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These sure have been strange times.

Actually, these sure have been strange times, blessed times, hard times…and the list keeps going. Sometimes I am not sure how I feel, how to feel, or even if my feelings make any sense. Even my prayers are sometimes jumbled and I just have to believe that God knows what I need to say before I do.

These are emotional times.

Yesterday, I rode by our first home we purchased as a couple. The home where we brought two of three children from the hospital in their little newborn outfits. I love our current home… but I cried for younger days and for the speed at which my children have grown. I miss my brothers who live 12 hours away. I always miss my grandparents. I miss watching my son play baseball. I miss smiling at people without a mask. I do not necessarily miss hugging.😂I think we ALL miss life before last March.

These have been trying times.

Every time I log into social media, I see someone grieving over the loss of a loved one. Whether from COVID, another illness, or tragedy, my heart aches for them the same. I see a country divided… both figuratively and literally…many relationships strained over political differences. And the families voluntarily staying apart from older or immuno- compromised family members is heart- wrenching. There sometimes seems to be no end in sight.

These have been times of blessing.

This Thanksgiving was blessed as my parents were here with us as well as my in-laws. We ate, laughed, and visited over dessert. I did not take that time for granted and pray that there will be many more to come. Back when school closed down in March, our son came home from college. Although I know he missed playing baseball and being with friends, I am grateful that my family of five had some extended time together. And I have seen this sentiment echoed by others, as well… many posts on social media are filled with photos of immediate family reconnecting because of the current circumstances. Weddings are smaller but maybe more meaningful. Game nights are more frequent.

These have been times of strength.

Our essential workers have stepped up…and big time. The medical community continues to give it all they have with immense sacrifice and bravery. They also serve to educate communities on how to stay healthy. Our educators have navigated uncharted territory so that students may continue to grow, learn, and and have a sense of normalcy. And those teaching in person also put themselves in the line of fire to keep themselves and their students safe. I am proud to be a teacher. Other workers, like my husband, produce the oil, gases, and products we need on a daily basis.

These times have been uncertain.

Although I try not to live in fear, I have battled anxiety for the better part of 25 years. Actually… I am currently battling anxiety if I am honest. Watching only five minutes of the news can send me down a trail of worry and fear… so I choose to watch carefully and only sporadically. When I see a small business having to close, I see someone’s dream shattered. When I hear of someone losing a job, I think how it must feel to worry over that stack of bills on the kitchen counter. Last year, my husband had major back surgery and was out of work for over half the year. I know there is a mother right now wondering how to make Christmas happen because I was that mom. Praying so much for those families right now…

We must take the circumstances as they come, I suppose. And though I cannot change what happens in the future, I can make this time count. Right now. Just today. Smile. Count my blessings. Tell my family I love them. Take things one day at a time.

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