Self-Care in the Time of Corona

This week is Masters Week. The week the golfing world descends on Augusta National Golf Club to witness the most captivating and beloved golf tournament of the year. Even if you don’t like golf, or watch golf, chances are you just might sneak a peek at a television broadcast this week. Magnolia Lane. The azaleas. Ray’s Creek. Amen Corner. Pimento cheese sandwiches. All the things that make The Masters experience what it is…the greatest week in golf.

But in 2020, amidst COVID-19, amidst stay at home orders…golf has been ruled non-essential. I’ve been home for three weeks now, working and trying to keep the walls from closing in on me. This week, honestly, is a kick in the gut. Masters week is a celebration in our home, we all partake. But this year, it’s a teardrop in the middle of an ocean of tears.

Five weeks ago, we lost our cat, Mags. Mags had been with me for going on 14 years. Than the social distancing order came. Than in the middle of The Players tournament (another Goedert household favorite), the announcement that The Masters would be postponed came. Than baseball opening day was gone. All these things are family favorites and traditions…gone. It started to feel like there was no time to recover from the body shots. Yesterday, was rough. A lot of shouting matches with the kid, irritability, and just feeling like an absolute failure at life, parenting, and ready to sleep through the rest of this pandemic.

As I was praying this morning, admittedly feeling sorry for myself, God directed me to the book of John. This is what I read:

John 10:10 NLT

“The thief’s purpose is to steal and kill and destroy. My purpose is to give life in all its fullness.”

Satan doesn’t just want to destroy us spiritually, but wants to take away the love we have for our everyday lives as well. Satan wants to take away joy, love, togetherness and make you feel alone and hopeless. We know this. I know this. But it is still easy to let everything in life, especially right now, drag you down and rob the light and hope from your life.

Self-care, or self-love right now means letting Jesus bring life into your life, even where things may seem dead, to let the fullness of who Jesus is to us, guide us to find ways to life life to our fullest. That means letting the creative spark God placed in you take new root and start new growth.

I have decided to make our home a fortress of hope and love. We will not let the darkness of the current state of the world dim our light. We will love, we will hug each other, we will laugh and make memories. We will remain strong in the love of God and the hope that Jesus has given us. As my son reminded me the other day, “Goederts don’t give up.” We will live life to it’s fullest.

It’s Masters week. Today, we will watch the Arnie documentary on Golf Channel while enjoying some of his signature tea and lemonade. Tomorrow, we will watch The Greatest Game Ever Played, one of my favorite golf movies. Wednesday, we will play Tiger Woods Golf: The Masters and have a par 3 tournament, Thursday – Sunday, my son and and I will start a four round video game version of The Masters. Sunday, we will watch last years final round, enjoying pimento cheese sandwiches, chips and Azaeleas.

Make the decision for yourself, for your family, that we will all take time for the life-giving things that we can still do. Breath love, hope into your home, your children, and your spouse.

We have but two choices: we can allow the overwhelming state of the world invade our hearts and homes, or we can choose to infuse our lives, and those around us with hope, love and life.

Don’t let the thief steal your joy, kill your hope, and destroy your love. Instead, let Jesus give life to your joy, and make full your hope and love.

This week will be one of life and smiles, after all, it’s Masters week.

 

 

Responding in Hope

A world on fire. Massively divisive political posturing. Constantly eroding moral ground. And on top of it all a viral pandemic is sweeping the globe. There is no shortage of blame, no shortage of fear, and no shortage of greed. The world is on fire.

Our broken world is subject to disease, violence, hunger and oppression. Ever since Adam & Eve made their choice in the Garden, those effects have played out in individuals lives, humanity and all of creation. Romans 8:21 (NIV) tells us that all of creation is in “bondage to decay.” Suffering it would seem, is as natural in this world as breathing. Yet, hope remains.

John 16:33  (NLT)

I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.”

As believers our hope is in God, in the future he has planned and promised us. But that hope needs to work it’s way into our everyday present lives as well. We have a responsibility, as those who hold the hope and light in an ever darkening world, to hold our torches high and let that light burn brightly as a beacon for all to see. Our response to situations that are ripe with fear should not be based on what if’s and what could be, but on who God is and what he has promised to us.

Our response to suffering and adversity should look like this.

  • Realize God’s grace is enough

2 Corinthians 12:9 (NLT)

“Each time he said, “My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.”So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me.”

Our natural response to the unknown is to fear it, dread it, and to try and do everything to hold it at bay. It is in our weakness that God’s power is most evident in our lives.

  • Know that God is there to listen and respond to us.

Psalm 9:9-10  (NLT)

“The Lord is a shelter for the oppressed,
a refuge in times of trouble.
Those who know your name trust in you,
for you, O Lord, do not abandon those who search for you.”

God may already know your fears, your anxieties… share them with him anyway. He is your place of shelter, protection, and safety. The world may be in chaos, but our Heavenly Father is steady. While we shelter in place, don’t forget to shelter in God.

  • God has given us help, so that we may help others.

2 Corinthians 1:3-4 (NLT)

“All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. God is our merciful Father and the source of all comfort. He comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others. When they are troubled, we will be able to give them the same comfort God has given us.”

Holding on to hope is selfish. We are dealers of hope. What we have received, we are meant to share. Check in on your neighbors, your family, your co-workers – use your phone and talk to people. Be light, be the hope, be the church.

Do we face uncertainty right now? Yes. Is everything changing faster than we can cope. Yes. Does fear have to rule our hearts and direct our lives? No.

Be wise, be safe, be smart, yes, be all of those things. We may have to practice social distancing, but we have an opportunity to practice spiritual closeness with God.

I leave you with this.

Psalm 34:4 (NLT)

I prayed to the Lord, and he answered me.

    He freed me from all my fears.