As the world begins to open back up after the pandemic, Claire McGarry ponders how she wants her life to look.
As things slowly open back up from the pandemic, I've been thinking a lot about how I want this next chapter of my life to look. I don't want to jump back into the crazy-busy life I led before. Quarantine, and its slower pace, have taught me a lot. I want to implement those lessons, and be intentional with my time going forward.
One thing that will remain on my list will be quality time spent with my family. We did so many fun activities and games that drew us closer together. I don't want to lose that. Yet, when I think about all the energy it's going to take, I wonder: Where did all that energy come from during Quarantine? Dwelling in that question has revealed a lot.
When the pandemic first hit, I was working two days a week and writing my book on the other three. Knowing I wasn't capable of writing an entire book on my own, I started going to the Adoration Chapel on my writing mornings. I'd sit in God's presence, listening for what He wanted me to write.
When I got laid off a few weeks later, I began going to Church five days a week. By then, both the Church and the Adoration Chapel were closed. So, I'd sit in my car, in the parking lot, drinking my coffee, having breakfast with God. Morning after morning, He'd flood me with His guidance while I frantically scribbled it down to capture it.
After going home, typing it all out, and editing every afternoon, I was amazed to find I still had plenty of energy left over. I'd use it for fun and games with my family in the evenings. I presumed the energy came from the extra sleep I was getting, or the less chaotic schedule I was keeping. In retrospect, I believe it was neither. It was from the quality time I was spending with God each morning.
Yes, I was going to Him for guidance in my writing, but Our God is a God of abundance. When He gives, He gives exceedingly. When He helped Jesus feed 5,000, He did so in excess, to the point of filling twelve baskets with leftovers after everyone ate their fill. When Jesus filled Peter's net with fish, He did so to the point of straining the net. They had to get another boat to haul the catch in.
Just like my book didn't come from my own insight and wisdom, I'm realizing now that that extra energy and creativity didn't come from me either. It was the additional fruit God blessed me with from my time with Him. It didn't matter that I never asked for it. He knew I wanted to distract my family from all the fear and uncertainty during that crazy time. So, He blessed me exceedingly.
Your fruitfulness comes from me. (Hosea 14:8d)
With this new awareness, part of my Post-COVID Strategic Plan will include "Breakfast with God." I'm excited to resume the concrete practice of going to Him in complete dependency. I'm also excited to discover the additional fruit I'm certain He'll bless me with.
Copyright 2021 Claire McGarry
Images (from top): Pixabay (2011); all others copyright 2020 Claire McGarry, all rights reserved.
About the Author
Claire McGarry is the author of the Lenten devotional "With Our Savior," published by Creative Communications for the Family/Bayard, Inc. and Grace in Tension: Discover Peace with Martha and Mary, to be published by Our Sunday Visitor in the fall of 2021. Her freelance work has appeared in various Chicken Soup for the Soul books, Focus on the Family magazine, Catechist magazine, These Days devotional, and Keys for Kids devotional. The founder of MOSAIC of Faith, a ministry with several different programs for mothers and children, she blogs at Shifting My Perspective.