Ways to “Love Your Neighbor” during a surging pandemic

I know there were lots of thoughts and prayers for the healthcare community at the beginning of the pandemic. But it is even more needed now. The number of patients very sick with COVID-19 is once again on the rise. But the difference from the early days is that those taking care of them are oh so very weary. Please pray for the following:

🙏 Strength for the ALL healthcare professionals whether they clean rooms, serve food, run hospitals, or prescribe and provide vital treatments, etc….

🙏 Protection for healthcare workers…. Although vaccines can help prevent and/or strengthen immunity to not get as sick from COVID-19, those who choose to be around highly infected patients (many of whom have chosen not to be vaccinated) as a part of their profession are still very much at risk. Plus their sheer exhaustion can weaken their immunity. Also, rates of mental decline and suicide are increasing within the healthcare community.

🙏 That we would continue to have everything we need to care for each patient…. From masks to life-saving medications like Remdesivir, please pray for supplies to
be replenished and to get to where they are needed.

🙏 For everyone in our communities to care for their neighbors through great hand hygiene, masking when out in public, social distancing as much as possible, and staying home if they even have a sniffle until they have a negative COVID-19 test.

Thank you so much for your prayers and support.

A much needed reminder….

I’m not gonna lie…. Healthcare has never been an easy profession. Yes – it is so very rewarding…. but oh so challenging.

And, with the past couple years bringing unimaginable challenges – it’s hard not to have a bit of trepidation going into 2022 filled with thoughts like these:

Will this abominable virus surge again?

Will I lose more colleagues and friends?

How long can we sustain caring for such a large influx of patients?

Will we fight alone or will the general public support us in our battle rather than fight against us in every attempt made to help everyone survive this (masking, social distancing, vaccines, etc.)?

So…. the words spoken as we began our leadership huddle in prayer this morning lifted my heart as they helped silence the fearful voices in m my head:

“God, whatever this new year brings – You come with it.”

You may not be working in healthcare during one of the deadliest pandemics of all history, but I bet you’re going through something. And I imagine you don’t want to be blindsided by more traumatic events as we roll into a new year either….

So take solace in this, friend. Whatever you are walking into in 2022, your Maker is already there.

Frozen by Feelings

I’ve been there…. way too many times.

  • I’ve lashed out at a loved one because I felt so strongly that they needed my version of help – bringing a cold chill to our relationship.
  • I’ve procrastinated to the point I couldn’t preform my best because I didn’t feel worthy or capable of the task at hand…. I simply “froze up”.

In short, I’ve been frozen in my tracks from doing the very things my Maker designed me to do because of my feelings.

But, I’m not going to be able to turn my feelings off. Nor should I. Feeling things deeply and intensely is simply part of my Maker’s unique design of me.

I’m learning to love myself and the way I feel things so deeply – even though I’ve spend much of my life wanting to turn my feelings off. And I’ve been told by many well-intended people that I could and even should simply not feel so deeply.

Again… there is just no “off switch” for these feelings of mine.

The lesson I am learning is that I can choose to do the things I need to do in spite of deep sensitivity and strong waves of emotion….. or even learn do things with my own unique brand of excellence because I am learning to channel the depths of these feelings into what I’m doing rather than being frozen in my tracks because of them.

When Maker instructed us to “Choose life that you may live” (Deuteronomy 30:19), there was no caveat of “unless your feelings don’t let you”. But He will give us the strength to follow His steps through the midst of those feelings, much the way he led the Israelites out of Egypt through the middle of the Red Sea. (This story is found in Exodus 14:19-31)

All of this is why this quote from Mel Robbins hit home today:

“Your feelings aren’t a choice. Your behavior and your actions always are.”

May “the same power that rose Jesus from the grave” (Romans 8:11) give you the strength to embrace everything your Maker has for you to do and be in the midst of everything you’re feeling today.

The da Vinci Team

Is your team a da Vinci team?

One of my favorite colleagues is a funny and smart process engineer named Alireza. You know the type.... If there were something higher than a Six Sigma black belt (a platinum belt with bling, perhaps?), he probably would easily achieve it.  

One day, I lamented to Alireza that I wished I had more of his focus, organization, and straight-forward strategic thinking. He replied by encouraging me that I have gifts that he doesn't and that he admired my creativity, communication skills, and ability to connect with just about anyone. 

But I continued my "woe is me" moment by saying, "But I want to be more naturally focused as well. I want your strengths and mine!"

Alireza's reply to this was, "If you had all the 'giftings', you would be da Vinci!" (He and I are both fans of good old "Leo"). 

The conversation not only made me feel a bit better about myself, but it helped me better understand the importance of teams. 

It truly takes all of our different "wirings" and skill sets to accomplish most things worth accomplishing. 

The goal of an effective team shouldn't be to clone each other. Rather, we should be constantly striving to bring out each other's skills and gifts in order to bring the needed balance and momentum to achieve our goals.

Would you say you are part of a da Vinci team? If not, what steps are needed to get there?

Just a few thoughts to "chew on" over the weekend!


Simply Not Enough

In case I’m not the only one who has those days of simply feeling not enough to accomplish any and every task in front of me, please remember these words Saint Paul wrote to the Church in Rome so long ago: “The Spirit of God, who raised Jesus from the dead, lives in you. And just as God raised Christ Jesus from the dead, he will give life to your mortal bodies by this same Spirit living within you.”- Romans‬ ‭8:11‬ ‭(New Living Translation)

(And thanks to The WORD Among Us for having just the right words at just the right time in your devotional guide today! )

Paradox

For today’s blog post: some photography from 5 years ago paired with a little lunchtime poetry….

PARADOX

in the breaking

lies the becoming

in the standing still

the strength for running

out of deepest anguish

lies great healing

ugliness exposed is

beauty’s revealing

unending paradox

lies in this mystery

what we’re avoiding

may just set us free

©2021 Tracy Mauro

Nothing is Beyond….

Another post. Another news report.

More sorrow. More anger. More frustration.

And there are moments these days where all of these emotions flow through my own soul in a split second “roller-coastering” along with the highs of the joy and thankfulness of next breaths that so many in our world no longer have….

It is so easy for all of us to feel that nothing will untangle the messes in our world and in our own hearts so light can get through again.

But today I read Psalm 139 and I was reminded of these lyrics from a song written by Rich Mullins & a Ragamuffin Band back in the early 1990s called, Nothing is Beyond You:

Where could I go, where could I run
Even if I found the strength to fly
And if I rose on the wings of the dawn
And crashed through the corner of the sky
If I sailed past the edge of the sea
Even if I made my bed in Hell
Still there You would find me
‘Cause nothing is beyond You
You stand beyond the reach
Of our vain imaginations
Our misguided piety
The heavens stretch to hold You
And deep cries out to deep
Singing that nothing is beyond You
Nothing is beyond You
Time cannot contain You
You fill eternity
Sin can never stain You
Death has lost its sting
And I cannot explain the way You came to love me
Except to say that nothing is beyond You
Nothing is beyond You
If I should shrink back from the light
So I can sink into the dark
If I take cover and I close my eyes
Even then You would see my heart
And You’d cut through all my pain and rage
The darkness is not dark to You
And night’s as bright as day
Nothing is beyond You
You stand beyond the reach
Of our vain imaginations
Our misguided piety
The heavens stretch to hold You
And deep cries out to deep
Singing that nothing is beyond You
Nothing is beyond You
And time cannot contain You
You fill eternity
Sin can never stain You
And death has lost its sting
And I cannot explain the way You came to love me
Except to say that nothing is beyond You
Nothing is beyond You
Nothing is beyond You

(Copyright 1998 – Liturgy Legacy Music / Word Music / ASCAP / White Plastic Bag Music / SESAC / De Cristos Music / BMI)

These words were such a sweet reminder that although we human-types have collectively made a mess of our world and wandered far from the Garden we were created for, we can never ever ever wander beyond our Maker’s reach.