5 ways to Gracefully Quarantine

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!

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Be still

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!

Share with me your tips below or on Facebook, or Instagram PLEASE! Until next time, sending you and yours love, blessings, and prayers for health and peace.

**Here’s how to GET MORE free encouragement from me right to your inbox! Join the Glory-Be sisterhood. You matter to me! I’m so glad to walk in faith with you.

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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.

Grow in faith with Andrea’s video Devotionals on Our Daily Bread! And more with WhollyLoved Ministries on YouVersion Bible App and Crosswalk.

 

 

Done Freaking Out

Anxiety is a beast. It used to control my emotions and hijack my peace. I replayed past mistakes wondering if I was really forgiven. I was frozen in the present afraid of the day. And fretting over the future. Would it all work out? Figuring out anxiety with people wasn’t helping. I needed a divine intervention.

Listen to what our BFF Jesus says to you and me about peace…

“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.”  John 14:27

Jesus can offer so much more than well meaning friends or family when we are losing it. He doesn’t pat us on the back and say it’ll all be ok. He promises that it’s ok because He is in it with us. Knowing that God is present in every fear, every unsteady situation, every moment of uncertainty gives me peace.

Knowing that God is present in every fear, every unsteady situation, every moment of uncertainty gives me peace. 

How? Through God’s gift of the Holy Spirit. We know anxiety is real even though we can’t see it because we can feel its weight. But I know my God’s Holy Spirit is real even though I can’t see Him because I can feel His peace.

As I’ve chosen to be disciplined in giving hard moments and freak outs to God through prayer and trust, I’ve experienced divine peace. I now have assurance over my past, present, and future that no one can mess with.

Here’s how it plays out in everyday life…

THE PAST… When I start to replay negative thoughts about past screw ups, sin, or hurts, I talk to God about it. I tell Him in prayer everything I think about and ask Him to guide my thoughts to truth. And He does. The Holy Spirit reminds me of truth I’ve read in the Bible that I’m forgiven, that grace is a free gift and cannot be earned, and that God has redeemed my hurts for His glory as I reach out to others in love.

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THE PRESENT… Jesus help me I’m passing a semi with my van full of kids. Lord show me how to get through this day. Father watch over those that I love. Jesus heal my stomach because I can’t be sick today. Those are real prayers I have said this week. Be real with God. With everything. Hand all your stresses over to the one who can actually do something about them. And then trust that He hears and cares.

THE FUTURE… There is no way to prepare for what’s coming down the pike and that is an anxious person’s nightmare. The future can’t be controlled or known or prepared for. It’s unknown to us. But it’s not a surprise to God. So when I feel a freak out coming on about the future, mine, my kids, what am I doing with my life, am I really going to heaven when I die?? All the questions. I am thankful for the time I’ve spent reading truth in Scripture because it reminds me that God is in control when I’m not. He has a history of taking care of His people in the strangest ways. HE had a plan to save us before the world was even formed. So surely He has a good plan for my life and yours if we follow His lead.

Listen, I still STRUGGLE with anxiety, but now I don’t battle alone. I fight human anxiety with divine peace. That’s my prayer for you too. That you would let God in when you feel suffocating worry. Prepare your mind for battle by reading truth in your Bible. And fight back with the words of assurance He reminds you of through His Holy Spirit as you come near to Him. Jesus says in today’s verse that He gives us peace. The question is will we take it? 

 

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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.

Find Andrea also at WhollyLoved Ministries and her devotionals on crosswalk.com