I was chatting with a friend on the phone when I found out Northern California, where I live, had issued the strictest “shelter-in-place” order in the nation to combat the Coronavirus. I had taken a break from the news that afternoon, so I was caught off guard by the sudden change of events.
As I checked in with friends, I found out that grocery store shelves were empty and everyone was feeling the anxiety of uncertainty about an unseen threat whose reach was unknown.
In just a few weeks, our world has changed dramatically. COVID-19 has shut down huge cities and even major countries. Many of you might be reading this at home, unsure of when you’ll be going back to work or school. It is a time of uncertainty, but God does not want us to live in fear, even in such an unsettling time.
As people of promise and purpose, we can defuse panic and stress in our lives, as we walk through the realities of coronavirus.
To help, I am sharing 4 truths and 6 soul care tips to anchor your soul to God’s peace and simple actions to encourage your heart. Not only do we need our body’s immunity to stay healthy, we need to boost our soul’s immunity against discouragement with God’s peace and promise.
Before I share those tips, guess what I did the minute the “shelter-in-place” was issued? As God’s timing would have it, two Christian websites Crosswalk.com and iBelieve.com asked me to record a special podcast for them about the Coronavirus and share ways to restore calm & encourage believers! So, while others headed to the grocery stores, I was thinking of you and recorded this podcast! 🙂
Click below to listen. Then forward this newsletter to friends to encourage them! Thanks so much for helping spread the word!
1. I wasn’t anxious until I saw news of empty grocery shelves. How can I deal with my fear?
Although people are panic buying, experts say there is enough food. So, as you see shelves intermittently bare, awaiting shipment to restock, remind yourself that scarcity is no match for God’s promise to sustain you one day at a time.
When Elijah was sent to the widow at Zarapeth with only enough flour and oil for one meal left, God miraculously replenished her supply, one meal at a time. Soak in God’s promise to supply all your needs. Take one day at a time. His mercies are new every morning.
Truth from Scripture to Meditate On:
“This same God who takes care of me will supply all your needs from his glorious riches, which have been given to us in Christ Jesus.” – Philippians 4:19
Soul Care Tip #1: Pray a Breath Prayer
The minute we stress is a special opportunity to invite Jesus into our day and be refreshed. A powerful, simple way is to pray a breath prayer. Studies show deep breathing really does help trigger your body to relax. This contemplative prayer practiced by the early church will help you experience God’s peace and presence.
Breathe in, inhale with God’s name. Open your heart to Him — Jesus.
Breathe out, exhale your request or how you’re feeling. Let God touch you — Help me.
2. I can’t stop worrying. What are easy ways to restore calm and peace?
When I first heard the term “shelter-in-place”, it immediately reminded me that God is our refuge. Give yourself permission to put your worries to the side for the moment and do things that bring you joy, exercise, and rejuvenation.
While following safety guidelines to stay home to help our country and the immunity-vulnerable, don’t forget to go outside and enjoy the fresh air! This will be a welcome break for everyone in the family, for parents and kids underfoot – as well as single working professionals. Studies show people actually work harder and more intensely from home than at the office!
Truth from Scripture to Meditate On:
“God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in times of trouble. Therefore, we will not fear.” Psalms 46:1-2
Soul Care Tip #2: Take a 10-Minute Walk
Uncertainty triggers feelings of fear and stress. But research shows that just ten minutes of walking in nature refreshes you, boosting your mood and helping with anxiety, depression in schoolwork, work, and everyday life.
So, listen to Jesus. Do not worry about tomorrow. Look at the birds and the flowers – literally! Take a walk outside. You don’t even have to feel like it. Just put on your shoes and go. You will feel better!
Soul Care Tip #3: Listen to Music. Create a Playlist
It’s amazing how our God designed our bodies to heal. Music is used in therapy to help calm, comfort and alleviate pain. Scientists found that simply playing classical music as background ambiance significantly improves your mood by releasing dopamine, lowers blood pressure, and reduces anxiety because tempos resemble a restful human heartbeat. You can take a “worship break” and listen to two songs while you get a drink of water or make a cup of tea. Instant peace.
Friend, which one speaks to your heart? I encourage you to practice these loving actions & feel better! I’d love to hear your experience (just leave comment for me on IG or on Facebook)! In next week’s newsletter, I’ll share the rest of Truths #3-4 and Soul Care tips #4-6!
Did You Catch my #BelovedHumans Story?
I was standing in line at Walgreens for an hour at Walgreens to pick up a prescription to recover from the flu recently. Everyone waiting was so frustrated, but, I found a God moment to encourage someone and it was SO powerful to see God at work! I wrote about it in last week’s newsletter, but I wanted to share a picture of the pharmacist I met in the story. I posted her picture on my Instagram and my my Facebook page, so you can still read about the story there! I’m calling it a #belovedhumans story! I’ll be sharing a NEW God-moment and share a new person’s story on social media today Friday. I love these so much! I can’t wait to share it and hear your reaction!
Who is a friend you can encourage today? Share this post or forward this email to them. Thank you for helping support this ministry by passing this newsletter along!
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Bonnie’s Whispers of Rest Soul Care Package!
I’d love to encourage you daily! For extra resources to refresh your soul and take better care of yourself, I created this powerful DAILY companion resource to Whispers of Rest. I’m so excited to share this beautiful 40day Soul Care Guide eBook called “You’re Worth Loving”, 6 teaching videos, 6 prayer podcasts, Scripture coloring pages – and access to a Self-Paced Online Book Club! Click here to get the Whispers of Rest Soul Care Resources Package!