Lessons from COVID-19: When Focus Is a Challenge

Gratitude Day 510

Wed., Sept. 16, 2020

2 Corinthians 12:9 – But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore, I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.

Can I be real? Honest? Tell the truth?

I’ve been struggling lately. It’s not my health. Or Hubby Rick. I look at my life and think, “Wow! YOU. ARE. SO. LUCKY.”

So, what’s the problem?

Lack of focus. Procrastination. Letting things slide that I know are important.

This recovering Martha is just not feeling it these days.

Yes, I do get things done. I’ve taken moments and time to relish good things. Some days, there list is long. I accomplish much.

Other days? Not so much.

I think that we hit certain times in our lives when things just “flow” better than others. Some days, we hit on all cylinders. Others? We can’t get our act together.

Right now, I think it’s even more challenging. Most people are more than ready for something that feels and seems more “normal” in life to be part of our daily ritual. Yes, there are some things: baseball. NFL. School, although this probably feels anything but normal.

But I’m not sure there will be a day when suddenly, everything IS normal. Maybe, just maybe, this is OK. There are important lessons for us to take away from this time. I keep trying to sort out what those lessons are for myself.

What makes this time of history a bit different are the layers of challenges we’ve been living through. Pandemic + economic changes + division + racism + our feelings and emotions = a whole pot of mess.

I know that I’ve addressed this situation previously in the last six months. I bring it back up again now because, well, we’re still living in it. And maybe, we just need to keep extending ourselves and each other some grace. Understanding. Patience. Love.

If you, or someone you know, is feeling some of these same things, what are we to do? Here’s a few things I’ve been keeping in my life to help keep me centered.

I’m moving my body. I’m making sure that I exercise at least five times/week. If only for 20 minutes. The hardest part is tying the laces on my shoes. Once this is done, I’m committed to doing something: walking, biking, an exercise video. If your body isn’t up for much movement, walk for 10 minutes.

I’m taking time to do something that fills me: I’m reading. I use the word “reading” here a little loosely. I consider listening to books as “reading” a book as well. I’m reading a variety of things right now. I usually have a couple different books going. Some are lighter or a novel. Others relate to something that is dear to my heart. Rediscover something that fills your soul and do it for 10-20 minutes a day. Again, the length of time isn’t nearly as important as doing SOMETHING. Just for you. (P.S. – vegging out in front of the TV or on your computer doesn’t count. Make it something that truly brings life to your brain.)

I’m noting gratitude daily. This continues to be a mainstay for me. Every morning, I write down in a journal three things that I’m grateful for. For me, writing them down is important because I can go back and see all the wonderful things that I have to be grateful for. These aren’t big things but little things that happened in the last 24 hours that brought joy and happiness to my life. It literally takes two minutes.

I’m extending myself grace. Yes, things are taking longer. I’m not nearly as organized as this Martha usually is. And I’m trying to be OK with this. There are days I put off doing something and make time to do another task that fills my heart. Right now, we need these heart-fillers more than we need to be taskmasters. Seriously. Give yourself grace.

What are YOU doing these days to fill your heart? Soul? Allow space for you to live and feel all that’s going on these days? Folks – extend yourself, those you love and others around you a bit more grace these days. There will come a time when we’ll look back and be glad that we were more empathetic, caring and grace-filled if we do.

It’s Wednesday Night … which means that it is Devos with Dianne tonight on Facebook Live at 8 PM CT. Recently, I asked folks to share what they are missing during this time of pandemic. I received back lots of really great answers! I’ll be sharing them tonight on Devos with Dianne. It’s one you’ll want to tune into!

For being able to focus on grace these days, I am grateful.

Blessings –

Dianne

Holy God – Thank you for being so much more grace-filled with us than we are with ourselves. Thank you for being with us in this unsettling time. Help us be more grace-filled with ourselves and others. Amen.

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