The Priority of Gratitude

On November 13th, our daughter was diagnosed with COVID-19.

The moment she received that phone call, our three busy lives came to a screeching halt. Since she lives at home with us, my husband and I went into immediate quarantine, while she began 10 days of isolation in her bedroom.

We are grateful that our daughter’s illness was relatively mild and did not require medical intervention or hospitalization. I am praising God that my husband and I tested negative, and remained symptom-free throughout our quarantine which ended on Thanksgiving Day. We are slowly getting back to some semblance of “normal”.

Giving Thanks

Our family is not unique. At any given time I’m sure you know a family that is quarantined. And if you have not lost a loved one to the pandemic, you probably know someone who has. The isolation and separation are painful as well. My mom is in a nursing home 30 minutes away, yet I have been unable to see her since last February.

When this pandemic hits so close to home,  you learn to appreciate the people we often take for granted.

Thanksgiving was a time to reflect on what matters most:

  • Friends, Neighbors and Relatives
    During our time in quarantine, we were called, emailed and texted daily by so many people who were concerned about us. They offered to shop or run errands, and one neighbor delivered a plate of warm cookies to our doorstep.
  • Church Family
    In the early days after our daughter’s diagnosis, we weren’t sure what to expect. We were worried, not just about her, but about our own health. During those 14 days away from our faith community, we were covered by prayers, and we felt every one of them. We knew we were never alone.

Then there are the “extras” in life that we seldom think about as we use them day-to-day:

  • Internet Connection
    Many of us adapted to the challenges of working from home last winter and early spring. I am grateful that I was able to connect to my church and still fulfil my duties as Office Manager remotely. Thanks to a reliable internet connection, I sent emails, updated our website and social media, and uploaded videos for Sunday worship.
  • Online Shopping
    For two weeks, I had to forgo my Sunday afternoon ritual of shopping at Wegman’s. (Yes, I actually enjoy grocery shopping.) It’s not quite the same, but I was able to load my virtual shopping cart using their app on my phone. Two days later I arrived at the curbside pickup, popped my trunk and received my order without leaving my car.  Technology is truly amazing!
Blessings in Abundance

My family is blessed beyond measure, and giving gratitude has become a top priority.

Our daughter is mostly recovered. Her symptoms were relatively mild and her company paid for the time she needed to isolate. She still tires easily and has occasional headaches, but she was able to taste all her favorite dishes at the Thanksgiving table. (Losing her sense of taste and smell was the first indication of her illness.)

Tomorrow I will return to my office in person. It’s a special time for our church as we enter Advent season, and we also anticipate the arrival of our new pastor. And as today is the first Sunday of Advent, we lit the Candle of Hope during worship. We take shelter in the hope of the Christmas season, and we anticipate the birth of our Savior who brings light to a broken world.

The Blessing of Friendship

I am feeling truly blessed this birthday week! I’ve been showered with love at work, at home, and across the miles via Facebook and phone. My office is full of flowers and cards, where I was serenaded by the preschool classes — not once, but three times — and also by my church choir.  And I don’t recall a year when I’ve eaten so many birthday meals!

🎂🎂🎂

A Special Gift

The Lord has provided me with an abundance of friends throughout my life. They span all generations and come from diverse backgrounds. Some have moved far away but we have managed to stay in touch. Others have left this world far too young, but their memory still lives in my heart..

Like family, they celebrate my victories and comfort me when I grieve. They know when to speak the truth, but also that silence speaks volumes. When I am low, they lift me up and shield me with their prayers. Still other times, I find a gift or note of encouragement quite out of the blue, yet just when it’s needed most.

Where did you all come from? Why am I so blessed?

Such friends could only be gifts from God, because they make this world a brighter place. 🥰