I was going to start this blog with a clever title, “COVID 19 Ways to Keep the Kids (and You!) From Going Stir Crazy.” Cute, am I right? But who am I kidding? I’m the worst mom to give you advice on homemade STEM activities, geocaching, non-toxic art projects or cutesy vegan cupcake bake-offs. Let’s get very real here: we are all going to go a little crazy from time to time. And we are going to have to be OK with it and give grace where needed. We have now been put into a situation as parents to try our hand at homeschooling, some of us while simultaneously working. Coupled with these complexities are the underlying questions constantly running in the background of our psyche wondering … When will we run out of toilet paper? Should I wear gloves when I pump my gas? Is that drip down my throat allergies or Corona? And who has all that dang ground beef? Who knew 85/15 would become such a luxury item. I hope you are making like a thousand of the best homemade meatballs with my beef, whoever you are.
Let’s just focus on the basics and get really simple. Do the five, y’all.
- Open in prayer.
The number one way to ensure you don’t reenact the “Here’s … Johnny!” scene from The Shining is to start your day in prayer. Preferably before the children find you or wake you up. If you don’t fill yourself with the Word and listen for God’s direction for your day, you will find yourself running on empty fumes. I know this from experience of having a tween and a teen. I haven’t splintered a door yet, but my patience has been unnecessarily shattered with both of them because I didn’t start my day this important way. When you start that prayer list, do you mind praying with me over these important items? Please pray for our national and local leaders to have wisdom and to take swift action when needed, God’s hand of healing over the people who have the virus, protection for our health care workers, a supernatural swift end to the outbreak and relief for families who are losing income due to quarantines/slow-downs. What about you? What’s on your heart? How can the church staff pray for you? Please share here: https://my.ccbcfamily.org/page/523.
- Seek His Word before you scroll Twitter.
If you turn to the news before you open up His Word, panic is going to set in. Don’t get me wrong — it’s great to be well-informed, but God wants us to check in with Him first so we can process all of the news we read through the right lens. Reflect on these words of Jesus at this very moment in history and let them sink into your soul: “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world” (John 16:33). This is a promise to remember. He is still on the throne and none of this is a surprise to Him. The best way to deal with bad news is the good news of Christ. If you don’t have a current Bible study plan, check out these helpful resources here (https://www.ccbcfamily.org/readingplans/) to get started.
- Kick everyone outside.
My husband delights in his childhood stories of how his mom would literally lock them out of the house so they would have to play outside. I think we are here, folks. It’s been really cool to witness so many families in our neighborhood walking their dog, riding bikes and just generally sending their kids out to play. Way to go! If you haven’t jumped on that bandwagon yet, start with a morning walk, bike or scooter ride after every breakfast if it’s nice.
- Socialize with responsible social distancing.
Zoom video conferencing isn’t just for businesses! People all over the country desperate for human contact are jumping into Zoom groups and even hosting virtual happy hours. ’Cuz if momma ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy. Just joking, this is a church blog, so make sure that’s a mocktail in your hand. You can sign up for a free account and host any kind of get-together, club, your home group or prayer circle for you or the kids! Use your imagination—host a book discussion, interactive cooking/baking class or grab some paints and have a painting party. It’s a fun way to keep the group connected in a new way that’s safe for all: https://zoom.us/.
- Be kind.
In these uncertain times, we all just need a little bit more kindness in our lives. Call your elderly neighbor or friend to see if they need a curbside pickup if they can’t or don’t want to go. They might insist they are fine; you may need to insist they need your help. Enlist the kids to color or paint some pictures or write some letters to brighten up the day of some local nursing home residents. Give grace to yourself and your kids as you begin a new normal this new week of “school.” Your plan might sink in the first hour and that’s completely normal. There might be a lot of crying on the #firstdayofschool and it might not be the kids. Now is definitely not the time to compare your skills to another parent’s on Instagram. Be kind to yourself and fight that killjoy of comparison with the fact that God chose you to be their parent. And, lastly, really do the five and be kind by having everyone in the family following these important tips: https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019/advice-for-public.
Worship online with us this Sunday!
Looking for hope, community and some good news? We’re gathering online this Sunday for just that! We’ll be live at 9:15 a.m., 11 a.m. and 5 p.m. at www.ccbcfamily.org. Invite a friend to watch with you and join us then!