I promise not to weigh you down with Coronavirus chatter; that info is already being slammed in our faces from every direction. Let’s take our thoughts in a different direction for a minute. Let’s think about the new face of families in the midst of this pandemic.
Families are “stuck” at home, schools and lessons cancelled or adapted, many parents either out of work temporarily or working from home. For many, family members are under the same roof for longer than just the gap between dinner and bedtime.
There are currently plenty of excellent posts out there focusing on how to fill the extra time. These posts are helpful and relevant, and will hopefully prevent many parental headaches. But that’s not the intent of this post.
Would you agree with me that social activities are somewhat of an addiction to some families? You know the type—if there’s a gap in their schedule, they aim to fill it. These kids are used to going to school, running from one activity to the next, then waking to do it all over again. That’s a pretty standard family rhythm these days, I’d venture to say.
We used to run our lives similarly. Not because we chose to, necessarily. We just didn’t pause long enough to choose not to. In this day and age, we have to be deliberate to choose not to overfill our schedules; saying “yes” to all. the. things. is a given. During seasons of high busyness, I’ve always known we were missing out on something greater by coloring in all our white space. We’ve since made some good changes, and I haven’t regretted it for a second. Yes, our kids are still in outside activities, and no, as we’ve changed our lifestyle they haven’t missed running around like mad. And no, we’re certainly not perfect at maintaining balance (I wish).
Many families operate in task mode 24/7. I don’t believe relationships have what they need to thrive in task-mode circumstances. There’s peace to be found in life’s white space when it’s no longer filled with rushing.
My prayer for families during this time of “self-distancing” is for families to remember how to function as families again… For free time when kids can remember what it feels like to use their imaginations. For parents to remember how it feels to sit on the couch with a cup of tea and play a game with their kids. No time limits. No, “we have to leave in ten minutes” rushing here and there. No short tempers due to high demand schedules. My prayer is for relationships to rekindle as the breakneck pace of life slows.
As easy as it is to complain about restaurants closing, stores being sold out, and isolation being encouraged, let’s be proactive to reverse our thinking. Let’s do all within our power to embrace our situations. Of course there are hard times included with this social isolation, financial difficulties not the least of these. I’m not denying the difficulties here. But look around. Breathe it in. Your home. Your loved ones. The freedoms you still have, which are still abundant.
“Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.” –Philippians 4:7
I don’t believe God is the source of evil and sickness, but I do believe he uses all these things for good. Could it be that God is taking the opportunity to press the “reset” button? Could it be he’s reminding us how central our families truly are to a healthy, functioning society? Let’s not resist what God wants to do in us and with us during this history-making time. Come, Holy Spirit. Bring your Kingdom. Change our hearts. Amen.
I’d love to hear your insights and questions in the comments below! And now, since so many people suddenly have lots of time on their hands, let me recommend a few great books you can find on Amazon…
For tween boys (or girls!), I recommend Joey Flynn’s Extraordinary Tale by Meghan E White. My 9-yr-old son loved it!
For parents of tweens (raising my hand), I highly recommend Hal and Melanie Young’s No Longer Little: Parenting Tweens with Grace and Hope. And I have to be honest–I’m only halfway through this one right now, but I’m hanging on its every word. If you have a tween, please check it out!
For women of all ages, I love Morning Meditations at Marina’s Kitchen Table by Marina Bromley. It’s all you could want and more in a morning devotional.
For cozying up with your little girl, this picture book by Chip Mattis is the sweetest… Under the Dancing Tree.
And if you’re needing something to keep your kids (8 & up) growing in their faith, even if church is unable to meet, I recommend Power Up by Jessie Mattis…yep, that’s me. Shameless plug I know, but still. It’s relevant. 🙂
Thanks for reading and have a blessed, peace-filled week!
6 thoughts on “Pressing the Reset Button”
Excellent thoughts, Jessie. So much always going on, but so much gets missed when we are running from activity to activity. I pray that many families are able to slow down, reconnect and enjoy each other. As you say, we don’t want to minimize the negatives about this, but those are not in our control-how we respond and choose to use this time is.
Exactly! Let’s embrace the things we can control, and draw closer to God and others in the things we can’t, instead of being pushed farther away as may be the inclination for some!
Such a beautiful post. All things work together for good for those who love the Lord. Things are inconvenient, even terribly hard right now. Many are sick and many have lost their lives, but for the rest of us, there is opportunity to grow in love and gratitude, just as you said so well, Jessie. Thank you.
Yes, it’s a terribly hard time for some, and a time of relational opportunity for others. Prayers go out to all during these uncharted times! Thanks, Pam! 🙂
Thank you for this amazing post, Jessie. It is so sad what everyone around the world is going through. I am trying the best I can to remain confined to my house because my immune system is weak because of a medication I take for MS. I feel like now is a time to be kind to others and obey what we are told by health professionals. I am looking forward to reading more of what you share and hope if you have the time, you will check out my site. I do the best I can to spread positivity to as many as I can, while still continue to be honest and very real! Take care Jessie!
Thanks, Alyssa! Yes, this is definitely a time for extra kindness and consideration. My prayers go out to the overburdened health care workers right now. Keep taking care of yourself, and I hope you are feeling well! I have MS too, actually, so I understand the feeling. (Although, unlike many MSers, I take a medication that doesn’t weaken my immune system.) Prayers for you to stay safe and well and keep spreading positivity! 🙂
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