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Enduring in a Sustained Extraordinary Context

Episode 100 – Enduring in a Sustained Extraordinary Context

Join Josh and Kit as they unravel 7 different ways to endure while we all try to navigate this strange new normal across our world.

Highlights:

– Begin Each Day on a Firm Foundation
– Manage the Information You Receive
– Establish Beneficial New Patterns
– Accept Others Will Have Different Responses Than You
– Listen to God for Direction and Embrace Your Kingdom Role
– Find Sources of Rest as This More of a Marathon Than a Sprint
– Be Gracious with People

Mentions:

Rescue

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Original music by Shannon Smith. Audio engineering by Gabriel @ DelMar Sound Recording.

Podcast Transcription

Kit
I have some dear friends, Indy and Tina, who are missionaries in Southeast Asia. And during a three year period they had, ah, very unexpected experience of being involved with four ah post disaster experience. The situation’s a tsunami, earthquake, hurricane, another tsunami. And recently Andy wrote something and sent it to us. And it was called enduring in a sustained, extraordinary context, which is a pretty interesting title enduring and a sustained, extraordinary context. And when I read it, I just felt a peace come over me. I just felt a ground in come over me. It’s not overly complicated, but it’s very wise, and because I was in a vulnerable place, I found it really helpful. So today, Josh, we want to talk about this and see if maybe this can be helpful for some of our listeners today.

Josh
Yeah, because we are in an enduring, sustained, extraordinary context. And so it’s really is implications for us as we’re all of us were walking, going through this, this new pandemic. And I think one of the things that is striking about it is that there there is no or if there are, they’re very, very few places that are not impacted by this. So there’s there’s no B team that’s gonna come in to save the day. There’s there’s no place to turn to say, You know, since these people aren’t impacted, well, you know they’ll bring help. They’ll they’ll be that place we can go for safety. We’re all kind of in the same boat. And so I think we are all in this together and kid, you and I, also as we talk about this thing that just will share some of our own experience so far, hasn’t been that long, But I think both of us have experienced. I know I have just some ways that this thing’s pandemic and some of the fallout from it has been impacting us and just have a little context that depending where you’re listening in in Maryland right now, there is a stay at home or in order. So we’re all kind of phoning in from our own locations. And, uh, and we’re on lock down to be at our house is that we can get out a little bit for essentials and for exercise and and things like that. But But outside of that, we’re all supposed to be at home at this point, so yes. Okay, what we would just walk through. I mean, Andy had these seven different places and let’s just kind of, you know, clicked through miss as we can. And no food will be helpful sweep as we walked through.

Kit
So the 1st 1 it is true, really. I want this to be true in my life every day, not just in this extraordinary context, but this is the idea that we begin each day on a firm foundation. And you know, that’s challenging for me and at any given day. But in this situation, it’s particularly challenging because I would wake up a little more anxious than normal. And I would kind of start out in that anxiety mode, you know, trying to get my bearings. Maybe from from other like maybe I’ll get my tea and maybe we’ll get some food and maybe I’ll talk to Greg and and rather than that, he’s saying, You know, let’s take a deep breath and let’s seek some subtle nous and some centeredness and begin our day really just in prayer, just seeking that from the moment we wake up, we just move into that instead of into anxiety mode. And I I just didn’t realize how much I really waas reacting out of anxiety mode until I read that, and then I was like, Oh, I really have been doing that. So it was a reminder for me and it really helped me.

Josh
They want things. It’s hard for me about that right now. I don’t disagree that I like it, but I don’t want extra challenges for me, is I don’t have ah schedule that is has locked down as it was before. You know, there was a specific time, then I’d have to be out the door. That meant there was a time I needed to be up by so I could have my time with Jesus, and I could get my breakfast and get a shower and get dressed and all that. And I think, you know, and and likewise from a family. So their time kind of had these these markers that helped to remind me like This is the time of day and I typically spend Jesus And so I think that’s been an extra extra challenge for that. That, too.

Kit
Yeah, One of the things that and he says you know, is in these situations there’s constant change, just like you’re describing. Not only is it one big fell swoop of a change, but then feels a little bit like every day were like, What’s what’s true today? You know, there’s this constant change in your you know, we’re always looking for certainty in this world of uncertainty, all the time and now, especially now. So there’s this constant change that we’re trying to harness. And so this idea that before you enter and all that, you know, figure out a way that you can just breathe and even just think, uh, rightly for a few minutes before you start.

Josh
And the 2nd 1 he talked about was managed, the information received, he says, public and private, formal, informal people are sharing what they know and seeking to know more. And I think that’s just been so true for us. Like whether it’s, you know, scanning Google News or Apple News or or whatever, like Plus, we’re getting e mails from everybody with updates about what’s happening in this place for that place. And so it’s been really a challenge to try to manage and actually to set limits on this is this is how much we need to know we know enough for right now.

Kit
This was a big one for me, too, Like I Even before this happened, I found myself being a little obsessive about checking news websites because, you know, the political landscape and all that was going on. And then when this hit, it really was a self control issue, that self control issue that wasn’t that I had no handle on. Um and so this really helped me because I was like, Yes, I need to Like Lim, I need to have some, um, some discipline for my own sake, not to be just constantly seeking news. Um, So I relate with you, Josh, that, you know, it’s like finding and he says, to and here that I think is really helpful. Every person has to find the right balance of being informed and being overwhelmed. So know yourself and figure out your rhythm. How is that for you, Josh? What did you How did you figure it out?

Josh
Well, I’m still figuring it out. I do know I’ve learned this about my wife, and I, uh, away from me, we she definitely has a different capacity for the new sheikhoun intake. Like she can read news about what’s happening in the world right Before going to bed, I cannot I mean, I can, but it does not help me to sleep. My it’s better for you to read a book or to do a crossword puzzle before going to bed. Otherwise, I just I don’t go to bed and I don’t fall asleep. So, um, yeah, that’s that’s been good. And, like, you know, around the dinner table, there were times where where our family was, it was all we were talking about was the pandemic. And even if even we weren’t talking about it, we’re talking about Hey, So you know, given that we’re home because the pandemic, what was it like there actually is a whole lot larger of a world still available to us today and still a part of our lives than just this thing. So, yeah, we’re so sorting that out.

Kit
Yeah, you bring up something that I think is important for people who are listening. I’m not just in this context, but all the time. Um, in dream. It’s just a good reminder, you know, that you said not to read things that are upsetting, too. Before you go to bed. That absolutely is something that I’ve learned. I cannot tolerate that. And just like you said, your wife can. You can’t. This is good to know about ourselves and getting ready for bed and resting is important. And so, you know, we really should know it. Try to know ourselves and what’s the best thing to do to prepare ourselves for bed? For me, the morning was the time. I was like, Oh, what’s going on? What’s going on? And I would jump on the news and again, kind of like the 1st 1 I begin my my day in a state of anxiety and so really just stepping back and not doing that anymore. was hugely helpful.

Josh
Yeah, the next when he says number three out of seven is established. Beneficial new patterns when existing schedules were forced to change. So for those of us in stay at home areas or where essential businesses have been shut down its inmost larger cities Right now, um, the this is exactly right. Everybody’s schedule has changed in our house. All of a sudden, we’re not just working two jobs one full time in one part time job. We’re also now, uh, home schooling and way worked before. And we are We are, you know, So there are additional five people in her house every day. And so we’re trying to manage that.

Kit
Yeah. And you know, it’s funny. I’m listening to a lot of my clients are in that situation, and they’re just like, you know, the bad news is it’s kind of like deer caught in headlights like, Oh, my gosh, like this is something usually people pray about and discern over time that we’re gonna homeschool. This is now our new reality, and so that in of itself is just throwing everybody off. But then there’s this other reality that I think is interesting. as schedules are being forced to change. There are some benefits of that, like being able to take a walk with your one of your Children in the middle of the day for a 10 minute break. So there’s some really good things about establishing new patterns and having flexibility to for some of those things

Josh
and the other. The other thing happened for a lot of people is the reality that there are other life events that have been canceled or that are that looked very different. One of my daughters, best friends, just had a birthday, and instead of having her usual sleepover birthday party, they had. They had a facetime chat with each with a group of girls and and they all watch the same movie on Netflix together. So I mean, some of this is just definitely changing things. And he says in his in his letter, he says he points out these several things he said give attention to things you need to thrive that’ll help you endure throughout the crisis. And because this is a long term thing, he says. So get get exercise e healthy. Make sure you have sleep. Um, yeah. Stay in stay in relationship at this point thing, this really struck me, I said. Some of us may find we have more time on her hands, but at the same time, experience reduced energy and focus to utilize that newly available time and space and our schedule, we could be discouraged that we aren’t using our time better, which can lead to more lethargy and passivity and even despair. And when I read, that was like Oh my gosh, that’s been my experience. I’m not the despairing lethargy at this point, but But I have. I feel like I have more time. I’m not rushing kids around every place, but I don’t feel like I’m getting as much done. And I think reading that just gave me some grace. Oh, that’s not because I’m screwed up. It’s because I’m going through something that is a is a jolt to my system, and my system is trying to recalibrate here. So I was encouraged and hopeful by that.

Kit
Josh, that’s such a good point. Just overall, there’s this umbrella that this acknowledgement that I had to make to myself, too. Oh, I’m going through something, you know, this is this is an experience that my body and my mind and my even my soul in my heart don’t really quite know what to do with. I think that’s an important thing, Um, and so that’s why some of these stakes in the ground are so important because this is new territory. And one of the things I was finding was that I was not, you know, usually have a pretty good rhythm of going to bed same time and waking up at the same time. But because of anxiety and because of schedule changes, I kind of let that go. And that really fed into my anxiety. So much so that I even started to not feel well. And so these little things, they seem like little things I think can be stakes in the ground. So now I’m really It’s important to me that I go to bed at the same time and get up at the same time as much as I can to have some stability. Um, that keeps me from some of that anxiety,

Josh
and in part, what I hear you saying and I’m experiencing this to is there may be may have been places and weighs in your life before all this that you had to molest ability and some of those patterns in your life. And now it’s there isn’t there has to be an intentionality like I had to force myself to go on a walk. History. I didn’t feel like it, but I haven’t been outside in like 36 hours was like someday that my inclination to stay inside right now is not trustworthy. I need to do something different right now, so

Kit
I really and I just think and and that’s it. It’s an unusual. It’s an extraordinary context. And so we need to kind of like pay attention to that, because I think sometimes we can just put her head down and like to pretend that nothing’s happening and that the reality is our body and our minds and our spirits know something’s happening. So being in denial doesn’t help,

Josh
right? Right? It’s getting there were four out of seven, uh, especially spoke to you. So what would you tell us? What that

Kit
one? Well, so it’s accept others will have different responses than you. I talked to a lot of people, both clients, but also friends and family who were navigating this really differently than I would, And my inclination would be kind of to try to influence them too. Well, what? Wait, wait, wait. You should think about it this way. You should see. See it this way and the end. And it says very wisely. Often a lot of energy is lost through trying to influence others to see his situation the way we see it. And so I think this is happening to everyone across the world and we’re not gonna be on the same page. And so to be able to save some energy and save Cem, you know, kind of judgment. You’re being judgmental towards others by listening to people. And, you know, as you express your opinion, also try to understand their scene. So there’s lots of things that come into this, and I just think it will be helpful for us to listen and give let people be where they are.

Josh
I think what was helpful about this to me and thinking about this is and because there’s I think there’s a lot of Christians right now, Christian leaders who are sending out messages of hope or direction or guidance, and the real. And so I was kind of, you know, taking that in their Christian leaders and other leaders were saying he was going to be doing for any organization. And like I, I began to feel overwhelmed. I was like, I can’t do all this Oh my gosh. And I think part of what this puts into perspective is there are lots of different parts of the body in those parts of the body. Need to be doing what they’re doing, and I’m not every part of the body right now. And so when a different one, when a profit or upset with the leadership gifting, says, Here’s what you need to do doing right now they might just be talking to profits And leaders might not be talking to me at that moment. It doesn’t mean what they say is not valuable or needed, but it might not be needed for me, and that leads into number five, which especially atoned for me. And he says, listen to God for direction and embrace your limited but important and God orchestrated kingdom roll. Listen to God for direction, and he he shares a little about something that God commend him to do in one of the disaster areas where he was that he just played a very small part. But he was clear. This is the part of supposed to play and you, faith, who played it for a number of years after that and produce fruit. And I think part of what struck me as I read this. I’ll just tell you what happened. As I read it, I actually had to stop reading what he wrote because I was just, um, undone is probably too strong a word. But I was I was just kind of struck, I think, by the Holy Spirit, like I have not done this. I don’t know what my part is. I don’t know how I fit into this right now, including as a as a leader of regeneration. I don’t know how regeneration fits into where we are right now, and so I think, just to kind of acknowledge that for myself before the Lord is the beginning, and even even in doing that for a few minutes yesterday began to get a little bit more clarity about Okay. All right. I think you know, there’s a little bit of light like this is where we’re going. But yeah, so

Kit
that’s so good, Because I think that, um the reality is, you know, I can’t do everything. You can’t do everything. I can do something and you could do something. But the key is what is that? And, you know, to be able to sit with God and be like, What is mine to do? And how do I think about all of this? And what I realized was that I was feeling completely overwhelmed that I had to call this person and do this thing. And how do I help globally and how do I help locally? And I got overwhelmed. And until finally I felt like the you know, God was like, just a day at a time, just a step at a time. What’s what’s one step right ahead of you right now, like maybe who’s in your path right now and so that’s been helpful. I think I was looking at, you know, fortunately, I care a lot about my clients, and they were people that came to my mind right away, like how I gonna be available to them, And that’s been I’ve been able to do that what I wasn’t paying as much attention to is how my available to my family, like right now on right now with my husband in my adult Children. And there were things there that I needed to pause, and God gave me direction that I wasn’t receiving.

Josh
It’s so Stephen Covey I think it is who writes about the difference between your your circle of concern, which in this digital age might be worldwide, maybe even beyond that. In some ways, uh, and then your circle of influence your circle concerns very, very large or can be very, very large, especially in the digital age during a pandemic. Uh, and your circle of influence is much, much, much smaller for most of us. And so even, you know, looking around are the call this act that we live on, like we’ve got seven different houses in our immediate vicinity. How are they doing? And what can we do to serve? Not to mention the people in our home, and not to mention the people that are right in front of us? Yeah.

Kit
And elderly. We’ll have a dear friend that I’m checking up on and and you know this is not to say that we should on Lee, be concerned about the people right nearest. But of course we need to be concerned about them. It’s also beautiful when I hear people caring about this on a global, you know, viewpoint, being willing to be sensitive to the people that are literally not having clean water to drink in the midst of this, like that’s important, too. But it’s just, God help, help me know how to think about it, I think is the key that Andy’s trying to bring home to us.

Josh
Yeah, I think that that phrase where he talks about, you know, seeking the Lord for it like I know what you’re asking me to D’oh! D’oh! Number six out of seven find sources of rest as this is more of a marathon than a sprint, and I know that in in any I kind of disastrous he’s lived through their certainly the, you know, the immediate crisis and the immediate crisis response. And then there’s, you know, you think about places like Haiti or some of the natural disasters we’ve experienced United States in the South or the fires out west. I think about things that happen in Indonesia? I mean, some of these things, like, you know, the immediate crisis. Even when it was over, there were years and years and years, and some of the places are still not fully restored. So this is a marathon, not a sprint. Um, and I think I think we’re in a place right now. April 2nd, 2020 where we are may be just beginning to to get a sense of like, Okay, this is gonna be longer. You know what? This isn’t gonna be over next month. We’re gonna We’re gonna be walking this out in some significant ways, at least for some months to come on. Then there may be other fallout that will last longer than that we don’t know.

Kit
And so I think you know, that kind of self awareness to in these in this place is important. Like, I know that a lot of clients are, um, feeling unusually, um, you know, anxious, bored, sad, lonely. And, um, so they might have had some good habits in place to rest or to, you know, take care of themselves. And now some of those got off the rails. And so, like being compassionate with yourself being aware that this is, ah possibility that this is gonna create, um, you know, more temptation. And so how do you how do you be kind yourself and also reach out and and be aware that you need help.

Josh
So I think here of, of our, you know, we run 48 weeks out of the year. We run a recovery group for men who are dealing with pornography and other sexual addictions. And right away we shifted that group that meets in two locations in the United States. When we switched the group toe on online group and we saw a nutrition, a number of guys who just stopped coming, they didn’t show up online, something we don’t know why. Some of them there were issues with technology and and so for anybody in recovery, right now, part of finding rests and resource is how are you gonna continue with your recovery community while you are doing social distancing? Or why you while you are quarantined to your home? And that’s an important question we can’t If you’re in recovery, you can’t in the same way you couldn’t if you had a physical condition that required you see a physical therapist or a doctor on a regular basis. You couldn’t just say, Well, I guess I’m not gonna do that. I’m not gonna. I’m out of my prescription meds. I’m just not gonna take it anymore. Like if you in any way can you need to. And so one of the ways that people can continue recovery and gratefully because we live in a digital age there. There are a growing number of resource is that are available to people online or over the phone. Three generations, one of them. So, um, I just need a little more specific even, you know, we had one of that. One of our volunteer leaders were saying there was a man he knows who just he’s at home. And so it’s harder for me to make a private call in his house because their other people there, that’s what he’s gonna Even he has two choices. That one is to say, Well, I guess I just can’t do it now or he has to find a way to do it now. And maybe it just looks different than it did before. It will look different than I did before. But maybe it’s, you know, stepping outside under the porch you’re sitting outside in a car or, you know, maybe maybe it’s honestly as crazy as it might sound. Maybe it’s it’s learning to talk about these things in his home with a little bit of privacy and using some words that air, maybe code words for things that he can’t say directly. I don’t recommend that if you had all avoid it, but but something just to get creative about How am I going to do this through this season? I need this kind of support. How am I gonna find it? Yeah, and then number seven kids

Kit
be gracious with people and recognize that increasingly people will need to talk. This is so important. I kind of backed. We were saying earlier about, you know, people processing this differently. Um, it’s so true. And people will want to, uh, ask, you know, howto what’s going on. And how should I be thinking about this and to be ableto listen to be able to just, you know, I had a really good conversation with my daughter the other day who is 21 this experience for her is way different than my 64 year old experience. And she just needed to vent. And she was angry, and she had all kinds of feelings, and I just needed to listen. I just needed to, um, not give her my opinion.
Um, but just listen. And so just being aware of how people will need to talk and, well, how can we be a good listener? How could we just meet them where they are?

Josh
Yes. So they’re two sides of this, right? So that there, I think maybe this goes into the previous one a little bit, but for some of us were not prone. Maybe to talk about this we’re prone t want to do. And it is gonna be important for people to have space to allow themselves space to talk. But in here, specifically speaking to those who have a heart to try to love like Christ loves how can we look out for each other in this? And how can we allow people the space to to share what’s happening for them? And I’d say here like, if you if you don’t know, like, one of things that we do in all of our groups is we? We really work to train the smarter facilitators. Ask good questions and tow. Listen, well, it’s not something I think that we do readily in our culture. Um so questions that are yes or no questions that are more open and in like, you know how you know, can you share with me a little bit how you’re feeling during this time or what? What would you use? What words we do dio. Sorry, what words would you use to describe what this has been like for you so far and then giving room toe listen. So when somebody answers to still leave space or say, Oh, yeah, tell me more about that, or I’d love to hear you say more about that. Or can you explain that to me more so Those those are things that were just kind of like knocks on the door. And if somebody’s willing, they can open another door in another door. And I know that for so many people, when they have something, you could ask her questions and listen. While it actually helps the person who’s talking to discover things about themselves and what they’ve been feeling going through that they otherwise would not or could not know. It’s one of the beautiful things about being a relationship, and I think, especially in times of quarantine, we really bless people when you can offer that.

Kit
And I think it is kind of initiating opportunities as hard as you know. We’re talking about people who are affected tragically right now with this. And then there’s to the other extreme, where some people aren’t really affected that much. And so there’s this wide berth, you know of people. But there are ways that I think it’s making us a little more tender hearted, a little bit more compassionate. You know, in our neighborhood, we don’t necessarily. We’re trying to get better connecting with each other. But my husband had a great idea to just send out a letter, an email and say, Hey, how’s everybody? You know we’re here. This might be a good forum for people to weigh in and let us know if you have needs and people wrote back, you know are just like, Hey, thanks, you know, Um so it was Ah, small thing. And yet Ah, I think no. On a normal circumstances, we wouldn’t have done that, and it was cool to see that we are here for each other and to be reminded of that.

Josh
I think a lot of these experiences that’s beautiful. I think a lot of these experiences, one of one of the one of the kind of hidden beauties that arises, is that some of the differences and the disagreements and sometimes very, very important and and deeply trench disagreements that people have, um, become less important than people began to see other people as human beings. Again. On the opposite, of course, can also be true. But, uh, that is a beautiful thing, and it’s a real opportunity, I think, for for us to model Christ had to be, um, Christ’s ambassadors in this time. I appreciate that Really good for

Kit
Andy. Just, you know, just want to say I think that I am for Andy and Tina, and you know, the ways that they live their life like Gods called them to live a life that’s set apart in some ways, and the wisdom that they’ve learned that they would take the time to impart it to us and to have it be something that could really help us. I’m just really grateful to them for that and grateful the way God’s using them across the globe. And also right here, right now, you know, in in, in this conversation.

Josh
Yes, I I’m grateful to you. On a personal level, I feel like, Okay, these people know what they’re talking about. I mean, I think in his letter he’d be named, like four or five different big disasters that they’ve lived through. And the fact that he wrote it now for us also kind of my ears perked up is a Wait a minute. He He’s seeing some similarities here that I may not have recognized. So even though, you know, we don’t know how long it’s gonna last like, I’m gonna trust this guy, I’m gonna trust his experience and try to be responsive because I because I want to be around. I want to be healthy. I wantto not burn out. I want to love people around me. I want to be faithful to God through this. So, you know, I was appreciate too already. Thanks for listening. Hope this has been helpful to you. And, you know, even as we sort through what God is leading us to in this season? No, that regeneration is we’re open and and here to serve you. And and we’re grateful that you, uh you listen in that you’re part of this community. So Kate wants you just closed your prayer.

Kit
Lord, I’m really feeling deeply grateful for the wisdom of what Andy wrote and for the opportunity Lord to have this conversation because I know how much I I needed to hear some of these things. And I just pray, Lord, that, um as people listen to this that they will be able to embrace the wisdom that you would have for them right now that it would help them support them, bring peace, and more than anything, learned that it would give them a sense of your presence with them in all that’s going on. We’re just grateful God, that you are in all of this with us on Jesus name. Amen. Everybody. Thanks for joining us this week on the regeneration podcast. Please make sure to visit our website at regeneration ministries dot org’s where you can subscribe to the show in apple or Google podcasts and even Spotify. So you’ll never miss another one. Well, you’re at it. If you found value in the show, we’d appreciate a rating on apple podcasts. Or if you’d simply tell a friend about the show that would help us out a lot. Thanks so much for listening. We look forward to being with you again next week.

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