On a scale of loving your mandated home-time, to get me the heck out of here, how are you my friend? Not gonna lie, we’ve had ups and downs. Music parties and meltdowns. Banana bread smiles and bedtime tantrums. But surprisingly, more often than not, we’re faring well with our solitary life. As I ponder how to support you and your family, I thought I’d share some rhythms that are keeping us sane.
Hello Jesus! We need you!
I start each day with 30 minutes of alone time with my Bible or prayer. I don’t share this because I’m awesome, but because He is my only shot at sanity. With God on my heart and mind, I feel more peaceful, powerful, and in control because I’ve been reminded that HE’S in control. Parenting and stressful moments don’t feel as overwhelming, this virus doesn’t seem as scary, and life feels joyful as I begin my day reading things like Psalm 23.
Make a daily schedule
I am not type A, not at all, but I realized if we don’t have a schedule, we soon have chaos. Ours is very simple:
Wake up by 8am, breakfast and PBS while mom does devotional, school time (family read aloud, math, writing/spelling), daily walk/downstairs playtime, Lunch (kids help clean up time), chore time, Science experiment (today we made a tornado in a pop bottle, we’ve also done volcanoes, and food coloring experiments basically as a throwback to my childhood ha!) here’s a good website for ideas… http://www.sciencekids.co.nz/experiments.html Then we do one hour of quiet time and wing it the rest of the day with games/baking etc.
My kids are actually thriving and have started to memorize the schedule. They’ll tell me what time it is and what’s next. Now hear me well, I stink at schedules! So if you’re just holding it together with movies and cookies, I get it. But I’ve tried total freedom and this schedule, and it is hands down working better for us to have a rhythm to each day. Praying you find yours!
Halfway through your day find a space away from your family to practice solitude. May sound weird to practice solitude in a quarantine, BUT you’re around your family all day and you need a break from them so you can regroup with God and continue to serve them well.
ONE HOUR once a day, I send each kid to a different space with at least 3 activities to do (books, water colors, toy animals, ANYTHING) and I go to my space WITH NO PHONE. I read, write, nap, garden, or any other thing that brings me peace and joy. If it’s a hard day I read my Bible again or pray.
Try one new thing each day
I think this is important because it breaks up the monotony of seclusion. I’ve been baking A LOT. I’m sure I’ll regret it come swimsuit season, but who cares. I’ve been reading new recipes and getting excited about trying them. Try my new fav banana bread.
I’ve planted new seeds in little pots (if you don’t have any, use an old peanutbutter jar or any plastic/glass jar, dig up some dirt, save and dry a seed or two from a veggie you eat like a pepper, plant and water it, and see it grow!)
Who knows what I’ll do tomorrow LOL. I have a whole tub of yarn begging to become a scarf.
Creatively Reach OUT
It’s easy to think you can’t help others if you’re homebound, but it’s quite the opposite. I was reminded while reading through the book of Acts just how often the Apostle Paul was imprisoned or arrested and still had great impact. Some ideas for you and me?
*Write one letter a day or each week to people you love to make them smile. #ilovemail
*Write big notes of scripture or hope on a big paper each week and tape it to your window so passersby can read your message.
*Video chat your family once a week to check on them.
*Send $ to your local food banks and have your kids write an encouraging note along with it.
I mean, possibilities are endless and you will feel better as you reach out to help others.
I’d love to hear how you and your family are weathering social distancing. What recipes are you baking? What Bible verses are you clinging to? What websites are you using? Help a sister out!
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Andrea Chatelain’s mission is to meet women in their struggles and love them forward with God’s truth. She’s a Midwest mom of three, faith and family writer, and college English instructor to immigrants and refugees. She believes Jesus transforms lives when His people boldly seek Him. Her writing reflects her love for Jesus and heart for fellow believers.