I awoke today, not to the sound of my alarm, but to the sounds of my husband in the bathroom. I know he tries to be quiet with his morning routine and I appreciate that! But I still hear him. And that’s OK. He gets up and going at a decent-ish hour on work days so I usually need to be finding my way out of the coziness of the fluffy white blankets by then anyway.
Today, the husband is out of his at- home- upstairs- office with a view of our front yard and back at it in his office 8.9 miles from home. But still with a pretty decent view .
Today it’s back to normal.
As I sat at my end of the table this morning doing my regular morning things, I heard motion upstairs. Soon the 20 year old came down into the kitchen dressed in a nice white button down and navy pants. After a two week “really exposed to COVID” break from work, he left the house and headed to his office this morning as well.
Today it’s back to normal.
What would I do with my “back to normal” self today, I wondered. First on tap, was a trip to Kroger to pick up my Click List and then to Publix to pick up what Kroger didn’t have. Strangely, Kroger had paper towels today but no bacon or sirloin steaks. Since it’s always worth the extra miles to ensure there’s meat in my fridge, I welcomed the drive to an extra grocery store.
This was when it hit me. Just how “normal” was my day…really? First, I greatly dislike going into a grocery store…ever! So the thought of being excited to go to a grocery store, get out of my car, and walk into it was NOT normal. Then the sight of 75% of the people I saw coming in and out of the store wearing masks was NOT normal. For real, did you ever think it would be deemed acceptable to walk into any type of business with a face covering and gloves on your hands and not appear like you were there to rob the place? This may be “normal” today. But this isn’t normal. The way the workers had to back away from the asparagus before I could go near and grab a bundle wasn’t normal. The “go this way but not that way” signs on the floor, directing shoppers down one way aisles, was not normal.
I guess the directional arrows on the floor saved me from my previous “new normal” way of grocery shopping. If I turned down an aisle and there were actual real, live breathing people on BOTH sides of the aisle, I’d have a very definite “may the odds be ever in your favor” moment. I’d stop in front of the spaghettio’s, dead in my tracks, pretending to be fascinated by the wondrous display of canned kid food while I waited for the aisle to clear. But if I found myself forced to wander into the sea of people further down the aisle, I’d hold my breath and do my best to keep my distance. Tell me I’m not the only one!!
So many changes to our normal these days. Just like the directional markings on the grocery store floor, as we re-enter life outside our homes we may feel stuck between the arrows to go this way and the x’s keeping us away. One thing may feel OK for one person while the next person is still fearful. Masks or no masks? Gloves or no gloves? Pick up carry out food at your favorite restaurant , stay there and eat on their patio or simply just keep cooking ALL. THE. MEALS. AT. HOME ! Go to the salon for that much needed hair color or just let it keep getting rootier?
Speaking of salons, I couldn’t take my ridiculous hair another minute! So the second I got the go ahead to come in for my way overdue hair appointment, I jumped at the chance. THAT would feel normal, right? The overgrown hair would be cut to an acceptable length and the grays that had taken over in a most unbecoming way would be returned to their totally natural and normal shade of highlighted brown. That part did, indeed, feel normal. But having to wait outside the salon to have my temperature taken before I entered wasn’t very normal. Neither was the mask I was asked to wear in order to stay inside. I was grateful for the precautions taken so the salon COULD be open, but dang! These things were just so far off normal. I was happy to sit outside while my hair processed so I could remove said mask for a good half hour or so! To the folks who must wear a mask all day long to serve the community in any shape, form or fashion, THANK YOU!!! Seriously! And to the people who walked by me while I was enjoying a shady bench on a sunny day looking like a fridge full of leftovers, thank you for not making eye contact! I hope I didn’t scare your children!
Honestly, though, I’ve never been one who minded changes. Changes keep life from getting boring, right? Plus rolling with the punches life throws has always just seemed easier than resisting them at times. Chances are good the changes will keep coming and we may feel unsteady for a while. Some changes may feel OK. Some may be acceptable if only to keep the old normal things going. Some may feel like a big old NO WAY! One thing I feel certain of is that we’re all going to long for the days of old when we could go to the mall or to a ballgame or even to the grocery store and not have to worry about hand sanitizers and the appropriate face covering.
Another thing I know for sure is that when things feel wobbly and uncertain, it feels great to be able grab tight to something that is secure and solid. It keeps the room from spinning completely out of control. If only we had something in our lives right now that could be that solid, unchangeable bit of security we need. Oh if only we had something like that to hold on to…something completely trustworthy.
“Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever”…Hebrews 13:8
“For I the Lord do not change; therefore you O children of Jacob, are not consumed.”...Malachi 3:6
“God is not man, that He should lie, or a son of man, that He should change His mind.”…Numbers 23:19
And with these reminders, suddenly this ever changing , wobbly, insecure time we’re in feels better. Because God! He doesn’t change. He’s that steady , solid, unwavering piece of security we so desperately need to grab hold of right now. He’s the one thing we can depend on when the news seems undependable. When we don’t have a clue what or who to trust, we can always trust Him. He’s the direction we need to take , our Perfect Guide. He’s our Protector and our Provider. He makes sure we don’t get consumed so why can’t we just allow Him to do that and stop letting ourselves BE consumed by bothersome things?
He can make the not normal things feel more tolerable.
And with that, all I have left to say is HallelujahThankYouJesus and Have a Good Day!
Until next time…Keep on joyfully clamoring!!!