What We Can’t Do Versus What We Get To Do

by | Apr 2, 2020 | #open2020, Real Life

As April began yesterday, I crossed off more things and activities I already had scheduled on my April calendar. That activity alone felt strange. Again, for the second month. And as I did, I found myself saddened by the reality of another month of distancing. Another month of isolation. Another month of staying home. Goodness, really?? I understand, truly, I do. The experts say social distancing is the thing that’s going to help stop this pandemic. I’m all for that! I’m all in. But, this extrovert found herself really struggling yesterday. Until I had a conversation with someone who helped me switch my thinking from can’t do to get to do.

get to do :: have the opportunity to do something

What We Can't Do Versus What We Get To Do

What do I get to do now?

I love it when another helps me see things from a different angle, from a different view. A handful of people in my life continually help me think outside the box. She’s one of them. I can’t recall her exact words, but regarding my more open schedule, she said something like, “Well, what do you get to do now?” What do I get to do? I don’t know. I know what I can’t do, but I hadn’t thought about what I get to do.

Sure, there’s a long list of things I can’t do anymore due to social distancing (I like to call it physical distancing), hence my empty calendar. I won’t share the full list here, however, because that’s just depressing. But, really, there’s a whole new list of things I get to do. This new list can contain activities/actions/adventures that I’ve either not had the time to do, was never forced to do, or never chose to do. And truly, I may never have this unique opportunity to function from this list again in my lifetime.

I decided yesterday it was time to make and appreciate this new list.

This get to do list. (I’m a list person. Are you??) It’s interesting, the items on this list have a way of pressing into my calling, into activities that I enjoy doing, into the gifts and talents God has given me. I’m in the process of already doing some of them. Such as I get to support my husband in ways I’ve not been able to before. I get to slow my full life down a few mph and be intentional about what activities I’m called to do. I also get the gift of connecting with people in alternate ways through phone calls, texts, emails, snail mail, and through Zoom video calls. (A woman from Scotland joined our Coffee and Conversation call last week! How fun is that?! )

Another thing I get to do is to write. Every day. And this brings me incredible joy. I’m a happier person when I get to string sentences together in this space! And maybe the biggest thing of all, I get to trust God in ways I have never trusted Him before and get to live my faith in ways I’ve not lived before. This new list may be out of my comfort zone a bit, but it’s a good list, nonetheless!

So, friend, what do you get to do now?

It’s likely your situation is different from mine. Maybe you’re finding yourself in a completely different spot. Maybe you’re on the front lines and you get to do certain things you’ve never been given the opportunity to do until now. Or maybe your job is essential and you show up for work every day, determined to be a light in the workplace in spite of this pandemic. Or maybe you’re the mom who vowed you’d never home school your kids, yet here you are, waist-deep in math problems and science experiments, making a difference for your children. No, this time may not be easy. I’m not saying it’s going to be a walk in the park. We’re all just trying to find our way through this. Together.

I firmly believe what we do in this season will impact us in the next. When we change our focus from what we can’t do to what we get to do, something switches in our minds. We move from a negative outlook to a more positive one. Our attitudes, our perspectives, our words and actions change. We choose to make a difference instead of the difference making us. What we get to do is powerful, a privilege, and a provision to make an impact. And we’re all called to do that.

So, even though we can’t meet for coffee in person, even though we are keeping our distance from one another, and even though we can’t do the things we’re used to doing, we have other things we can do. Things that we get to do. Things we’re called to do, and things that make a lasting impact… for our growth, for the good of others, and for God’s glory.

God bless you, friend. Stay the course and take care of you and yours.

Much love,

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  1. Theresa Mullvain

    this distancing lets me be–not feeling guilty because i like being home and by myself. i can do or not do as i want. this is something i could never do when i was working.
    and now we pray. my daughter in law is a lab tech in a hospital/clinic setting. one of the patients she drew from this week has tested positive.

    • Julie Lefebure

      No guilt, Theresa. I understand how being home is a gift! I pray for your daughter-in-law today as well. Lord, please protect her and all who serve You and others in the medical field. Bless you, Theresa!

    • Cindy

      Theresa, I’m keeping all those on the front line like your daughter in my prayers.

  2. Cindy

    It’s so interesting how God has created us all to be different! I am more like Theresa in that I kinda feel less pressure because I like my quiet stay at home life but under normal circumstances, feel guilty because I think others wouldn’t approve. So in this unusual time I can bake a little, think a little, write a little, watch my birds a little, or do whatever little I want and I don’t let worry or guilt have a say. I have been praying for all those who are struggling with a slower life. I know it must make this situation so much worse. I’m glad you can find things you can do Julie and for your sake, I hope this is all over sooner rather than later!

    • Julie Lefebure

      God is using this time to refine me, and I’m grateful for it. Even though I’d rather be on the go. I don’t want to waste this time or look back, realizing I missed it. No guilt, my friend! It’s a gift you are able to do what you’re doing. I’m rejoicing with you. Enjoy all those special things!


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