For such a time as this

I am surprised I haven’t written a blog in so long, mainly because we are in lockdown and we as a family have been self isolating for over a week now. It’s that weird situation where I have had nothing but time, but just entertaining our toddler and keeping her and the baby alive seems to more than fill our days!

Serious respect for anyone who is parenting whilst working and trying to homeschool their kids. That is like a superpower that seems so impossible that no-one has made a hero with that power yet.

Like all of you, I am mainly washing my hands and my kids hands. The only real training I have for this season is I have spent the last year watching A LOT of ER so I basically know how to scrub in (I am pretty much a surgeon guys).

We are both at home and with the weather being pretty darn amazing for the UK this last week, we have been ok. We have done a few classic moves to protect our sanity like trying to get regular exercise (Joe Wicks and Cosmic kids yoga- thank you), increasing time for prayer and meditation, have a balanced diet and be in the garden and of course join the Disney + crew! Although we watched Tangled, which is great and pretty much the self isolation fairytale. I mean ‘when will my life begin’ is a list of activities to try! I was mainly frustrated at how easy they made it look to have 70feet of hair. There seemed a distinct lack of grease, split ends or singed hair, which after making that many candles would be an absolute certainty.

I cried on Thursday eve as I stood on my doorstep and heard my neighbours clapping and cheering the NHS. I cried out of gratitude for all that these amazing people are sacrificing, I cried because I am still a hormonal mess 8 months after my second baby, I cried at the relief of all that is good in the world, I cried because we hadn’t done it sooner. I cried as well for all the people that had lost loved ones to this disease, who couldn’t be with them in their final hours-and for the doctors and nurses and hospital staff who are not just caring for people physically but are findjng themselves being chaplains/priests/carers in so many peoples last moments.

I don’t want to draw you down some overwhelming wormhole of anxiety. In fact I would rather help refresh and sustain you, so here’s my advice: mute things (oh the irony of me writing that on my blog) In this time of isolation it can be too easy to up the social media and news consumption, to have more chats on WhatsApp and house party. I am definitely guilty of that. But my advice here is, be selective, if that group chat or those constant news notifications are stressing you out, mute it or at least limit it.

Look to spend your time investing in things and people that calm you, I have just started to do a devotional app (Lectio 365) which is weird for me because I have actively avoided a lot of that stuff for about 5 years-but the reflections have been really helpful for calming my spirit. They start with taking a pause and trying to recentre our scattered senses on the presence of God- and never has something more aptly put what I need.

Also I’m still enjoying, and raving about, the podcast ‘Poetry unbound’ the 8 mins of being read a poem and a short discussion on it has been one of the most grounding and beautiful things I have heard in a long time.

If you can do a yoga session, or even just some stretches daily do it-shake off and release the tension you are carrying.

Equally, keep rhythms of life, we are coming up to Passover and Easter if you celebrate these festivals don’t hold back this year. Still do it! I dragged a massive branch into our front drive the other day so I can decorate it and celebrate freedom that comes with these festivals. Embody the stories of hope that we know, live them as a reminder to yourself that better times are ahead and healing and recovery will come.

In isolation we have had to rely on others dropping off food. We have been so used to being the ones to help others and yet now we find ourselves in the position of having to stay in and receive generousity and kindness, not be the people who give it.

It has been at times a bit embarrassing (I’m not sure why, but we often hate having to ask for things or admit our needs) but mostly it has been a lesson that we do not hold exclusivity on helping out-and we definitely needed to learn that. We are all equal, noone is greater.

For those that know, you may have noticed that the title of this blog comes from the book of Esther where she is told maybe she is in her position ‘for such a time as this’. I don’t know if I think there is any underlying purpose to Covid. 19. I struggle to believe that this is planned to teach us a lesson, but I do hear the relief in the land when we slow down. I do feel the wave of solidarity as we clap together for our heroes and help out our neighbours. So I don’t think I was born for such a time as this, but we are here in this time now and we may as well learn from it.

Love to you all.

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