I just went out into the world for another curbside pick-up. But this time was different. This time, curbside pick-up was at the liquor store. And this time, I was still in my pajamas. 

The worst part is that I’m not even embarrassed about it.

My new normal has no shame. 

Over the past month, I’ve stopped putting on make-up, earrings and real pants. Some days I don’t brush my hair. Or shower. Other days, I take baths in the middle of the afternoon, lying there until the water turns cold.

For most of us, the initial shock over COVID-19 has passed, replaced now by a weird kind of new normal. I don’t especially like mine. So I plotted out the course to a better way:

  1. Get back into a normal routine: Get up, get showered, get dressed. All the way dressed—not just the top half that shows up in virtual meetings. 
  2. Include daily exercise, socializing with family or friends, purposeful projects, and a nightly review of how much there is to be grateful for, even–or maybe especially–now.
  3. Build in a 20% margin to be still and know that God’s got this.
  4. Name any remaining sources of anxiety: Address those that are addressable; pray through and let go those that are not.
  5. Use “sheltering in place” as an opportunity to establish a new, better kind of normal that will continue long after this pandemic is over.

All of which brings me to my SAP for the day:


Hebrews 12:12-13: “So take a new grip with your tired hands and strengthen your weak knees. Mark out a straight path for your feet so that those who are weak and lame will not fall but become strong.”


I’ve had a few tough days over the past week. Maybe it was because Easter was so odd. Yes, online church was great, with 90,000 (!!) people in attendance. And afterward, I made the entire traditional Easter dinner–ham, potatoes, veggies, salad, even dessert. But then I sat by myself with a heaped plate as I ate in front of the TV…also part of my “new normal.”

What’s going to be said about me at the end of this season of COVID-19? I don’t want to be remembered as the woman who ate her way to oblivion or who drove to the liquor store in her pajamas, that’s for sure.

It’s time to begin a new, better normal. When all is said and done, I want to be remembered as a hope-giver–someone who helped others through this abnormal time.


Dear God, thank You for giving me new strength and inspiration every day through Your Word. Don’t let me get too tired or lazy to reach out to others. Mark out Your path for me as I do my best to follow Your lead through every phone call, text, email, online get-together, blog post and curbside pick-up. Let me shine Your hope and peace, helping people become strong in You. Amen.

What’s going to be said about YOU at the end of this pandemic? What one step you can take toward creating a better “new normal” for yourself and for our world?

One Comment

  • Mary, THANK YOU SO MUCH for these posts. I’ve looked forward to these messages and they give a great, renewed perspective on our “new normal”! God Bless!

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