Some rambles in quarantine

* this post has been through many edits. I keep seeing holes here and there, thus the rewording and reorganization. Just letting you know. And of course, thank you dear readers for reading and for being here!!

Our family is made up of homebodies. We spend a lot of time at home, but this sheltering-in-place and social distancing are taking it to the extreme. All the news inform that staying home is the best solution: it’ll flatten the curve and hopefully prevent further spreading of this super contagious COVID-19. But even if you wanted to go out, it’s a scary prospect. You could catch it from non-symptomatic individuals or we could be carriers and unknowingly spread it. Too risky!

So we feel grateful to be home and for our health. We are extra vigilant to protect Ellis too: her underlying medical condition makes her more vulnerable. Though many people are stuck at home riding out this pandemic, there’s mounting fear concerning the present situation for ourselves and family, health issues, job situation, economy, and what the future holds. Click on a new’s story and be prepared for a meltdown; death toll keeps climbing, new cases mounting, protective gear in low supply for medical workers, and surgeon general’s warning that this upcoming week will be the “hardest, saddest.” Unreal. Cue…panic attack.

A lesson I’m learning through all this is that plans are only plans. I’m not a planner at all: the word itself gives me a migraine. But I still have broad ideas of what we would be doing the next couple of months, in terms of homeschooling, appointments, summer activities, goals to achieve etc. Then, when the first quarantine happened, my very vague plans suddenly became nothing but a past concern. Now, it’s a day-to-day thing.

For the past 2 weeks, I feel my mind sorting through this deadly reality. It’s all a confused, incoherent jumble at present. So much to digest as life turns inward and reality flipped upside down. But my plan (eeek, I said it!) Is to use this solid block of time to make memories with my family and dig up old things to do again. I aim to do that in bits, because this making memory thing is a laborious process testing my patience when kids get into everything and simple activities become elaborate disasters. Will we have stories to share when this is behind us.

Through it all, I’m working on strengthening my affirmation that God is in the business of performing miracles and bringing goodness out of awful situations. He’s done them before in amazing ways. However, the walk was and is not easy…so many perils, questions, unknowns, losses, and paralyzing fears. Reassurance is that a powerful God who raised Jesus from the dead walks with us through the darkest valleys. He’s that kind of powerful. I’m sticking with him.

Praying that you stay safe and healthy. And here’s an empowering thought from pastor Jud Wilhite’s sermon yesterday:

“You can make yourself miserable or you can make today memorable.”

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.” – Philippians 4:6

Separation anxiety : Riley Clemmons’ song

My six-year old daughter, Ellis, still experiences separation anxiety. Yesterday morning I sat in the back of her science class because she refused to let me out of her sight. It’s been like this for months.

I used to think Elliot, now 8 years old, had worse separation anxiety than his sister, but I unintentionally overlooked Ellis’ in dealing with his. It could be that she is going through a phase too. It’s hard to know what’s really going on with kids each time they go through something. So many questions!! So many worries!!

My hypothesis is that her heart condition fuels her insecurity and separation anxiety. She’s always had me by her side, in good or bad times. When she feels sick, she won’t let me out of her sight. For her first two years, I couldn’t leave her longer than an hour. When she noticed I wasn’t there, she would cry inconsolably. I used to call these years my 5-mile-radius life.

When she was younger…dreading the check-ups. We usually came home crying together.

The mommy inside of me wants to be there for her as much as possible, but my needs get overshadowed. I worry about me getting sick and not being able to care for her. I can’t think about it for too long because I end up in a puddle of tears and worry. The worry spreads and these times I need the peace of God to cover an imminent panic attack. My weakness brings me closer to God.

Last month Elliot got sick with a middle-of-the-night- tummy ache. I stayed up all night comforting him. My body went through the care taking motions and comforting him through the night. He must’ve seen me walking to and fro bathroom to bedroom cleaning up and then dozing off on the floor. He apologized in the middle of his stomach ache for keeping me up that night, and even in my tiredness, my head told me to tell him it was okay and that I just wanted him to feel better. My mouth was moving but my emotions were flat.

The sun was rising and I let out a deep breath wondering how I would go about the day. The song “Fighting for me” by Riley Clemmons came into my head. It was comforting to sing the lyrics, to myself of course…it would’ve been too bizarre to break out into song at 5 a.m.

Yes, I can’t do it alone with my strength, but God can supernaturally fill in the gaps. In what fashion I didn’t know, but I know He has given me respite in surprising ways in the past. He will do it again.

“You will never stop fighting for me

When I can’t fight or myself

Every word is a promise you keep

Cause you love me like nobody else

You stand up for me

In the darkest night

When my faith is weak

You’re still by my side”

This song gave me the words when I didn’t know what to say. I’m terrible at remembering Bible verses, but song lyrics are much easier to recall when I need them.

Profuse worrywart

Profuse

I’m a profuse worrier. I worry about worrying too much or sometimes worry that I’m not worrying enough. Other times when things are going swimmingly – I jog my mind for things to worry about.

Mix in the OCD and that makes for a jolly mix of psychosomatic symptoms.

God has helped me journey through some large worries that seems to get even bigger in the middle of the night. I look back and see how He made pathways in unlikely roads. I had to let go of the worries to make space for something better. C.S. Lewis quotes St. Augustine in his book The Problem of Pain, which clearly encapsulates the hard discovery I made: “God wants to give us something, but cannot, because our hands are full – there’s nowhere for Him to put it.”

flower-flowers-small-flowers-white-161561

To make room for the good, I’ve got to let go of the useless and profuse worries.