Our shelter-in-place order states that you can leave your home only for Essential Activities, Essential Governmental Functions, Essential Travel, to work for Essential Businesses, or to perform Minimum Basic Operations for non-essential businesses. I’ve found myself fluctuating quite a bit on what I have considered essential for myself and my family. At times it’s been the grocery store, walks, and weekly recording for worship. Nothing more. But then there are times when I find myself taking a very liberal interpretation of “essential.” Do I need to go to Ace Hardware to get CO2 canisters for my soda stream? Probably not. Do I need to pick up frisbees from Dick’s Sporting Goods contactless ordering? Definitely not.

Really, much of what I’ve grown accustomed to is non-essential. I am surrounded by luxury. And much as I have fluctuated on what I consider essential, I also fluctuate between lamenting our sheltering in place situation and giving thanks for the many gifts that surround me every day. And so, I’m working at holding both—gratitude and lament side by side.

Things that are difficult right now:
-The emotional rollercoaster that comes from being stuck in a house with the rest of my household.
-Not being able to sit at a coffee shop to work.
-Always being “at work” and never fully feeling like I’m “at work.”
-Feeling like I go to bed exhausted every night and wake up tired every morning.
-There are so.many.dirty.dishes.
-Everything and everyone annoys me.

Things I am grateful for right now:
-People I love who love me too.
-The opportunity to hug the people I live with.
-Netflix. Hulu. HBO. Wireless internet.
-Warm sunshiny days.
-Good meals made with love and shared with joy.
-Charcoal and gas grills.
-A garage office.
-Ice cold soda water, extra carbonated.

These are only a few of the things that come to mind. There are so many more. Both things to lament and things to give thanks for. And I’ll hold them together, knowing that the good does not eliminate the hard and that those things which are difficult do not mean there is nothing worth celebrating.

In Community,