Thursday, May 7, 2020

Spiritual Journey Thursday: Connection and Community in the Time of COVID-19

 It's the first Thursday of the month and time to show up 
with my friends for Spiritual Journey First Thursday. 
I'm hosting this month and our theme is connection and community.

How has this time of COVID-19 strengthened my sense of connection and community? 

Our Zoom film club has moved from once monthly to two times a month. Zoom story time with the grandsons (especially during son-in-law's paternity leave and continued during daughter's furlough and our time of quarantine from the boys) became an almost daily routine. I meet with two retired friends on FaceTime or Zoom to discuss life and the latest episode of "Call the Midwives." I call my siblings almost daily, usually while I'm on a walk. Our book club has switched to Zoom discussions. We had a Zoom first birthday celebration with grandson Robby and family. Our faith community meets virtually for Sunday School classes and bimonthly discussions with our ladies group. I attend a weekly WW gathering. I'm meeting twice a month on Schoology with my middle school book club. There are many ways that technology is connecting me to the many communities of which I'm a part. And for that I am forever grateful.

But can I be honest? While I have many opportunities to meet virtually, I miss connecting face to face and being in the actual presence of my friends, giving and receiving friendly hugs.

I focus on my many blessings - a comfortable home to shelter in, jobs (my husband's and my children's), the safe arrival of a new grandchild (our first granddaughter), plenty of food to eat, and time spent once again with grandsons now that daughter has returned to work after her furlough.

Meet Ruthie, the newest member of our family!

With all these ways to share connection and community, one of my greatest delights occurs when my phone rings! Call me old-fashioned, but I find joy in the voices of family or friends over the phone, without the distractions of seeing their home setting and the bookcase behind them that makes me want to see closer so I can identify the books on the shelf.

I loved connecting with my slicing friends for the March SOLSC (Slice of Life Story Challenge)  and felt empowered as we shared our stories together.  I like these words from blogger Michelle Haseltine that I saved in one of my notebooks : "When we tell our stories, we make each other better."  My community of writers that I know from writing together is a balm for this time and an encouragement for continued growth. 

While I've been ruminating about this post, these words from the hymn "Oh May My Soul Commune with Thee," came to mind:

"Lord, grant me thy abiding love
And make my turmoil cease. 
Oh, may my soul commune with thee
And find thy holy peace."

It is a gift to know that His abiding love can make our turmoil cease and help us find His holy peace. May you feel the joy of connections, the support of community, and time to commune with the divine as you face the days ahead.  

Please leave a comment and a link to your post if your name does not automatically link to your blog.  

One additional quick link while I'm adding to this post and then I promise to stop. I'm participating in a 21 Day Family Connections Experiment. I love the focus it provides for me to strengthen family connections. Check it out! Who says you can't start your 21 days today?

I'm also sharing this post with the bloggers at SOS (Sharing Our Stories). To savor the magic of story, join the fun by linking your story at Sharing Our Stories.


  1. Beautiful, Ramona. I too miss my many were at work. The words of the hymn are perfect...find holy peace. Wishing you connection today. I realize how shallow zoom is. But, it's what we got. Thanks for hosting this week.I will hold your thoughts in my heart today.
    I've blogged about #ShelterInPoems over at:

  2. Ramona, I thank God for our monthly reunion at SJT. I enjoyed hearing about all the ways you connect during these trying times. May the Lord shed blessings as you wait expectedly for your new grandbaby's arrival. My SJT post holds a surprise for you at the very end. I hope you continue to brighten my Twitter screen with your beautiful and peaceful walks through Washington's neighborhoods.

  3. Ramona: Thanks for hosting and for your thoughts and photos. Congratulations on the new granddaughter. My first granddaughter's name is Ruth also! Love it. May your month bring many blessings... find my blog post at ... an attempt to connect with the season.

  4. Ramona,
    Thank you for hosting. My day got away from me with cleaning and shutting down my classroom and having to post new lessons. So, alas, no post...yet. I'm so glad we have technology to keep us connected and caring for each other. Love that new baby girl! We are hoping for a girl, but the boys I do have are such a gift.

    1. We're excited for a girl to join our trio of boys. Loving the poems of presence, but I have no idea how so many can keep up with daily challenges. I tip my hat!

  5. Thanks, Ramona, for hosting, and for the lovely post and aww, sweet photos! Here's my contribution:

  6. I circled back, Ramona, and am delighted to see photos of Baby Ruthie. What a little dream she is-all decked out in pink. Have fun dressing her up.

  7. My friend, LuAnne, responded to my invitation to join us this month. She's had trouble linking up, so I'll provide her words and link here:
    "My friend asked me to write about connecting during the pandemic. I somehow missed the entire prompt and instead wrote about the word connect.
    When I thought about how to describe feeling connected to someone or something, a tangible thing came to mind. An anchor. Which took me to the ocean.
    I started to write in one place and ended up in quite another."
    Here's the link -
    Check it out and welcome our new friend. LuAnne's family welcomed us into our local faith community as newlyweds. It was the 80s and LuAnne left soon after to go to college. I still have her frozen in time as that young girl, but she's a mama of five and a grandma too and a beautiful spinner of words.

  8. This is a lovely post and a lovely community. Like you, I miss hugs. Your life is filled with community, connections and comfort. What a sweet baby girl! I love the pink!

  9. Zoom is a powerful connector, but face to face will always be the best. I promise, someday I will get back to Seattle. I thought it was going to be this summer, but then Covid-19 happened. :-( Ruthie is a cutie and I know she will be doted on.

  10. Can you imagine if this kind of crisis would have happened twenty years ago? Technology has made wonders. Of course it doesn't replace human contact. Not a single up to date device can replace the sweet smell of a newborn or the hold of their tiny fingers.

  11. Congratulations on this perfect granddaughter! I love her name, too!

    Zoom has definitely been lifesaving, but I desperately miss human connection and touch. I continue to wonder what kind of lasting effects this will have on us and our children (and grandchildren).

  12. I also feel the give and take of technological connections right now. It's such a blessing, but it's not at all the same.

    You've got a beautiful granddaughter!

  13. I love how you are using technology to connect with so many others! And congratulations on again on Baby Ruthihe! She is so precious. And I so agree with balm!! Have a happy Mother's Day, Ramona!