In Los Angeles, we've seen a loosening of some COVID-19 health restrictions. But this week that our mayor also formally announced that mask-wearing would be mandatory when we leave our homes. I have no problem with this regulation. I've trained myself to don a mask, even when it was not previously required by law. A major highlight this weekend was our quick visit to see my mother in law, Norma. Norma and elders like her who live in my community are the reason that I am willing to put up with the discomforts of masks.
Unfortunately here, the virus remains a serious issue. We mask to protect not only ourselves but also in consideration for the health of those around us who are vulnerable. In our neighborhood, there is a house a few blocks away with a large dinosaur skeleton in their front yard. I don't know why "Dino" lives there, but he has become a hallmark of my daily walks. Typically, he is decorated for whatever holiday we're anticipating. He always brings me a needed smile. This week, he boldly wore his oversized dinosaur mask!
Being home so much has had an interesting impact on me. I'm not used to the regularity of a schedule. One fact of life for Greg and me in our almost 34 years of marriage has been irregularity - ER doctors work irregular shifts, so we raised our family within the parameters of a Monday through Friday school schedule, but a "whenever we have time off" personal schedule. Adding my work travel on top of that meant for us as a married couple that no two weeks ever looked the same.
I realized last week that I've definitely settled into a "routine" of sorts. It's dictated by the schedule of care I keep with my parents (our four daily Alexa activity hours), but I also include my morning prayer time, workout and walks, errands in the neighborhood, and typically a Sunday drive along the coast after Mass, not to mention my "work". This week, not only were we able to drive near the beach, but we also took a walk there! After so many weeks of closure, being able to breathe the sea air felt like a massive blessing. The absence of travel to far-flung destinations has caused me to see the beauty of my community with fresh eyes. It's also caused me time and time again to thank God for my home and my husband.
Here are some of my personal highlights from the past week:
- The right kind of "contagious": On last week's Lisa Hendey & Friends podcast, I talked about the art and joy of sharing our faith with Marcel LeJeune as he discussed his new Ascension Press book The Contagious Catholic: The Art of Practical Evangelization.
- Heroes and Villains: On last week's episode of "Secrets of Disney", we got in touch with our inner characters.
- The Power of a Story: Today, I was blessed to speak with a class of sophomore theology students at St. Mary's Academy (virtually, of course!) about the sacraments and storytelling. Their teacher is eschewing his traditional final exam and replacing it with a writing project. The students will craft children's book and a parent resource that will focus on the sacraments. What a joy it was to share my experience and to field their questions!
- Little Libraries: In our neighborhood, we're blessed to have a few Little Free Libraries. As part of my time at home routine, I'm trying to highlight one book per day on my Instagram stories and place at least one book in each of these libraries on my daily walk. I'm mixing it up, see keep an eye on my feed for some quick and enjoyable reads.
What They're Saying
(I'm starting a little feature here to share reviews and feedback I'm receiving. I hope this will inspire you to review one of my books, invite me for a virtual visit, or simply to drop me an email if my work has blessed you in some way. I don't offer this to be braggadocious. Your feedback fuels me and inspires me not to give up during these challenging times.)
"Lisa came to visit my sophomore Sacraments class to speak with them about a project they're working on where they have to create children's storybooks and a parent resource. Not only did she speak wonderfully about her own experiences as a parent and an author, she really encouraged my students to use their own gifts and talents for the betterment of the Church! I am so grateful for the gifts that Lisa brings to her speaking engagements, and I cannot wait to have her back for another one!" Jared Anderson, Theology Teacher, St. Mary's Academy, Inglewood, CA (May 2020)
A question for you: What have you noticed in your neighborhood that surprised you or brought you joy?