Coronavirus Quarantine Peptalk

In the past few weeks, most of the world has been turned upside down in the midst of the Coronavirus/covid-19 pandemic.

No one saw it coming, and no one could have predicted this.

As much as I am saddened by what is going on around us, I am not surprised.

Here is why.

In life whether you are a Christian or not, there WILL be obstacles. There will be times of storms and trials. This is apart of life. There is no escaping it.

As much we try to understand it, and why this is happening, we never will.

It’s a hard thing to accept. You begin to truly realize that WE ARE NOT IN CONTROL of our plans. Our spring break may be cancelled, our schools shut down, our jobs may even be put on hiatus.

While all or any one of those things is disappointing, it shouldn’t shake you to your core.

God is the one in control, and NOT US.

Now more than ever (hopefully) people are coming to this realization.

If your main complaint is that a sports season was cancelled, or that you can’t get your twice monthly-manicures, then you are faring much better than most people right now and really need a reality check.

Society today places so much value on our extra-curricular involvements, jobs and achievements, that it may very well take a quarantine to slow our life down and show us how little we ACTUALLY control. That our “obligations” are totally non-essential and can be cancelled at a moments notice. This seems fine, until that all gets taken away and people suddenly don’t know HOW TO COPE OR SLOW DOWN.

Your job may be cut, your life can be turned upside down because, we are NOT GUARANTEED anything in this life.

I hope that in this time, as hard as it may be for some, that it reveals to you the areas you placed the most value in. At the end of the day when those are stripped away, are you happy with your life? If the answer is no, then maybe you need to ask God about that. We aren’t meant to cling to things of this world so tightly that we lose sight of what God calls us to be. The fruit of the spirit piece of scripture is the perfect example. “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness,faithfulness,gentleness, self-control.” -Gal. 5:22-23 ESV

Our world will always have chaos, and ups and downs. When you realize this, you won’t be surprised WHEN a storm comes your way, because you will KNOW that it come and that the only way to weather these storms is with the strength and peace that only Jesus can provide.

As people hoard hand sanitizer, toilet paper, rubbing alcohol, loaves of bread and sacks of rice, I’m sure that in their hearts they will feel a void, because those things won’t give you peace or make this storm any calmer.

Get down on your knees and pray. Pray to know the peace and strength that comes from Jesus, and never take a day for granted.

If we are complaining on social media how our travel plans were cancelled, our sports season postponed, we should realize that there are nurses and doctors on the front lines of this ever evolving virus putting themselves at risk. They don’t get to complain about those things because its their job to be helping people. That realization doesn’t make DOING their job any easier. When they have to question coming home to families that they have left due to potentially exposing them, that’s when we have something to be vocal about. Not about not going to the Disneyland in two weeks.

Have perspective because often in life, even in the midst of these uncertain times, there IS SOMEONE WHO HAS IT WORSE than the “problems” you have.

Don’t be fooled into the notion that because you are faced with adversity that it is a result of your faith, or lack of faith. “For he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and he sends rain on the just and on the unjust.” Matt. 5:45 ESV

“Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness.” James 1:2-3 ESV

This piece of scripture doesn’t say IF you meet trials, it says WHEN. We are promised so many things by God, love, forgiveness, salvation, protection, endurance, and the promise of preserving through trials.

We need to trust God in His plan for us all, because through our trials that build our faith and expose areas of ourselves we aren’t proud of or would choose to talk about, we are refined by them. Like gold being put into the fire to be purified. Those tests are working for us and with a purpose THAT ONLY HE KNOWS. It’s ok to not know the master plan, because we trust the master.

“Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” 1 Thessalonians 5:16-17 ESV

“For I know the plans I have for you declares the Lord. Plans to not harm you, plans to prosper you, and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11 NIV

Nothing can separate us from the love of God, not the coronavirus, not even the sins we commit, NOTHING. Take comfort in that truth and realize that even though this may be inconvenient, scary, and life-altering, that He is never away from us.

God knows the path of our lives and has you placed right where we need to be. I pray that in these times that instead of pointing out on what we THINK we are missing out on, that we are GRATEFUL for what we DO have right now; even if we don’t understand it.

Pistachio Children

Parenting is complicated, the roads it takes us on are never straight, the journey is relentless, and sometimes (lets be honest, most times) we don’t see an end in sight that is comforting.

After momming for nearly a decade, I can safely say with complete certainty that parenting will be the hardest battle I ever fight. There will be days when there is great joy, huge sorrow, tears, laughter, doors slamming, hurt feelings, timeouts, and lots of other emotions as this life we live changes with our phases of life.

I wanted to talk about an analogy that I heard that blew my mind a little bit. It hit home for several reasons, one of them being that we are a farming family, and the other just the simple fact that I am a mom who works tirelessly for her children; like all moms!

So here is the big mind-blowing analogy- the pistachio tree. Thats right, a pistachio tree. When you are a farmer, you are aware of all sorts of scenarios that affect your bottom line and being “profitable” like any other business. I can relate to this because, this our life. So as I sat and listened to this analogy it made total sense to me because we are literal farmers.

Lets imagine you go from being an almond farmer (and we are almond growers) to growing  pistachios.

When you grow pistachios, you hopefully are aware that this is not a typical crop that yields harvestable nuts like new almonds do  in a matter or 2-3 years. Pistachio trees are harvestable in about 7-10 years, thats quite a bit longer!

If you were once a farmer, who saw almost immediate fruits of your labor and now switch gears to now having to wait 7 years longer than expected, if you’re not prepared, or have unrealistic expectations this could be catastrophic!

You will have to PLAN to be patient, persistent, and diligent about your crop year after year, after year, after year, and still you may start to feel impatient, or discouraged. It will take constant work to maintain the new crop you planted to not see any nuts for almost a decade! That is some hard work and determination!

If you are farming with expectations of almond trees while farming your pistachios you may give up completely, or go bankrupt if you didn’t prepare well in advance.

Don’t compare your pistachios to your former almond crop, because you will be disappointed. Even though they are both trees, they have completely different maturity rates.

Parenting is like the pistachio farmer. You work diligently, tirelessly, day in and day out, and while you may EXPECT to see fruits of your labor, you may have a pistachio child not yielding any visible fruit. Heck you may have several pistachio children!

We need to realize that this may be a season that we are in that DOESN’T yield any fruit. It may take YEARS of our quiet maintenance to our children, which are like the pistachio farmer’s crop, before we ever feel like we see the true fruits of our labor.

Even though we may not SEE anything remarkable happening, changes are happening behind the scenes. Just like a tree growing, roots are taking hold underground in the dark quiet places that we will never see. Roots that will make the tree strong, and one day fruitful.

Yet we still persevere. We show up. We tend to our crop, we stand back and admire its beauty, its imperfectness. One day God willing, we will admire a beautiful tree, a tree full of good fruit, and we can breathe easy knowing that our labor and prayers didn’t go unnoticed or unanswered. 

In different seasons of our live, we will feel like the new pistachio farmer who worked and worked to grow a healthy crop. We may feel discouraged, upset, tired and want to give up. If we didn’t have faith that we would one day see the fruits of our labor in tangible and intangible ways we would surely crumble.

I’m so thankful for that analogy, it opened my eyes to the season of life that we are in. I need to not think of my children as an almond trees, when they may actually be a pistachio tree quietly growing and taking root as we pour into them. 

 

John 20:29 ESV  “Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”

 

-XoXo

Hannah