Honey, it’s time to cut the cord on that toxic relationship. This does not solely apply to romantic relationships; this can apply to friendships or working relationships. Any relationship you are in, no matter the context, should not be toxic.
Well, here we are 3 months into 2020 and in the midst of a bizarre and uncertain situation (thanks COVID-19). Panic is overtaking our country and no one knows what’s happening next. No one really knows what we,re supposed to be doing since we’ve never been through something like this.
For some of us, being locked up in our homes for 15 days is a dream come true (hi, I’m a 2 and am thriving right now). For others, you are dying on the inside with the idea of limited to no social interaction for the coming days (shoutout to all the 7’s who are 3 days in and losing it).
Below are 15 ways we can maintain a sense of normalcy and sanity over these next 15 days, or so. If you have any tips or suggestions, please drop them below. We’re all in this together!
1. Make a “Quarantine Bucket List”. Make a list of at least 15 things you want to do/accomplish by the end of the quarantine.
2. List your ‘Top 3 Must Do’s” to accomplish each day. Make daily goals for yourself to stay focused and calm.
3. Maintain a (relatively normal) schedule. Don’t fully stop your regular schedule even though you may be confined to you home. Attempt to maintain a sense of normalcy so that when life resumes at normal pace, it won’t be too difficult to readjust.
4. Start each day with a gratitude and devotion/time with God. First thing in the morning find something to be grateful for, set your mind in a positive direction. Spend time with God in the Word, prayer, and simply being still.
5. Get ready each day. Don’t spend all day, every day in pajamas. Get up, take a shower, and get yourself ready for the day.
6. Read for at least one hour a day. Find a book you’ve been trying to finish, or have been wanting to start, and take at least one hour each day to read. Getting yourself out of the social media spiral will most definitely help you sanity.
7. Go for a 30 minute walk each day – weather permitting. Get out of the house and spend time in the sunshine and fresh air.
8. Find new recipes to cook. Cook at least one meal a day. Cook something you’ve been wanting to try, but haven’t had the chance to yet in the chaos of everyday hustle.
9. Stay connected through technology. You may be social distancing right now, but that doesn’t mean you have to be disconnected. Utilize platforms such as Facebook Messenger, Instagram, FaceTime, Zoom and Google Hangouts to stay connected with your family, friends, colleagues, and church. Don’t isolate yourself, and if you don’t have anyone you’re connected to I’d love to chat!
10. Clean a new room or area of your home each day. It is time for Spring Cleaning after all, and with a virus hanging over your heads there is no better times deep clean your living spaces.
11. Organize a new space each day. Reorganize your cabinets, clean out that pesky storage room, reorganize your closet and drawers. Get your living space in order and it will help time the disorder that may be happening outside in the world.
12. Wash your bed linens once a week. Wash and sanitize your sheets, blankets, and pillows to keep yourself and others safe.
13. Spend at least one hour a day on a hobby. Now is the perfect opportunity to dedicate time to something you love to do for fun and passion. Take this time to pour into a hobby you already have or have always wanted to start.
14. Find a new show or movie to watch. For all you binge-watchers, this is your time to shine! Find a new series to dive into. Reawaken your love for your favorite show Find new movies to love. Pull out your go-to and childhood favorites.
15. Take a Sabbath (day of rest) one day a week. Having your entire life confined a single space can be difficult to separate. Even though you may now be working from home and not able to go to church, you can still give yourself the space to put work aside for a day, rest, and recharge.
“…hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us. For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. For one will scarcely die for a righteous person—though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die — but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Since, therefore, we have now been justified by his blood, much more shall we be saved by him from the wrath of God. For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, now that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by his life.”
Romans 5:5-10, ESV
God knew Adam and Eve would sin against Him, but He still created them and put them over all living things on the Earth.
God knew Saul would turn against Him, but He still chose him as the first King of His people.
Jesus knew Peter would deny Him, but He still considered one of His closest friends.
Jesus knew Judas was going to betray Him, but He still chose him.
“Adam made his choice. He suffered the consequences of it, and he set the pattern that all humanity was to follow.” – Billy Graham
God loves us desperately. Desperately enough to never give up on us even when we betray Him. Desperately enough to allow us to learn from our mistakes.
Blessings follow obedience. When we fall it’s because we did not follow God’s original plan.
Yet, even in our disobedience God shines through and meets us where we are.
There is grace for when we mess up. Just because we have grace does not mean we can abuse the privilege.
How will you choose to live in obedience rather than disobedience?
Who do you allow into your life?
I think this is a question we should be actively asking ourselves on a regular basis.
Who are you allowing to come and speak into your life?
Who are you trusting with the deepest desires of your heart?
Who are you allowing into the most sacred part of who you are?
Who are you allowing to walk through life with you?
Who is there with you in the highs?
Who is there in the midst of the turmoil?
One of my devotions from a while back and really stopped me in my tracks. When I came across a particular spot, I just wanted to throw it out the door. At the top of the page was the title for the week’s topic: Wisdom in Relationships. Well, after the week I’d had I wanted nothing to do with that topic at all. But I begrudgingly grumbled to begin just so I could check it off my of daily to-do’s. The opening scripture was Proverbs 13:20, “Walk with the wise and become wise; associate with fools and get in trouble” (NLT).
I stopped dead in my tracks. Stunned. How rude of God to be smacking me in the face with exactly what I needed to read in that moment? Okay, I see you God. I’m just going to push myself out of the way and try this again. This is exactly what I needed to be reading. I started over and began reading again.
“Walk with the wise and become wise; associate with fools and get in trouble.”
Our relationships and friendships have the potential to have a very large influence on our lives. God’s Word urges us to have wisdom in relationships, choosing friends who are even-tempered and who display wisdom.
What criteria have you established for your friendships? God has gifted us with friends who can be a wonderful source of comfort and wisdom, but we must choose our friends and manage our relationships wisely.
I got to the end and was just in awe. How wonderful is it that thousands of years ago Solomon wrote a simple this phrase that would later impact my heart so deeply? How incredible is it that someone a couple years ago sat down to write a devotion and one of those particular days would be so healing for my soul?
“Don’t question who God removes from your life, He heard the conversations when you weren’t around.” God is not first working on your happiness; He is committed to your holiness. Your emotions can damage you, that’s why we are warned not to think on our own understanding.
Our heart can deceive us. We must trust God that He knows best and keep our emotions in check.
A while back, I was driving down the road and came upon a church sign. Now, if you know me at all you know I am always up for a good pun or dad joke, especially on a church sign. So as I approach this church I’m giddily getting ready to read this sign, as this particular church typically has really funny signs.
I get close enough to read the sign and it says, “Blessings Over Burdens”. I won’t lie, I was a bit let down at the seriousness, then I immediately thought back to college.
The school I attended for my undergrad has a saying, “We are a campus where Christ is King”. One of the most prevalent themes all around campus is sharing and carrying each other’s burdens.
Everyone always talks about their burden. Everyone is constantly thanking their “person” for helping them carry their burden. This idea of burden carrying has become such a cliche that people joke about possible burdens.
On the serious side, this can be such a beautiful thing to have someone in your life who you trust with the deepest and darkest parts of your life.
However, on the flip side, this can be a poor outlook on life. Dwelling on the negatives can deter us from living in positivity.
How often do we focus on what is weighing us down?
How many times do we get stuck in the bad parts of life and dwell there?
How often do we find ourselves in a storm and throw an anchor overboard to set up camp?
How many times does something bad happen and we can’t get over the negative aspects of what occurred?
How often do we dwell on our burdens rather than our blessings?
Let’s talk more about our blessings than our burdens.
Let’s focus on the positive instead of the negative.
Let’s live in hope and peace rather than doubt and turmoil.