The Coronavirus (COVID-19) is a term that we are all too familiar with right now not only in America but around the world. It is an uncertain time and I know we have all struggled to adjust to our new normal. There are trips we have had to cancel, events we were looking forward to and a brand new way of life (temporarily speaking).
How do we continue towards our goals?
What do I need to set aside right now during this period of time?
Is there now a goal that I need to stop pursuing altogether until things go back to normal?
I hope as I answer these questions, you can breathe a sigh of relief and feel a little less stressed.
How do we continue on towards our goals? We don't need to throw them all down the drain because this will end but we may need to adjust them temporarily and that is OKAY.
In the area of finances:
If you have lost your job (praying this isn't the case for you) or if you're only able to work part-time until this passes, maybe you do need to press pause on your financial goals. Focus on saving all of your extra cash to use for your bills in the event that you're not able to work for a week or two. When things get back to normal, you can continue saving for a car, paying off debt, etc. I know that right now we are all focusing on paying the bills and scaling back any extra spending in case this does stretch on for a few months.
In the area of parenting:
We were a homeschool family before the Coronavirus so that area of my life is not changing. However, I know so many of you lovely readers are suddenly having to homeschool your kids and I know you're stressed. We are new to homeschooling as our daughter just turned four. In this season, you need to give yourself grace first and foremost. This is not your ideal situation but you will get through it. If you thrive on a schedule, create a new home schedule that works for you and allow it to guide you through these uncertain days.
If you don't thrive on a schedule, do not add any extra stress to your plate or your kid's plates. Take time to snuggle, read a book, watch a movie, and just enjoy your time at home with your kids. If they need a break; give them a break! If you need a break; take a break! One reason we chose to homeschool was for the time freedom aspect. For example: If we are studying bees and need time away from table work, we can go on a nature walk to further our study of bees. Or, if we are antsy and having a hard time focusing, we can take the rest of the morning off and pick back up in the afternoon. My biggest goal: Raise lifelong learners and recognize that every moment is a teachable moment.
In the area of being alone:
As an extrovert, who suddenly had to cancel all social events, a birthday party, a much anticipated weekend getaway with her husband and so. much. more. I am floundering. A quick change of perspective (we are healthy and so many are sick) got my mindset back on track. However, I don't sugarcoat my struggles around here on the blog and I know many of you are in the same boat. Suddenly our lives are completely turned upside down and we are not even sure what day it is or what we should be doing. It is ROUGH. Even if you aren't an extrovert, I am sure you have found yourself floundering too. Being isolated is never easy for any of us and I want to share a few things I am doing right now to keep the loneliness at bay:
1. Pick up the phone
If you're feeling discouraged and stressed, pick up your phone and call your spouse, best friend or a family member. Tell them what you're feeling and ask them how they are feeling. Take a few moments to pray together and maybe even hop on a facetime call to see their face! FaceTime is the greatest invention of all time.
2. Get in a quiet place and pray
It truly changes your mindset and your attitude when you take a few moments to cry out to God. Tell him exactly how you feel without putting up a front. Just a few days ago, I reached my tipping point and found myself underneath my clothes hanging in the closet. I was crumpled up in the corner blowing my nose on a ratty sweatshirt (gross I know) and very messily pouring out my heart to God. From my current stresses to other internal struggles I have been having, it all came out in one big epic blowout. Even after an epic emotional meltdown, I felt more at peace after giving those worries over to God. Prayer truly changes things even when we forget how powerful it is.
James 5:16 says, "Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much."
3. Anticipate the future
Sometimes we need to readjust our perspective and remind ourselves that this won't last forever. Seasons come and seasons go. This WILL end and we will get through this difficult time. Be excited about that trip you're going to reschedule with your spouse, the party you're going to throw and the never-again-taken-for-granted coffee dates with your besties. Be excited about the future and thank God for reminding you to never take these every day ordinary moments for granted.
In the area of health:
Our stress hormone (Cortisol) is probably really high right now with all that is going on in the world. Stress directly affects our immune system so it is important to keep our stress as low as possible especially with all of the germs going around. Make sure you're getting adequate rest, staying hydrated, eating a healthy diet full of fruits and veggies, and making time for prayer. The photo below is linked with the ingredients for the smoothie we drink year-round to keep germs at bay.
In the area of the family:
As we spend more time at home with family, we can soak up the extra time with our loved ones that we normally don't get to enjoy. Family is so important and we often take our family for granted. We have extra time to spend together and we can use this time to grow closer to one another and grow closer to Christ as a family. Have a movie night, bake cookies together and enjoy your time spent together. At the end of the day, we won't regret the times we spent with our family even if we do tend to drive one another crazy.
In the area of faith:
I would be lying if I said this hasn't tested my faith and shown me a lot of areas of my heart that need work. Not only do we selfishly take God's blessings for granted, but we also have an idolatry problem. Our finances, health, freedom and time are easy to worship. It isn't comfortable to hear but I had to realize that, I too, worship and hold onto these things tighter than I hold onto God sometimes.
Being diligent with our finances is wise and biblical. However, trusting in your riches is not. Our hope is in Christ and Christ alone. Every breath we take and every moment we enjoy is from God. He gives us the breath in our lungs and I am so thankful for that. God gives the increase and blesses us with what we need and when we need it. If I have learned anything, I have learned that I easily idolize and hold onto these things far too tightly.
I so appreciate you being here and reading my words. I am praying for you and hope you're hanging in there!