Our world is in a state of shock. Our lives have been disrupted because of a virus that we don’t know how to prevent the spread of.
In the middle of this mess I’m having a lot of feelings surrounding my life being turned upside down.
Just a few weeks ago I was a work at home Mom.
My oldest is in elementary school, my middle goes to preschool 3 days a week and my youngest is home with me because she is an infant and still naps twice a day so I can work with her here (most of the time). I worked on the days that my middle was in preschool and whenever I could sneak in some hours throughout the week. Then a pandemic hit the world.
All Kansas schools were shut down through the end of the school year and we removed our middle from his preschool to fully quarantine our family. My husband, who works 10-12 hour days outside of the home is now working in our bedroom on a card table.
Life as we know it has completely changed.
All 5 of us are under the same roof now, all the time. Kansas City has also issued a Stay at Home order which means we can only leave if it’s absolutely essential and necessary…. which we have no intention of doing and what we’ve already been doing for 2 weeks voluntarily.
The other morning it was raining and I was wrestling with my emotions about all this.
How am I going to work and teach my children and cook every single meal, every single day?
Is my husbands job secure?
When will I get to see my parents again?
When will I get to see my friends again?
What will happen to the economy?
Will my sons lose everything they learned this year because I am not a great teacher?
In the midst of the emotions that brought me to tears, I was looking out my back window and it was raining. God whispered to me in that moment, “This is a time of cleansing.”
I don’t mean social distancing and washing our hands… I mean, what about a cleansing of our lives?
Maybe this is actually going to make us “clean” again?
Before all this, we were about to enter a season where we would have an activity at least 5 days a week. Don’t get me wrong, I love watching my son play sports, but I was concerned with how we were going to do it all. How was I going to be able to do it all and not feel completely and utterly drained at the end of the day?
God is using this to give me a better perspective in my life.
What is really important to me?
What is really important to my family?
It’s time to focus on what really matters without the “noise” surrounding us.
My 8 year old son had a perspective that I wasn’t anticipating.
When I told him school was cancelled I wanted to sit down and have a real heart to heart conversation with him about it because I assumed he would be upset. I asked him, “Are you ok?” His response, “Yes. I’m not sad that we don’t have school… now I get to spend more time with you.”
Tears burned my eyes.
In that moment, my attitude shifted.
I promised myself I would embrace this period of time and be thankful for the family time that we have gained because of it.
I have an 8, 4 and almost 1 year old. We, hopefully, will never be stuck in our house again for weeks on end… so why not make the most of this situation?
We are playing games.
We are reading more.
I am making them scrapbooks using the Project Life app during the times that I would normally be taking him to and from practice and watching his games.
I am teaching them how to do chores around the house that will serve them well in their life and help me immensely when this is all over.
I am watching my boys become best friends and learn to play better together than they ever have before because they are using their imaginations and all they have is each other.
We are having family dinners every night… we don’t get to do that as often as I’d like because of my husbands work schedule and kids who are hungry before Daddy gets home.
My husband is used to only seeing our daughter a few moments in the morning and at most, an hour at night. He is now able to see her much more, even though he is still working and pretty stressed with all of this, I can easily take her in for a quick snuggle so she can see Daddy in the middle of the day. Something that a few weeks ago was not an option.
I am coloring with my kids and helping them learn with the guidance of teachers and amazing online resources.
We are going on walks together, sometimes multiple times a day. The other day I got back on my bike and my son was so excited because I haven’t made time to ride bikes with him in almost 2 years.
Someday this will be over.
Our lives will go back to “normal”… but my hope is that we don’t go back to our normal.
My hope is that my life will be forever changed by this.
I want to look back and say, THIS is how we grew during that challenge.
Our family is better because of it.
Our family is stronger because of it.
It is officially spring and spring is all about blooming.
My hope is that you will bloom from this experience as well. My hope is that more of us will look at our lives and the blessings we have been given by God and be extra thankful for them.
I also hope that you will be able to take the time to see what can be removed from your life. Simplifying our lives is never a bad thing, then we can enjoy the things more that are the most important to us.
I will never take advantage of a simple hug from a loved one, a Target run without fearing germs, dropping my kids off to schools that they love, watching my son play his favorite sports and sitting down in a restaurant with my husband for a much needed date night again.
God never said following him would be easy, but we know He is here with us to weather this storm. We know His plan is far greater than our own… even when His plan makes absolutely no sense to us at the time.
God is working in my heart so much right now. He is giving me patience, perseverance, gentleness and most of all love.
We will get through this time, friends.
It will not be easy.
Every day seems to bring new challenges.
But, there is good in every day.
Remember the children who are in your home with you right now…. they don’t see this the way you do. They are most likely just thankful for more time with you. Make some memories that they’ll cherish forever.
Teach them that in the darkness you can always find the light.
Tell them about the everyday heroes who are on the front lines helping heal the sick.
It’s okay to feel overwhelmed and a bit anxious and angry… those feelings are valid, too.
It’s ok if your kids are watching too much TV or playing too many games on the iPad and arguing, too. All those things are happening here as well as the good stuff. It is just a season, and though we don’t know how long it will last, now is not the time to compare your parenting to anyone else’s. Actually it’s never a good time for that 😉
But remember, whatever you choose to focus on you will find more of.
Find the joy.
Be the joy.
And my hope is that your life will be forever changed in a way that will bless your family in a way that maybe wouldn’t have been possible before having your life disrupted.
These are hard days.
These are uncertain times.
Hold on tight to what God has promised.
He is here.
Even in the storm.