We are officially a few weeks into this mandated quarantine now. Whether you holed up earlier when it was still just a suggestion, or you settled in only when told to do so, it has no doubt been an adjustment. This life inside and away from others is like nothing we’ve known before.
Personally, my biggest struggle has been trying to figure out what is best for my family. I don’t want us to just survive this time, I want us to thrive. We have been given an opportunity to be together with limited outside schedules to keep…I don’t want to squander these moments! But y’all, it’s hard! In my mind I have so many things I want us to do! All. The. Things. I have things I want to do personally for myself, like write more and organize every single drawer and closet, but the kids are ALWAYS around. I have things I want to do with the kids too, but they can’t always agree…not to mention, I’m working with three different age levels at the same time here. I have all the want and desire, but it’s been hard getting anything done and checked off the list. Anybody else feel me?!
I’ve found myself wanting to dive all in and become this super homeschool mom. But when I do and things don’t go my way, I find myself throwing in the towel asking myself why I’m putting myself through this when it isn’t even necessary. I’ve found myself spiraling out, wanting to forget all that is happening in the world and just veg out in front of the TV, binge watching (and eating) things that might make me feel better in the moment but quite possibly worse in the long run. I’ve struggled with wanting to know what’s going on, but knowing that knowledge will likely make me worry more…never in my life has the struggle been more real.
It’s a constant battle inside my mind…do I do something for me and my sanity or for the betterment of my kids? How much is too much screen time when stuck inside the house? Am I helping them to deal in the moment or am I hurting them in the long run? Am I helping myself in the moment or hurting myself in the long run? What kind of example am I setting to my kids who are constantly around me? How much information is too much information for them and their little minds? How do I satiate my desire for knowledge and awareness without filling myself with fear? And that’s just off the top of my head folks!
As a Christian mother, I know where my help comes from. The answer is in Psalm 121:2, the Lord. But I’ve been challenged to ask myself if I’ve been seeking my help from Him, or outside sources? Yes, I’ve been in the Word. But y’all, I’ve admittedly been so scattered! I decided I needed a day to truly be away from the outside world. I unplugged from the digital and dialed into God. 24 hours with no media for me or my kiddos. I called it our “No Media Monday” As He always does when I truly listen, the Lord spoke to me, and I wanted to share my findings with you.
I opened my Bible where I last left off, at 1 Corinthians 12, which speaks of Spiritual Gifts. In this chapter we learn that there are different giftings, but they all come from the same Lord. They are as follows…
Word of Wisdom
Word of Knowledge
Working of Miracles
Speaking in Tongues
Interpretation of Tongues
Truth be told, I wasn’t feeling super gifted after reading about them! My wishy-washy tendencies as of late haven’t been filled with much wisdom or knowledge. I do consider myself to be filled with faith, but even that has faltered in these trying times. I am not on the front lines, healing the sick or working miracles. I’ve never been a prophesier. I’ve definitely been lacking discernment! And I can’t speak or interpret tongues…“So I guess faith on a good day is my gift” I decided.
As I read deeper in the notes of my Bible, I learned that some of the Corinthians thought some giftings were superior to others. I wondered what the Corinthians would think of me? A mother who can muster up some faith on her best days…
In the next section of this chapter, Paul explains that the body has many members but it is still one body (Catholic friends sing with me “We are many parts, we are all one body…”) Paul further explained that the appearance of bodily parts can be deceptive. I was reminded that our internal body parts aren’t attractive, yet they are so much more essential to our health than the visible, external ones. That note got me thinking…how can I be a lung or a heart? Because that is how I want God to use me! I want to be that necessary to the working of His kingdom! And I want to work like those parts work, never ceasing! I prayed, “Lord make me a lung. Or a heart. Maybe some blood. Whatever You want of me, Lord, just make me necessary! Give me purpose! Use me!”
I continued on while the kids continued to give me quiet time…God will provide! Can I get an Amen?!
In chapter 13, I read about “The Greatest Gift”. You don’t even have to be a Christian to know the iconic verses to come. Verse 4 starts out, “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.”
Paul spoke these beautiful words to the Corinthian people to let them know that no matter what their gifting was, if they weren’t doing it in love, it really meant nothing. And that was my “ah-ha moment”. Love. All I need to do right now is love. That. Is. It.
Just love. It sounds so simple, but I know it’s really not. Love isn’t loving as we, the giver, wants and sees fit. That would be too easy. Love, true love, is loving as the receiver needs. That’s sometimes going to mean doing things that we really don’t want to do, like being the lone dish washer, dropping everything to be the missing Lego piece finder, or being the continual room cleaner-upper even though you weren’t the mess maker. It might mean ditching the lengthy home school schedule and giving you and your kids a day off while at home. Love. Just love.
Here’s the main take away. God has us here, in these moments, quarantined with these people for reason. Love them well. Maybe you are like me, sequestered with your young family, dreaming of personal space and the day you can get an hour to yourself again. You’re seeing others on social media get all organized while your world is literally spiraling out of control with all the toys, games, pieces, laundry, snacks and crumbs. Mama, just love your crazies while you get this chance to! Build the fort. Have the tea party. Ride the bike. Color the pages. Do all the things you wish you had time to. Because, Mama, you’ve got the time to right now! Ain’t nobody coming to our houses! We’ve got no reason to keep them pristine when the kids aren’t going anywhere fast! Slow down and just love.
Maybe you are very much unlike me and live alone in these times. Can I remind you that we are never really alone! God is there, waiting to hear from you! Pray! If you are one of the people who have so much time on their hands, pray for the people who don’t! Pray for our doctors and nurses. Pray for our law enforcement, military and government officials. Pray for those who are sick and dying. You, my lonely friend, can play such a powerful role in this epidemic through your prayer! Pick up your Bible and read it, let the living Word of God speak to you, because it will! God has you alone in this time for reason and purpose. It’s not to question why you are alone. It’s not to nit-pick at your life. He’s trying to teach you something, and it’s up to you to take this opportunity to figure out what exactly that is. All I can say is, alone, just you and your thoughts can be a dangerous place to be…if you don’t invite God into that space, the enemy will invite himself. Don’t allow the devil a foothold…
Maybe you aren’t alone, but you feel like you might as well be. Please remember that God has you “stuck” with this person or these people for purpose. Use this time to restore your relationships. Talk to each other. And more importantly, listen! Rediscover the spouse you fell in love with. Get to know the teen your baby grew into. Bond with your roommates like you’ve never bonded before. Strengthen your relationships while you have this amazing chance to!
In this time that feels so helpless, do what you can to help. Give the greatest gift. Love.
And as always,
Be Blessed + Be A Blessing