The Gift of Sheltering in Place
"He lets me lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside the still and quiet waters. He refreshes and restores my life." Psalms 23: 2-3a AMP
I was multi-tasking during my phone conversation, (something I typically do) however my friend's sentence stopped me in my tracks and got my full attention.
"This time of quarantine has been a gift, and I plan to treasure it and take full advantage of it."
Quarantine...a gift? I had never thought about it like that, but after I got off the phone with her, I began to ponder on her words.
Ya'll Covid-19 has been awful: The invisible virus, the innumerable deaths, the toll and devastation it has taken on families, front line workers, and the economy....how can anything connected to it be considered a gift?
I had to think about it for it a while, but as I did, I realized that in spite of the ugliness and evil of the Coronavirus, the time of stillness, safety, and rest that came with sheltering in place, was indeed a gift.
Psalm 23 one of the most familiar passages in scriptures, shares how God, the wonderful Shepherd is smart enough and wise enough to lead His sheep to green pastures for rest, relaxation, and for the restoration of their soul.
Have you considered this time of sheltering in place a gift? Have you seen God, like a good Shepherd provide the opportunity for you to rest and relax your soul from the busyness and hectic pace of life? I decided to share a few instances of how God has used this time of sheltering in place to bring balance, peace, and joy into my heart.
During this time of quarantine, I was able to dance with my husband and 11-year-old granddaughter to a Beyonce song. It was late in the evening, we were feeling stir crazy and so we just did it. We cranked up the music, and all three of us danced in our living room together. This had never been done before!
* My husband and I made a big decision about how we want to serve in our church for the future. This would not have been determined unless we had time to slow things down and really rest and hear what God had to say.
* I was able to connect with Grace during weekly calls and also connect with other Jewel Warrior sisters during our weekly Coffee with Grace Zoom meetings. What a gift!
* I stirred up a long-standing passion of mine which is hearing people's stories and launched a daily live stream show called, "Quarantine Conversations" where women share about their time in quarantine and what God was speaking to them. I was even able to interview fellow, JW writers Joan Niisma and Cortaiga Collins.
* Not only have I cooked dinners during quarantine, but have been able to eat them (slowly) and enjoy them with my husband. Life before quarantine looked like late, dinners eaten after church, often in our bedroom right before going to bed.
* My husband and I made the decision and completed paperwork to begin the process to become foster parents
* I revitalized my sewing business and created income for my family by selling fabric face masks
* During quarantine, I made the decision to do some deep cleaning in my house. Organizing pantries and cleaning out the black hole (my basement)
* My hair, lashes, and face have not had "stuff" on it. ie: hair weaves are out, My fake eyelashes have been off. My face and hair have had a chance to "breathe" and rest during this time of stillness and it has been nice.
* I've gone on several hour-long prayer walks in my neighborhood and it's just been me God and nature.
* Speaking of nature, my husband and I have been intrigued by a Momma bird who has made her nest right outside our patio door. We've witnessed her lay her eggs and take care of newborn baby birds. We've even named her and talk to her and the daddy bird each morning. Had it not been for this time in quarantine, we wouldn't have cared or noticed the nest outside our door!
This time of sheltering in place has been a precious, precious gift for us all. Romans 8:28 lets us know that God always works things out for our good. As life begins to slowly return to normal, it is my prayer that you SEE the gifts God has provided for you during this time, and intentionally TAKE the gifts with you for life post-Covid 19.
Like God told me, I have the choice to decide what kind of life I want to live. Do I want to be frantic, and in an urgent, harried pace like I was pre-Covid 19, or do I want to REST, and allow God to lead and guide me by His calm, still waters? God loves you so much and has good things planned for your life. Stop and enjoy the roses now, and then make decisions on how you will continue to do so when life comes back to normal.
Kacie Starr Long is the proud wife to Alfred T. Long, Sr. She is an author, entrepreneur and content creator. Check out her Facebook page for interviews, faith-filled teachings and soul-stirring conversations.