Wow---what a ride this past 2 ½ months has been! I always say, "I plan my days, weeks and months, but somehow they never quite go as planned!" This has been especially true since mid-March when most everyone's world came to a screeching halt. I think we all thought and wished that the Covid-19 virus would be over after a two week quarantine and life would be normal again. Now, ten weeks later, life is not normal, it won't be normal and my life calendar is all messed up and mixed up. Like thousands others, Larry and I have been on a "shelter in place" order for many weeks. For people like us who are used to being on the run and on the road for over 54 years, it has really taken the wheels off of our chariot. We had our ministry schedule tentatively set to take us back to the Midwest for services starting the 1st of May. Well, that has come and gone and here it is almost June.
I told Larry, "Honey, I'm sure glad we like our home because the way it sounds, with all the uncertainty involving the virus, we are going to see a lot of it." Then I chuckled and continued, "It's a good thing we are best friends and are used to being together 100% because we are totally together always."
We did have the opportunity to celebrate LaDawn's birthday as well as my own as we share the same birthday. It's hard to be believe she turned 49...which then makes me 76! Where did the time go?
As I think over the past ten weeks, I have to say it has been wonderful to "Be still and know that He is God." For the first time in our lives, we have a SET schedule. We love the SET time (7-8 AM) in a SET place (my office/prayer room) where we meet in the quiet with God and pray together over family and pages and pages of prayer requests of our ministry friends and partners.
We also spend many hours each day sending emails, cards, texts and phone calls to those who are struggling through this challenging time. Many are feeling alone and are hurting; they just need to know that someone cares and have someone to talk to.
On the other hand, there are always some "firsts" in life and we are experiencing a few of those. For us, this is the first time we have been "home" in the summer since we were married 54 years ago. What a change! And I must admit, it's a nice welcome change. Even though it has been forced upon us, it has been a very productive time. We have been trying to do the "some-day-some-year" procrastinated jobs and tasks that have piled up over the past 54 years as we would normally be home only a few weeks out of the year. When we moved to Tennessee, we moved many of our ministry files and countless totes that held ministry archives and thousands of photos as well. Being on lockdown, we decided it was a good time to attack the looming project of going through this mountain of ministry photos and archives that had been packed away and put in the corner. This last month we have spent countless hours sorting papers, files and photos that go clear back to the early 60's before we were married. Who said I never got rid of anything? They are right! HA! In the process, we have scanned over 2,000 documents and photos, as well as, placed numerous photos in books and binders giving us the ability to look back and see where we were and what we did those many years. We were too busy IN REAL TIME---- AT THE REAL TIME to take it all in. There is much more to do but it feels good to get his far. I encourage anyone to do your photos and keep up with it right where you are----don't wait until you get this old!
And another first...guess what...for the first time in my married life, I even got to plant a few bushes and perennials. For many people that would be a perfectly normal task, but for me, I've never been home long enough to plant something, water it and watch it grow. That has been refreshing and truly makes me appreciate the process of nurturing and growth. How good the Lord is to plant seeds, to water them, to pull out the destructive weeds and to nurture that which He wants to see grow in my life!
Larry has appreciated the uninterrupted moments of bible study and sermon building time. As always, anyone who has "an ear to hear", he is going to share Christ with them.
We sure miss physically going to church but have been blessed to take in so many online ministries. It may be a challenge to get "back to normal", to get out of my pajamas and set aside my coffee cup to go back to real church. HA! But seriously, we are looking forward to meeting again.
As of now, in our area alone of Tennessee, we have confirmed 19,789 cases of Covid cases and 329 deaths with 460 new cases within the past 24 hours. With that being said, the mask is a huge deal for us. We have only been to the grocery store a handful of time in the last few months. I've done more cooking in the last 10 weeks than I have done in the last 10 years. I'm ready to hang a sign in the kitchen that says "CLOSED until further notice." We have enjoyed eating at home, especially if Larry still has his ice cream!
We are praying each day that God would keep you healthy and well, protecting you from all harm. May you fine the strength and peace through the Lord as you put your trust in Him in these trying times.
"Fear not, for I am with you;
Be not dismayed, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you,
Yes, I will help you,
I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.'" Isaiah 41:10
BUSTER BAR DESSERT
1 (15 oz) pkg chocolate sandwich cookies
1/4 cup margarine, melted
1/2 gal soft vanilla ice cream
Nuts or salted Spanish peanuts
1/2 cup margarine
2 cups powdered sugar
2/3 cups chocolate chips
1 (13 oz) can evaporated milk
Crush cookies and mix with margarine. Pat into 9x13 pan. Carefully spoon ice cream over the crumb mixture. Sprinkle with nuts/peanuts. Place in freezer while preparing topping. Mix together the topping ingredients. Heat until chips melt. Bring to a boil then simmer 10 minutes. Stir often. Cool. Pour over ice cream. Freeze until firm. Soften 10 minutes in refrigerator before serving.