Halfway Through 2021, Is Your Life Back to Normal?
—Grace & Truth Linkup

We’ve passed the midpoint of 2021.

  • Where are you in your pandemic recovery?
  • Is your area still in lockdown?
  • Has your life returned back to normal already?

For me, I returned to the dentist for the first time this week (no cavities, whew). I’ve been eating inside restaurants again. And my book club has dropped our zoom connection and are connecting again in person.

But unfortunately, the covid infection rates have been trending upward, upward, upward again here. My home state of Alabama has the lowest vaccination rate in the United States (although we swap the title occasionally with Mississippi). Some people call it “faith over fear.” Others call it “craziness instead of common sense.”

But however you frame it (and the labeling from either side is rarely helpful or even accurate), the uptick in new cases via the Delta variant is a reminder that life is not back to normal yet for everybody, even in the United States.

Featured Post—8 Questions to Consider

Before we fly through the summer, Linda Stoll asks us to take a moment to reflect on what we’ve been through with the pandemic. And where God is leading us next.

Linda offers us “8 questions to consider in the presence of the Lover of our souls, the Holy One who numbers our days.”

Here are a few of my answers.

During the pandemic –

1. What did you yearn for?
For camaraderie, for peace, for safety.

3. What did you lose?
A sense of my innocence, that our country couldn’t get in agreement for concern over each other’s collective welfare ahead of our individual interests.

And now –

5. What’s stirring inside?
To bridge some divides. To let some of the forgotten people know they still matter. To continually seek God’s help to forgive individuals and groups that I’ve harbored grievances against.

8. Is God beckoning you toward ‘a new thing’?
Still unknown. . . .

Read all of Linda’s post here at her blog, then link up your own blog posts below.

WHAT’S NEXT? 8 QUESTIONS TO GET YOU READY TO ROLL

What’s life like for you now? Are you on the other side of the pandemic or are you still in the thick of it?

Share your thoughts in the comments.


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16 thoughts on “Halfway Through 2021, Is Your Life Back to Normal?
—Grace & Truth Linkup

  1. blankMichele Morin

    I also appreciated the moment of pondering with Linda’s post– and your answer (“still unknown”) jolted me into the awareness that this is a valid response. And it’s an embrace of trust in our good God.

  2. blankLinda Stoll

    Lisa, good morning! And thanks for sharing those 8 Questions post today. I agree with you and Michele … ‘still unknown’ is probably the most authentic response we can give at this point.

    And thats ok!

    1. blankLisaNotes Post author

      Thank YOU, Linda, for sharing these 8 questions. I answered them all this week as I pondered the past and looked ahead to the future. I feel like we have one foot in the pandemic mess and one foot out, so it can be unsteadying at times.

    1. blankLisaNotes Post author

      I’m with you on that, Barb. I am so excited to return to a movie theater at some point. Ours have all reopened, but we haven’t been back yet. I’m looking forward to eating the popcorn too, regardless of which movie we see. 🙂

  3. blankBarbara Harper

    I enjoyed Linda’s post, too. I don’t always stop to sift through experiences to see what God might want me to learn from them, but it’s a good practice. My answers to 3 and 5 would be much the same.

    1. blankLisaNotes Post author

      I’m often the same, not always sifting through the experiences. But I intentionally sat down with Linda’s questions and made myself give an answer to each one. My soul needed the pause and reflection.

  4. blankLynn D. Morrissey

    LISA, APOLOGIES! THIS IS A STREAM-OF-CONSCIOUSNESS OR CRAZYINESS POST! TAKE YOUR PICK! 🙂

    Thanks so much, Lisa. I read Linda’s post, which sounds like Journaling 101, if you will. I often use reflective questions in facilitating my journaling groups. That’s so important. And it also reminds me of Ps. 139, where David asks the Lord to search his soul. I wrote a piece about the pandemic for a mid-year “Christmas” newsletter. I send them annually, but due to health challenges for both Mother and me, I wasn’t able to write one for the past two years. So I’m catching up readers now and will write again in time for Christmas. A central theme of the current newsletter is pandemic pandemonium, the good, the bad. Yes, there were many good blessings we experienced midst the sorrow. But I would simply ask: What is normal? I hardly know. If it means returning to life as it was pre-pandemic, I’m not so sure it was *all* wonderful or worthy of a rerun. Maybe it would be wise for us to sift through the detritus and treasures of our lives more often before some disaster strikes–to keep what is worth keeping, and with a breath of release, blow the rest away. I know I don’t want to return to all of it, and some things, like seeing friends and family–and for goodness sake, a dinner out–are welcomed delights. As for the former, we have done that with those vaccinated. As for the latter, not yet. I’m weary of how the virus is escalating yet again, primarily because people who could, won’t get vaccinated (the vast majority of the COVID-infected are now unvaccinated, including children and teens). I do understand hesitancy (I’m that way about new meds), but if people research this from *proper* medical sources, I think they’d be pleasantly surprised how do-able vaccines are (and how God has blessed our country with an abundance of them just for the asking)! With those whose refusal is political, stubborn, or willfully ignorant, I have no patience. And it disturbs me that they care little about the poor, overworked health care front-liners who risk their very lives, and by turn, their families, to care for the sick and dying. And if the anti-vaxxers get sick, I wonder if they wouldn’t expect stellar hospital treatment. And it’s not nice that our own city is now treating COVID patients, unvaccinated, most, who are beginning to burgeon in our city hospitals because their outlying hospitals in small towns are overrun by the unvaccinated. If things proliferate here, then where will our residents go if our hospital beds are filled to overflowing by the unvaccinated around the state? It’s all a mess, frankly, Lisa. I’m so grateful that our professional Bach chorus has just decided to require vaccines for singing this autumn (our first time in two years). Okay, enough! Climbing down off my holier than thou soapbox, grabbing a pen and journal, and answering the wonderful questions you shared!
    Stay safe in Alabama, while we attempt the same in Missouri (another anti-vaxxer state, as a whole). And after I journal, I’m calling our governor! Maybe he deserves one of my soapbox orations! 🙂
    xo
    Lynn

    1. blankLisaNotes Post author

      You know I always appreciate your stream-of-consciousness comments, Lynn. 🙂 Your own question is a primary one: What is normal? I hardly know either. Life pre-pandemic might have been what we were used to, but was it “normal,” whatever that means? There are definitely a few things I do not want to return to as well. Even as some of the “normal” things return, I’m not buying into them again. This is definitely a time in our lives and in the world to take a good hard look at everything and evaluate not only what we’re doing, but who we are and who we want to become. May the Lord help us every one! Love you, Lynn!

  5. blankJean Wise

    I don’t think we ever will return back to where we were before. Yet it does feel good to be doing some more normal things. But that anxiety about the “what if’s” lingers in my mind as numbers rise again.

    1. blankLisaNotes Post author

      I think you’re right, Jean: we’ll never go back to where we were. I suppose that every year anyway. Each year brings different things. 2020 just happened to be an extreme example of that. And hopefully a year that won’t be repeated any time soon!

  6. blankJoanne Viola

    I so appreciated both you and Linda in sharing. While it has felt good to have some normalcy again, the uptick has me concerned. But more so, I am saddened at the lack of compassion and respect which so many are lacking. I pray daily for peace as we all face the unknown. I am grateful our Lord is with us and knows all things for nothing is unknown or hidden from Him.

    1. blankLisaNotes Post author

      The uptick is bothering me, too, Joanne. I still have several relatives who have resisted getting the vaccine. I’m not as concerned about the younger ones (although I’m concerned about them too), but the older ones could be in serious danger. 🙁 Yes, were it not for the Lord, I would have little peace at all.

  7. blankLynn

    Since the pandemic I’ve witnessed a lot of division among groups that once were cohesive. From media sources, my country, Canada, has surpassed other countries with the vaccination rates, however I personally know people who still do not trust vaccination is the right route to go. I miss the community cohesiveness pre-pandemic, and pray we will find a way to not continue division and instead come together again. And I appreciated Linda’s reflections too!

    1. blankLisaNotes Post author

      I’m right there with you, Lynn! I miss the pre-pandemic cohesiveness, too. I know it wasn’t perfect then either, but it was a lot more unified than now. 🙁 Praying with you that we find a way to come together again.

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