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However it’s coming to us, we’re all being given cocoon time here. Don’t look back after this experience, and wish that you had done more with the time you’ve been given.
They say the five stages of Spring, 2020 are denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance.
That’s a little joke.
But it has been a wild ride, hasn’t it? While I wouldn’t go so far as to call the required self-isolation a gift, I do believe that we should try to learn something from difficult experiences.
I should pause here to tell you that this is not a guilt-trip to make you feel badly that you are staying in the bathroom extra long to get away from your kids or using chocolate as a coping mechanism. Both are valid responses to what we’re going through, in my opinion.
All I hope to do is be a little encouraging bird on your shoulder reminding you of what you already know:
You may look back after this experience, and wish that you had done more with the time you’ve been given.
Reframing our vision for 2020
A friend of mine, Mackenzie, wrote some wise words in a devotion she shared from the book of Judges:
I, like many of you, entered the year 2020 with the word “vision” on the mind. To me, vision meant clarity and a plan. I was hopeful that this would be the year I would “figure everything out.” In these past few weeks, everything I thought I knew, everything I planned, has been thrown out of the window—all because of a virus I didn’t see coming.
Much like Gideon, I’m scared, uncertain, and don’t understand what God is doing (yet). So maybe 2020, the year of vision, wasn’t a promise for answers, but rather a challenge of your faith. Will you seek God’s provision and plan for your life? Will you cling to Him when everything else is shaky, foggy, and unknown? Will you trust that He is present even if His ways don’t make sense to you yet?
Take a minute right now and choose to set aside your vision. Then try saying these words to God, “I trust you.” Ask him to speak to you in a way that you can hear. I know he will.
If you’re anything like me, those conversations are usually not ‘one and done.’ When doubt creeps in, remind yourself that you trust Him, speak that truth out loud (I really think it makes a difference). Finding and speaking Scripture is a powerful tool, too.
Ask him every day to speak to you. Ask him to help you hear him. (It’s a prayer I think he loves to answer!)
And whatever he is telling you– lean into it. Now’s the time. Can you imagine how awesome it would be if you could look back on this difficult season as a time that God worked change in you?!
Living intentionally during self-isolation
On a smaller scale, a tangible, day-to-day scale, being intentional matters a great deal.
There is a time for survival mode. Just getting through the day is a major success. And we will all have days like that during this homebound season. If that’s where you are today…take a breath and tell yourself that it will be better tomorrow.
We can also fall into patterns of existing that feel comfortable and yet aren’t particularly intentional. Just like survival mode, it’s okay to have days like this, as long as we don’t stay here. Spend every day binge-watching in your pajamas, and not only will you feel like big sleepy walrus…you may start to look like one too. 😉
What does being intentional look like?
You don’t have to complete a home renovation, become the next Martha Stewart, or do a monk-like spiritual retreat. Just pick something. A little something. And do it.
Play games as a family.
Clean out a closet.
Try a new recipe. Here are some simple baking recipes to check out:
With your kids
- If you have kids at home, you could take advantage of some of of the free resources folks are offering these days. These helpful resources from Notgrass History are meant to help kids cope with the crisis.
- There are lots of educational helps out there to check into, as well. Virtual field trips, free classes, performances, and more. Study.com has put together some tips for parents who are managing the transition to kids learning at home during the quarantine.
- Sonya Shafer, from Simply Charlotte Mason, is offering a free video of her seminar “Laying Down the Rails: The Power of Good Habits” as well as a list of over 130 productive things to do at home.
- Learn some slang and impress (mortify?) your teenagers over dinner.
In the home
- Choose some specific homemaking skills you’d like to grow in. Lots of ideas here for traditional homemaking skills for the modern homemaker
- Find a new workout to try.
– Some of my favorite in-home exercises are Leslie Sansone’s Walk at Home workouts.
– This Disney treadmill series is pretty cool, too (Note: you can set the speed with the gear icon if you want to speed things up).
– Faithful Fitness is offering 30% off of lifetime access to every course and workout inside of the Faithful Fitness library, including any future updates and additions. (Wow!!) Use coupon code STAYHOME2020 until April 15, 2020
Grow your faith
- Put your Bible somewhere you’ll see it and start (or re-start) a daily Bible reading plan.
- Pray with your kids or spouse each day, even for a short time.
- Print out this 14-day prayer calendar and pray for the kids in your church.
- Find a way your family can serve your neighbors, family members, or church body. One family at our church baked cookies and mailed them out. My family picked up curbside orders at a local greenhouse and delivered the plants to church members. There are infinite ways to serve…pick one!
Another way we’re trying to encourage people is to share with them that we are praying for them. I’d been looking for a use for this cute chalkboard from the Dollar Tree. I’ve got it on the kitchen counter where everyone fixes food and puts dishes, so we’re all sure to see it several times a day. Each day I write a different person or family on the chalkboard for us to pray for, and I take a picture of the board and text it to whoever we’re praying for. Everybody likes to know they’re being prayed for!
Brainstorm a list of projects you might like to try. I’ve been making an ongoing list to pick from with things like:
- Clean out chest freezer
- Organize laundry room
- Make cinnamon rolls (I use the Pioneer Woman’s recipe…Yum! No coffee in the icing, though!)
- Pack a care package
- Make soap (It’s been a really long time since I’ve made any…not as hard as you think!)
- Make herbal salve
- Find a new park to walk in
Be open to spontaneous projects that come your way, too. I was doing some reading the other day about probiotics and gut health in relation to our immune system, and decided to try my hand at homemade yogurt-making.
Will I keep making homemade yogurt for the rest of my life? Probably not, but for now, I’m adding it to my routine.
Funny story: I spent for-e-ver getting the milk up to the right temperature to kill any germs and then cooling it back down to add the starter. Just as I was about to add it, I dropped my dirty hot pad into the milk. Ugh! Back to the stove to raise the temp and then lower it again. I’m hoping my second batch goes more smoothly!
Be a little better
Will any of us look back on the Spring of Coronavirus as the best Spring ever? Probably not. But maybe we could look back on it as a time of growth. I hope we do.
Memories made with our kids.
Relationships made stronger.
Hearing God speak to us.
Learning something new.
However it’s coming to us, we are all being given cocoon time here. You don’t have to emerge as the best possible version of yourself. But wouldn’t it be a waste if, after all of this, you’re absolutely no different at all?
What are some ideas you’ve done or seen to use this time at home?