This shelter-in-place order has disrupted my normal routines. I know this is an understatement to the nth degree, but I am thankful, and here is why.

Before all this happened, I had a busy routine. Up and at ‘em at a ridiculously early hour. Drive to school, teach, drive home, fix dinner, do teacher homework, relax a bit, go to bed, and repeat the next day. The weekends had their own routine and busyness.

The shelter-in-place mandate has forced me to slow down. If not for this, I would have missed God’s directive, “Be still and know I am God,” (Psalm 46:10). I have had time to think and ponder on our Mighty God, and He exhibited his power and creative force right in my own backyard. I sat on my patio and witnessed displays of God’s awesomeness.

One of these unusual displays was the bright red “ornaments” that popped up across my yard. What in the world were those red spots? On closer inspection, those red balls were acorns that were on the verge of becoming baby oaks. I had never noticed the red explosion of color before. Thank you, Lord.

Another thing that grabbed my attention was the minuscule spider web woven between the leaves of an old poinsettia plant. The web was delicate and barely noticeable. The silk threads intricately crisscrossed each other, sparkling, twinkling in the sunlight. Another gift from the Father.

Lastly, the thing that made me feel like a child filled with wonder was the lizard that calls my backyard his home. He is a small lime-green lizard, probably an anole. He hangs out in the space between a porch column and a gutter downspout. A very tiny space. He likes to warm himself and rest there vertically on the column. I saw him; he eyed me suspiciously with his tiny, bulging eyes. I found myself talking to him as if he could understand me. I talked to him like I would to a pet. Crazy, but enjoyable. 

Then, it happened. I witnessed something I had only seen on TV. While watching Mr. Lizard, a small, almost invisible insect flew by him. Without blinking or moving, the lizard snapped up that insect for his lunch. Such precision and perfect timing. If I had not been paying attention, I would have missed it, but I didn’t. I saw this amazing feat, and it was amazing—beautiful it was! Thank you, Lord!

In the midst of my crazy, upside down world, God spoke, and I was glad I was still, so I could hear him.

by Dana Maddox, CCS 1st Grade teacher