Well, those are words I never expected to type, but here we are.
I’m not in a panic over the Coronavirus, but it’s true that some, perhaps many of us, may end up self-quarantined or otherwise homebound. But here’s the thing:
Every opportunity holds the potential to become meaningful.
Be very careful, then, how you live — not as unwise but as wise — making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. Ephesians 5:15,16
Below are thirty ideas to consider if staying inside for a while. I pray they’ll become the catalyst for spreading hope, encouragement, and truth, to others (germ-free!):
- Set aside fifteen minutes to scroll through Facebook to collect prayer requests. Jot them down and set aside time to pray specifically for each person. Well-meaning “likes” don’t always result in prayer, but they can today! If the Lord brings to mind a certain scripture verse while praying, share it with the person. Our extra minute can encourage them for days.
- Turn on praise music and sing to the Lord or better yet, sing acapella.
- Create your own music list. Fill it with songs of hope and peace.
- Start a new Bible study. If you don’t have one on hand, try an online study from Proverbs 31, LifeWay studies, and free studies from Jen Wilkin.
- Complete the last study you didn’t finish.
- Hibernate in prayer.
- Turn everything off. Listen to the birds. Watch them. Study them. Let these tiny creatures serve as a reminder of God’s intimate care for you. (Luke 12:24)
- Cook a vegetable meal. Before you pick up the fork, read Proverbs 15:17 aloud: “Better a meal of vegetables where there is love than a fattened calf with hatred.” Invite conversation: How does this apply to our family? How can we “put feet” to this verse in helping others?
- Take a James 1:17 stroll. “Every good and perfect gift is from above.” As you walk outside, intentionally search for God’s good gifts surrounding you⏤an unfurling blossom, a flower’s scent, the sun breaking through clouds, etc. Embrace the goodness of God and let it carry you heavenward throughout the day.
- Take tea for two, you and God.
- Finish the current book you’re reading. Then, go the extra mile and leave a review on Amazon. Bonus points if you do the same on Goodreads, and don’t forget to add it to your reading list while you’re there.
- Start a new book. If you know the author, message her along the way sharing what encourages you or a phrase that stood out to you. If a quote stands out, consider posting it on Facebook and Instagram to encourage others (and the author).
- Call a different person each day. Many of us prefer to text but let’s delight someone by laying aside our preferences and call instead.
- Text two people each day with one purpose in mind: to encourage.
- Pray for your children/grandchildren. Jon Bloom’s 7 Things to Pray for Your Children is a favorite.
- Pray for your adult children.
- Pray for the lost. Tim Challies’ 18 Prayers to Pray for the Lost is a great place to start.
- Draw a line down the center of a page.
- Plan for the future. Sometimes our immobility is simply a rest area on the highway of life. It gives us unexpected time to pray, think, and mull over ideas.
- Create mini-love notes and place them in sock drawers, on mirrors, cereal boxes, or inside his/her Bible.
- Is it raining? Engage those God-given senses!
- If you’re up for it, work or play in your yard. Plant flowers, pull weeds, plunge seeds into the ground.
- Create simply for the joy of creating.
- Create a vision board. Go through magazines, clip inspiring quotes and pictures OR create an online version via Canva (free). (Watch for an upcoming post on this subject!)
- Write morning pages. Not sure how? Click here for one of the best breakdowns I’ve read (other than Julia Cameron’s The Artist’s Way.)
- Start a gratitude journal. Is there a better time to focus on our blessings?
- Do a prayer walk through your home.
- Set up a prayer journal.
- Read scripture verses on peace. Write them down. Memorize at least one and lean on God’s promises with the same warmth and confidence a child bends toward her mother.
- If you’re a Creative Pauses subscriber (you are awesome!), enjoy your free resources (Scripture-Based Coloring Pages, Praying Throughout Your Home, 10 Ways to Show Up for Others This Summer, etc.). If not, then pull up a chair and join in the fun! Simply type your email in the top right-hand sidebar >>>> and start enjoying your free resources immediately.
* Click here for a downloadable PDF print of the list above.
The Coronavirus situation gives us, the hopers and believers of the world, opportunities to share Christ in ways we’ve never had before. Becoming more intentional in how we care for others — emotionally, physically, and spiritually — during a time when many are focused on themselves, might just make an eternal difference.
Yes, we plan and use our resources wisely, but above all, we love selflessly.
Is there one particular idea above that stands out to you, or do you have one to add to the list?