Down TIme

Well, it found me. I thought I was flying under the Covid radar. Two years, two vaccines, and three boosters later and I was killing it.  Sneaking in and out of crowded stores, theaters, churches, and restaurants unscathed. Cohabitating with a Covid positive husband and still untouched. I was feeling invincible, until I started feeling miserable.

Darn it.

And of course, my symptoms began the day after I had been snuggling, smooching, and spending a lot of time with most of the grandkids. So not only was I physically miserable, I was emotionally miserable as I catastrophized about all of them getting sick because of me. So far so good though. Knock on wood.

I have been quarantining for the last six days and truth be told, I kind of like it. I am doing things at a slower pace which feels really good. One load of laundry, nap, address some Christmas cards, nap, wrap a couple presents, nap.  I have been eating when I’m hungry, sleeping when I’m tired, and just taking good care of me, and not once have I felt a pang of guilt.

I could get used to this.

I’m praying a lot more than usual throughout the day. People will pop into my head and I pray for them. Situations and challenges pop into my head that usually start me spiraling into all kinds of crazy self-talk but instead I start praying about them. Handing them over to God.

My one-week-before-Christmas angst is gone. I have surrendered. I’m not sure when my energy will be back to 100% so I’m lowering my expectations and enjoying the thought of not having everything perfect for our family gathering next week. So what if Santa forgot to fill the stockings at Num Num and Papa’s this year.  Big deal. And who needs pecan crusted salmon when you can have mac and cheese or make-your-own pizza?

Seems that Covid down time brings with it some blessings I never would have suspected. As my nose became more congested my ears opened up to God’s promptings. As choices of how to spend my day were taken away with my lack of energy, I was given an opportunity to just be with God. As these seemingly unproductive days right before a huge holiday stared me in the face, I was given a glimpse of the peace that comes from simplicity, humility, and surrender.

Those are the side effects that I hope will linger, forever.

I don’t wish for you to have Covid, but I do wish for you to find some down time in the coming week. To let yourself be taken into the simplicity, humility, and surrender that this season is all about, that the baby in the manger is all about.

Know the peace.

According to the latest CDC guidelines, if I wear a mask, I can leave the house tomorrow.

Not sure I will be able to fit that in between naps and snacks.

I’ll see.


Joan Carey, Firstfruits executive director, is an author and speaker with a passion for helping women grow in their relationships with God. Her Ponder This book contains a series of modern day parables sure to get you thinking about and seeing our extraordinary God in our ordinary experiences. Joan invites you to use resources on this website for daily reflection in your journey to grow in God's loving care for you.
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