This weekend we spent most of our time outside playing, planting a garden and making some home improvements. We noticed more and more people out walking on the sidewalk with their families. There were people out mowing and planting flowers. It appears that we all may be coming out of the COVID-19 fog. Certainly, there are still many being affected by this pandemic, physically, emotionally and financially. However, there seemed to be a spark of hope and a sense of calm this weekend. We are starting to see we will once again live life, even if it looks a little different than before. As the fog is lifting from me, I have been reflecting and journaling about this time. God gave us this amazing opportunity to stop, and look up. He gave us this opportunity to quiet our hearts and listen. I will tell you, this time has been transformative for me. God has been convicting and speaking to my heart about my life, how our family life is structured, and how it needs to be re-structured. I want to share some of the insights God has been leading me to in the last seven weeks. We Are Too Busy Ok, I realize we all kind of already knew that, right? However, after God forced us to a grinding halt, I now see we were rushing. All. The. Time. Our activities weren’t bad, in fact they were all good in some way, but they caused our family to ping pong back and forth from place to place. Is it any wonder that I was snappy some days with my husband and kids? Does it make since that every time I sat down I would fall asleep? I see now how tired and run down I felt most of the time. I had gotten so used to it that I didn’t even think about how it was affecting myself and our family. Since we have slowed down, I am noticing things. This weekend while on my front porch drinking coffee, I heard a woodpecker. As I read to my daughter I noticed her sweet freckles. These small but meaningful observations remind me of how God illustrates his beauty and goodness in his creation. In Psalm 46:10 the Lord tells us, “Be still and know that I am God.” My Children's Hearts Need Cultivating Deuteronomy 11:18-19 says, “You shall therefore lay up these words of mine in your heart and in your soul, and you shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall teach them to your children, talking of them when you are sitting in your house, and when you are walking by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise.” As we have been home, part of our homeschool schedule has been a short devotion and prayer time each morning. Even in the last seven weeks I can hear my children talking more about their creator throughout the day and I have heard the growth of their prayers. Instead of asking for things mostly for themselves, I have listened to them branching out, praying for God to heal the sick and for God to help people to focus on Him. These are small but profound differences in how they see our Father. I will emphasize that our devotions are not long, but having this daily practice in the morning has really set the tone of our day. Growing in Christ is a Delight
This sounds obvious for a Christian to say, but in all the craziness of life and schedules, sometimes delighting in Christ was hard. Reading scripture, studying for a Bible lesson and praying were parts of my schedule, but delighting in Christ didn’t always make it on the list. I was so focused on getting my lesson done or making sure I had checked off the items on my prayer list, that I forgot to delight in Him. I mentioned that I have been on my porch at home. This spot is where I can delight in Him the most. I find so much peace and clarity in His creation and it helps me to adore Him before I begin to study about Him. God has been pulling me out of a funk that I didn’t even realize I was in during my study time. If every single day was foggy we would no longer talk about fog. It would simply become a part of our every day life. But if one day it finally cleared we would begin to realize how hazy everything looked and felt. Don’t allow this COVID fog to settle into your routine.
As we slowly go forth into the world, back into schedules and routines, pace yourself. Write down what you have learned during this time at home. Eliminate some events on your calendar, add practices into your routine that help you to grow in Him and cause you and your family to flourish. Grace and peace be with you.