Gratitude Day 525

Tues., Oct. 20, 2020

Matthew 14:23 – After the crowds dispersed, Jesus went up into the hills to pray. And as night fell, he was there praying alone with God.

It is AMAZING how one phone call can completely change a day.

Or an e-mail.

Or unexpected news.

These things can be WONDERFUL. Great. Exciting. Bring life into your heart and joy into your step.

Or … they can deflate your life faster than a popped balloon.


Honestly, there are some days when it just feels like we can handle those expected things without missing a step.

Other days?

We look at the caller ID and groan. Loudly.

It amazes me. Sometimes, I can problem solve and figure things out in a flash. It happened yesterday. A friend called to share some information. Just a little information. Soon, I had diarrhea of the mouth. Giving her ideas and suggestions and people to contact and ….

I think I asked her twice if she wanted me to keep going. Or to stop. I hope my suggestions were a tiny bit helpful. Otherwise, I AM SO SORRY.

Then, there are the days, when one tiny little thing puts us over the edge.

This happened on Sunday. I had something planned in the evening. Right before this begin, I received a short text. Could I send an e-mail and figure something out? Like, right now?

Maybe it was because I knew I had another commitment. Maybe it was because there had been countless energy put into this very situation earlier in the day. It doesn’t matter because at the moment I was trying to log onto my meeting and send an e-mail and reply to the text, my bandwidth was exhausted.

Done. Gone.

Unfortunately, the folks on the virtual meeting met my frustration of being out of bandwidth. Once again, I AM SO SORRY.

What’s bandwidth? It’s our energy, attention and ability process through things at any given time. It’s like the ability to deal with something at any particular time. It’s the space we have within our heads and our bodies to be patient, kind, helpful and positive.

Or not.

There’s probably a technical definition of bandwidth, which I’m not sure I am explaining very well. Let me try this way.  

Enough bandwidth – you wake up and get out of bed at the time you planned the night before. The first sip of coffee or tea or beverage of choice fills your belly with warmth that carries you into the day. There comes a time in the day when you think yourself, “Wow! I’m getting a lot done!” And you are! Even if there’s a little hiccup along the way, you keep perspective, problem solve and move on.

Not enough bandwidth – Every seems to be going wrong. Literally, everything. All you can think to yourself throughout the day is, “Can’t I just get ONE break today?” And it never seems to show up. “Will this day EVER END?”

I feel like a lot of us are operating without adequate bandwidth these days.

Maybe it’s COVID-19.

Maybe it’s the election.

Maybe it’s because there is less sunlight and it’s colder and we know winter is coming. (This is completely Hubby Rick these days.)

Maybe it’s because we know it’s going to be increasingly more difficult to get out and do things AND be socially distanced and keeping others safe.

Maybe it’s because our income has decreased, and food prices go up weekly.

Maybe we are sick and tired of trying to home school kids and work from home and cook every meal of the week.

Maybe we’re concerned about a loved one who is ill, sick and/or vulnerable health wise.

Maybe we just want to go to a concert or a football game or a movie … and we can’t.

Maybe all we REALLY want is good old long HUG.

Maybe ….

All these things, and a whole bunch more, can lead to inadequate bandwidth. Days when nothing seems to be going right and we just want to crawl under the covers and come out when it’s spring. Or post-COVID-19. Or after the election. Or …

Friends – It’s pretty clear to me these days that one of most important things we need to do is protect our bandwidth. Keep ourselves in a spot where we operate out of a capacity where we handle and manage things. When our bandwidth is depleted or exhauster or inexistent, a whole lot of negative can happen. To our loved ones. To strangers. To neighbors. To ourselves.

Can I encourage you to monitor just one thing this week? Watch your bandwidth.

  • When do you have enough energy and attention and ability to handle things?
  • When do you not?
  • What are the common denominators of when you have enough bandwidth? Is it a particular time of the day, time of the week, encounter with a particular person that affects you more than other things?
  • What do YOU need to do to increase your bandwidth before the next day? DO IT. (Well, as long as it’s safe.)
  • What do YOU need to STOP doing to increase your bandwidth? Stop it TODAY.

This lesson maybe from COVID-19 or other things going on in our lives right now. But I’ve discovered this about myself: I’ve spent way too many days without adequate bandwidth. I knew it. I felt it. I saw it. But I didn’t do enough about it.

These days, I’m at least recognizing that my bandwidth is down. My to-do lists are a bit shorter. I’m trying to let myself breathe and build up bandwidth before the next day.

It’s not a coincidence that all four gospels tell us that there were times Jesus went off by himself to pray. Why did he do this?

He needed more bandwidth. It was just that simple. If Jesus needed more bandwidth, what makes me think that I don’t need more bandwidth?


Once again, it’s Jesus that helps me see something about myself that should be so obvious, and I ignore. Thank you, Jesus. Once again.

Bandwidth. How is yours?

For discovering a need for bandwidth, I am grateful.

Blessings –


Holy God – Too often these days, we’re operating out of limited and depleted bandwidth rather than adequate bandwidth. Help me see when I’m lacking bandwidth. Place it upon my heart ways that I can replenish my bandwidth. Amen.

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