I’ve Been Granted the Time to…

As sit on the couch after putting the boys to bed, it hits me that this Sunday night is so different from any I’ve experienced before. One week into social-distancing, it feels like it’s becoming heavier by the day. It used to be something we were warned about-the Corona Virus-but it hadn’t yet broken into our country. But with each day that passes, we hear of how it is attacking us more and more. Covid-19-a little more personal and a much bigger threat.

It’s attacking us hard! It’s attacking our sense of security causing many to stockpile items from stores. It’s attacking our economy shutting down many places of business and forcing layoffs. It’s attacking our neighborhoods closing schools. It’s attacking our families forcing many to scramble for childcare and/or work. It’s attacking our government, nationally and locally, scrambling to find ways to assist people. It’s attacking our healthcare system depleting necessary equipment and resources. And most importantly, it’s attacking our loved ones fighting to recover from a battle with the virus.

Today I read a social media post that a dear friend shared about her cousin (young and healthy) who is currently one of a few confirmed cases with Covid-19 in his county. It’s starting to hit closer to home. I, like many others, have family and friends on the front lines serving as the medical personnel testing and treating patients fighting this virus. It’s here whether we want to admit it or not.

While my family refuses to live in fear, we are taking this very seriously and staying home right now. And I will not let this time go to waste. I believe those of us who are lucky enough to “stay at home” and teach our children or work from home have an obligation to make the most of this time. I believe we owe it to the medical professionals, first responders, city administrators, government employees, mail carriers and post office workers, military men and women, educators, staffs caring for those in assisted living and care homes, grocery store workers, farmers and agricultural workers, restaurant workers, truck drivers, janitorial staffs, gas station clerks, delivery drivers, and others who are working overtime to make our communities run right now. They don’t get to breathe and watch this all unfold. They’re in the midst of this battle trying to keep their head above water, and trying to stay healthy themselves.

Meanwhile, I have been granted the time to…

  • Spend extra time with my husband and boys
  • Bake
  • Go for long walks
  • Journal and write on this blog
  • Watch movies as a family
  • Eat meals as a family since my husband is not working late nights
  • Find creative ways to help the boys learn while out of school
  • Read
  • Play games
  • Be flexible with our schedule
  • PRAY

While it’s easy to feel inconvenienced at this time, I’m making an effort to give it to the Lord and accept this as a gift of time. Not rushed time, but time to slow down, be present, and be intentional. Because it has not been afforded to everyone, I will not let it waste away in vain when others are fighting for our health, safety, and well-being.

What has helped me keep my focus on gratitude? Constant prayer! God has opened my eyes to see that this time doesn’t have to be filled with to dos or strict schedules. Instead, I’ve been given the opportunity to engage with my family in real, intentional ways and I cannot let those moments drift away. God has also given me the opportunity to teach my sons how to depend on Him in all situations. My husband and I have been praying with them and having conversations about how this pandemic is affecting those near and far from us. We’ve had discussions about living simply and loving deeply. We are trying to model faith by not allowing panic, fear, or hopelessness to get a hold of us. I will never take these moments for granted!

So for those of you who are able to #flattenthecurve by staying at home right now, please join me in adopting an attitude of gratitude. Do not allow this time to be wasted! What are some things you have been granted the time to do right now? Pray for a perspective that not only honors God during this time, but that also honors those who are tirelessly working until this battle is won. If you’re feeling panicked or fearful, pray for God to give you a spirit of peace. And please, join me in prayer for our world during this unprecedented time.

To those of you who are not only putting in extra hours, but also putting your health on the line to work during this time, THANK YOU!  We appreciate you!

Covering Our Students in Prayer

Back to school season is upon us.  For some parents, this has been a long time coming, while for others like myself, the thought of a new school year makes us feel sick to our stomach.

School started for us last Monday. My husband has been back full-time at the high school and my oldest began Kindergarten.  While it’s been nice getting back into a routine, it’s sad that summer seemed to come and go in the blink of an eye!

So how did Kindergarten drop-off go?  Well, the first day was perfect.  We went as a family to see our oldest off.  He was excited and didn’t shed a tear (I can’t say the same was true of myself).  When I went to pick him up that day, he ran over to me and shouted, “school is fun!”  This was music to my ears, but was it too good to be true?  Well, kind of.  The days since then have, overall, gone well.  He’s shed some tears at drop-off but later tells me that he stops crying after “one minute.”  I’ve asked him who or what  makes him feel better after my husband or I say goodbye.  Some days, he tells me Jesus makes him feel better and it melts my heart!  Other days, he tells me he feels better when he starts singing “Uptown Funk” to himself.  Whatever works, right?!

It’s been tough on me sending him to new school this year, but I’ve found so much peace in prayer.  Each morning, my husband and I pray with our son.  I pray with him before he leaves, and my husband prays with him in the car as they drive to school.  I also pray for him throughout the day and have shared with our son that whenever I think about him during the day, I say a prayer that he’s having fun and learning new things.  He loves hearing this!

As we dive into this new school year, I wanted to share some of the prayers I pray over my son:

  • I pray for his safety and the safety of all those who work at and attend the school.
  • I pray for peace among the students.
  • I pray for him to have confidence to make new friends.
  • I pray he has the courage to try new things and learn from his mistakes.
  • I pray he experiences joy in learning.
  • I pray he is diligent in his work and has the desire to focus.
  • I pray he is obedient to his teacher and others in authority.
  • I pray he is able to discern what is of the Lord and what is not of the Lord and that he has the will to choose what is right.
  • I pray that he glorifies the Lord in his words, actions, and thoughts.
  • I pray that he sees those who are scared, lonely, or sad and encourages them.
  • I pray that he is kind to others and that others are kind to him.
  • I pray that he knows his identity in the Lord and is not concerned about what others think of him.
  • I pray he stands up for those who are being bullied.
  • I pray he respects and appreciates others and their cultures, beliefs, and traditions.
  • I pray that he remains enthusiastic in his faith and that his belief never wavers.
  • I pray that he senses the presence of the Lord with him throughout the day.
  • I pray that he puts on the full Armor of God each morning: the belt of truth, the chest plate of righteousness, the shoes of peace, the shield of faith, the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the spirit (from Ephesians 6:10-20).

In addition to these prayers for my son, I pray daily for the school, for the other students, and for the administration and staff.  I don’t have a specific prayer memorized and there are mornings when I forget to include a couple of these in my prayer.  However, I know that it gives me peace to have these words in my heart throughout the morning as my son is at school.  And I trust that these words will be imprinted on my son’s heart as he hears them repeatedly.

There are so many other things we can be specifically praying over our children for.  Let me know if there’s a prayer you include for your children.

For all of you who will be sending your children back to school in the coming days and weeks, please know my prayers are with you and your kids.  No matter if your children attend private, public, or homeschool, let’s cover them and those around them throughout the year!  They may not be in our hands during the school day, but we can take heart knowing that they are always in the precious hands of our Father!

Let’s raise His mighty warriors TOGETHER!