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Coronavirus: If you feel alone

While the curve is flattening across the United States and the world (praise God!) and some U.S. states now are allowing more businesses to re-open, the Coronavirus crisis isn’t over yet.

Barber shop re-open for business
Barber shop re-open for business
Source: https://nymag.com/intelligencer/2020/04/states-stay-at-home-orders-ending.html

It’s been so hard to deal with for everyone. I haven’t seen my 3 daughters or our grandkids for over a month now. I love and miss them so much, and just want to hug them!

Our family, Ray's 50th bday Left to right: Heather, Eden, Ray, Leah & me
Our family
Left to right:
Heather, Eden, Ray, Leah & me

This week a woman on my website subscriber list emailed and asked me to pray for her, when I had my Virtual Coffee & Prayer Zoom meeting yesterday morning. She was alone, with it being 3 weeks until the first anniversary of her husband’s death, with no one around her to support her during this Coronavirus pandemic. She said she’d been crying for weeks.

Older woman alone
Older woman alone

I told her that I am praying for her. So many people, especially the elderly, are in her shoes right now. Others have lost their jobs, with 16.8 million filing unemployment claims in the U.S. in the last three weeks, and don’t have any income coming in right now.

What can you do to help them? Encourage them with these tips:

  • Pray to God first. Just as the children’s song says, “Jesus loves you, this I know.” God loves you so much and He cares about everything on your mind. Pour out your heart to Him, and tell Him what you’re worried about, discouraged over, your fears, stress, depression, and even anger. As my sister Maria (a therapist) says, anger is one of the five stages of grief. We are angry because we are experiencing many losses right now, such as those we love who died from the virus and loss of our freedom, with the Shelter In Place orders. This makes us angry. Spend time with God each day to pray, read the Bible, and worship/praise Him. You may not feel like doing this, but God is always here for you and wants to help you. He will never leave you alone. “Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time, casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you.” (1 Peter 5:6-7, NKJV)

  • Get Christian counseling/therapy. To help prevent the spread of the virus, the CDC is recommending social distancing. To help prevent the risk of exposure to Coronavirus for either the therapist or the patient, some therapists are offering online counseling. One of my family members is doing this right now. If you already have a therapist, you might want to ask him or her if they can offer virtual therapy. If you’re looking for a counselor, check first with your family and trusted friends. You can call your local mental health center and/or search online for a therapist who is the right fit for you. The National Alliance on Mental Illness says the pandemic is increasing feelings of anxiety and traumatic stress. I know it has increased my stress (worrying about my family or I or others I love getting the virus; feeling “trapped” in my house from the Shelter In Place; the uncertainty of the future). I’ve talked with many family and friends who are struggling with similar fears. It’s important to recognize and act on mental distress to lessen the impact and find the help you need. 

  • Stay in touch with your family and friends. Normal life has been suspended and it all feels eerily apocalyptic. Due to the virus and Shelter In Place orders, we can’t see and hug our loved ones. It’s painful. But thanks to technology, we can still stay in touch through calling and texting on our cell phones, Google Hangouts, Zoom meetings, Facebook, Twitter, and more. These virtual meetings don’t have to be long, but they can make such a difference so that people don’t feel as isolated and alone. Be sure to especially reach out to the elderly, children and teens, those who are physically sick, and the mentally ill. Check regularly on them. The multiple challenges from the Coronavirus has increased the risk of depression and PTSD. People don’t have other people to go to for their stress. The power of touch releases oxytocin, which is a natural “cuddle hormone.” People aren’t getting the same level of oxytocin release from human contact. I believe one thing the Coronavirus crisis is teaching us is the importance of our relationship with God and others–and how wonderful a hug is! 

family
family
  • You help others. When you are feeling stressed out, depressed, afraid, and anxious, it’s hard to reach out to others. But sometimes that is the very thing that will help us get out of our own funk. Although I personally believe the Coronavirus is from the devil, God is allowing the situation for His glorious purposes–through His people. Use this as an opportunity for good. Volunteer somewhere, either in person or online, such as at Meals on Wheels; donate blood at the Red Cross; give to charities; cook and deliver meals (our local Christian bookstore, The Carpenter’s Cup, is doing this for our community here in Butler, Missouri); sew masks for your community workers; or offer assistance such as creating a virtual storytime library for vulnerable children. One of the things I’m doing to volunteer my gifts and time is a Virtual Coffee & Prayer Zoom meeting on Saturday mornings, where Christian women pray about the Coronavirus and the Shelter In Place order. I’m asking God to eradicate this virus from the earth forever, protect me and my loved ones from getting it, to heal the sick, and for governors and mayors to lift the order(s) in their states and cities, when it is safe to do so.

This is a very difficult time for everyone. Just know that God loves you and is here for you, and this too shall pass. 

I’m praying for you. Please also keep my family and me in your prayers. 

*******

Need some encouragement to pray? Check out my ebook on prayer, Walking With God, available for just 99 cents on Amazon today. You can find out more here

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Blog, Faith, Family, Homeschooling, Marriage, Parenting, prayer, Stress, Travel

It’s still spring

When you read the news today or go on Facebook and other social media sites, almost all you see right now is centered around one word: Coronavirus. As of this post today, there are 14,611 deaths reported world-wide from the virus. In the small, rural town of Butler, Missouri, where I live, as a response to the WHO-declared pandemic, people have been panic-buying toilet paper.

People panic-buying toilet paper Image source: Marketwatch.com

People panic-buying toilet paper Image source: Marketwatch.com

Hand sanitizer, canned goods, frozen foods, bread, eggs, and even dog and cat food are flying off the shelves, too. A Walmart employee told me yesterday when I “just happened” to come upon (some call this “luck”; I call it God’s favor) one of the last few packages of Charmin toilet paper, that as soon as their delivery truck comes in the morning and the employees unload the boxes, the items disappear as soon as the employees put them on the shelves!

Dana Arcuri

Author/Speaker/Coach Dana Arcuri

My dear author/speaker/coach friend Dana and I, who keep in touch on Facebook, via email, and texting, agreed this week about not wanting to hear anymore on social media about “doom and gloom” news. Enough with the negativity! As believers, we are to share the GOOD NEWS OF JESUS CHRIST! God’s perfect love casts out all fear. (1 John 4:18)

Perfect love Image source: Unsplash

The Bible says in Philippians 4:8, NKJV, “Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things.” Amen!

Cherry Tree
Image source: Unsplash

When I went to buy Saline solution today for my contact lenses, as I came back home and was walking outside, I noticed a few interesting things.

Despite the Coronavirus and the ensuing world panic, the sun was shining. Beautiful purple Iris flowers were already blooming in my little garden. The birds were singing in glory to their Creator God, not worried about a thing. Two boys were in the yard next door, happily throwing a baseball to each other.

Purple Irises

 

Yellow bush in our yard blooming – I think its name is a Forsythia.

 

Robin on a branch
Image source: Unsplash

Despite the terrible Coronavirus, it is still spring! God’s goodness is evident everywhere, all over the earth.

As Christian believers, we are to be the light of Christ that shines in the darkness. It is certainly spiritually dark right now on the Earth, and people need the hope and peace of God’s love and presence in these frightening, uncertain times.

“And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death.” (Revelation 12:11, KJV)

We can give that hope by sharing our story with others–our personal testimony. You can find mine in my memoir, Promises In The Dark: One Woman’s Search for Authentic Love, available for sale at Amazon here. I want to encourage you, friend, to keep shining for Jesus!

my memoir

my memoir

Today I recorded a video about the Coronavirus and my encouragement not to be afraid. God is bigger than this virus and we can trust Him. You can watch the video here.FacebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedinmailFacebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedinmail

Blog, Ebooks, Faith, Family, Parenting, prayer, Speaking, Spiritual Gifts, Travel, Writing

A chance at life again

Spring

Today is the beginning of a new month, March. I always feel like the first of a month is an opportunity for a fresh start-a reset button. Like if last month was really crummy, then here’s a toast to a much better one!

I remind myself that, “The faithful love of the Lord never ends! His mercies never cease. Great is His faithfulness; His mercies begin afresh each morning.” (Lamentations 3:22-23, NLT) So thankful for that! God, You are good, faithful, and true! Full of grace and love. May I be so.

sun

sunrise

Today I painted my nails powder-blue, in anticipation of spring. (A nail model, I am not! Twenty-six years of washing dishes and doing housework has done its toll on my hands, and they show my age more than any other body part! Yet American businesswoman, interior designer, and fashion icon Iris Apfel said it well: “I don’t see anything so wrong with a wrinkle. It’s kind of a badge of courage!”) I like the soft blue color. 

Powder-blue nail polish

Spring 2020 is officially on Thursday, March 19. Today as I  walked outside, I saw and heard robins singing and doves cooing, excited about spring in the air. Spring is also like the Earth offering a brand new start-a chance at life again.

Our precious grandbaby, Willow

My schedule now is primarily driving our youngest daughter Leah to her doctor appointments–her fibula surgery follow-up visits, physical therapy, and other appointments and errands. I drive the 45 miles to her city, willingly, happy to do it. But on days that it rains and snows/ices, I grip the steering wheel, praying that the car’s tires won’t slide and I won’t wreck, especially if Leah is with me in the car–another reason I welcome spring and summer.

Leah at physical therapy with her therapist Sam, who rocks!

A fall on ice and snow in Leah’s driveway at her rental home is WHY our precious daughter broke the fibula in her ankle, requiring surgery and the thick, black ankle boot that she must wear 8-10 weeks post-surgery.

Although normally a snow bunny who loves the beautiful snow, I now hate ice for doing this to her. It is the enemy-one of many. Yet last week when she began 50% weight-bearing on her ankle at physical therapy, I was filled with joy! She’s on the way to walking again!

Leah on one crutch, using 50% weight-bearing on her ankle

Helping Leah–driving her to her appointments and on errands–is my #1 priority for 2020. Everything else–my speaking, writing, and traveling–is on hold for now.

me & our precious daughter Leah at Jose Pepper’s restaurant

Before Leah’s accident near Christmas that caused her fibula to break, I did have my first children’s book in the works. The illustrator is still working on coloring the last four images for the pictures inside the book. Again, God has me waiting. It seems that I’m often in the waiting room.

The book is about my and Leah’s black cats, Natalya (Nat) and Jax, learning to become friends when Leah was still living with us. While certainly not BFF’s, they did play with each other at times (and fight, as well!)–frenemies. The idea of the book is that we can develop friendships with others, who we may not like at first.

Jax and Natalya

Jax and Natalya

Ray and Leah encouraged me for years to write a children’s book. I kept giving excuses why I couldn’t–I’d never written one before! Ray pointed out that I’d never written other types of books, either. Yet now I’m the author of 19 books–16 non-fiction and 3 fiction adult books. You can check them out at my Amazon Author Page here.

Beth Jones’ book signing for LaToya Gay

So I decided that I would write a children’s book, after being inspired by our comical cats, whom we love so much. I hope to have this book launched in mid-March or late March 2020, so stay tuned. If you aren’t already subscribed on my website personal mailing list, sign up now at the top of the page on the right-hand side to be FIRST to hear when this eBook for Kindle goes live on Amazon!

As I anticipate the warmer weather, beautiful flowers, and watching birds and squirrels feed from our sunroom, I also wait eagerly for the miraculous healing of Leah’s fibula in her ankle. I have strong faith that God is going to completely heal her. She’ll soon be walking again and I will give Jesus Christ all the praise, honor, and glory.

Leah at physical therapy, at 50% weight-bearing on her ankle

“And your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying, “This is the way, walk in it,” when you turn to the right or when you turn to the left.” (Isaiah 30:21)FacebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedinmailFacebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedinmail