COVID-19 ISOLATION WEEK 2

Monday, March 23, 2020

Number of COVID CASES in Illinois: 1285    Nocases in Tazewell yet.      Number of Deaths in IL: 12

National Count: 33,404 – over 400 deaths.

Back to homeschooling today! We started reading “Little House in the Big Wood” on audiobook since we are also in isolation. The kids are enjoying it. There was also regular school work with reading and math. We also got to use our new math game – POP for addition and subtraction. Amazon has been helpful in delivering educational materials to keep the kids interested in topics and giving us new things to look forward to .

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Once Chad got home, I took off to Sam’s Club in Peoria to pickup our “curbside order.” They put everything in my car and off I went. When I got home we wiped everything down with Lysol Clorox wipes which is  a safety precaution put out by the CDC. It amazed me all of the people out and about last night. You wouldn’t even know anything was going on . Except for the empty parking lots at the mall, long lines for drive-thrus since the dining rooms are closed. Many people are taking this seriously, but not enough. I have a feeling we are going to be doing this for quite a while.

At the end of a long day we all sat down to watch the first part of The Great Muppet Caper on Disney+.

Tuesday, March 24, 2020

Number of COVID CASES in Illinois: 1865                Number of Deaths in IL: 19

Today we started off by filling up our “Snack baskets” to help ration the snacks. Apparently the kids have left their “school stomachs” at school and now are ravenously eating through all the snacks because they have been “starving.”  They can have unlimited fruit and veggies from the fridge and as much water as they want.

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We also had a fun day of baking and cooking along with school work. I made homemade Amish Sweet Bread. Unfortunately I killed off the yeast so it didn’t rise to where I would have liked it to be, but it was still delicious (and the smell in the kitchen was amazing)! I also made ham fried rice in bulk for leftovers – YUMMY! It was a pretty typical day around here – typical is a word I wouldn’t use to describe this two weeks ago but this is becoming the new norm fast.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wednesday, March 25, 2020

USA confirmed cases: 59, 434  Deaths – 786         Global confirmed cases – 430, 607 deaths – 19, 479

Congress is trying to pass a $2 trillion dollar coronavirus relief package to help out the states, small businesses, and families across the USA. Hopefully this will pass and they can get relief checks to families that need it quickly. So many people are out of work — over 3 million applied for unemployment this week. So much of the country is seeing this virus spread across their states.

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The kids got to Facetime with 2 of their friends who live just a few houses from us. They don’t really know how to hold a conversation with each other this way yet, but are happy to see each other. Annabelle and Lucy talked about books they have read and activities they have done. Bentley and Jack also shared what they have been doing lately. It was cute to see and we are so thankful for the technology that allows us to do this.

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As we get used to our new normal of homeschooling for the time being we have things that we are loving like “Lunch Doodles with Mo.” I also have used quiet time as the time I listen to the governor speak every day. The TV is on but for purposeful things. It should be used to get our mind off this – but most of the time it just amps up my anxiety. Trying to release everything to God and breathe. Just when my anxiety from the SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder) should be getting better, it is getting worse. Trying to release this to God tonight and rest on the promise in Philippians 4:6 “Do not be anxious about anything, but in situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving present your requests to God.” This too shall pass…. God has this! These are the things I have to repeat in my mind daily as we watch the numbers climb. At least the sun came out and it was a little warmer. It’s the little things that make these days go much smoother.

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Thursday, March 26, 2020

Number of COVID CASES in Illinois:2538                 Number of Deaths in IL: 26

Today Illinois added over 700 cases of COVID-19 bringing the total to 2538 confirmed cases and 26 deaths in Illinois. The US now leads the world with 82, 404 confirmed cases. IMG_2424

Today I am beginning my day by praying over my friends across the country who have symptoms of COVID-19 but can’t get tested. It’s so frustrating because they want to know if they have it or not, but tests are reserved for those that are in respiratory failure, being admitted, or those in healthcare that have to come into contact with patients. Or the occasional celebrity who needs a test….not sure what to think about that?! Robin and Megan Bielefeldt in MN, Meg Sanchez in Bloomington, Jaime McGrath in NC, just to name a few. Beth is home after recovering from the hospital and doing well. Her interviews were on the Iowa news tonight so we could see how she doing.

Today it’s a gloomy and rainy day but we brightened up our day by cutting out paper hearts and making a window display to show our support to all of the workers that still have to go out and do essential work during the pandemic. This is something that is popping up all over the country. There is even a Facebook group called Heart Hunters. It originated when kids needed to take walks outside so they have hearts to look for like a scavenger hunt. How cool is that?! We also continued e-learning and other fun things with homeschool.

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Facetime and Zoom calls are the way we socialize nowadays. Lori has been snapping screenshots as we talk because they make her smile and bring her joy, so I snapped a few today as well.

 

And another thing in today’s big news is… “Lucy lost another tooth!” She got to share it with grandparents via text message/photo. Hopefully the tooth fairy can still get here on time?IMG_2425

Friday, March 27, 2020

Number of COVID CASES in Illinois: 3026                Number of Deaths in IL: 34

More schoolwork today, but we took the afternoon to get out the Easter decorations and to watch “Peter Cottontail” for a special movie time.

Today was also “errand day!” Chad picked up prescriptions at the pharmacy on the way home and I picked up groceries at Kroger through their pickup service. While I was waiting, I had to snap this picture of the Monical’s pickup drive up service. This was only half of the line up at dinnertime. Since no one goes in the restaurants except the staff this is the “new normal on a Friday night at dinner.”

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Tonight we ate Arby’s which was a nice change and I didn’t have to cook. I did back some cookies today from Joanna Gaines’ Magnolia Table cookbook! It is a new FAVORITE recipe. So yummy! After dinner we got PJ’s on and watched Phantom of the Opera (the musical). The kids loved it!

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Tomorrow we will keep our eyes to the skies. Because the COVID-19 isn’t scary enough we have a high alert for tornadoes and hail tomorrow afternoon/evening. Great…..? I just keep repeating Philippians 4:6 over and over…. God has got this!

 

 

Daughter of the King

At our Women of Worth event at my church I had the privilege to share a devotional that I had not intended to write, but was prompted by the Lord to do so. I hope and pray it speaks to your heart so you know your worth in Him!

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“For as long as I can remember I have loved the thought of being a princess…. What little girl doesn’t at some point dream of that? But many times throughout my life I have felt more like the a lady in waiting, not worthy of being called royalty. I have always been a fan of the Princess Diaries movies from Disney. I mean what one of us wouldn’t love to find out that have been a princess all along? That we have a castle? A kingdom to serve? How incredible would that be? But here is the good news….. we ARE all princesses! We will inherit the Kingdom of God as His heirs! He has called us, as His daughters, to serve His people right here on Earth, so that they too will know their inheritance as heirs of the Kingdom as well.

Hear these words ladies and KNOW they are true.

1 John 3:1, “See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God.

John says that God gave those who believe in Him the right to be called children of God, therefore I am His daughter. As the King of Kings, that makes me a princess and heir to the Kingdom of God.

There are so many days where I feel like the kingdom servant instead of a princess, while doing the daily grind of chores, parenting my children , and keeping my house in order. But a speaker once told me about how she had to remind herself of her royal status by taking these moments and making them a moment to feel like a princess. She used to vacuum with a tiara on her head…. So of course, I had to try this! And many times if you drop by my house when I am vacuuming, you would see my tiara on the top of my head! Because now I wasn’t a servant in my house… I was the Princess that was serving her people as God called her to do.

There are days I feel like I am not living as royalty and am failing as a princess. I look in the mirror and I see all of the flaws and failures. I see someone who needs to be more patient, more loving, less selfish, needs to take better care of herself, her family, etc. But that isn’t what our Father sees. He sees us as His children with unconditional love. He calls us BEAUTIFUL!  Our Father – THE KING – calls us His children and is enthralled by our beauty…. Check out Psalm 45!

And someday He will call us Home to the Kingdom and we will be with Him forever. He has prepared a room in the Kingdom for us….. mine will look like a room in Cinderella’s castle from Disney world. But until that time, we wait in anticipation for the Father to return just as an eager child waits at the window for “Daddy” to come home from work. When we return to our heavenly home with Him He will recognize us as His daughters because it says so in His love letters to us — the Bible!

This morning as we come together to have fellowship with our sisters at our tables, while we learn together about this inheritance we possess, and serve together for the Kingdom of our Father, I pray that you begin to feel like the princess you truly are. You are a daughter of GOD! Even on days when you feel wounded, like an outcast, lonely and afraid, remember you possess the inherent right to be regal, powerful, confident, joyful, a peacemaker, an overcomer who is loyal, faithful, and seeks above all to bring honor to our Father’s name and reputation.

So polish up your crowns and let’s act like the royalty we are.”

 

 

Quit “Shoulding” Me!

This past weekend I was privileged to have the opportunity to serve at the Hearts 2 conference by Ignite the Family in Peoria, IL. Typically I am so busy serving that I am unable to hear the speakers, but I was honored to get to hear our Saturday morning speaker, Grace Johnson who is a gifted speaker and potter.

While Grace spoke and began to make the most beautiful pitcher on her pottery wheel, she shared her story. One of the most profound things I hear her say was when she decided to tell the world and the church to Stop “shoulding” her. It spoke directly to my core. So what does that mean?

Many of us recognize that the world puts demands on us that are unnecessary which can lead to having perfectionist tendencies. Pinterest, Facebook, and Instagram all show the best of everyone’s homes, cooking skills, families, etc. Everything is perfect and in it’s place – therefore it’s photo-worthy – ready to share with the world. It says “Look at how perfect we can be!” That’s something we have talked about and recognized for a while now. Jill Savage calls it the “Perfection Infection” which infects many of us, especially women.

Grace spoke to this and wanted to end some of these things that world “shoulds” us to do. These things are NOT God’s truth.

  • We should make sure are clothes are all put together and presentable at all times. Including hair and makeup.
  • We should be successful in all aspects of our careers.
  • We should have kids that behave at all times in public no matter what.
  • As Christians, we should have kids that turn out as Christians just like us.  They won’t be in jail, won’t get pregnant outside of wedlock, and won’t be jobless. If we did our jobs as parents, they would turn out good.

These things are not truths of God. Instead He reminds us in Romans 12:2Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.” We don’t have to listen to the “shoulding” of the world and we need to focus on God’s truth for us.

But many times as Christians we are under the assumption that “the church” (as a whole – not individual buildings) tells us the truth because they are supposed to be acting under God’s Word. But unfortunately that isn’t always true.

  • We should smile and tell everyone “I’m fine” on Sunday mornings.
  • We should serve on all of the committees and ministries we are asked because we will be more blessed the more we serve.
  • We should give our money without hesitation and trust that the church is going to be good stewards.
  • We should have happy homes where there are no major problems happening.
  • We should _____________________________________________________. (fill in the blank)

Again, not all of these are God’s truth, but truths that are man-made. This isn’t what God says about us at all. He says we are lovely and perfect the way He made us. He continues to hold us and love on us because we are HIS. He wants us to come to Him with our hurts and imperfections. He wants us to be real, raw, and, honest with Him, so He can comfort us and guide us.

As I watched Grace share her story and reveal how she walks in freedom everyday because she told all these other voices to “Quit Shoulding Me!” Instead she listens to truth from the Father and walks in the freedom He has given her.

So many times my frustrations don’t come from the “shoulding’ from the world, but the ones that come from the church. The pressure and guilt I feel when I have to say “no” to serving in some capacity is immense and gets in the way of my joy while at church. So many times when I am serving in more than one capacity at church, I feel like I have lost my passion for serving because I am burning out. Romans 12:11 says “Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord.” Instead we must find what we are passionate about, what gifts we have and bring, and serve in that capacity with passion and zeal! 1 Peter 4:10 says “Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms.” We should ask ourselves if we are being good stewards of our gifts and using them in the way God wants us to. Or are we just saying “YES” out of obligation or because the church says we “SHOULD?” 

TODAY’S THOUGHT: What “shoulding” do you need to stop listening to in your life?

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What I am giving up for Lent…

Ash Wednesday 2020 Images, Quotes, GIF, SMS, Wishes, Wallpapers, Facts, History

Today is Ash Wednesday, the beginning of Lent. This year I have had the same internal dialogue going on that I have every year about the annual question, “What am I giving up for Lent?” I have never been good about giving something up and sticking to it. I admit it…. I’m addicted to my Diet Dr. Pepper, coffee, and my TV shows. And if I give them up — I’m not getting closer to Jesus because of it. So something else has to go. So I thought about Social Media? So many of my friends have given that up. But because I work part time as a social media coordinator that isn’t an option for me either. After praying and praying about this question that has rolled around in my head for the past few weeks this is what I feel has been prompted by the Holy Spirit. He once again spoke to me in that still, small voice saying…..

My child….

  • Give up the negative thoughts you have when you look in the mirror. “Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as elaborate hairstyles and the wearing of gold jewelry or fine clothes. Rather, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight.” 1 Peter 3:3-4
  • Give up trying to be a people pleaser.                                                                                      “Am I now trying to win the approval of human beings, or of God? Or am I trying to please people? If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a servant of Christ.” Galatians 1:10
  • Give up trying to compare yourselves with others around you.                           “We do not dare to classify or compare ourselves with some who commend themselves. When they measure themselves by themselves and compare themselves with themselves, they are not wise. 2 Corinthians 10:12
  • Give up trying to do everything on your own and lean on me.                              “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding”  Proverbs 3:5
  • Give up your distrust that I am answering your prayers. I have answered them before you even asked.                                                                                                 “Before they call I will answer;
        while they are still speaking I will hear.” Isaiah 65:24
  • Give up your anxieties and worries to me. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Phillipians 4:6-7
  • Give up the thought that you are not enough.  You are a daughter of a King.  “See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him.” 1 John 3:1
  • Give up trying to do my job and just do what I have called you to do which is love me first, then love others and shine bright for me so that they too will know me.  “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?” Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.” Matthew 22:36-39

So this year for Lent, I’m not giving up something tangible. I am giving up some of the negative thoughts that pop in my head on a daily basis. I am fixing my eyes on Jesus and His Word. I am replacing all of the lies that are whispered to me from an enemy that is real, with the truth from God the Father who has reveled His truth through his love letters to me (The Bible). During this Lenten season, let’s use it as a time to give up what we think we are or have been, with who we can become in Jesus Christ.