Being Married and Quarantined (God Has a Sense of Humor)–Guest Blog Post by Gena Duran

Oh my gosh! This has been an interesting week, to say the least. It has undoubtedly been a challenge. You would think that after thirty years of being with each other, my husband and I would know how to live together during this time in quarantine. Well, I am here to say that we have so far completely failed to be our best versions of ourselves. genablog

We have managed to throw all of our knives and daggers at each other. It has not been pretty in la casa de Duran. I am not proud of this. Is there anyone else out there that is struggling to be a better partner with their significant other or is it just me? 

Do not get me wrong, I love my husband very much. I want us to be better. I want to be the best version of myself for him. However, it seems that I have a lot of garbage tucked away in my thoughts that have decided to be revealed right now. Perhaps it is because we have been forced to be in small quarters with one another, or maybe it is the stressors of this pandemic. It could be that after thirty years, we must acknowledge that we have gotten away with never actually dealing with our issues because we were too busy with work, kids, finances, and all the things that we have allowed to overshadow our relationship. 

The other day, I was livid with Dion, as I am sure he was fed up with me too. I was outside on the balcony watching the traffic go by, kids playing, people chatting, and the sun on my face. I was thinking about our marriage and wondering why I have put up with all the junk that we put each other through. I was so angry at him and kept finding more reasons to leave. I was putting all the blame on him because of course, it was all his fault. LOL. 

Suddenly, it dawned on me that I was not even upset with Dion, rather, I have consumed myself with the insecurity of rejection. 

The idea of rejection, to be left, drives me to be irrational at times. For thirty years, I have focused my energy on not being left or abandoned. I have not truly focused on my marriage for the joy of having a partner for life and all the goodness that God created for our matrimony.  Up until now, I had an unconscious desire to sabotage my marriage and relationship with my husband.

Stay with me- I know this sounds just horrible, but I think it is important. 

I watched a movie and the character was a professor playing a game of chess with a student. She said something that came to mind the other day. She said that she won because of her opponent’s mindset of “playing to not lose.” There is a difference in playing to win and playing to not lose- that is exactly what I have been doing for thirty years! I was motivated in my marriage to not get a divorce and all the while, I should have had a mindset to be married. I need to play to win not to lose my marriage. I hope this makes sense to someone reading this. I will elaborate more if not. 

My mindset and my behavior regarding my marriage were subconsciously fighting for my marriage to not end, and that is not what God wants for me or anyone. He wants us to embrace love, forgiveness, and grace so that our marriages will be strong and intimate. He wants us to be focused on Him so that through Him, we experience unconditional love with our spouses and focus on being married. He wants us to thrive in our marriages, not just survive through it. 

I realize now that I was playing to not lose in my marriage (and by the way, I know marriage is not a game.) If we play games in our marriages that means that someone has to lose, and in a marriage, if you do what I have done for the last thirty years, you’ve already lost. 

The good news is that God is forgiving and if we listen well enough, we can restore and reset our mindset to make our marriages better. Be in it to win it with no other options. Do not be in your marriage with a mindset to lose it. 

gena2Some say that the longest sentence in the world is “I do.” This is an implicit testament of society’s view of what marriage is- a jail sentence for life. There is a negative connotation of loss of freedom or an option for parole or something. We joke about marriage quite often, but the truth is that marriage should not be taken lightly and we should all seek God’s guidance and adhere to His model of love and the sanctity of marriage as a covenant.

When I got married at the age of nineteen, I did not understand that it was a covenant, not a contract. Contracts can be broken, come with terms, and eventually expire. So all these years, I functioned within my marriage with an expectancy of expiration and my insecurities of rejection drove this idea that I would be rejected eventually. Then, my stubborn self fought to not lose. Aye chihuahua. I do not know how we got this far with that kind of mindset. Praise God that He did not give up on our marriage and has shown us that He is the center of marriage.

Since my realization, I actually feel lighter. The burden of not losing has been lifted and God has shown me a better way to navigate through this pandemic with my spouse. My lens has been wiped clean and I see all the goodness of my partner and I have been able to appreciate him and the fact that we will recover from our old ways of thinking in terms of our marriage. 

gena3It is my hope that all the married people in our church community can stop and reflect on our marriages and see how we can take advantage of the stay-at-home orders. If you are struggling or need resources to sustain in your marriage (Mosaic Church understands that we all need support, tools, and resources to work on ourselves and our marriages), we have a marriage coach available and she is awesome! I recommend that you connect with her soon! 

Do not waste time being angry, trying to have the last word, or live with an expectation to NOT LOSE your marriage. Instead, expect to be champions within your marriage. It really is a simple shift to your mindset. The journey won’t always be easy, but it will be worth it. Focus on the things that your spouse does right, consider what you can do better, offer more grace than you receive, reach out to God to give you wisdom, and remember that our marriages are a covenant that will withstand the storm (or in this case, the pandemic). 

Love and light to you all. We will get through this. God is with us and is using these unprecedented times to redirect our priorities, relationships, and our lives for the better! Faith, family, and then everything else should be our priorities and in that exact order. God did not put the coronavirus in our place, but He will be glorified and He will use the circumstance to make us all better people and to have better marriages! 



Rest Assured–Guest Blog Post by Patty Schulz


These are indeed troubled times.

For the past few weeks I feel like I am living in the place between what I remember as my “normal” life and what feels like the zombie apocalypse. 

A couple of weeks ago I was at work. Just another normal day. Well, almost normal. We knew about COVID-19 and that it was a threat – in China. Not here, in Colorado! Around lunch time we were informed that we were to grab what we needed to work remotely and that starting at 5 p.m. we would no longer be allowed back to our place of work. Ok. Well what does this mean? How long will we be working remotely? Will it be a couple of days? Till the end of next week?

I am a planner…

I need a plan…

I need details…

I grabbed what I could but as each day passes I realize that I didn’t understand the severity of the situation. Every week it seems like the stay at home order is being extended and there is more uncertainty instead of answers. 

Families with school age children are having to adjust to homeschooling and having their kids home .. ALL OF THE TIME. College students expecting to finish up the semester have so many questions. Couples are spending all of their time together and it is putting a strain on relationships. Many good people have lost their jobs and our economy is impacted. Cases of COVID-19 are soaring and the death toll rises. As someone who suffers from anxiety and PTSD I have to admit that I was struggling. What is happening? What is the truth? When will this end and when will we be allowed to go back to our normal lives? Stories on the news and social media only serve to make me feel more anxious as there seems to be no end in sight. 

Thankfully I know the secret to all of this:  trust in the Lord and rest, assured.

Proverbs 3 verses 5 and 6 give us a simple instruction for every situation:

‘Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding;

in all your ways submit to Him, and He will make your paths straight.” (NIV)

Along with Proverbs 3:5 & 6, the two word phrase “rest assured” has been on my heart. 

  • The definition of the word “rest” is to cease work or movement in order to relax, refresh oneself, or recover strength. 
  • The word “assured” means confident, certain, secure and

Many of us have been forced to cease work … or at least cease work as we know it. Maybe God wants us to refresh ourselves, recover our strength in Him?

Today as I was looking out the window and reflecting on God’s power and His many names I felt assured. Confident, certain, secure and guaranteed that God is in control, He is my provider, and He will see us through this historical time. So maybe we don’t need to understand it, just trust. Trust in the Lord with all your heart. Pray about everything and He will give you peace in this storm. 

Stay strong family. Rest, assured that God is still in control and that He loves you!

Finding God in All of This–Guest Blog Post by Gena Duran

With all the chaos going on in the world, it can become overwhelming, especially if your heart and mind are filled with fear. It is hard to ignore all of the news, social media, and conversations about all of this. Every which way we look, there is fear lingering in all corners of every space. But it does not have to be that way. Considering all the talent that walks through the doors of our church, there are many that have reached out to try to find a way to bring comfort and to remind us all that God will be glorified through all of this. We, at Greeley Mosaic Church, want to offer you space of calm, humor and God’s word, as we all (as a family) navigate through the current situation. 

We understand that it is hectic, to say the least. It is easy to succumb to the spirit of fear concerning the pandemic we are facing. There is uncertainty in the air that is literally making it hard to breathe. We want to support you in any way we can and offer too, our prayers, our resources, and our ability to see the light of God in all of this.  

One of the ways we will offer a space of calm is to share our own journeys -utilizing words of encouragement and God’s goodness.  We offer messages that we hope are relatable and inspiring to change the view to which many of us are looking, and remove the spirit of fear.  

Hello! I am Gena Duran. I am excited to participate in the effort of bringing us all tempFileForShare_20200329-164352_75446125039342together through blogging and online conversation.  For those of you that know me, you know that I have a lot to say…basically about anything- so I thought that I would use this time of quarantine to focus on the things that God has been pushing me to do-like writing more and sharing with you the experiences, experiments, and entertainment that I will take on while in this stay-at-home time. 

We anticipate there will continue to be an uncertainty of so many things; however, it is my hope that while I share my own vulnerability through this, that we can connect and realize God’s grace more so than anything. 

The last couple of weeks, when the news of the COV-19 was unfolding on the news and basically all social media outlets, it was was very overwhelming and frightening. Everywhere we turn, there is more discouraging news and uncertainty than ever. I admit that at first, I too felt anxiety in the first couple of days. Then, I was reminded of a recent church service that Pastor Angel shared the spirit of fear and how the spirit of fear is not of God. We learned how the spirit of fear is meant to bring harm to us, to take us away from God’s blessings and the purpose that we all have given by God. Plain and simple- fear is a liar! If you have not watched or heard the message that Pastor Angel spoke about the spirit of fear, I highly recommend you do so soon! 

Thinking about this, I started to focus on God’s design for us all-He designed our bodies to heal naturally by creating the very touch of another person, like a warm embrace to send messages to our brain to help us heal from pain and sadness, creating a joyous element of peace and calm-even if for that one minute that someone embraces us. We are designed to interact with and touch one another. There is more to the scientific wording, but I am not equipped to use the terminology, but you get my point. 

The pandemic is real, the guidelines set in place because of the virus are real-there is no doubt about that; however, this virus is a deterrent. It is causing fear all over the world, it is literally making us all remove ourselves from touch and interaction with one another-so what it is, is a spirit of fear. The good news is that God will be glorified through all of this. He will show us all the way to come closer to Him.

For example, I have made excuses for many years to not do the things that I know God has nudged me to do. My excuses include not having time, not have the energy, not enough money, and not enough of worldly expectations. Because of the current situation that we are all facing, my excuses have been removed. 

With that said, I have decided to take advantage of being self quarantined and not working at this time. Some of the ways that I am going to utilize the cards we have been dealt with include me starting to do and see through some of those things that God has asked me to do. For starters, I am going to write, workout, and spend time with my family-real quality time. You know what I am talking about- actually to be present, participating and praying. What God wants for all of us, is to go back to the basics: FAITH, FAMILY, and then, everything else. 


In the next few weeks, I hope to share with you short videos of what we are doing here in la casa de Duran. I will post spirit-lifting thoughts and how I am growing in my relationship with the Lord.  Our intent is to make this time fun, a place to grow spiritually, and an opportunity to connect to you all during this time. 

I have set forth some goals to work on and I am sharing with you so that you can hold me accountable and to perhaps, inspire you to create some goals too. 

  • Workout every day-this This can be anything, like walking, 30 minutes of exercise using videos and other apps available.   
  • Spending more time reading the Bible-development and application of learning
  • Cook healthy meals for my family-try new recipes and share 
  • Find a location in the community to volunteer my time or talent- food banks or homeless shelter-if it is an option
  • Do lots of crafts from Pinterest – I have lots of fun pins to try out that have built up for about two years
  • Restore my marriage- actually engage in better communication and give him my full attention
  • WRITE- God has instilled in me the desire to write a book- I will write for at least an hour a day about what God has placed in my heart
  • FAMILY-engage in conversation and play with my grand babies as well as be more present in my children’s lives, and be a better daughter and sister too
  • FRIENDS-connect via social media with friends that I keep putting on the back burner

Now, my list of goals may change as something more meaningful may emerge through my quest to find the beauty of all of this; however, I will share what I am learning, what Iphoto-1490676174569-1fa40080e712 have accomplished, and whatever else comes from using the time at home. 

I know that I will be inspired by you all-if you choose to share your goals to help you navigate through all of this and how God is working in your life too.  I am excited to be a part of this journey with you and will definitely be a better person because of it. 

Make Sure to Watch Greeley Mosaic Live On Sundays!