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A Once-in-a-Lifetime Experience...

Several weeks ago the U.S. recognized that the Coronavirus that was in China was reaching onto our shores as well. This is a virus that those in the medical field have not seen before and they don’t know exactly how it acts. Last week started out as a “we’ll be careful and keep things clean” week and quickly turned into a “let’s close the shop so no one gets sick” week. Since we closed the shop on Wednesday I have felt a sense of unrest as each day passed. We’ve been told to wash our hands often and have had to sing songs to ourselves to make sure that we wash long enough for all the bacteria to be gone. We’ve been told to socially distance ourselves from each other, so many shops, like ours, have closed. Most people who don’t have to go to work are staying at home. Schools have closed. We can’t be together in large groups so churches have closed. So while we stay at home and don’t go anywhere…what are we to do all day long? Most people are relaxing and working puzzles, or taking walks, or doing things around the house that have been neglected. I, on the other hand, have been having a bit of a hard time functioning. We just went through being closed 2 months last year because of flooding. Now here we are again, having to be closed, for a pandemic.

So many questions keep coming to my mind. Like, however will our small business survive being closed if this pandemic lasts as long as it has in other countries? How will I be able to pay my rent, my employees, my utilities if I can’t bring in an income? How will I get my grandchild to Vanderbilt’s Children’s Hospital in early April with Middle TN being the worst part of the state? I’ve felt my anxiety rise with each day’s newscast. Everything feels so out of control.

And then one of my daughters posted this picture on Facebook. There are so many things right now that are beyond my control. But there are still things I can control. Like, I can control how long I sleep in the morning. I can control what I eat. I can control what knitting or crocheting project I want to work on today. I can control what I watch on TV. When I focus on those things, having a little time off sounds like it might be a good time to get that rest I’ve needed for some time. But if I let my mind start asking the “what if” questions, I feel myself spiraling again in a downward fashion.

Perhaps you’ve had similar feelings over the past week or so. I have decided that I am not going down without a fight. I will do whatever I need to do to bring in some money for the shop. I will be patience with my family members. I will do something productive each day. I will try and eat 3 meals a day, get a good night’s sleep, and take a walk as the weather allows. I will not worry about what is coming down the road. I will focus on today and be joyful and thankful for another day of life.

Starting this next week, our shop will still be closed. But some of the staff will be there several days a week to try and do phone orders. I’ve been working hard at getting the yarns and the colors we have in stock on our website so folks know what is available at our shop. We can ship things out and provide curbside service. We can still sell yarn. Hopefully, the sales will be enough to cover our expenses. I am already committed to paying the staff no matter what…because they are like family to me. Thankfully, we are at a rental space where the rent and utilities are lower than it was previously. For that, I can be very thankful.

I pray that what everyone is doing to “flatten the curve” is enough to cause this virus to stop spreading. I pray for my staff and customers every day that they will be safe and not get this virus. I pray that we will hear what God is trying to tell us. Maybe it’s to be kinder to one another. Maybe it’s to slow down and stop being so busy over things that have little importance in the long run. Maybe it’s just to trust in Him to provide for our needs and protect us from this virus. Whatever it is, I pray we will listen and make changes in our lives that bring more love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control into our lives. With these fruits of God’s Spirit, we will be able to have the strength to face each day with a smile on our face knowing that He is in control. Blessings to each and every one of you. Hope to see you again soon!

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