Church @ the Barony Blog

Church @ the Barony Blog

Life in LockdownMel

I’ve been working from home for 3 weeks, in lockdown for 2, and my girls have been living with their dad for a week and a half. I am a full-time working single mum and to say that my life has slowed down is an understatement, however, I am finding this to be a good thing and yet at the same time the restrictions placed upon us are somewhat depressing. 

My house is tangibly quiet, this is largely due to the absence of my girls, who bring with them noise, chaos, disquiet and a general rumpus, however I’m bereft at not being able to touch, hold or kiss them. I miss their kindness, compassion, caring and funny natures. Thankfully we “talk” a few times a day via Instagram, but more often than not they just want to because they want to see me and feel my presence. It’s hard trying to explain that this period of separation is for the best. Not least for them as they have far more freedom, as their dad lives in the country quite isolated from other people. 

I usually start work at 8am and work until 4pm. I’ll do HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) in the house via Zoom (a household name now, should have bought shares) or I’ll go for a run around the town during my lunch hour. For me this is more important than ever as exercise is so good for my mental health and while I know this I do find it a challenge to get my butt out of bed or out of the house.  It’s a very contrary set of feelings, I have all this freedom, no one to be responsible for, no prescriptive timings for things and yet I struggle to feel energised. Perhaps it’s just getting used to the new normal. The one thing that does sadden me is that when I am out running the amount of people that won’t even talk or acknowledge you. The provocateur in me wants to print a t-shirt that says, “It’s called Social Distancing not Social Silencing”. 

Work have been great and there are new initiatives to keep everyone motivated. Our team has a twice weekly quiz and chat on a Tuesday and Thursday and a Friday afternoon drinks by zoom. The wider function is setting up coffee catch-ups where you get paired with someone you don’t know from the function and have a virtual coffee with them. 

Technology, of course, has come to the forefront as a means of staying connected. As well as doing church by Facebook (St. John’s & the Barony) there is also the Ignite course I’m doing via Zoom, with the lectures being delivered by video, and of course the various WhatsApp groups that we all contribute to. It makes me wonder how radically we could change the nature of the Church by simply harnessing the appropriate technology. We can participate in Churches across the world if we want, and we can broadcast across the world too. 

One thing that has been nice is that I am reading far more that I have done for months. The books I’m reading are, Unbound – A Practical Guide to Deliverance by Neal Lozano and Everyday Supernatural by Mike Palovici & Andy Croft. Simply having the head space available because I’m not running around demented, means that not only do I have time to read the books they actually permeate the little grey cells too. 

Both of these books are brilliant and I wholeheartedly recommend them. I bought Everyday Supernatural after last week’s Ignite input on the Gifts of the Holy Spirit. It’s not something I’ve particularly thought about until recently, largely due to Ignite and attending Church and heard it preached. One particular quote struck me, 

“We (Mike and Andy) are utterly convinced that the Bible teaches it should be normal for Christians to hear God speak, to exercise spiritual gifts and to witness in the power of the Holy Spirit. It’s something we should expect to happen at airports and bus stops, in our schools and in our workplaces, with our family and friends.  We are about to begin a journey towards this becoming an everyday occurance: a new normal”

I believe that this new way of living is a gift and an opportunity and for me personally I’m going to enjoy the peace and tranquility that it affords cause it will end and when it does the noise will resume. In the meantime I’m embracing both new normals.