Here is the Church. Here is the Steeple.

Here is the Church. Here is the Steeple.

Here is the church.  Here is the steeple.

Open the doors.  Where are the people?

After all, the virus might be there.

The doors are closed, services are online.

The people are taking a knee, but what are they kneeling for at this time?

Jesus is King: Lord of Lords!  He is the ONLY person I will be kneeling for.

God loves His creation, one and all… even though we might stumble and fall.

Red and yellow, black and white, they are precious in His sight.

So, here is the church.  Here is the steeple.

It’s time to OPEN THE DOORS and see all the people.

 

But I, through the abundance of your steadfast love,
will enter your house.
I will bow down toward your holy temple
in the fear of you.
Lead me, O Lord, in your righteousness
because of my enemies;
make your way straight before me.
Psalm 5:7–8

COVID-19 Quarantine – Day 34

COVID-19 Quarantine – Day 34

So, I’ve been doing a lot of thinking lately after being inundated daily with posts in favor of quarantine, in favor of governmental control of protest or corporate worship, governmental control of outdoor activities (even going for a drive in your own personal vehicle), praise for government officials who supposedly “have our best interest in mind” and how we should gladly submit to their every order because “they know best”.  I’ve also done some thinking about the numerous “Be kind”, “Is it worth arguing or losing a friend over ‘being right’?”, or “But I’ve seen first hand sick people during this situation, so [insert reason the government is justified here]” statements.

Since everyone else is entitled to their brash and harsh comments about why these officials should be praised and why I should sit down and shut up because I don’t know what’s good for myself or my family, I’ll gladly provide my opinion. Yes.  Yes it absolutely is worth losing a “friendship” over being “right” in this instance.  This isn’t about being right.  Far from it.  It is about finding out where an individual’s standards and core values lie.  When “kindness” trumps truth, this is where I draw the line.  Praising an individual (or group of people) in power because you are fearful and provide them with full control and admiration regardless of their moral integrity (or lack of), I will disappointingly, but willingly, bow out of that friendship or acquaintanceship.

Don’t misunderstand this for disagreement or healthy discussion.  Opinion is always open for discussion and healthy, respectful discussion is what creates a productive society.  Something bigger is at stake during all of this craziness, though-truth.  What is the TRUTH?  If I lose friendship because a friend has chosen emotion, political correctness, or fear over truth, then it is time for that friendship to end.  I have two precious children that I pray over every day that God will provide them with discernment.  Discernment for what is right in God’s eyes.  I pray that they will grow to be loving, God-fearing men who speak the truth.

In a time where truth is pretty unpopular, from what I can tell, stand for truth.

COVID-19 Quarantine – Day 28

COVID-19 Quarantine – Day 28

Happy GOOD Friday, guys!  It sure doesn’t feel like spring, it was a super busy, crazy, not-many-things-went-right kind of day, but kiddos sure brighten your day anyways when you get to hang out with them.  I overheard our oldest telling my husband that “in three days Jesus came back!”.  I couldn’t be prouder of that little man!  He was so excited to color Easter Eggs all day, but was so patient.  He even cleaned his entire room by himself without me even asking.  He said “You know, my room’s kind of a mess.  I’m going to go clean it up now.”  Parent jackpot?  I think so…

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Here’s an odd question… we’re at home for Easter.  No church service.  No giant family gatherings.  Our kids’ haircuts are compliments of dad, so they’re crazy at this point.  Are sweatpants acceptable this year?  Not asking for a friend…

COVID-19 Quarantine – Day 27

COVID-19 Quarantine – Day 27

There are a lot of things I’ll actually miss about this quarantine.  I’ve been thinking about how strange it will be when the stay-at-home order is lifted.  It’s not like I’ll be racing out anywhere as soon as it’s lifted.  My favorite things have always seemed to be at home for the most part, so it will be an adjustment to get back to the business of life and honestly, I’m not ready for it.

After talking to a friend earlier today about being quarantined, we both agreed there are some things we will actually miss.  Here are some things I will definitely miss:

  • An excuse to NOT be busy.  Since when did we need an excuse to say “No”?!  Really… why do I feel that I need an excuse to spend time with my own children and not rush them here or there or to visit people when I barely get to spend time with them unless it’s taking them to an activity?  That’s not good, guys… I’ll take this as long as I can get it!
  • Baking.  I know, I know… I like to cook, not bake.  BUT, being stuck at home has made me feel like I should at least attempt to improve my baking skills.  Stop the snickering… I said attempt! Haha!
  • Working from home.  It’s insane how much more work I can get done at home.  I do miss my beautifully decorated office at work, though, so there’s that.
  • Letting chores go to spend time with my kids.  Again, why in the world do I need an excuse to do this?  The house is dirtier than it’s been in so long and I’m home all day every day.  It’s a new physics theory I’ve developed: the greater the quantity of time at home, the dirtier the home.  It’s science.
  • Always having gas.  Gas is cheaper than when I started driving (and no, I’m not telling you when that was…) and because there’s nowhere to go I don’t even remember the last time I filled up.
  • Having to be creative with the dinner menu.  The urge to grab takeout has declined and I’ve realized that it’s easier just to make dinner.  Who would’ve guessed?  The interesting part about that is when I’m out of something I can’t find or don’t want to go to the store to get I have to get creative.
  • Teaching my kids at home.  Our oldest son has thrived learning at home.  He was blessed with an amazing kindergarten teacher.  It is her first year teaching and the kids adore her.  She is ROCKING distance learning through all of this, so I give her mad props.  I love getting everything ready for him to work on every day and seeing him problem solve on his own.  He thrives in creative situations and this is about as creative as it gets.
  • A flexible work schedule.  I have about as flexible of a schedule as you can get.  I am so grateful for my job it’s not even funny, but somehow I’ve managed to be even more flexible and productive during this.
  • Realizing who your real friends are.  I mean your REAL friends.  If people want to stay in touch with you, this situation will have no effect on real friendships.  If anything this entire situation has left me feeling great about purging “acquaintances” on social media.  Ain’t nobody got time for that kind of nonsense in life.
  • Gardening.  I haven’t planted a garden the past several years because… baby.  I don’t know if you’ve heard, but babies keep you busy, guys.  It’s not exactly easier now that our youngest is a toddler, but we’re at home, so there’s no excuse!

Keep enjoying precious time with your family.  This quarantine has been exhausting and a little scary at times, but sweet nonetheless.  Maybe we need to reflect on what God is teaching us in moments like these, not what we feel we’re missing out on.

COVID-19 Quarantine – Day 21

COVID-19 Quarantine – Day 21

What is that bright thing in the sky?! It’s THE SUN!!! Yay!!! Oh, how I’ve missed you, sun!

We did the school work, we did the work work, we did the laundry, we created a giant mess in the house, we went outside and made a giant mess in the yard… I think our work here is done for the day.

Oh! I learned something valuable today. You all will be so proud. You can shop all of the items in Bullseye’s Dollar Spot on the Target app and have it shipped to you. No, I’m not kidding. Don’t tell your husbands, ladies… you’re welcome.

COVID-19 Quarantine – Day… whatever… it’s been a while…

COVID-19 Quarantine – Day… whatever… it’s been a while…

And your recipe of the day is frozen pizza, folks! Want my recipe tips? Add a little shredded mozzarella before you pop that baby in the oven. It gives it that homemade touch. Extra credit if you preheat your Pampered Chef pizza stone before “baking” your pizza. I’m a culinary expert.

So, I’ve lost all sense of time. I know it’s somewhere near the beginning of the week because I’ve only worked a few days, so there’s that. Now, the season on the other hand… I think it’s supposed to be spring, but definitely feels more like winter. The kids’s little calendar chart says spring, so we’ll go with that. I’m sure they’re keeping track.

Day 17? Maybe? Who cares… I’m pretty sure I skipped a day… or two. We made an awesome fort yesterday, so there’s that. I’d say that’s a win!

COVID-19 Quarantine – Day 15

COVID-19 Quarantine – Day 15

I have officially lost all sense of time and had no idea what today was. I knew it was a weekend day because I wasn’t working, but has to find my previous post to even remember what day I am on.

Cleaned out a giant bed of weeds that was previously a garden and planted starter zucchini and tomato plants for later. Wish I had a before and after picture, but I just have the after.

If these torrential downpours and storms don’t stop I may just lose my mind. This dog won’t sleep with storms and drives me insane!

COVID-19 Quarantine – Day 14

COVID-19 Quarantine – Day 14

A new day, a new recipe!  Typical Friday of painting rocks with the tiny people, lots and LOTS of laundry, a lot of work while the tiniest napped, and the daily making of the dinner.

Oh!  I did decide to order a box from Misfits Market, but it’s now delayed 😦  Rona, you are a fun sucker!  BUT, if you’re interested and want to try it out they provide us with a code for 25% off (COOKWME-UD0VIL), so I can at least share that with you!  If you’ve never heard of Misfits Market, I’ll fill you in.  They send you an assortment of “imperfect” produce in a smaller or larger box (your choice!) weekly, biweekly, or any timeframe you choose.  You can cancel at any time or even skip deliveries if you don’t happen to need it on a scheduled delivery.  You can choose your day of delivery and can change your subscription at any time.  I’ll let you know how it goes when I get my first order!

I also finally broke down and ordered new outdoor furniture after realizing ours was so bad I didn’t even want to sit on it yesterday.  well, it was $250 and I bought it when we moved into our house, so I’d say over 8 years of use is pretty good for $250!

On to the most important part of the day… dinner!  Tonight’s dinner was Tomato Basil Meatloaf.  This is a great recipe that I usually prepare in large batches, freeze it, then pull it out to thaw if I know we have a busy week ahead of us.  I typically make 3 loafs since the recipe uses ground pork and ground beef.  I’ve found that most of our local grocery stores only carry ground pork in 1 1/2 lb packages, which stinks when your recipe only calls for 1 lb.  So, I buy the 3 lb lean ground beef and 2 packages of the 1 1/2 lbs of ground pork to maximize the ingredients.  I make the three batches at once, wrap each loaf in saran wrap, then a layer of Reynold’s Wrap foil, then put it in a sealed freezer back and add the baking instructions in Sharpie.

Keep hanging in there, everyone!  We’ll get through this… eventually!

COVID-19 Quarantine – Day 13

COVID-19 Quarantine – Day 13

Lucky number 13… said no one ever. Today was a beautiful day and I was able to do some yard work outside with Liam, but man. Today was kind of rough in every other aspect.

Being stuck at home almost feels claustrophobic in a different sort of way. Yeah, you can try to do all of the things you should do like stick to your regular schedule (hah! Kids… there is schedule with kids…), try to eat well, try to make sure you stay active, try to do the millions of activities they tell you to do with your kids, and the list goes on and on, but today has worn on me.

Working from home is rough. Not because I can’t see people, but because people communicate VERY differently through technology and unfortunately, some don’t communicate at all. This makes everyone’s job that much more challenging and adds a whole other level of uncertainty to this entire situation.

I do love being able to stay home and enjoy the kids, though because it’s their favorite thing to do-stay home and play with mom and dad. This also adds a challenge, though. When mom and dad have to get things down to either pay the bills or make sure the house doesn’t need to be condemned, I feel so much guilt. I would so rather be playing with them.

Hopefully everyone else is having a wonderful day and enjoyed the beautiful weather! Hang in there, everyone… we’re all in the same boat!

COVID-19 Quarantine – Day 12

COVID-19 Quarantine – Day 12

Another foggy morning, but it turned into a beautiful day!  Hopefully the weather will continue to warm up so we can actually get outside and get fresh air after being cooped up for so long.  The weather is making my allergies go crazy and now is NOT the time for another sinus infection, so be gone crazy weather!

I ventured out to Target today where I was treated like I had the plague (*full eye-roll*).  So, I guess this is the new norm.  Treat literally everyone as if they have the plague… as if this wasn’t surreal enough.  Precautions are necessary, but this is not how any of this works, people.  I was forced to lay my phone down with the barcode on it for them to scan, then step away from the counter.  So, now my phone is covered with literally every germ on that dang countertop.  Fail.  I literally wanted to walk up to the girl shopping haphazardly down every aisle of Target with a scarf around her mouth and shake her.   Violently.  Honey, that scarf isn’t going to do squat to protect you, not to mention it’s NOT COVERING YOUR NOSE (*face palm*).  There are photos of gigantic lines where seniors are lined up literally RIGHT NEXT TO one another to purchase groceries during their senior hour.  That’s not how this works… that’s not how any of this works!  I get it… mass hysteria has ensued due to the media, but if you’re this afraid for you and your family, DO NOT LEAVE YOUR HOUSE.  People are breathing oxygen around you.  An easily spread virus will catch up with you if you’re out, so stay home.

Life is bleak in heavily populated cities that contain mass transit.  New York City’s statistics are staggering, however most of America doesn’t live their lives this way.  Yes, take things seriously, stay home as much as humanly possible to protect yourself and those you love and to minimize the amount of people who must seek medical attention.

To put your mind at ease a bit, here are a few facts about this virus (directly from the WHO website on 3/24/2020 at 1:47 pm) that the media isn’t sharing (and no, I don’t care if you “disagree”… science is science and facts are facts, so shut it…):

Current World Population: approx. 7.8 billion

Total COVID-19 cases: 375,498

Total COVID-19 fatalities: 16,362

So, this means that about 4.8% of the world’s population has been infected with the virus and only 4.3% of those have died. In other words, only 0.0002% of the population has died from this virus.

How about the seasonal flu?  Approximately 389,000 people die of the flu worldwide (which equates to a staggering 32,000 PER MONTH).  Scary, huh?

Yeah, yeah… I hear all of you out there who refuse to believe these numbers screaming “NOT EVERYONE IS BEING TESTED, IDIOT!”.  Cool it on the name calling, home slice… no, not everyone has been tested and not everyone needs or should be tested.  Showing severe symptoms?  Fine, test and quarantine to slow the spread.  This is what we currently do with the flu.  Why isn’t everyone who shows cold symptoms tested for the flu?  Because it’s expensive an unnecessary.  Cool it.

Stay healthy, take precaution, and protect yourselves, but… how many of you are in danger of being one paycheck away from total ruin?  Most of us.  Why in the world are we allowing a government who has continually told us to NOT WEAR A MASK if we aren’t ill (*cough, cough* DEWINE *cough cough*) and today is saying “Wear masks!  They are currently doing this in China and we all need to wear masks!” and “Healthcare workers WILL DIE!” (can you say mass hysteria and fear mongering???) to plummet us into financial ruin by their scare tactics?  POLITICS.  Simply politics.

Hang in there, peeps.  Hopefully this will be over soon.  Pray for our president as he’s been pigeonholed this entire time.  It’s a darned if he does and darned if he doesn’t situation.  Pray for our politicians who clearly don’t have the people’s best interest in mind, but their own political agendas (like women’s choice to murder their own children and physically impossible CO2 emission guidelines).  Pray for your pastors that they will continue to speak truth about the only thing that truly matters-God and his sovereign word.  Truth about this situation and what is currently going on in our government and in our society.

Take care everyone!  Enjoy the sunshine and take a walk, but if anyone gets closer than 6 ft to you, shove them as hard as humanly possible, because… social distancing…