Jody Lynne

Intersecting Life and Faith

Page 3 of 131

Don’t Waste Your Isolation

This post is a bit dated as I began it a few weeks ago. The message is the same, and the title is not original.

I’ve been pondering two quotes for quite a long time. I scribbled on index cards, then taped to my desk, moved to my journal and back to my desk. These words have been a source of encouragement to press on, especially in the days we have been living.

But though today maybe unremarkable, it is not unimportant. Today is unique, priceless and irreplaceable. God does not waste a day. Jon Bloom

These many weeks of our stay at home order have been remarkable in the sense we’ve not ever faced a pandemic, and I am finding the days seem to run together with a Tuesday feeling like a Friday, or a Saturday feeling like a Monday. The other quote I have been carrying is from Zechariah 4:10a

For who has despised the day of small things?

While I don’t take random verses out of the Bible and apply them to daily life, this verse did hit home. I’ve been taught that ‘context is king’ when it comes to Bible study and application, a lesson for another day, but this verse has been a great reminder to not snub the ordinary, to not look past today for tomorrow’s excitement And it is ordinary and mundane I am craving right now. I realize I am very blessed to have a home to live in, enough food to eat, and a couple of people, husband, and daughter, to chat with. But I am feeling disoriented with this fifth week of sheltering in place. (This feeling has lifted, replaced with making my goal to be content. This was originally written a few weeks ago, so I better get it posted).

As I think back to the quote and Bible verse, I want to find the unique, priceless, and irreplaceable qualities of each day. I don’t want to waste the day wishing this isolation was over, I don’t want to meander through the day without purpose. I don’t want to waste today, or tomorrow, or the next day. My purpose for today is going to look much different than yours. And the purpose may be as mundane as that first cup of coffee in the morning, the stillness of a mid-morning quiet time, or planning dinner for the family. Maybe your purpose is to work from home while teaching your children, or maybe it’s trying to find ‘what’s the point of this day’ while living alone, or for many of you the feeling of being totally overwhelmed. I don’t know what your today looks like, and just wait a day and new information will change it again.

Whatever the circumstances you find yourself in today, will you join me in remembering this is the day the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it, for the Lord does see us in the mundane and the pandemic of 2020, and this day is unique, priceless and irreplaceable.

Gen Z–20 somethings

These days and weeks, and possibly months, have not been typical, so Lauren and I have spent a lot of time together, mostly sweet. She is busy with college and getting her Mary Kay business off the ground, virtually for now and planning for the future when she can have face to face appointments.

If you saw the news during the week of college spring break, you were probably just as disappointed as I was, and maybe some other emotions. The beaches were swamped with college students romping on the beach, swimming in the water, and not social distancing like they should have been. This isn’t a political post but in my opinion, the Florida governor should have shut down his state long before that.

I’m happy to find that all twenty-somethings don’t think like the spring breakers who were heard saying they didn’t care if they got the virus.

I give Lauren a lot of credit when I ask her if she wants to run into the grocery store with me and she says “why would we want to possibly infect both of us?” We also had a discussion regarding the struggle we find ourselves in some days, or for many, most days. Her take on the struggle is to embrace every day no matter what we may be facing. I am happy to hear she is becoming wise.

Lauren’s first friend Carolyn, they were three years old when they became fast friends, and born just four days apart remain close to this day. Carolyn will soon graduate Marine Corp. boot camp.

One more conversation I had with a twenty something revolved around the fact that their family is coming together from all parts of the state for something they did not foresee during this pandemic. It will involve saying goodbye to a loved one. When I asked him how he was doing he saw the positive that his family is together during this time. He will also not be a part of his college commencement exercises since they have been cancelled, but his focus remains on his family.

There are glimmers of hope as we press on each day and I’m happy to report I see them in our twenty somethings!

On another note, it feels so good to be writing here. Between these rambling writings, making YouTube videos, and trying out new recipes, I have found a way to fill some of my creative spaces. If you don’t want to miss out on a thing at the Gates house, you can subscribe to Jody Lynne or my YouTube channel by hitting the red subscribe button on that channel.

While we won’t be together in our church building, we will still be thinking about what this time of year means to us. And looking forward to an Easter celebration when our church will be able to meet again.

Dusty Women

Ordinary women who love an extraordinary God. Clinging to Him, following Jesus so closely, getting the dust of their shepherd on them because Jesus walks with us in every season of life.

“My soul clings to You; Your right hand upholds me.” Psalm 63:8

“I pursue as my goal the prize promised by God’s heavenly call in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 3:14

How can it be I began this series of posts almost five years ago? While this blog has remained quiet for 2019, I can’t seem to let it go, writing continues to be something I love to do, feel called to. This post on Daphne Stowe has been a year in the making. Her husband, Bruce became one of our church elders in January, I’ve wanted to put a face to his wife, because of her cancer she is unable to attend worship services, which she misses terribly, but would do well if we offered a service at 1 pm.

I’ve spent time with Daphne over this year and was happy to ride along with her last week to medical appointments in Rochester. What finally follows is my interview with her, my next installment of Dusty Women.

I’ve known Daphne for a long time, but since her cancer diagnosis of stage 4 Neuroendocrine cancer, we’ve spent more time together. I spent a glorious day with her last week, traveling first to Canandaigua NY where we ate lunch at a crepe cafe. Who knew there was such a thing? Delicious!! Then onto her appointments.

Daphne is a God-loving, Jesus follower who is confident in the days God numbered for her before she was even born. While those days seem fewer with this diagnosis, she is comforted that God does not change and those numbered days remain the same. Words that I would use to describe her are self-less, others-oriented who loves her husband and children. Our conversation on a very cloudy New York afternoon often centered around what can she do for others, what ministries can we begin to help others, how can she encourage others while limited in energy and stamina.

On the rare days she wants to descend into the depths of despair and attend her own pity party, she told me she chooses, she decides how she is going to live each day. She doesn’t want to waste her days feeling sorry for herself. Two words we kept circling back to were ‘attitude and perception.’ We choose each moment what our attitude will be.

A few questions to get to know Daphne a bit better.

  • Who has had the greatest spiritual impact on you and why? My mother, she had to be strong and always relied on her faith first in all things,(Daphne lost her dad when she was 11, so her mother was a single mother raising Daphne.)
  • What are three simple joys? She couldn’t narrow it down…family, friends, sunshine, wholesome nourishing food, sewing, knitting, nature, days I’m doing better than the day before, loves spending time near the water
  • What have been your consistent spiritual disciplines for every season of life? Prayer and thanksgiving, key Bible verses that specific significance to me, singing hymns, reading the Bible
  • Favorite food? super easy question…fresh seafood. Daphne is from Maine.

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