Navigating the New Normal

Years ago I met a couple who had recently immigrated to Canada from India. They said one of the most odd things to them about Canadians was how they talked about the weather. For weeks it surprised them when taxi-drivers, teachers, or store-shop owners would say things like, “Crazy weather we’re having, hey?” or “Looks like it’s going to rain tomorrow.” When they realized how much the weather changed in Canada compared to India, they began to understand why Canadians chatted about the weather so much. Soon they found themselves also talking about the constant changing weather! 

Since then, I’ve tried to be more clever with topics rather than the weather when engaging in small conversations with others. 

On a zoom call with a friend this week we found ourselves talking about the obvious –Covid19–and stating how that is all anyone seems to be talking about these days! Our news, our social media feeds, our work emails are full of pandemic messages. Finally I asked, “Snow in spring, hey? I wonder when we’ll get a really warm day for the big melt?”

It is important to stay up to date to what is happening especially as, like the weather, changes are happening fast. My grandchildren left school on a Friday, all their belongings tucked away as usual, then told on Sunday night they would not be returning, possibly until September. Not even a chance to say good-bye to loved teachers and friends. A friend’s senior high-school daughter still has her grad dress hanging on the back of her bedroom door unsure now when or if it will be worn. And unfortunately due to a possible exposure, I was isolating when I received the news my sister ‘n law had entered hospice. I was not able to visit her before she passed away from cancer. 

Many sad stories are happening currently as we navigate this ‘new normal’ for time. 

Keeping it real, I must admit, I have felt anxiety over the uncertainties. It showed up as an upset stomach. So I knew I had to start getting my mind away from ‘what if’ and into the fruit of the spirt.

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,  gentleness and self-control. Galatians 5:22-23

Ten Ways I Calm my Anxious Mind

  1. Listen to Bonnie Gray’s PodCast – Breathe  http://bit.ly/2QlDORN 
  2. Watch Michael W Smith Live Worship Broadcast from his home. You can watch the recording here.
  3. Listen to a local radio station with only music, no news 
  4. Learning Art Journaling
  5. Making a cake just for the fun of it (even though it is just me and the cat in my home)
  6. Skype with my grandchildren as much as possible
  7. Plan Easter dinner where I’ll be having dinner with my kids via Skype
  8. Daily eating my vegetables, making my bed, and getting dressed (I haven’t been putting make-up on but know I will be grateful for the money I’m saving) 
  9. Watch for the chickadees that have recently started feeding from my bird feeder
  10. Intentionally find new subjects beyond today’s current events to talk about when connecting with others

My Go-To Psalm for Calm

Psalm 63

On my bed I remember you, I think of you through the watches of the night, Because you are my help, I sing in the shadows of your wings I cling to you: your right hand upholds me. Psalm 63: 6-8

So how is the weather in your part of the world? 

20 thoughts on “Navigating the New Normal

  1. Thank you for sharing your ideas, Lynn. It’s surely a sad time for everyone. Your photos refresh my spirit! I imagine sitting on one of those benches looking over the water. Breathing in God’s beauty in creation and breathing out all the worries. I LOVE the chickadee along with such encouraging verses, too! Love and blessings to you!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The chickadee are a blessing, always! They seem so free! The park where those benches sit is currently closed due to provincial regulations. Just looking at the picture brings peace though, doesn’t it? It reminds how much value photography has beyond just the taking of the photo. Hope you are well, Trudy!

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      1. Oh yes, Lynn, even the photo brings peace. 🙂 I remember as a child, we had a big nature painting in the living room. I would imagine myself into it. 🙂 Kind of like a safe, peaceful getaway. 🙂

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  2. Awww, Lynn, I loved this post, but I feel the sorrow for you. I’m so sorry you couldn’t go see your sister-in-law one more time. Thanks for the suggestions of what you’re doing to keep your mind occupied on good things. I’m going to check some of these out.

    I have gone a number of days without make-up and simply pulled y hair back in a clip rather than taking the time to style it. And, I’m still making my bed every day too. That’s a must for my soul. 🙂 Saying a prayer for you today, friend.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s those little dailies like making the bed and even brushing our teeth that is good for our soul. We always know God is in control, and taking care of ourselves during chaos, I believe, is what He wants for us too. I hope you had a chance to treat yourself to the Michael W Smith home worship service, Jeanne. It really is a blessed treat!

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  3. Love that first photo! So refreshing.
    I’m sorry too that you couldn’t visit your sis-in-law before her passing. But your list of ways to stay calm are fantastic. Thanks for sharing them. 😊

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You are welcome, Joy. I’m glad I was able to visit my sister ‘n law about a month ago. The beautiful thing too, is she was in the same room at the hospice where her husband, my brother, passed away from cancer a few years ago. She found this very comforting. Thanks for dropping in!

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    1. Yes, God is in charge Diane! There is definitely a peace and calm that comes from doing the normal, like even brushing our teeth, that keeps us grounded during chaotic times. Thanks for your words here today. It’s always great to see you!

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  4. Lynn, I am so sorry for your loss. There are no words …

    And that you’ve penned such practical ways to calm your anxious mind? Your suggestions are pure gold.

    I wouldn’t mind sharing a piece of that cake and a cup of tea with you right now. A good heart to heart conversation. ‘Til then, this will have to do.

    Prayerful for you, with you, friend.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’d love to share cake and tea with you, Linda! Having so much cake in the house isn’t always good for me. haha! Maybe a handful of us could make our favourite treat, pour a cup of tea, and do a zoom meeting together during this time! A blessing always to see you here.

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  5. Wishing I were sitting on one of those benches right now. Although we do have sunshine today and the snow we had the other night is gone. I love chickadees. When I was little (and that’s a great number of years ago now) there was a neighbor next to our cottage who lived there year-round after he and his wife retired. He used to put a seed in his mouth and the chickadees would come and take it out. They are such precious little things. I’m so glad the Lord chose to create so many and varied birds, animals and growing things like flowers. This is such a colorful world we have been placed in. God bless you and keep you and shine HIs glory on you.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The chickadees ate from your neighbours mouth, Diane? That would be an amazing site to see. I’m not sure I’m ready to try that yet but maybe one day! Yes, there are a variety of birds starting to come into my tiny yard now, and I’m blessed by the variety. And there a rabbit tracks in the snow. When we look, we can see God’s colourful world even when the climate is uncertain. God bless you too!

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      1. Yes, they did. I never saw it personally but my uncle took movies of it, so watched those many years ago. There were no other people there at that time as their home was located near the end of a dead end road right on the lake near the point. So they weren’t afraid of people I guess.

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  6. Oh Lynn, I am so very sorry to hear of your sister-in-law. Sending love and hugs. So so hard not being there to see her before. May God bring you as a family such comfort and visible reminders of the hope you have in Jesus.

    May God continue to meet you and your family through this time, drawing you ever closer to Him.

    Thank you for the beautiful encouragement and links.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. This is such a breath of fresh air. I’m sorry to hear about the passing of your sister-in-law. I can’t imagine others who are experiencing loss like this and cannot connect in person with their families. Thank you for pointing out Bonnie Gray’s podcast. Sounds like one I would really enjoy. I’m praying you stay healthy and find each connection with family (even over Skype) to be sweeter than the time before.

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