I began drafting this post with a rant on how the internet and social media are both a source of encouragement and discouragement as of late. A little pause—a hug from a child, a few deep breaths, a short prayer—made me check my heart and think twice.
It didn’t sound and feel right to add another opinion of should’s during this so-called unprecedented time.
I am choosing to use my small voice to be grateful instead.
Because the world needs to hear more words of thankfulness and hallelujahs during this difficult time. Because I believe gratitude is an attitude worth cultivating. And because I believe the psalmist when he said:
“Give thanks to the LORD for he is good; his love endures forever.”
Onto what I’m grateful for the first week of lockdown:
1. The Coming of Spring
My favorite season is here, and it gives me immense hope for warmer days ahead. We have endured a long and cold winter in this part of the world and the sight of daffodils breaking the ground, oblivious to the on-going pandemic, is a miracle worth noticing.
2. The Work-from-Home Arrangement
Whereas working from home has its challenges and distractions not present in an office setting, we are grateful R and I are both allowed to stay home and are even encouraged to go for little breaks and walk outside to get fresh air. Our jobs are still as intense and can go on longer than 6 PM but we are in a safe place. Our friends who still need to report physically for work are in our prayers every day.
3. The Imagination of a Child
It is both a gift and a privilege to watch my child’s imagination come into play all day while R and I crunch numbers on our laptop. One moment he is a pirate collecting treasure from an island, and on another minute, he becomes a fireman rescuing people and animals from an erupting volcano. The resourcefulness, the creativity, the interpretation? Priceless.
4. Unlimited Hugs and Kisses
We have access to a sweet-smelling child hugging us 24/7. Unprecedented and unforeseen, but fully relished these days.
5. This Perspective
In this era of overwhelming and differing opinions which get to my nerve on some bad hair days, this perspective from Salman Rushdie somehow calms me down:
“Nobody has the right to not be offended. That right doesn’t exist in any declaration I have ever read… I can walk into a bookshop and point out a number of books that I find very unattractive in what they say. But it doesn’t occur to me to burn the bookshop down. If you don’t like a book, read another book. If you start reading a book and you decide you don’t like it, nobody is telling you to finish it.“
It takes a ton of humility and grace to acknowledge other’s points of view when they differ from mine and not to burn bridges because of it. I am in the process of learning this.
6. Our New 6:30 AM Routine
There is a shift in our family lately. We are waking up earlier than we ever did pre-lockdown. We do our share of staying at home 23 hours every single day but for an hour, every morning, when the world is just waking up and the sun has just risen in the horizon, and when there is practically no one within a thousand feet away, we clock in one hour of nature time, of fresh air and sunshine, of increasing our heartbeats.
I believe immersing in nature can strengthen and heal us in countless ways more than sanitizing all the surfaces of our homes will ever do. Thankfully, we live in a not-so-densely populated country where there is an abundance of nature walks and beaches. I recognize this is not the case for everyone.
What are you grateful for, friends?
What are you learning about yourself and the values you hold dear?
My hope is that may you be a recipient and a source of gratitude during this trying time.