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Minimalism from a Biblical Point of View —

Biblical Minimalism© is "a complete, whole-person release of anything unlike Jesus, a letting go of everything that hinders us from following Him wholeheartedly and single-mindedly, and a relinquishing of all that brings us under bondage to this earthly, very temporary life." Cheryl E. Smith

Tuesday, March 17, 2020

Seven Productive Ways to Stay Positive During Coronavirus "Lockdown"

"Redeeming the time, because the days are evil."
Ephesians 5:16


If ever Ephesians 5:16 rang true to me, it is now, in these troubled, chaotic times.  Another supporting verse says, "Walk in wisdom toward them that are without, redeeming the time."  Colossians 4:5  

"Redeeming" in the original Greek means "to buy up, ransom, to rescue from loss."  

I don't know how it is where you live, but where we are, things are sort of screeching down to a halt.  It almost feels eerie, as most people are staying in and avoiding public places as much as they possibly can.  It is just good common sense and "walking in wisdom" to do that right now.  

My heart goes out to those who are sick and especially to those who have lost loved ones.  Not only from the Coronavirus, but from the flu and many other diseases and causes.  Our world is in such a state of fearful chaos.  It is all so incredibly sad.  I am often reminded of Jesus' words in Luke 21:26 describing what things will be like in these end times, "Men's hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth: for the powers of heaven shall be shaken." 

As the threat of illness becomes more and more pronounced, I believe we will find ourselves spending even more time inside our homes.  Instead of viewing this as a negative downside, why not "redeem" this precious time and view this situation as an opportunity to focus on being productive, positive, and proactive in accomplishing things we may have been putting off, due to busy schedules that kept us outside the home?  Here are some suggestions to "rescue this time from loss."  

1.  Minimize!  Think about a drawer, closet, crate/container, cupboard, or surface area in your home that is a continual source of stress for you, and start there.  What about it makes it stressful?  Is it a messy area?  Does it make you feel ashamed when outsiders enter your home and see it?   Clear away everything you don't want, need, use, or love from that area.  Put those items in a box, remove it from the room, and store it somewhere out of sight, preferably a garage or basement or shed.  If you don't think about the items during the course of a month or so, get the box out of your home, into the trunk of your car, and delivered to an outside destination.

2.  Make that phone call you've been putting off.  You know, the one you never quite get around to.  Maybe you know it will be a long-winded one, so you never have enough time to devote to it.  Perhaps you know it will be emotionally draining, so you keep avoiding it.  Now is the opportune time to pick up the phone and dive in.  Give that person your full, unlimited attention.  Make them feel they are the only person in the world.  Listen to them and hear them out for as long as they need to talk.  You just never know how much they may need you or what it might mean to them to know you care enough to make them a priority.  Just do it.

3.  Fill out that card you've felt prompted to send.  You know, the one you bought a while back with a particular person in mind, but just never got around to exerting the energy required to let your pen convey your heart.  We are so used to doing everything online and through a keyboard, we are losing the beautiful art of handwritten communication.  You don't know what may be going on in that recipient's world, and going to their mailbox and finding your heartfelt words may be just the shot of courage they need to keep pressing on.  Put aside your laptop, and go fill out that card.

4.  Finish that project you've never had time to work on.  You know, the one that nags at you each time you look at it.  It's time to shush the nagging voice and face it head on.  Dig in and do a little at a time until you are completely finished.  Imagine the feeling of relief and accomplishment you will feel to know you have seen it through to its fruition. 

5.  Spend that quality time you've been intending to spend.  Let's face it.  Marital relationships drift apart when they are neglected.  Children grow up way too fast.  Shower them all with love and unrivaled attention.  Put away electronics, and play a board game as a family.  Set aside time to sit in your child's room and listen to them talk about what's going on in their life.  Work a jigsaw puzzle together.  What a great opportunity to cook a homemade from scratch meal, try out a new recipe, or make your family's favorite dessert!

6.  Clean that area that has been far too long neglected.  Few things are more rewarding than to know that a spot in your home has been deep cleaned, and not too many things can make you feel more productive.  Now that you have some extra time cooped up inside, break out the cleaning supplies, and get to work!

7.  Draw near to God.  Redeem the time by spending it in His Word and in fervent prayer.  There is SO much to pray about and so many to pray for.  My dear Mom used to tell me that prayer is a long-range weapon, and even though you may not be able to get out and about to visit and/or be of service to others, you can pray right where you are at any time, day or night.  God is listening, and sometimes He has to pull us aside to get our attention.

May He send comfort to each one of your hearts during these troubled times.  Remember this—HE is in complete control, and He will always be.  Be still and acknowledge that He is God.  Nothing has ever surprised Him, including COVID- 19.  He is bigger than even this.  Trust Him, and know that He will never leave nor forsake you.  I am praying for each one of you as I type these words.  Many blessings to you all!

18 comments:

  1. Dear friend, this is such a good list of ways to redeem this time. I have a few projects I want to complete since the girls are not staying with me. Schools are closed, so our teacher daughter-in-love is home. I miss keeping the littles, they bring so much joy. In the midst of this pandemic, I came down with a horrible cold, hope to feel better by tomorrow. Take care of your family and yourself.

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    1. Aw, I know you must miss them so terribly! I am SO sorry to know that you have come down with a cold. May Jesus lay His healing hand upon you speedily! Just a suggestion, but we are finding that liquid ionic zinc is really, really helpful in shortening the duration of a cold. I order ours from Good State, and there are coupons online. I hope this helps! God bless you, sweet friend.

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  2. Good stuff Cheryl. Take care sweet lady. Hugs and blessings, Cindy

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    1. Thank you, sweet friend! You take care, too, and may God keep you and all your dear family safe and healthy. Many hugs and blessings to you, too!

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  3. Thank you for putting this list together Cheryl. All are great ways to use this unexpected time. I'm pretty much of a hermit during the week anyway, so my daily life hasn't changed a lot. It's just the midweek Bible study and church gatherings that I'm missing already.
    I am praying constantly for this world in which we live. The song that has been running through my mind constantly for the last week or so is "This world is not my home, I'm just a passin through, my treasures are laid up, somewhere beyond the blue. The angels beckon me from Heaven's open door and I don't feel at home in this world anymore." It's always in my mind and in my heart. Whatever happens here, I know who I belong to and where I'm going.
    Blessings always,
    Betsy

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    1. Being a hermit is a wonderful thing, I think! I know you miss your church so terribly, and I hope the day will soon come when you can go back again and be with your friends and loved ones. YES, praise God, this world is NOT our home, and oh, what a day it will be when this is all over, and we are with Jesus for eternity! I think He is trying His utmost to get our eyes off this very temporary life and lift our heads and remember that our redemption draweth nigh! That is a dear, old song to cling to in these trying times. Yes, dear friend, we surely do know where we are going, and we don't have to be afraid. God's got this - all of it. Praying much for you and sending hugs!

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  4. Sound and wise advice, sister. My world isn't shutting down, just changing venues! This is gong to change how business is conducted and continue to push the changing nine to five workplace.

    Our Father either causes or allows all things. His will is perfect and we're to revere Him more than we do anything in the world He created and He sustains...

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    1. Thank you so much, brother. I love your attitude and the way you worded that. You are so right - He does allow it all or cause it. So, what do we have to fear? He is OUR Father, so He loves us with an undying, unconditional love, and He winnows our path, only leaving in what is best for us. Your perspective is right on point - we aren't to revere anything He creates, we are to revere HIM. I think He is really trying to get that point across to this materialism-obsessed world. God bless you and keep you and your family safe and free from sickness!

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  5. Good ideas... my goal will still be to sell things, if I can, to help make ends meet... and help my husband pay the mortgage and bills for our family... I won't be wasting time, yet will be too busy with the current emergency to enjoy the "down" time though I will be thankful and make that "down" time work and honoring to God...I am leaning on the Lord for His provision and determined to trust Him and His plan in such terrible times. What would any of us do without God??!!! Praying for you.

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    1. Bless your dear heart, I am surely praying for you and believing God to see you and your family through and supply every need according to His riches in glory. I do NOT know what any of us would do without God. OH, my, I shudder to even think of it. Where would we turn? Who would comfort us? How could we know what to do in such perplexing, trying times? I am so grateful for your prayers and will continue praying for you, dear friend.

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  6. Oh, this is so good. For me,it's reorganizing my master bathroom! My makeup table looks like its been in a war zone.

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    1. Thank you so much, sweet friend! I know how it feels to have something look like a war zone! LOL! So thankful for the extra "spare" time to get caught back up with everything. I can't stand a mess for very long at all. :)

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  7. Good ideas. I would add, start your garden!

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    1. Thank you, Willow! Oh, that is a wonderful addition to this list! YES! To be outside and enjoying the spring weather and planting a garden - that sounds like an amazing idea to me! God bless you and keep you and yours safe and healthy!

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  8. Hi Cheryl, blessings to you today. This is a great list. We are all adjusting. Our governor here in Michigan just issued a shelter in place order today. Everything is turned upside down. But Jesus Christ is the same today yesterday and forever. So thankful we can trust Him.
    I had been thinking of shutting my blog down, but couldn't quite do it. But I am back, and glad to be so. A perfect opportunity to encourage each other, like you're doing. xo Deborah

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    1. Hi, Deborah! It was so nice to hear from you! I am thankful you are safe and glad you decided to keep blogging. Yes, it is a wonderful way for us to band together and encourage one another in these troubled times! May the Lord bless and keep you, sweet friend.

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  9. Hi Sweet Friend! These are all wonderful suggestions for redeeming the time that we find ourselves in right now. I'm someone that doesn't like things hanging over her head, so this time in lockdown should take care of that! ;-)

    I saw a funny quote today that resonated with me,lol. "I used to think that I never cleaned the house because I didn't have the time to. Now I see that wasn't the problem." Haha.

    Sending you love and blessings,

    Karen

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    1. I love the quote you shared! We have to look for the humor, don't we? Sending much love and many blessings back to you, sweet friend!

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