It’s time to play Pollyanna’s Glad Game.
I’m so over the pandemic.
I’ve been desperately wanting all the craziness in the world to just be over already.
You know it’s bad when you keep asking yourself, “What else?” Fully expecting there to be one more thing day after day.
We woke up early on Sunday morning to about 75 messages — some of them texts from family asking, “Are you okay? Were you evacuated?” and most of the rest of them in a neighborhood chat group that was blowing up with photos, videos, and questions about nearby fires that seemed to be heading our way.
I have to admit that I slept through all the danger.
While neighbors were watching the fires burn all night, thankfully, I was sound asleep.
And, just for the record, we are fine.
We were never threatened by the fires.
And, our neighbors to the west were evacuated but no homes or lives were lost thanks to some quick-acting always-on-the-job firemen who took care of it.
Then, last night, we saw another fire off in the distance from our deck, and found out some friends on the other side of the lake from us were evacuated for yet another fire.
So, what else?
That’s the question on everyone’s minds.
There are so many layers of unrest in our world that I’m losing track. There’s the pandemic, killer hornets, earthquakes and the aftershocks, protests and rioting, nasty partisan politics, and the list goes on.
Yet… there is something else.
Like the volunteer fireman who was helping with the evacuations and traffic control Saturday night who said when he arrived on the scene, “It was the perfect storm of bad circumstances all coming together for disaster…The flames were headed toward homes. Kids were hiking in the trails above the fire. The wind was howling and fanning huge flames. Then something happened. The wind stopped. It just stopped. For no logical reason, it just went calm…The wind should have blown this into a real tragedy, but somehow it stopped. Why it stopped is for you to figure out.”
Or like the fact that I hear things like this from my friends, family and neighbors:
- Things are great for us. I don’t know what it is but my family is thriving.
- My disabled son found an apartment and moved out on his own for the first time, and he’s loving it! I’m so proud of him.
- I am getting more done in my home and yard than I ever have before.
- I love working from home. It’s the best. I get to spend time with my family. I’m not sure I want it to ever go back to the office.
- Our gospel study is deeper and more rewarding than it’s ever been.
- I can go for walks because my older kids can take care of my younger ones and that has never happened before because they’ve always been so busy with so many extracurricular activities.
- My husband lost his job but somehow, we’re okay. We’re confident that we’ll be fine and that he’ll find something when the world settles down. I don’t know what it is but we feel really at peace.
- I have been trying to find a new, affordable apartment for a long time, and the perfect one just opened up.
- I have experienced chronic pain for years and recently fell. I was afraid it would make everything worse. Miraculously, it made everything better. I can’t explain it.
- I’m having Zoom calls with old friends, and it’s been so fun to reconnect.
The list goes on.
Now, don’t get me wrong. I know bad things are happening. We’ve had a few of our own.
But, I keep remembering an article I read by Sheri Dew, who said, “Many of you have no doubt had the same experience I’ve had of late. Grocery stores with long lines, no paper products or bottled water, and eerie rows of empty shelves. There are areas in the world where this is not uncommon, but in the United States and other industrialized nations, that is not the case. I imagine that for many around the world, there have been recent moments that almost felt post-apocalyptic.”
I nodded my head about the post-apocalyptic part because that’s definitely how it feels.
Then, she quoted LDS leader Elder Neil Anderson who said, ““As evil increases in the world, there is a compensatory spiritual power for the righteous. As the world slides from its spiritual moorings, the Lord prepares the way for those who seek Him, offering them greater assurance, greater confirmation, and greater confidence in the spiritual direction they are traveling. The gift of the Holy Ghost becomes a brighter light in the emerging twilight.”
To me, that says, even when the world seems bad, if we do our part, God does his.
We took a short road trip to Yellowstone last week and the peace, stunning sunsets, wildlife, and natural beauty just took our breath away. We didn’t want to leave. It was a good reminder that there is still beauty in the world.
It reminds me of the book Where the Red Fern Grows when the little boy, Billy, desperately wants a pair of coon hound dogs. His grandpa says, “Well, it’s been my experience that God helps those who help themselves. If you want God’s help bad enough, you’ll meet him halfway.”
Maybe, for me, part of meeting him halfway is looking for the compensatory blessings rather than seeing everything as signs of the apocalypse, which you have to admit is pretty easy these days.
If you’re seeing some compensatory blessings during these upside down, crazy times, please share them with me! I need all the positivity I can get.
Pollyanna’s Glad Game needs to be in full swing.