I woke up this morning, determined to again appreciate life while distancing. It’s Day 53 for us.
In a recent post, I talked about appreciating life through this month. How do we do that? Some of us may be finding this season difficult to appreciate anything. I get it. We’re stuck at home. We’re trying to teach our kids, trying to keep up on laundry (why is there so much laundry??), trying to keep the house clean and everyone fed. We are tired, worn out, and we know we’ll repeat the same routine tomorrow. Some days the walls feel like they are closing in on us, and we just desire a few moments of normalcy. Except we’ve forgotten what normalcy feels like.
Some of us, however, are not stuck at home but wish we were. Work is overflowing with stress and activity. We can’t keep up with the demand of it all. We’d give anything for a day off, but that’s just not possible right now. Every day we’re putting our own health and lives on the line to keep things going and moving forward. For our families and for others. Our face masks have become our friends, and the sparse ‘thank yous’ we receive every now and then keep us going.
We see sadness, death, devastation. Grocery store shelves are empty. Toilet paper is non-existent. People are arguing on social media. Hospitals are full. The curve isn’t flattening. The death toll is rising.
How on earth can we appreciate anything right now?
Can we just pause a moment? To stop what we’re doing for a few seconds to catch our breath? To lift our eyes to what’s around us? And, to appreciate the little things we notice? Surprisingly, even in the devastation, we can continue to appreciate life. We are here. We are alive. And because we are, we have much to appreciate.
No one said we’d have an easy life. In fact, many times in the Bible we’re told life will have it’s challenges and hardships. I’d say this season is one of those challenges. Wouldn’t you? But, Paul encourages us to continue to give thanks and appreciation, in the midst of all circumstances of life. Take a look:
And in the midst of everything be always giving thanks, for this is God’s perfect plan for you in Christ Jesus.1 Thessalonians 5:18 TPT
Giving thanks isn’t just for the month of November, however. It’s God’s perfect plan for us every single day of our lives.
So, let’s step back and appreciate life right where we are today.
Sometimes it’s in the stepping back that we see life in a different perspective. That pesky dandelion that comes back each year now has taken on a new kind of beauty. Similarly, that sunrise that forces you squint on the way to work now makes you want to pull over to snap a photo of it. Your child’s never-ending “whys” that often get on your nerves are somehow today a precious reminder of how special your child is. And likewise, that annoying co-worker. Well, today you see her as one who is struggling with her own secret battles, and you silently pray for her.
When we appreciate the little things, we are appreciating life. When we step out of our comfort zones, we are appreciating life. And when we thank God for every single blessing, we are appreciating life. There are numerous ways we can appreciate life, even as we quarantine. For instance, I thought of 50, and I’m sharing them below. (Feel free to add more in the comments.)
50 Ways To Appreciate Life While Distancing
- Completing one more rep in your exercise routine.
- Read a book you’ve been putting off.
- Try a new recipe.
- Tweak a current recipe to jazz it up or make it healthier.
- Notice the beauty of a dandelion.
- Stop to smell a flower.
- Plant a garden.
- Plant a tree of remembrance of this season.
- Go on a picnic lunch, even by yourself.
- Sit outside and breathe in the fresh air.
- Fly a kite.
- Teach yourself a new skill.
- Bake cookies and safely take some to your neighbors.
- Organize a drawer.
- Play a board game.
- Read your Bible.
- Sing out loud with the radio.
- Go for a drive and roll the windows down.
- Do something that terrifies you (safely, of course).
- Take a long walk.
- Take a bubble bath.
- Call a friend and remind her how special she is to you.
- Mail a card to someone who is on your heart.
- Go live on Facebook and encourage the world with your voice.
- Begin writing that book you’ve always wanted to write.
- Fix something that’s broken in your home or car.
- Start a blog.
- Take a nap.
- Turn up the praise music in your home.
- Start a Bible reading plan on WordGo or YouVersion.
- Go for a bike ride.
- Have a water balloon fight with your husband and/or children.
- Organize a car parade for someone’s special day and parade by his/her home.
- Send flowers to someone just because.
- Ask someone how you can pray for him/her. Then do it.
- Take a moment to look around and thank God for everything.
- Journal your thoughts and experiences.
- Write your spouse/significant other a love letter.
- Write your children a love letter and remind them how special they are.
- Bake something from scratch.
- Get the crayons or sidewalk chalk out and color your world.
- Go for a hike.
- Clean your car.
- Memorize Psalm 91.
- Sit and do nothing.
- Eat a meal outside.
- Open a window in the morning and listen to the singing of the birds.
- Tell someone today what God has done in your life.
Now, it’s your turn. How are you appreciating life today?
What can you add to this list? This is just a start… certainly there’s many more ways we can appreciate life. Consequently, after I finish writing this, I’m going to do number 21. I’m going to take a long walk and breathe in the fresh spring air after yesterday’s rain.
God bless you, friend. Go out and appreciate life in your own special way today. And share this with another who could use some encouragement to do the same.
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