35 Things I Learned From 35 Days at Home

Dear Cam and Scott

This global pandemic we’re living through – you’ll probably (hopefully) only see something like this once in your lifetime.

Joel wrote, ‘…In all your history, has anything like this happened before? Tell your children about it in the years to come, and let your children tell their children. Pass the story down from generation to generation.’

So I’m passing the story down.

Here’s some of what God has shown me in this strange time where wondrous peace and slowing have run parallel with fear, disappointment and uncertainty.

#1 Don’t forget who you are. Don’t hide your best, most luminous, small self under big masks and mantles that don’t fit.

#2 Crumpets and bacon immediately improve almost any situation.

#3 Forgive, and ask forgiveness, *daily*.

#4 Mostly, people don’t want to be educated. They want to feel known.

#5 Live with your palms up, like Bob Goff taught us. Literally. Physically. It’s impossible to be angry, defensive or dishonest with your palms up.

#6 Make a difference, not an impression.

#7 Default setting: #NoExpectations #OnlyGratitude.

#8 When sleeping in the garden *always* dress more warmly than you think you need to.

#9 For all the humans you’ll meet: love the soul Jesus died for – the perfect person they’ll be in eternity. You’re not all you could be or should be, and neither is anyone else.

#10 God always provides. He will never abandon us or forsake us. He watches us while we sleep. He loves us and sings over us.

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#11 When you feel offended or overlooked: take yourself out of the middle of the situation. 90% of the time, your issue will dissolve like a Disprin.

#12 Keep trusting God with your dreams. The One who calls you is faithful, and He will do it

#13 Say YES to community. Meals with garden-flat-tenants and chats with over-the-wall-neighbours have been the stuff of life.

#14 You’re more than a person. You’re a poem.

#15 You can be off social media for days – even weeks. The earth will continue to spin on its axis. Your destiny and your worth as a human will be unaffected. You’ll probably be happier.

#16 Take time to sit in the chair by the window. The window by the tree. And be still, with God.

#17 For whatever you’re reading, tweeting, posting, texting, watching: ask yourself, ‘Does this build wisdom and courage – in me, in others?’

#18 In devastating and traumatic times – like the times we’re in now – the needs can feel overwhelming. No one can do everything. ‘Each man at his post,’ a mentor of mine reminded me this week. Do what you’re called to do, in the season. Give whatever is in your hand.

#19 From this same mentor: ‘One negative thought needs three positive thoughts to counteract it.’ For as a man thinketh in his heart, so is he.

#20 Slow down. Do one thing at a time. Do it well.

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#21 Keep the Sabbath.

#22 Keep it simple.

#23 Watching too many Netflix trailers will melt your brain.

#24 If you pray for more laughter, God always delivers. Seriously, it’s hilarious. You should try it.

#25 Don’t be scared of time alone and in silence. Tell Jesus all about how you’re feeling. Breathe out the horrible emotions. He knows.

#26 Dogs become badly behaved when they haven’t gone for a walk in a very long time.

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#27 Quiet, unhurried togetherness – with a post-lunch snooze thrown in – is about the best gift you can give anyone, ever.

#28 Jesus will forge your future.

#29 Notice how Dad packs and unpacks the dishwasher, mops the floor, hangs up washing, brings me tea, hugs us, prays for us, speaks gently, and lets you try things. Be that kind of man.

#30 C.S. Lewis said, ‘Since it is so likely that children will meet cruel enemies, let them at least have heard of brave knights and heroic courage.’ Keep making fires on the lawn and going on epic garden quests. Keep imagining the brave knights you’re becoming.

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#31 ‘If mama ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy.’ Forgive me for the lockdown days when this proved too true.

#32 Good deeds done in secret will someday come to light. Be secretly incredible.

#33 Imagine how we would be if we were less afraid.’ (Charlie Mackesy) Let’s make a brave new world?

#34 You have time. You have potential. Pray for wisdom to use both intentionally, to change the world for Jesus.

#35 Decide to live ‘mindful of the present and the past, but eyes fixed on eternity and what happens between now and then. It’s time to start dreaming again.’

All my love always,

Mom

. . .

Happy Day 1 of Level 4 Lockdown – or something like that! Enjoy that walk around the neighbourhood, friend!

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