A Change of Pace

These last months have certainly been interesting haven’t they? 

One thing I have noticed is we are seeing a whole lot of the same people and the same places over and over and over again.  It is the nature of staying safe at home.  If we stay home a lot more we are much – much more likely to see a whole lot more of the people with whom we live!

I have had quite a few conversations over the past few weeks with folks who have said that all of this togetherness with the same person or same few people is starting to get a bit stress-y.  I keep hearing variations of the same theme.  “Pastor Kerri – I love him sooooooo much.  BUT he is starting to drive me just a bit (completely and utterly) batty.”  Then just to make things really entertaining her husband will often tell me the exact same thing! 

One slightly stressed mom recently told me she wished someone would give her a “stinking time-out and send her to her room for about a week!”  (Oh – good idea – I thought . . .)

Others have suggested they will no longer ever – ever – consider retiring with their beloved spouses – because they want to stay married! 

All of this togetherness is complicated.

Then there is the added stress of spending so much time in the same place.  Most of us are used to getting out and about so much more often.  We are used to heading to work and to school 5 days a week.  Before Covid-19 we would go out to eat or go shopping.  We used to hang out with friends or go to the movies.  We would play sports or we would go to the big game.  We took trips to exotic places like the beach and the mountains or the mall!  We would just leave the house and go places and do things and not think twice about it – because that is what we did. 

Now that isn’t a wise option.  Now we stay closer to home.  Now we limit our trips out and about to protect ourselves and our loved ones and complete strangers too. 

Now our worlds feel so small.  And it can feel constricting and confining and exhausting and frustrating and annoying. 

Yes – we are deeply and abundantly blessed.  Our homes are lovely and we give thanks for them.  But – WoW – just WOW – we have spent sooooooo much time at home since March!?!

I had a funny exchange in line at Sam’s last week with a complete stranger.  The lady turned to me and said – “Hey we match!”  (We both had jumbo packs of TP and chicken nuggets in our shopping carts.)  Then she went on to say – “I have three kids who are all doing NTI right now.  Scoring the jumbo pack of TP at Sam’s is the most excitement and fun I have had in weeks!” 

As I drove home from Sam’s I realized that lady was right!  I too had been awfully excited about scoring the jumbo pack of TP . . . That was not acceptable!  TP is not exciting!!!! 

So – when I arrived home – Jason and I hatched a plan to add just a bit of real – safe fun and excitement to our lives.  We decided a change of scenery was in order.  We decided to head to Clifty Falls State Park to explore and hike and adventure all in safety of the great outdoors. 

We had not been to Clifty Falls since last year so it was a wonderful change of pace.

Our time there was balm for our Covid-19 weary souls.

We explored.

We played.

We climbed.

Because Jack is a member of our family – we climbed some more.

There was running.

We were reminded of God’s presence in our lives – and God’s love for us.

We came home thankful and refreshed.

These days are not easy.  We are all under a lot of pressure and stress.  I encourage you to spend some time outside – even if it isn’t normally your thing!  You might just find that the change of scenery is a blessing.

Where are you favorite places to go?  Where are you heading these days when you need a break?  Where are you seeking and seeing God’s presence in your lives?

You are all in my heart – thoughts – and prayers.

In Christ –

Pastor Kerri

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