#QuarantineLife means a lot of our everyday lives look different. Now we’re all working from home, educating our kids, cooking at home and trying to stay sane. I’m fortunate that my job allows me to work from home, but not everyone is as lucky. I want to send my sincere thanks and prayers and positive vibes to everyone out there continuing to work for our benefit: the doctors, nurses, first responders, aides, cleaning workers, those working at grocery stores & “essential businesses”, restaurant workers, mailmen & women, trash collectors, plumbers, electricians, government administrators, small business owners converting their business to all online, warehouse workers (especially those at Amazon whom I’m sure are working even more with a total online shopping scenario), delivery drivers, food delivery drivers and really just everyone who still needs to show up and work for us. You guys are heroes and I’m eternally grateful for you. <3
To those of you who celebrate, I hope you found comfort in this past weekend’s celebrations. I know things are tense, difficult and tricky right now with the pandemic, but I truly hope you were able to find some joy in the holiday.
I don’t normally talk religion on this blog because faith has always been a private thing for me. I grew up Catholic, went to Catholic school my whole life (even a Catholic university for undergrad) and come from a pretty Catholic family. It has very much been engrained in me.
Still, I struggle a lot with my faith. I struggle with how I interpret my faith and what the Church says. When I see those discrepancies, I struggle.
So lately, I find myself more of a faithful/spiritual person then a full-bodied Catholic. I believe in Jesus. I believe in God and I believe that we should live a life of service–a life of love. I enjoy church. I enjoy the comfort of the routine and the sense of community. But I don’t rely solely on church for my faith. I pray, I meditate and reflect, I read the bible (but don’t take everything so literally) and I try to live my life from a place of love and service. I try my best to be my best and be a good person. I feel living life that way strengthens my faith and my relationship with God more than trips to Sunday Mass or over-preaching about my faith or acting strictly in accordance with what the Catholic faith asks of its followers.
Honestly, however you pray is wonderful. I firmly believe that God appears to us in many forms and in the form that we need best–so whether you believe in a God or not, whether you’re Christian or Catholic or Jewish or Muslim or of any religion — your faith matters and is needed in this world.
I’m thankful for my religion just as I’m thankful for the other religions in this world. I’m thankful that I live in a country where I’m allowed to have these beliefs – this faith – and write this and practice openly.
This Easter I’m celebrating my faith and the freedom I have to believe in my religion. I’m celebrating and giving thanks for the community of my faith, but also the community of this country and this world–seeing others coming together to fight this pandemic and trying to help and save others. It gives me faith that there is still goodness in this world.
I know right now many are suffering and were unable to celebrate. Many are scared, over-worked, sick or all three. Many are worried about where to live, paying bills, if they’ll be able to keep or get a job, if they’re going to get sick or if they’ll survive if they are sick. I wish I could wave a wand and help everyone and alleviate all their worries, but unfortunately I don’t have magic powers (no thanks to my Harry Potter induced childhood dreams of gaining them when I turned 13…or 18…or 21…maybe when I turn 30??). But seriously, I do wish I could help on a massive scale. While I can’t, I know I can be supportive to those who are helping others. I can donate money. I can donate blood. I can reach out to friends, family & co-workers. I can share literacy resources on social media for those looking for them. I can order take out from local restaurants. I can order online from small businesses or buy gift cards. I can create content on here and on social media to connect with others. I can lift up others’ voices. I can pray–pray for everyone.
So this Easter, I’m going to focus on being grateful for what I have in this life–grateful for my family, my community, my job, my faith & my health–and I’m going to pray and do what I can to help others during this difficult time.
For ways you can help:
- Coronavirus Relief Fund (by CrookedMedia & ActBlue) – Donate money that will be spread across 6 different organizations helping with Food, Industry & Health
- American Red Cross – Donate money or sign-up to give blood
- Homeless Shelter Directory – Look up your closest homeless shelter to donate to them directly
- Coronavirus Rent Relief Fund (GoFundMe) – Donate money to help others with rent relief or bill relief. This is an awesome grassroots, by people for people, fund.
- Order out from local restaurants
- Order online from small businesses
- Tip well.
- Continue to pay any personal services you usually have coming to the house: cleaners, at-home hairstylists, landscapers, etc.
For ways you can help locally (Bucks County & Philly):
- List of local businesses open/taking take-out orders in Bucks County
- Family Service Association of Bucks County (this includes the Bucks County Emergency Homeless Shelter)
- Phia.gov – Volunteering in Philadelphia & more ways to help
- Philadelphia Corporation for the Aging – donate to help vulnerable seniors in the community
- Project Home – donate to assist those struggling with homelessness and poverty OR assist by creating masks to be handed out.
- #SavePhillyEats – assist the local restaurant and bar scene in Philly
- Philly Virtual Tip Jar – tip directly to local servers and restaurant workers who’ve lost their jobs due to COVID-19.
- Love Your Local – purchase e-gift cards for local Philly businesses to be used when they reopen.
- Read this article for more ways you can support people locally in Philadelphia.
Sending out love & prayers,
xx Nicole Lynn