Hello everyone I’m Debbie Booth and I’m the creator and designer of Ribbonwood Cottage. The first of this year was filled with anticipation of new projects, work I was looking forward to doing and what I wanted to accomplish by certain time frames. I didn’t realize what was coming.

Early on in February my husband and I both got very ill with the virus and got tested. We were very sick. Several days later we both recovered. During this time our son and wife who live with us and are caring for our granddaughter, who has two kinds of leukemia, relocated to another relative's house that was virus free. Things were complicated.

Work has been affected as my husband is a hospice chaplain and I’m a volunteer co-ordinator for the same hospice. We help families who need an extra hand during their rough season. When home I work on making miniatures for customers and my shop.

Listening to the daily briefings kept us informed but also depleted us because of the bad news. We decided early on to anchor ourselves in our faith and family and hold our world steady.

You don’t see what an anchor does but it is a key component during  the storm!

Here are my key factors that are important for me as a woman, a mother and grandmother during this season. It’s my game plan of sorts.

My eight-step plan to cope with the crisis

  1. Keeping busy with projects helps but I needed more to sustain my well being. Reading scriptures and good words that I felt would strengthen me.
  2. This scripture helped me immensely during the darkest days of our illness not knowing where things were headed. It helped strengthen my faith.
Joshua 1:9 “Be strong and of good courage, don’t be afraid, neither be dismayed for the Lord thy God is with you wherever you go.”

3. Bringing order to our home and work spaces helped reduce anxiety. Clearing the clutter. Cleaning surfaces.

4. Limiting the intake of news to one main briefing. Knowing protocol and what was required is necessary but listening to heart wrenching news all day was and is too much.

5. Listen to good messages, music or podcasts.

6. Work on something inspiring with an end date of completion

7. Keep beautiful things where I can visually see them rather than a mess or disastrous glob of tools and mess in my workspace.

8. I remember thinking what do I do right now? My little projects seemed unimportant in light of the circumstances of the world. But I’ve decided every day I  will be grateful for that day. I will make something, create or work. Every day.

A sense of hope

For me the process of sewing, creating and making is a healthy one. As I prepare all the pieces to sew or make miniatures I also find my thoughts are put in order, sort of organising them. Working on projects gives a sense of hope that tomorrow does come and there’s a need to plan for that. I am also setting aside difficult projects that create stress or anxiety for ones I can accomplish that will give me a sense of completion.

The priority for my husband and I is making our home a faith filled safe place, to try to keep it safe and peaceful. For us, for family, for the days ahead. Loving people and helping them navigate through this rough time is important. Every day holds promise and that is very important to hold on to.

One of the houses Debbie has been working on
Debbie has found solace working on her hobbies.

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