I have heard this before from one of my favorite authors, Jon Acuff. If you have not followed him on Instagram or read any of his books, I highly recommend that you do so. A great one to start with, especially for a woman who is looking to live a life well and live on mission, is his book Start.
Y'all, you just need to start.
Anyway, in the off chance that you have been hibernating in your home and you just woke up for Spring and you have suddenly found your world in self-isolation and you are wondering WHAT THE HECK IS HAPPENING?! Our world is experiencing a health crisis and an economic crisis all at the same time. (Also, I am pretty sure you have not been sleeping and I do think you are well aware of what is happening.)
What I am discovering is this: I don't really like being told what to do. I think I have always known that, but it has really become apparent that I don't especially love it when I am forced to do something that I do not want to do. I do not particularly enjoy being forced to stay inside my home and to only leave for essentials. I barely enjoy grocery shopping and I don't really want to only leave the house to buy groceries and basic needs.
This shopper kind of wants to shop and I kind of want to travel around with my kids and go visit my people, coffee shops and do all the fun things.
I am also discovering that I am a little disappointed. I am disappointed for my daughter, who is an 8th grader and was really looking forward to all of the activities of her final year in middle school before she embarked on her new journey as a high schooler. I am disappointed that she won't get to participate in her 8th grade promotion dance, the promotion ceremony, all of the 8th grade activities specifically created for the students who were moving on and growing up. I am bummed for her as this is her birthday month, and we will have to celebrate without a gathering with her friends or her family. This crisis is teaching me that it is okay to be disappointed and to label our disappointments. It is teaching my daughter to be more open about her own disappointments, and that all of these things taken away from her does not take away from who she is and all that she has been able to accomplish this year. She worked hard, and we will celebrate her, even if it is just us.
I am upset that our trip to San Diego with just the three of us had to get pushed out due to the crisis. It was to be our spring break weekend getaway and I was so excited to just spend the time with myself and the kids, exploring my favorite parts of San Diego. We haven't had a lot of opportunity for vacation these last two years, so this was a huge highlight that I was so excited to be able to financially give them, even if it was a short trip. I am upset and frustrated that it is just one more thing taken away from me with all that is going on. This crisis is teaching me to recognize that I am privileged to have even been able to plan that trip in the first place and that losing the trip doesn't mean that I can't still make memories with my family while we are stuck at home together.
I am angry that I am not able to go to work at my job in order to provide for my children. As a single mom who is the sole income provider for her family, it hurts and it is hard, and it is easy for me to get caught up in all of my whining and self-pity and ask why I am the one suffering again.....as if God is against me or owes me anything. This crisis is teaching me to rethink what is important, and to show gratitude for the fact that I have several opportunities that I can take advantage of in order to financially provide for my children and to cherish this time at home with them (which was something I had been praying for over the last year.)
My poor son misses baseball and being active. He actually told us that he wishes he could go back to school and see his friends. I never thought I would hear those words come out of his mouth. This season is teaching him to be more creative, to be still and to be more open and flexible with others. If I am being completely honest, I miss baseball season and watching him play and do his thing, which he is really good at. I miss screaming at the top of my lungs, and annoying those around me, yelling out at my boy when he makes a play or gets a solid hit. This crisis is forcing me to be flexible too.
This crisis isn't all just me recognizing the deep things in life. I am discovering some silly ones too. For instance, I really hate doing regular housework. Or anything DIY. If I can buy it, I will. So much easier.
Laundry is never ending.
I get ready every single day. Just ask my sister. She find it hilarious and crazy. I don't go diva status mind you, but for the most part I put on clothes (with jeans, y'all! Don't @ me!), do my hair and makeup. It makes me feel better. I feel more productive that way.
I don't really enjoy board games, although every single person in this home loves them and they play a game DAILY! (Lately, it has been Catan or Villainous)
My kids hate picking up after themselves, and we are getting on each others nerves quite a bit.
We have done a ton of Hangman together. Definitely has helped with spelling and a ton of laughter.
More time snuggling and reading chapter books aloud. The Diary of a Wimpy Kid is really funny, although sometimes it is gross and it makes me gag and Madi has to take over reading while I manage my gag reflux. (Sean thought it was hilarious. Boys are gross.)
We are getting along. We are moving along. We are having as much fun and choosing joy in this space and season of self isolation. I have consumed far more cold brew coffee than a person really should, and maybe a little more wine in the evening than I normally would.
More time has been spent in His word, and for that, goodness has it been so refreshing for me. It gives a whole new perspective on the saying "When I rise, just give me Jesus."
I have needed so much of Jesus. I don't ever want to take advantage of the freedom I have in being able to meet with Him whenever I want to.
What is this crisis teaching you? How will you choose to grow through it? Can I encourage you too? This doesn't mean that you have to emerge as a brand new person with new skills or abilities or talents. This doesn't mean that you have to start that business or write a book or make a name for yourself.
If this season is teaching you to finally sit still and be grateful for the life that you currently have and to recognize what really matters right now, then you are doing it right. She who chooses activity and she who chooses stillness are both doing it right.
You will always discover something. That is just the way it works. When we experience a crisis or trauma, you learn something brand new either about yourself or about your circumstance. It just won't look like everyone else.
So, what is this season teaching you currently?