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Social Distancing: Beginning with the end in mind

Part One:

As I begin week two of living in isolation and keeping appropriate social distancing, I have come to the realization that I must stop spending excessive amounts of time on social media, stop looking around every corner for chocolate, and get up and move!

I am a self-proclaimed procrastinator and a self-declared list person.

I go to sleep with a list and wake up to a list. Because of my ADD tendencies I like to do things in small doable check boxes. I often set my phone alarm for 15 minutes and try to accomplish the next thing on my list. Of course, the best part for me, is checking off the boxes!

Start with the end in mind

Stepping into a new week, I realize that I need to start with the end in mind. When we get through this time of social distancing, when toilet paper and hand sanitizer return to the shelves, when this virus has taken its course and our government opens the doors for business to start back up, and people to reconvene their normal daily routines; what is it, that I will have wished I would have accomplished -during this time of isolation?

What kind of person do I want to be

when I come out the other side of Covid 19?

In these moments before jumping into a repeat of last week, I need to ask myself, what kind of person do I want to be when I come out the other side of Covid 19? Will I have greater compassion? Will my gratefulness factor have increased? Will I understand the sorrow of other nations who don’t have the medical care that mine does? Will I be a better neighbor? Will I have gained a deeper understanding of the job of our countries president and be more inclined to pray for him to have wisdom? Will I have spent more time in prayer and understanding the Word of God?

For me, the list person, this list has consumed my thinking. So, with the end in mind I have begun to think of the heart of the matter as it pertains to me. What kind of person do I want to be at the end of Covid 19? An anxious one who fretted and complained her way through this horrific outbreak, or one who trusted God and found that her heart was grateful for all that she had?

What is God asking of me?

After I look at the heart of the matter, I begin to look at the person I can be for others. How can I become the hands and feet to those in need or those who are truly feeling isolated, lonely and flat our anxious? What is God asking of me during this time?

Looking inward at my heart, and outward to my immediate community I see that both align well with my gift of mercy; but as I look at my huge list that shouts out, “PROCRASTINATION!”, this is where I immediately stall out. It is easier to think of the needs of others, than for me to dive deeply into the things I need to do for my home, or even more so, for those visionary ideas that take time and effort and the hard task of thinking deeply. So, each day, after I look to the needs of my heart and the immediate needs of others, I need to dust off my list of procrastination.

My procrastination list is short; but each item requires some real work. These are the things that get written onto a new list when all the other shorter tasks are done. These are the things that I have postponed pretty much indefinitely. And in some cases, these are the things I have been created for; but as time goes on, I have lost my way and in some situations my vision has dimmed.

Accomplishing the things on my procrastination list is hard! Each of these line items take much more time than my general allotment of 15 minutes. These are the things that matter greatly to me and just admitting that, causes me to shut down; fearful that I won’t do what matters the most and do it well. You might call this fear of man. Fear of perfection. Fear that what matters to me won’t matter to others. If you thought of any of these, then you are correct in all your assumptions. It is easier for me to be the cheerleader coming alongside someone else’s dreams than to cheer myself on.

Someone posted that at the end of this time of isolation that we will have a rise in babies being born. Well, I would like to go public in saying that I would like to re-birth a project that has kept me stymied, stuck, shut down and completely stalled out for well over five long years.

Hope is living with the end in mind.

Carrie E. Wolfe

After I blow off the dust of this project and ask God for help, I will publicly share in future posts the progression of this revisited dream. I am sure there will be days that chocolate may be necessary or that I would much rather scroll on my social media feed; but with God’s help my vision for this project will return with every stroke of my paint brush.

Stay tuned to read about this personal vision as it becomes re-birthed.

Re-birth your vision  

In the re-birthing of my vision I want to take the courage to invite each of you to personally ask yourself:

During these long days of social distancing, quarantine or isolation, did I take the time to become deeper in love with God? Did I take the time to show more compassion to others? Did I take the time to do the hard work for something that really matters to me? OR …Did I only worry about the lack of toilet paper and hand sanitizer missing from my grocery shelves? Each of us has a choice.

And I encourage you to make your own choice with keeping the end in mind. Use this time to flourish! We may be isolated, but don’t stay insulated! I encourage you to get up and move in the direction of something you have been putting off. Imagine that you are standing at the end of Covid 19…what is it that you would like to have had happen in your heart, your care for others and your vision for yourself?

Re-birthing a vision takes courage, planning and doing the hard work to “work the plan!”

LINDA JANE DINGELDEIN: DIFFERENT BY DESIGN

PHOTOGRAPHY BY LINDA JANE DINGELDEIN

 

 

After twenty-five years as a missionary, Linda Jane is now entering a new ministry role as pastor’s wife; where she will serve alongside of her husband Joel, in Warren, Pennsylvania. The calling to serve Christ remains the same, as does her endeavor to reach women with the gospel message, and to teach them to live authentically out of who God created them to be. Linda's passion is communication through the spoken and written word, photography and illustration. She loves all things cultural, creative and colorful.

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