Back To Work After A 6 Month Quarantine

Six Months Without Working

I am an in home pediatric care tech for a little girl with special needs. I genuinely love my job. But I also spent the last 6 months being a stay-at-home mom (to a dog & a new puppy) and running the home while on my own schedule. My man would go to work, I would clean, do laundry, go grocery shopping, run errands, crate train, potty train, garden, etc. For six months I was in a let’s play wife bubble. And it. was. glorious! For the most part, there were also moments that my mental health struggled with the copious amounts of time.

how Did I survive My First Week Back?

Lots and lots of Coffee and copious amounts of grace. It was also an easier than expected transition. Waking up earlier than normal wasn’t terrible. I think I was more excited to get up and have somewhere to go!

In all actuality there was a lot of grace from myself and from my boss. My job can be demanding, and I always need to be on my A-game. But I am allowed some grace when forgetting specific routines and schedules. And I just had to keep more notes than normal, especially when it comes to the medication schedule.

Tips & Tricks

  • Meal prep so you have an exciting and filling lunch to look forward to
  • Take fun and healthy snacks to nosh on
  • On your way to work list what you’re grateful for, you have a job & income
  • If you’re able to listen to music while working make a killer playlist
  • Go into it with a positive attitude
  • Get new scrubs or work clothes you’ll be excited to wear

Where is God?

Most days I ask myself where is God in all of this?

Well I just haven’t been looking very hard for Him because He is everywhere. He is in every single detail. He works through my boyfriend. He works through my pastor. He calls to me on the days where I’m unable to crawl off the couch and He comforts me. He is always there. Always.

So where is God in all of this? Just look around.

People Person

I have always considered myself an introvert. Social situations have always drained me, and being by myself or with my man recharges me. On a good day I would call myself an ambivert…like a very good day.

ambivert
[ˈambəˌvərt]

NOUN
psychology
a person whose personality has a balance of extrovert and introvert features

But something’s changed…this quarantine has changed me. We are officially in the yellow phase (can I get a whoop whoop?) and that means the start of gathering once more. I met up with a friend yesterday at the lake, and this morning at another friend’s house, and then again this afternoon outside at a coffee shop. I’m energized and excited for life.

What happened to me? Have I just been so deprived of human interaction that I’m absorbing all social interaction I can get my hands on? Will this subside? Will I go back to being an introvert? Who knows. All I know is I’m happy and I love people. I don’t actually feel depressed right now. And I’m ready to see some more friends. Gasp…have I become a …. people person? As of right now I think that answer is a big fat YES.

This is exciting news. My prayer is that this continues.

The Joy of the Lord

I can only describe this time as bittersweet. Today marks 77 days since my last day at work and my heart aches for my little one I take care of. I miss everything about being a pediatric care tech and am counting the seconds until I can return to work.

I miss normalcy. I miss teaching preschoolers on Sunday mornings. I miss meeting with the students on Sunday nights. I miss going out for coffee with my friends. I miss going out with my man after a long work week and just staring into each other’s eyes over a candlelit dinner (yeah yeah…we can still do this, but our dog isn’t the best waiter). I miss the mundane and I miss the crazy. There are so many things I took for granted that I completely ache for now.

But I am so ridiculously blessed. I haven’t personally lost anyone in this pandemic, but I know so many who have. Financially, I am struggling in this time of being laid off, but God has abundantly provided every time I have needed. Mentally, I am hanging in there, I’m blessed with a “team” of support when it comes to my mental health so my heart goes out to those who are feeling the depths of depression during this time. I pray that they are being supported and loved during this trying time.

Joy has been found in the Lord across the world in this pandemic. My students are flourishing in their own personal walks with God. They are encouraging one another, they are taking to social media to hold virtual Bible studies, and they are sending cards and flowers to those who need it. They are thriving and they are creative in their own personal study of the Word. I am so proud of each and every one of them for how amazingly they are handling their senior year of high school. I have seen my preschool parents post the fun things their kiddos are doing, from climbing trees, to making posters to hang out of their cars for a drive-by birthday party, to making their parents breakfast in bed. My friends and I are doing check-ins with each other…just to let each other know we are here and we are praying for one another. So many virtual hugs and “coffee vibes” have been sent out. Relationships are being built stronger than ever before. I am seeing God in all of this. I am seeing Him work in ways I haven’t seen before and that is so encouraging.

The church is not a building. The church is people continuing the ministry of Christ. The church is people reaching out those who need a conversation. The church is meals being delivered. The church is drive-by conversations held 6 feet apart with masks on. The church is responding to this time in such a beautiful way that only God could orchestrate. And I’m blown away.

So continue to spread the joy of the Lord during this time, it is so very needed.

We’re All in This Together

Our current situation is rather unique, as in we are all dealing with this global pandemic together in one way or another. Instead of bickering and clinging to our own opinions we should all be working together to seek truth and comfort.  As Christians we are not called to be gullible and easily fooled. We are called to be truth seekers filled with discernment. While social media is abundantly saturated in a never-ending stream of conspiracy theories, we need to be seeking the truth. We need to be seeking out reputable sources, sources that do not completely obliterate the government. We need to seek sources that are truthful and abstain from engaging and sharing in theoretical and nonsensical garbage. We need to believe the best.

Empathy, love, care, and compassion have completely flown out the window. Instead, we are scarfing down and regurgitating whatever conspiracy morsel finds itself on our Facebook timelines or in our inbox. We are so caught up in catching the government in a mega scandal. Friends and family, I urge you to reconsider your hastiness in pressing the “share” button on a post to a news article link that is doing nothing but spreading misinformation and slander. Seek the truth from reputable sources. Sources like the CDC website.

What if instead of spreading lies, we pray? Pray for the techs, nurses, and doctors who are witnessing this pandemic first hand. Pray for all of those currently hospitalized, or fighting this at home quarantined from loved ones. Pray for every single person that has been effected by this pandemic. We need to remember that for a lot of people this is a devastatingly tragic time, where as for most of us, it is just an inconvenience. 

Fish Taco Bowls

Holy delicious batman.

Tonight’s dinner was fish taco bowls. I’ve been so excited for this meal since we wrote the meal plan and grocery list for the week. Nom!

2 Servings

25 Minute Total Time

Fish:

  • 2 Pieces of Cod (Rice & Cabbage recipes allow for up to 4 pieces of cod)
  • Olive Oil
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Like Juice
  • Soy Sauce

Rub everything onto the fish, cook in the oven for 15 minutes at 350.

Coleslaw:

  • 1/2 Green Cabbage
  • 1/2 Small Yellow Onion
  • 1/2 Cup Sour Cream
  • 1/4 Cup Mayo
  • 2 TBS Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 2 TBS Raw Honey
  • Lime Juice to taste
  • Salt
  • Pepper

Whisk together sour cream, mayo, ACV, honey, lime juice, salt, and pepper. Thinly slice the cabbage and onion. Toss into sour cream mixture. Set aside.

Rice:

  • 2 Cups of Rice
  • Cilantro
  • Lime Juice
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Garlic

When rice is almost done add in cilantro and seasoning.

Put everything in a bowl, top with green onions and avocado.

Enjoy!

Quarantine Breakfast

Let’s talk about something other than the negatives of this pandemic. Throwback to one of my favorite breakfasts as a kid…eggs in a basket. Which I’ve been making for myself with Ezekiel bread for breakfast in this quarantine. It is bittersweet to have this free time since I’ve been laid off.

What have been your favorite foods during your house bound days?

Distractions

I thrive in the demanding daily craziness and the distractions of my normal. My normal consists of working a demanding job, serving in student ministry and children’s ministry at my church, working one on one mentoring three young women, and running a young women’s ministry Bible study….oh and I am also in a very committed relationship to my amazing boyfriend who also works a demanding job and is in school full time.

I love my normal. It means I don’t need to think. I don’t have time to think. I don’t have time to sit down or eat or breathe. It’s a constant go go go.

This normal I claim to love so much and that I desperately cling to is not healthy. It isn’t healthy and it isn’t sustainable. In this normal I am stressed 24/7. I am relying on myself and not the Lord. And I’m never alone with myself. Working with my psych with my PTSD, anxiety, and myriad of other things I began to realize that I pack my schedule with these mentally and physically demanding tasks so I don’t have to feel. I don’t ever have to be alone with my feelings if I have a constant rotating door of distractions.

Five weeks ago I was laid off and since then I’ve been intentionally trying to begin healthy habits for my mental health. I haven’t been as successful as I would like to be, but I’m trying. I’m trying to be alone with myself. I am trying to cling to the Lord in the midst of a panic attack or the pit of depression. And even though I haven’t been 100% successful in my attempts, I’m just so glad I have begun this new journey of not drowning in distractions.

 

Socially Distant Blessings

Serving in student ministry has looked a little different since COVID-19 caused schools to shut down and life to shift. The butterflies of prom and the nervousness of graduation were replaced with a stay-at-home order and senior year dreams crushed. They are completely devastated. They are aware there are worse things going on in the world right now but this is a major time in their lives that they have all been looking forward to for years.

I figured I needed to do something to help sweeten this bitter time! I want so badly to hug all of my girls but I can’t. So I settled for video chats, phone calls, texts, and brownie deliveries. Hopefully this will all blow over by the summer and we can gather as a group to praise the Lord for keeping us healthy and safe during this time.