Amber Waves of Grain

Amber Waves of Grain

Thursday, April 9, 2020

Holy Week Thoughts

In our public personas, we often wear masks. Unlike the masks that are becoming part of the national news as Americans battle Covid-19, these masks are invisible. But they, too, filter out bits of our life. 

We're asked, "How are you?"
And we say, "Fine."

And even if we're the one asking, deep down, we may hope the response from the other person will be "Fine."

It's less messy that way.
In the last week or so, I've admitted to a few friends that I have moments of struggle during this unsettling time. And every single one of them has said, "I'm so glad you said that. I feel that way, too."'
The ripples from this world pandemic even reach to remote locations like The County Line. I know I am blessed beyond measure. Even if I weren't able to go to the grocery store, we could survive a long time, using up pantry and freezer items. Eventually, we might miss fresh veggies and fruits, but we'd be fine.

As farmers, our job is deemed essential. In reality, much of our daily routine hasn't changed. My kids have all kept their jobs and are working from home. They are facing different challenges, trying to combine full-time jobs with keeping an 8-year-old and 5-year-old focused on at-home learning. My immediate and extended family are well.

I have an internet connection - though I'd certainly like it to be faster. My cell phone works - at least most of the time. 

And though I can get along fine in a group setting, I am an introvert at heart. In these days of limited human contact, that character trait can be a blessing, too. I'm sure these restrictions are much harder on extroverts who thrive on socialization. 

However, as an empath, I have decided to limit my news watching. One sister would tell you that even "Little House on the Prairie" could have me in tears back in the day. OK, if I'm really honest, there are commercials that can accomplish that. So watching real life suffering is overwhelming. It's better for my mental health to distance myself from the avalanche of sad images.

Since that's my "normal" setting, this Covid-19 crisis can be crushing. I can only take small doses. But I've found that nature can be an antidote for those moments.

Last Sunday was like that. Even though we joined our church via Facebook Live, I missed the face-to-face interaction. We Zoomed with Jill's family and Brent. But when we disconnected from the video and audio feed, I felt the weight of that disconnection in my bones.

Later, we watched the ACM's "Our Country" special. As always, music causes emotions to bubble to the surface for me. It was time for a change of scenery. Thankfully, as I looked out the front door, I decided a sunset excursion was just what I needed. Randy suggested driving into the Peace Creek pasture.

As we bumped our way toward the creek, I was hoping the old pickup wouldn't rattle apart. Why not add another worry to the list, right? But the shake, rattle and roll was worth it when we got to the water and looked to the western sky. 
Yes, those images of hospital tents are real.
The convention centers transformed into triage units are real.
Families interacting with the sick and lonely through a pane of glass are real.
Our Easter celebrations won't happen with our kids or church family. That is reality, too.

But so is the beauty of God's world. And when the "realness" of this situation overcomes us, it's probably time to take a breath and look Up .... for more reasons than the scenery.

The Stafford community was supposed to have Holy Week services this week. Through the efforts of my friend, Linda Hiebert, a series of #ShareHope specials have been launched. I've linked them to our church's Facebook page, Stafford First United Methodist Church, and to my own Facebook page (Kim Moore Fritzemeier) so you can find them there. (Send me a friend request on Facebook. I'll be your friend.) I've linked one to this post to whet your appetite.

Give them a listen. I will share a song, illustrated with my photography, in Holy Saturday's installment. Check back with me then.
I am leaving you with a gift--peace of mind and heart. 
And the peace I give isn't like the peace the world gives. 
So don't be troubled or afraid.
-- John 14:27

A Time to Think

Flowers grow out of dark moments.
–Sister Mary Corita Kent, artist and educator

A Time to Act

Change your thoughts and change your life.

A Time to Pray

Dear God, help me always to see beyond my fears to the beauty of Your creation.
The words in blue are from my daily Guideposts email devotional, with my photos added.



Here are the other links: https://youtu.be/ssmi9aVKA9k - Pianist Denise McNickle Bullock plays her own mashup of "Leaning on the Everlasting Arms" and "Lean On Me."

https://youtu.be/2IpsVtI6dTs - Singer Janet Hardin accompanied by Linda Hiebert sings "He Is Faithful."

https://youtu.be/Rz7Pz6YihrM - Judy Mays tells the story of "It Is Well With My Soul," accompanied by Linda.

https://youtu.be/mXnU2OxO3Xg - Shelly Berens accompanied by Linda sings "My Tribute."

10 comments:

  1. Lovely photos! Really kind of crazy here at work and I really appreciate the moments of peace you provided. I'll be sure to head over to youtube later tonight or tomorrow and check out the links.

    Thanks and Happy Easter (we must try)!

    Terri Dunning

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    1. I am glad to know that you could find a bit of peace. And even though Easter will be different, it's still coming. Happy Easter to you, too!

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  2. Replies
    1. I'm hoping you find other moments that lift you up, even in these uncertain times. Easter blessings!

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  3. Thank you, Kim for these uplifting thoughts. When our son was little, his Sunday school teacher taught him to thank God for the friendsI haven’t met yet. I look forward to the day when we meet face to face. God bless you and Randy.

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    1. I love that sentiment about friends. I, too, look forward to meeting you in person. Blessings to you and your family!

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