Are You Struggling with Depression During the Social Isolation from Covid-19?

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There is just so much that is unknown right now with this Covid-19 virus.  As a working RN I just can’t even go into all the emotions I personally have been struggling with.  For my own knowledge I like to read A LOT and learn from all different sources and references.  It is more helpful to see multiple sides and hopefully get “some” truth that way.  The struggle is that there are so many conflicting reports and things keep changing within my own job every five minutes.  What I am finding is that my own mental health is starting to get infected with it all!!

The other day I was just feeling down about all of it.  The political hatred is driving me nuts and I am trying to hurry past anything spewing hate!  On Sunday I felt so down.  I miss going to church.  I miss my friends.  I miss family.  I am struggling with not knowing where I will be working or when.  I am struggling with will I need to move from my home to protect my immediate family.  All this was whirling around my head and I felt the Holy Spirit prompting me to check on the bird eggs.

One egg has disappeared, but one has hatched and is alive.  It was a picture of hope for me when I needed it most.  Two have yet to hatch.   New life gives HOPE!

This is the week we remember what Jesus did for ALL of us. Can you imagine getting a warm welcome into Jerusalem one week then within days those same people were screaming for your death?   Jesus knew he was going to die.  Jesus went through the most unfair hatred ever known.  He did everything perfectly… He loved perfectly…  Even Pilate said he could find no fault in him.  Yet the hatred reigned and Jesus was sentenced to the most brutal beating known to mankind with flogging, then the most tortuous death known to mankind, crucifixion.

As I struggle God keeps reminding me that there is nothing He doesn’t know. Jesus took every sin of all mankind to the cross with Him.  It was dark, scary, his followers ran, they were isolated and fell into despair.  BUT in just three days Jesus arose!!!  He conquered all the darkness, evil, and hatred.  What was meant for evil God used to SAVE us from our own sin!

There are so many theories and blame games going on right now it is hard to know what to believe.  Even if something is meant for evil, God can use it for good  to fulfill His plan!  God is in control!  When we trust in Jesus as our Savior we have new life and have the promise of life everlasting in heaven.  This is what I cling too!

As I feel a sense of impending doom I have to turn to God’s Word.  As I feel down I have to remember what Jesus went through for me and all man-kind.  Jesus gives HOPE and life!

Genesis 50:20 You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives.

Romans 8:28 And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.

 

 

We are all Lost Without Light

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Last weekend our family took a camping trip in the midst of all this selling and buying a house business.  My husband works midnights and had been awake for 38 hours at the time we arrived at the campground well after dark.  It was a campground that was new to us so we had no clue where everything was located.  My husband got quick little instructions from the guy that checked us in and no map was given to us.  Needless to say we drove all around with one wrong turn and dead end after another.  We stopped by the office again where I ran in got further instructions and requested a map of the campground.   Even with that we lost the road we were on and could not really see the markers.   We still ended up on the wrong site, but it all worked out.  Miraculously our tent went up easily even in the tiredness and confusion.  We had a nice no drama time other than the lostness we felt when we first got there.

If it weren’t for instructions from someone that knew the way,  the map, and our headlights we probably would have ended up in the river.

This got me to thinking that this is such a picture of life.  We are thrust into this world completely lost.  When relying on our own strength and knowledge we really make one wrong turn after another.  There is one light  and only one light to guide us to our true home and that is Jesus Christ.  Looking to His road map, the Bible, and getting instruction from others that are wise in His word are the best instructions.  Most important is His light shining on our path in the direction we are to go.

The next morning we awoke to sunlight and could get a true perspective in how the campground was set up.  Looking on with daylight it was no wonder we were confused.  The road did disappear and the site markers were hard to find.  Only with full day light could we truly know where we were.   This reminds me of heaven one day when we get to see God’s Glory and plan in fullness.   Jesus is the light of the world.

John 8:12 Again Jesus spoke to them, saying,” I am the light of the world.  Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”

 

 

Lost Dog The Cold and Hungry

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This past Friday night around 1030 pm this beautiful dog came up to our back patio door  scratching and begging to come in.  Hesitant to let a strange dog in I had hoped it would run off back to its home, but she just kept on looking at me through the glass and laid down along our back step.  Our dogs were going crazy as well as two of our three kids were getting all gaga over this bundle of furry sweetness.   Our most dog crazy daughter was staying at a friend’s home for which I was so thankful.  The drama of the begging “can we keep her?” would have earned her an Oscar I am quite certain.  My first step to help this sweet creature was to take to Facebook.  We started with a picture of her scratching at the door and sent out the plea to hunt down the owner.  There were comments, likes, and shares of the post, but at first no sign of the owner.  Eventually I felt safe trying to let her in much to our yellow lab’s disgust.  She was not a fan.  It was getting late so my oldest just took her downstairs with her to keep the dogs separate.  Our oldest daughter was totally in love already.  In the meantime we got this much nicer photo of the sweet girl’s face.

Eventually we were able to sleep.  Early in the morning I had gotten a message that it potentially was the messenger’s neighbor’s dog.  Through back an forth messages and more photos we were both confident this dog indeed was her neighbor’s.  About eight hours of her showing up on our door step she was riding off into the sunrise with her rightful owner.  The power of social media was a grand thing that day.  That same sweet face looked at me from the truck’s passenger window as she rode off.  She seemed to say “Thanks for letting me crash here!!”

My posts to search for the owners continued to be shared far past the reunion of dog and master even with stating in the comments that she had made it home and making a “Nala’s home” separate post.  My husband suggested that I just delete them so that the post would stop, but part of me was just too curious.  My curiosity won out and the posts remain.  Part of me really wanted to see how many people would try to help a dog.  Part of me wanted to see what kind of judgmental comments there would be on the shared posts.

One of my posts had at least 227 shares and the other with the better picture had at least 98 shares.  Far from viral, but impressive to me.  There were comments from people I didn’t know that leaned toward judgmental that we should “let that poor dog in!”   In fact we did let the dog in.  With the hypocritical thinking of our society, I know exactly the kind of judgment I would have rendered had the dog attacked one of my children.  “What kind of idiot lets a strange dog into their house!!!”   “She got what she deserved, you don’t let a strange animal in your home!!”  “What kind of mother is she?”

As the story goes all was happy and a sweet ending.  My children are bugging me that much more for a third dog now.

One thing that amazes me about our society/community/world is the extent people will go to for an animal while there are human beings that are cold and hungry.  Also the extent that people judge each other.  Recently I watched a video about an adopted redhead.  The video showed a young redheaded little girl that “annoyed” her adoptive parents and the end of the video shows the dad taking her to a country road getting her out, throwing her doll, the girl chasing it as the dad drove off in the car.  The end of the video shows him looking in the rearview mirror and the red headed girl was actually a dog.

Believe me I am huge animal lover and I certainly don’t want to see any of God’s creatures mistreated.  My point is that I post about foster care and hurting children all the time and these posts essentially are ignored.   My question is what would be the help or judgmental comments had the living being knocking on our back door been a child?   What would you do if a cold and hungry human being came to you for help?   What are we all doing to help the cold and hungry in this world?  This has just been such a strong burden on my heart after seeing the response I had for this dog.

1 John 17-18 ” If anyone has material possessions and sees a brother or sister in need but has no pity on them, how can the love of God be in that person?  Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth.”

Matthew 25:35-40

35 For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, 36 I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’

37 “Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? 38 When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? 39 When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’

40 “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’

Oh Where Oh Where has my Little Sock Gone

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My creative outlet has been focused on a project for Father’s Day and for scavenger hunt clues for a slumber party these past couple weeks so the blog has been a bit on the back burner. A friend of mine just gave me a topic suggestion of lost socks and now after having twelve girls staying in our home for one night there are all sorts of lost something’s around here. Socks, undies, towels, shoes, and swim goggles to name a few random items found so far. My friend is single and still has the infamous sock mystery in her own home she said. Where do these socks go? As a mother I am so relieved that the fashion has changed to the little anklet socks that are bright in colors and do not have to match. In fact you can even purchase socks now that do not have a matching friend. In this household it isn’t always such a mystery of where our socks go with having a dog that loves to eat anything that smells like feet. I shall not mention the other things this weird dog loves. We also find the socks in random places. Pockets of jeans, behind the dryer, in toy boxes, under the couch, in the couch… There are sad little socks lost to never be worn again across our beautiful globe and most definitely across these wonderful United States of America. Sometimes you see a lone sock or even a shoe along the roadside. Now how in the world does that happen? Socks seem so insignificant until you have a blister rubbed on your foot or wear a pair of shoes without socks. Enclosed shoes worn without socks become putrefied very quickly within the Lucas family. The worst smelling shoes award were a pair of soccer shoes and socks that had been worn to play a soccer game in the rain. The shoes and socks were left under the driver’s seat of my car without my knowledge. The next morning it literally smelled like a small animal had crawled in my car, died, and decayed overnight. For the most part losing a sock doesn’t get me too bent out of shape. Now there have been frantic searches for a matching soccer sock on game days that gets the entire family focused on one measly stinky sock. This mother learned very early to always buy at least two sets of each color of uniform socks. Even then that is not always enough to prevent the last minute soccer sock panic.
My friend’s suggestion got me to thinking and studying God’s word more intently on what it means to be lost. It is a Christian term that I know I have been guilty of taking for granted that everyone knows. The Christian terms of being “saved” and “lost” can be quite confusing to anyone who hasn’t been raised in church. As I think of terms we just haphazardly throw around it is no wonder the world doesn’t understand.
In the bible Jesus says in Luke 19:10 “For the Son of man came to seek and to save what was lost.” He made this statement for the benefit of critical on lookers as he called to Zacchaeus the tax collector to come down from the tree and asked to go to the house of this so called “sinner”. When researching this verse I learned something new about my own bible. There is no Matthew 18:11. In all the times I have read the book of Matthew I have never noticed the missing verse. In some scripts this verse Luke 19:10 was quoted here as well, but upon researching original Greek scripts this verse actually does not translate into this section of the bible so many newer translations have simply left it out. It is a process called textual criticism that is a tool in testing the accuracy of the scriptures. In Matthew eighteen the concept of Jesus seeking and saving the lost is there as He tells the parable of the lost sheep. Matthew 18:12-14 “What do you think? If a man owns a hundred sheep, and one of them wanders away, will he not leave the ninety-nine on the hills and go to look for the one that wandered off? And if he finds it, I tell you the truth, he is happier about that one sheep than about the ninety-nine that did not wonder off. In the same way your Father in heaven is not willing that any of these little ones should be lost.” This discovery brought an even greater discovery and reassurance of how God has protected His ancient word. No other ancient manuscript has been copied so many times in so many different languages yet maintains nearly one hundred percent accuracy despite the fact that “to error is human”. He divinely used human beings to script His word and continues to use us to share and copy it. He has protected this roadmap to life and the history of His plan time and time again through countless efforts for it to be destroyed or to be taken out of context.
The same love and protection of the scriptures God has applies to every single human being. What does it mean to be “lost”? What does Jesus need to “save” us from? God had created mankind to be his friends yet he wanted the love and trust of the relationship to be mutual. For us to have “free will” to choose God’s friendship and to trust Him. Adam and Eve succumbed to the temptation to eat from the one tree that God had warned them not to eat from. They had free reign of all the other food in the paradise God had placed them in. There was no pain, sickness, guilt, shame, or sadness. As soon as they had eaten the fruit of the tree God had told them not to the result was immediate. They immediately felt the burden of guilt and shame. They tried to hide from God and started passing the blame from themselves Adam blaming Eve and Eve blaming the serpent. All in all it was each of their own personal choice to do the one thing God their creator and friend had asked of them not to do. From that point on every human being has had this bondage of guilt, shame, and sadness. Not a single one of us is free from our sinful choices. We are a slave to our choices, addictions, bitterness, and selfishness. Our sin has caused separation from God’s love, companionship, friendship, and protection. The Old Testament provides the history of God’s plan to provide the perfect sacrifice to cover the separation our sin has caused. The New Testament reveals God’s one and only Son, Jesus. God in the flesh came to earth and led a sinless life. He was the pure and perfect sacrifice that covered our sins that separate us from God. Once again God has given us the choice. First we must realize that we are lost. We are so much more important than a sock or a sheep as in the parable that Jesus told. To God each and every one of us is worth the pain and suffering endured on the cross. He calls to each and every one of us separately and personally. When we choose to believe and allow Jesus to free us from the pain of our burdens it is the most freeing experience that is possible for mankind. So often we have no idea of the weight that we try to carry and the joy that we are missing. We can choose to become bitter by our circumstances of sins inflicted by others on us or by the consequences of our own sins or we can choose true life through Jesus.
We don’t have to be a lost sock. We can forever be paired with Jesus to fulfill God’s plan for our lives for eternity. It is our choice to continue to carry our pains in this life and to die separated from God forever. Or to start living a life free from our burdens right now and have the promise of eternal life. When death comes for a believer true life begins with no more pain, tears, or sorrows.