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Finding calm in the storm of COVID-19

By Jan Miller Penton

My faithful canine friend, Missy, snoozes ever so peacefully in her bed. The warmth of the bright sunshine streaming into my windows and the drone of an overhead fan as it moves the air about lull me into a welcome state of relaxation.
The wind whispers through the backyard and my porch chimes respond with a greeting. Geese honk and squawk as they make their afternoon rounds from lake to lake visiting their friends, I suppose. It feels like any other pleasant, somewhat sleepy afternoon, but this one feels especially peaceful.
As we all know the past few days have been trying. I will be the first to admit that we are going through some unchartered waters, and for me personally keeping my peace is something that I am working at. I have given in to anxiety a time or two and know that is not the way I want to navigate this time of uncertainty.
When I realized that something wasn’t working for me I took a look at the situation. The uncertainty was causing me to feel unsettled, so I decided to focus on the things of which I am sure. I’m certain that none of what’s happening in our nation and world caught Jesus by surprise. I’m sure that He loves me, and hears and answers my prayers. I’m sure that He wants those of us who know Him to be an example of stability and calm when others need hope.
I realized that watching the constant barrage of news was not helping me. In my case I figured out that a little dab would do. And social media is a whole other story! I know that a lot of posts are good, but it is sometimes very difficult to weed through the negative to find the positive so I’m limiting my scrolling. The Bible tells us to focus on and think about things that are true and lovely.
Maybe some of you need a shot of lovely too, so here are a few ideas.
1. Write personal letters. Just think how it could brighten someone’s day to get some good old snail mail.
2. Work in your flowerbeds or yard. Getting out in the sunshine makes almost anyone happy and who doesn’t enjoy a pop of color?
3. Try new recipes. It’s always fun to try something new and maybe even create one!
4. Read good books.
5. Take nice long walks.
6. Spend time in prayer. Actually, many people combine number 5 and 6. What a nice thing to do for your neighbors when walking past their home.
7. Studying God’s word is the ultimate antidote for stress. It helps us to find and maintain peace always, but especially in troubling times.
In a few months our present challenges will be in the past, but meanwhile I think it’s a good idea to take a little extra care to be kind to yourself and to others. This too shall pass.