As I begin this blog post, I am thinking about the ways I have grown during this crazy Covid pandemic and the beautiful growth I have witnessed in people and in creation.
It’s been almost a year since the pandemic infiltrated our country and our communities. A year ago, no one used the word “Covid” unless you were, perhaps, a doctor and used that word in a chart documenting a strain of the common cold.
I recently stayed with my Aunt Harriet, in Denver, as she began recovery from ankle surgery.
We discussed that COVID-19 is much different. It has infected people, our livelihood and, for many, it has been deadly. We are in the middle of making history and hopefully will be on the other side of this horrible plague soon.
Aunt Harriet and I talked about the beginning of the pandemic and how we all sort of enjoyed staying home and cleaned out every drawer, pantry, nook and cranny. We productively re-organized our homes and lives.
I remember walking through our neighborhood and seeing almost every garage door up. Neighbors smiled and waved as they threw out clutter.
We all thought this pandemic would be “over” in a couple of months. I also remember being extremely concerned. We needed to get our youngest daughter, Cambri, home from Los Angeles. Things felt a bit safer in Tulsa and we wanted to get her home as, at the time, we were not experiencing as many cases as Los Angeles.
Cambri drove to meet me in Phoenix. I flew one way, on one of the last flights out of Tulsa, (thank you Southwest) to meet her there. We would make the rest of the drive back to Tulsa together.
One thing that has grown inside of me, during this pandemic, is the ability to hear the voice of God. Not audibly but, deep in my spirit. I feel the Holy Spirit guiding me now more than ever before.
I knew that I would be all right, on that airplane, and that we would make it back home safely. I felt an overwhelming sense of trust and gratefulness as I walked through an empty airport and boarded an airplane with just two other passengers. It was one of the strangest experiences I have ever been through…yet I felt His assurance.
In my life, God always has spoken to me through other people, His people, in the body of Christ. I certainly saw growth in this area escalating all through the pandemic as believers became even more outspoken about their faith.
I know I grew, personally, in this area as I believed the one thing I could offer, in the mist of fear and uncertainty, was positivity.
Cambri and I ended up staying in Carefree, Arizona for eight days. Covid-19 cases began to grow in Tulsa and Arizona was more open at that time so we stayed. Our almost empty timeshare property offered the ability to soak up the sun in a very special patch of green grass.
Cibola Vista will forever hold a special place in my heart as, there, we were surrounded by bright, vibrant flowers, sunshine and a very special horse stable across the street.
As Covid days lingered on, noticed the beauty of creation even more. I’ve spoken with others who have shared that they too, paid attention to things they never would have without the pandemic.
Sunrises and sunsets became topics of conversation. Flowers blooming and birds singing blessed my heart.
Seeing those horses simply living was comforting.
My husband Gordy and I returned to Cibola Vista about 10 months after Covid began.
What a joy it was to see little Arizona all grown up. He was strong, frolicked about and carried his head held high.
Covid has left so many discouraged, disheartened, depressed. Some we know, have lost a family member and the death toll rises.
Little Arizona reminded me, to hold my head up, and to keep living and trusting. As I witnessed his growth, I felt encouraged.
I have grown in many ways over this past year. I have found myself slowing down, taking the time to go deeper in many ways.
I have grown closer to many, many people that I love and for that I am thankful. I’ve learned to really let go of little things that don’t matter. I’ve learned that the days and nights are much better when I give them over to the Lord and to trust Him along the way.
My love of art and painting has grown and I’ve gained confidence to paint larger pieces. I treasure hearing the Lord speak to me, even just a while back, telling me to just paint for pleasure and to encourage those who like my work to donate to a charity instead of pay me. That was definitely His idea and it will be fun to see whom I can bless as He continues to whisper me along.
I’ve realized that Covid has allowed me to grow deeper and some purposes I already have. One of them is working in the therapy dog world. I have served for several years with the Alliance of Therapy Dogs.
During Covid, I decided to grow deeper in this area as well and became an area tester. Now, I am helping certify other people who would love to serve with their dogs to bless others. This growth has been especially rewarding.
As I wrap this blog up, I’m thankful for growth and I’m prayerful. Many family friends are Covid positive and continue to battle on.
It’s my goal to stay positive, to remain encouraging and helpful and to continue to grow, spiritually, physically, and mentally.
Mother Theresa said, “Not all of us can do great things, but we can do small things with great love.”
For me, meaningful growth has come from enjoying, noticing and doing small things with love and a joyful heart.
I encourage you to seek growth opportunities that are both around you and also within you.
John Maxwell said “If we are growing, we always are going to be out of our comfort zone.” Let’s live there and continue to grow each and every day.