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Got Questions While You’re Safer-at-Home? Me Too. (pt4)


Hi, friends!

How long have you been safer-at-home during this Covid-19 pandemic? Me? Since early-March. So about 10 weeks–I think. 😮 Wasn’t it the group Chicago who sang, “Does anybody really know what time it is?”

My routines are still going well. Sometimes too well. I might need to shake things up a bit. 😉 Do you also feel like you’re in the Bill Murray and Andie MacDowell movie “Groundhog Day“?

Mental health triggers have been minimal–partly due to distancing myself from too much news media (My apologies to fellow journalists and media industry friends.)

I’ve actually enjoyed not being as busy as I was prior to all this–and even at the beginning of staying at home, when I filled our time with activities and games.

This fourth question has been swirling in my head these last few weeks. Ready?


Here goes…


4. How am I staying connected?


  • Can I safely volunteer?
  • Can I safely help those with special needs–the elderly, immunosuppressed, etc.?
  • Can I safely attend community events?


Not so much. 🙁

All around us, the message has been social distancing, so most people have stayed home. As weeks have turned to months, the message has evolved to physical distancing–not necessarily social distancing. More and more, it’s becoming evident that connection is important to mental, emotional, cultural, spiritual–and even physical–health.

Have you ever seen that reality TV show, “Alone“? It’s on the History Channel. Ten participants are dropped off at a significant distance from each other on a remote location around the world. The purpose? To see who could last the longest. They bring only 10 items to help them survive in the wilderness. They’re provided with camera equipment and a satellite-operated communication device that they can use to “tap out” of the competition, at which time a helicopter or boat will arrive at their tracked location to take them home. My family and I love this reality show! (We’re excited about the new season in June.)

From having watched six seasons of “Alone” throughout the years, we’ve determined that more often than not, it’s not the lack of survival skills that makes someone tap out; it’s the isolation from family, friends, and loved ones–people in general. Even $500,000–the grand prize to the last contestant on the island–isn’t enough to keep contestants in the game. The desire to connect is that strong. Some have even constructed toy people or animals out of whatever they can find to have some sort of companionship. (Think Wilson in the Tom Hanks movie “Cast Away.”)

Despite the best of intentions, promoting prolonged isolation can have negative effects on our very being.

God created us to connect and to be in relationship–with Him and with each other. Even as early as the Garden of Eden, God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him” (Genesis 2:18).

Here are some other examples from the Bible about God’s design for community.


Let us think about each other and help each other to show love and do good deeds. (Hebrews 10:24)

Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn. (Romans 12:15)


From Ecclesiastes
7 Again I saw something on earth that didn’t mean anything.

8 A man lived all by himself. He didn’t have any sons or brothers. His hard work never ended. But he wasn’t happy with what he had. “Who am I working so hard for?” he asked. “Why don’t I get the things I enjoy?” That doesn’t have any meaning either. In fact, it’s a very bad deal!

9 Two people are better than one. They can help each other in everything they do.

10 Suppose someone falls down. Then his friend can help him up. But suppose the man who falls down doesn’t have anyone to help him up. Then feel sorry for him!

11 Or suppose two people lie down together. Then they’ll keep warm. But how can one person keep warm alone?

12 One person could be overpowered. But two people can stand up for themselves. And a rope made out of three cords isn’t easily broken. (Ecclesiastes 4:7-12)



Pre-COVID-19, I stayed connected by:
  • Volunteering on the tech crew at my church, Lakes Church
  • Singing with the community choral group, Lakeland Choral Society
  • Visiting my elderly parents in their independent living community
  • Joining my closest girlfriends for breakfast the first Saturday of the month

I haven’t been able to do any of those things in the past ten weeks. But I have:
  • Called or texted those I haven’t talked to in a while
  • Added video to conference calls
  • Waved at our mailman from inside the house every day
  • Watched live concerts from around the world online
  • Joined my friend and fellow blogger, Kim Wilbanks, on her Facebook live tea times

Friends, connection isn’t just for the benefit of others. It’s for us too! We might think we don’t need it and that we’re doing it to help someone else. That might be true. But we’re also doing it for ourselves. And for those of us who are believers, we do it for God.



Take a few moments to listen to one of my favorites,
Superchick’s “We Live.”






Stay safe and healthy!


Big hugs,
Daphne

Come alongside… In what ways have you felt distant during this pandemic? What have you done to increase face-to-face or voice-to-voice activity? How has someone made an effort to connect with you during this time? How has staying connected helped you? Comment in the box below where it says, “Leave a Reply.” Remember, you can comment anonymously.


Questions in this Series
1  |  2  |  3  |  4  |  5


No. Final answer.

NoFinalREV
 
Hi, friends!
 
 
I tend to overextend myself–do more than what I should do or have time to do. (Haven’t we talked about this before?) 😉
 
 
 
This week, I’m reminding myself–and you–that God has specific plans for each of us. Let’s remember to focus on what God has given each of us to do. Let’s remember to set boundaries–to say “No.” Let’s remember Jesus.
 
 

On the third day a wedding took place at Cana in Galilee. Jesus’ mother was there, and Jesus and his disciples had also been invited to the wedding. When the wine was gone, Jesus’ mother said to him, “They have no more wine.” “Dear woman, why do you involve me?” Jesus replied. “My time has not yet come.” His mother said to the servants, “Do whatever he tells you.” (John 2:1-5)
 

 
 
Jesus said no to his mother?!?! 😮 He sure did.
 
 
Others might try to pressure us to do what they want us to do. Or to get involved in things God doesn’t want us to do at that time. Jesus knew his purpose. He stayed true to God’s plan for Him. He didn’t rush God’s timing, and He didn’t let others sway Him from it.
 
 
Jesus had the authority to say, “No.” He was, after all, God in the flesh. We too have the authority to say, “No.” Here are some tips:
 
 

Start small.

It’s easier to say no to a glass of water than to say no to yet another request to volunteer at your child’s soccer games. So practice with the little things first. It might seem quirky, but it will get you practicing. And it will help you see that “no” isn’t such a bad word.
 

Don’t ramble.

Sometimes I feel I have to explain my “No.” I think I have to tell the other person why I don’t have time to participate in another project, work on weekends, or even join the choir. (Yes, I’m a people-pleaser.) Remember: No is a complete sentence. You don’t have to explain your choice to anyone else. If you know your boundaries, then your “No” should be enough for you–and for anyone else. 🙂
 

Remember your purpose.

What has God called you to do? Are you doing it? If you’re not, then “No” might not be the best response–especially to Him. But if you are walking in your purpose, doing what He has called you to do, then don’t let other things–or people–distract you. There are plenty of good activities out there to participate in, but you don’t have to take part in all of them. Who are you? Be you!
 

Let go of the guilt.

This goes along with knowing your boundaries and your purpose. You know how much you can–or can’t–add to your plate. If you are being honest with yourself and God, then guilt has no place or power over you. If you do feel guilt, it is false guilt–from others, the enemy, or even your critical self. (That’s the person inside you that keeps telling you, “You should be doing…”) If you feel like someone is beating you up over your decision, that’s not God. Remember: When God convicts you–or places a weight on your chest to let you know you’ve done something wrong, that’s when you should reconsider your decision.
 

Be nice.

Sometimes, “No” brings up images of conflict and aggression. Change that image in your mind by changing your approach. You might be nervous or even upset the person is trying to monopolize your time, money, or attention. Being kind shows you’re comfortable with who you are, where you want to focus your attention, and that you care about the other person and his/her feelings. Again, practice is key. Start small. 🙂
 

Rock on.

When you say “No” to one thing, you say “Yes” to something else. That something else can be your purpose, the things you know you’re called to do, the people you’re called to invest in, the passion you’re meant to pursue. Isn’t that freeing? To know you get to take part in the things that God designed specifically for you? It is to me! That is reason enough to rock on!
 
 
 
These are just a few tips to get you started on the path to slowing down and focusing on the things God has for you. I pray you have the freedom to say “No” and to live your life to the fullest. Blessings to you today as you walk within the boundaries God has set for you.
 
 
Big hugs,
Daphne
 
 
Come alongside… Do you have any other tips to saying, “No?” How has saying “No” helped you? Are you still struggling to say, “No?” What can you do to start setting those boundaries? Please comment in the box below. Remember, you can post anonymously.
 


Related Products

 
 

 
 

Tell Me About Your Day

 
Hi, friends!
 
When my husband and I were dating, we started a tradition of telling each other our favorite and least favorite things of the day. We learned a lot about each other, and it helped us to stay connected, especially when he was working hundreds of miles away.
 
 
This proved better for us than just asking “How are you doing?” because, as most people, we would answer, “Fine.” By asking each other about our favorite and least favorite parts of the day, we deepened our relationship. Our answers revealed so much more than a simple one-word answer ever could:
 
 

  • Interests
  • Concerns
  • Sense of humor
  • Feelings
  • Values

 
 
It could have been easy to forget about it when he returned from working halfway across the country. Instead, we kept it going. Now that we’ve adopted our children, we’ve involved them as well. They love it and look forward to talking about their day–whether it’s after church, after school, after a family outing, during dinner, at the end of the day.
 
 
As Valentine’s Day approaches, I wanted to share this idea with you in the form of my very first printable: “Tell Me About Your Day.” I hope you will print it and use it with your significant other, with your family, and even with your friends. I would suggest even laminating it. I know it will help to deepen relationships with those around you. It has helped me to be consistent in learning about the people I love.
 
 
Here is a full-color version:
 
TellMeAboutYourDay Printable
 
 
Here is a grayscale version:
 
B&WTellMeAboutYourDay
 
 
What better way to come alongside your loved ones and invite them into your life. 🙂
 
 
Let me know how it goes. I would love to hear how this tool helps you.
Hugs,
Daphne
 
 
 
P.S. — Happy Valentine’s Day. 😀
 
 
 
Come alongside. What was your favorite part of today? What about your least favorite part of the day? Share with us in the comments below.
 
 

Accountability… Who Needs It?

My heart hurts, I have a knot in my throat, and I want to cry.

 

I’ve just learned that a dear friend–one I haven’t talked to in a long time–is now leading a self-destructive lifestyle.

 

My heart hurts for her. I never would have imagined this. I saw a picture of her today and she looked…totally different from what I remember.

 

 

I know she is responsible–as are each of us–for our actions, but I’ve got to wonder… Where where her friends–myself included, her family, her pastor? Did anyone talk to her about the road she was headed? Did anyone even bother to ask her what was wrong? Even more, did she seek out help? Did she feel safe enough to say she was hurting? Did she…?

 

Dear one, I don’t know the answers to any of those questions. But it certainly reminds me of experiences in my life when I was hurting. Divorce. Depression. Trauma. Illness. Did anyone approach me and ask what was wrong? Did anyone say, “I’ve noticed you are having a difficult time. Do you want to talk about it?” Did my pastors counsel and encourage me? Even more, did I seek out help? Did I feel safe enough to say I was hurting? Did I take down my mask of seeming perfection and share my struggles with trusted friends? Did I…?

 

Some of these answers might be, “Yes.” Others might be, “No.” And yet others might be, “Kinda.”

 

Regardless, silence prolongs pain–mine, my friend’s and yours.

 

“When I kept things to myself, I felt weak deep inside me. I moaned all day long” (Psalm 32:3).

 

 

I know it can be awkward to approach someone about their personal struggles, but wouldn’t we want the same?

 

“Dear brothers and sisters, if another Christian is overcome by some sin, you who are godly should gently and humbly help that person back onto the right path” (Galatians 6:1).

 

 

Dear ones, we are not meant to fight our battles alone.

 

“A friend loves you all the time, and a brother helps in time of trouble” (Proverbs 17:17).

 

“Two people are better than one, because they get more done by working together. If one falls down, the other can help him up. But it is bad for the person who is alone and falls, because no one is there to help. If two lie down together, they will be warm, but a person alone will not be warm. An enemy might defeat one person, but two people together can defend themselves; a rope that is woven of three strings is hard to break” (Ecclesiastes 4:9-12).

 

 

If you are hurting, reach out to someone–a friend, family member, coworker, pastor, or a counselor.

 

If you see someone hurting, reach out. Please come alongside them. Please love them. A hurting person is just that–a real person, someone’s son or daughter, someone’s husband or wife, someone’s friend–God’s creation.

 

None of us is exempt from suffering. None of us is exempt from temptation. None of us is exempt from falling (1 Corinthians 10:12).

 

Accountability… Who needs it? We all do.

 

Come alongside… Are you hurting? What steps can you take to reach out? Do you know someone who is hurting? How can you reach out to them? Will you forward this post to them? Will you love them?


 

Music to Encourage You to Open Up

 

Sadness, Laughter, and Prayer

When you least expect it, I will ask you two questions. Today is one of those days.

 

 

Think about yesterday…What made you sad?

 

Being in a conversation with others who sought to win and not to understand.

 

Again, think about yesterday…What made you laugh?

 

Catching up with an old friend.

 

Present both of those to God today.

 

 

 

 

 

Father, thank you for yesterday. I was sad that I was alone in trying to understand those around me. Help me, God, not to seek to win but to understand where others are coming from and their points-of-view. You are the God of relationships, so I pray that you will help me to be a light with those I come in contact. I also want to thank you for the time with my friend, God. The situation was not ideal, but it was great to laugh in the middle of it all. I pray your blessings on my friend and that you would give him the gift of laughter more and more. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

 

Now it’s your turn… Remember God wants to hear the big and the little things in our lives. If it makes us sad, He wants to hear it. If it makes us laugh, He wants to hear it too.

 

Come alongside.

Affiliate Disclosure

Daphne Tarango is a participant in affiliate programs with Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, DaySpring, Church Source, Hazelden, Christian Strong (via Conversant and ShareASale). These advertising services are designed to provide a means for sites like DaphneWrites.com to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to said merchants. Some images and articles may contain links to products on merchant sites. Should you choose to make purchases through those links, please understand that I will receive a small commission. Please do not feel like you need to use these links to make any purchases. The links are only for your convenience. Thank you.

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