By: Bevin Landrum, Director of Communications
MCCW’s commitment is to always provide ways we can stay connected, united and inspired, especially during a time when we are facing changes in our spiritual routines, home life, and personal relationships. Here are three quick tips to help you stay grounded in your faith and connected to your fellow sisters in Christ.
Pray for Each Other
Ephesians 6:18: “Pray at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints…”
Our normal routine may be to pray at CWOC with our chapel women, pray before Mass, or to maintain a prayer request list. But our routines are not normal right now and the distractions of keeping the home front going may have overwhelmed your commitment to personal prayer. Are you missing those friends you see most regularly at your chapel?
Set aside private time to lift up your friends in prayer. Shower them with requests for spiritual strength. Participate in online novenas with special intentions for your family or another loved one. Connect with your local parish to see if they know of new prayer requests in the church that may not be published in the usual way. Let the Holy Spirit affirm peace and God’s steadfast love in your heart through praying for others.
This can be a secret prayer sister type activity or if you choose, tell specific friends that you are lifting them up in prayer. What a powerful way to brighten someone’s day with the inspiration of prayer. This is also wonderful because it can extend beyond your local group and provide blessings to someone anywhere in the world. That’s an important way to stay united as one body in this military life.
This would also be a wonderful way to uplift a new mom who you might not be able to support in person with meals or extra hands for chores. Our local CWOC in Vicenza did a spiritual meal train for a new mother where members were able to sign up for days to say a rosary or other devotion for the safe delivery and homecoming of the new baby and ask for God’s special attention to the new family.
Go Old School and Call Someone or Write a Letter
Philippians 2:3-4: “…humbly regard others as more important than yourselves, each looking out not for his own interests, but [also] everyone for those of others.”
Surely there were no telephones in Biblical times, but we know they loved to write letters. God calls us to look out for others in different ways as times change. The commandment to love your neighbor as yourself is a pretty good road map for today’s events. We are called to accompany our sisters in Christ when the road is fun and when the road is challenging. The opportunities right now are endless!
In the same way that it is better to give than to receive, it is better to focus positive thoughts and interactions on others than to be alone in our worries, fear, and uncertainty.
A good way to do this is to pick up the phone and check on those who may be self-isolating at home alone with a deployed or TDY spouse or little humans not able to provide adult conversation and respite. Our MCCW family also includes a fair number of retirees who would appreciate someone calling to check on them.
The power of spoken words is quite different than receiving a text message. A good old fashioned gab session can do wonders to relieve stress and put life in perspective. Social distancing can be lonely even if your house is full of people. Talking to someone outside your immediate quarantine crew can be a breath of fresh air.
Why not grab out a box of note cards and write a letter to share an uplifting scripture or song lyric with your best friends who live outside your state? When we can’t leave the house, receiving a bit of sunshine in our mailboxes is just the remedy!
My 95-year-old mom is feeling very depressed over being cooped up at home (mostly alone). She cheers up noticeably when I call to tell her even the mundane stories of our pre-PCS struggle bus. Your daily story may be what someone else needs to hear.
Sometimes just knowing what someone else is doing shifts our perspective. The ability to share a bit of what is on our own minds and hearts to someone who will listen and support us is also a strong aspect of self-care.
Laughter is the Best Medicine
Proverbs 17:22 : “A joyful heart is the health of the body, but a depressed spirit dries up the bones.”
When you smile and laugh you cannot be sad, negative, or anxious. It’s a true story. Joy and laughter physiologically cause the body to release endorphins (feel good hormones) that can help us relax, lower blood pressure, and increase a sense of well being.
When the onslaught of the 24/7 news cycle and the mounting tally of cases and deaths continues to march upward, it can be emotionally overwhelming. So the next time you are feeling blah, turn off the television, search out some light-hearted laughter material, and share it with your friends.
There are plenty of memes circulating the interwebs. Not all are appropriate, but there are plenty rated PG, and they can help turn your frown upside down. We’ve even seen plenty of faith-based memes shared in some of our regional groups. Who didn’t love Jesus joining the Zoom meeting?
But remember–good friends don’t leave their friends out of the joke. Pass those funny memes, GIFs, and jokes around. We all need a laugh because 2020 has been a joke so far.
Now It Is Your Turn
God knows that as humans we need to be with other people for our spiritual and emotional well-being. These times of self-isolation at home can be difficult because we find ourselves seemingly cut off from those with whom we normally interact and turn to for assistance. Instead, let us look for new opportunities to deepen our faith and spiritual connections.
These are three quick, easy ways to help yourself, your family, and those you love. But there are plenty of other ideas and we would love to hear them. Tell us ways you are practicing spiritual sisterhood by sharing your stories and uplifting photos with us via email firstname.lastname@example.org to be featured on our social media channels or a future edition of The Well.