Journal Entry:

Quarantine day 10035…. The locals are growing restless, demands are on the rise, outside influencers have been on high attack. Food & essentials are getting more difficult to come by. As days pass, hysteria continues to increase.

Does this sound a little bit like a sci-fi movie or maybe a dystopian book to you? If I’m honest, this is a little bit of my irrational thinking that has begun to creep in during this time of “social distancing” and the growing lists of “not to dos” we are facing during this pandemic. And yet, it isn’t far from the truth. Over the past month we have had a lot of uncertainties come barreling in at us. Whether it’s lost jobs, risks of working, health, ​schooling your kids at home​, or any other myriad of factors there’s A LOT we are navigating through.

Figuring it All Out

When I was first asked to write I had a ton of thoughts flood into my head — “What can I really offer that would be of any encouragement?” “I’m no expert! I barely have this figured out myself!” The list could go on and on. It took a good week for me to overcome the lies being whispered in my ear to hear the​ ​ truth ​ that is spoken in my heart — “You don’t have to do it, because​ ​I​ ​already have.” And isn’t that the same for each of us? We don’t have to have this figured out because God already does.

One common denominator many of us are facing is schooling your children at home, some for the first time. Perhaps your response has been “WHAT?! I did not sign up for this!” while for others this is their time to shine, “Let’s test this out!” “I have all the activities!” Both of those responses are ok!

I confess, I did not start homeschooling because I felt called to it. We began the journey out of necessity, to help our struggling dyslexic son. It was completely opposite of what I wanted for our family. I have sorted through a lot of selfish thoughts over the past year and have realized that​ God called us to this out of necessity so He could reveal a greater purpose​. Yes, it has been hard but it has also been so rewarding for many reasons I can share on a different day. As a result, this season of homeschooling has allowed me to write to you with encouragement and understanding that if you are acting out of necessity, it is not beyond God to have a greater purpose in it for you!

Purpose in the Season

I don’t think it is a coincidence that over the course of the week we have been encouraged by our pastors with some of the same pieces of scripture I am using to write to you today.

We would do well to ask ourselves, “What do you have for me in this season, Lord?” 

Ecclesiastes 3 tells us that there is a season for everything and it thoroughly outlines many seasons we might face. That season might be different right now for you than it is for the next mom, wife, coworker, etc. But the important truth is that ​God has prepared us​ for these seasons even though we might feel inadequate.

So what is the season you are facing? Are you looking inwardly trying to gain control or are you looking heavenward in prayer and surrender? Trying to control your circumstances can distract you from the greater purpose God may be calling you to. Paraphrasing Pastor Rich’s message Sunday – ​“Do you trust that I am who I say I AM and what I have called you to for this time?”

Show Them Christ

This season for us as parents is unique. For one, we have the world telling us what we should or shouldn’t be doing to teach our kids (hello Pinterest, Facebook, and all well meaning memes). Secondly, we have our kids at home every.single.day​. No sports, no clubs, no playdates. ​All things that can or have become distractions are eliminated​.

Enter Galatians 5:22-23. This verse is one that has spoken to me greatly over the past few weeks. If we took a magnifying glass to our behavior during this season would it show Love? Joy? Peace? Patience? Kindness? Gentleness? Self control?

What better time than now to cultivate this in our homes. Pruning away the distractions & excuses and opening up our lives to God’s plan​. While keeping up with schoolwork and doing fun activities are great, albeit challenging, let me propose a greater challenge: release yourself of the pressures & opinions of the world and allow God to work in you and your family.

Create the Atmosphere

Does this mean you don’t do the schoolwork? No, not necessarily. But practically speaking, it does mean that you use God’s word as a ruler to the atmosphere of your home. Evaluate how you are responding to this circumstance, we can learn just as much as our kids throughout this time if we are intentionally focused on how we reflect Christ.

  • Take this time to learn through a difficult situation by using the best tool there is – God’s Word. What is God teaching you through this?
  • Encourage your kids to complete the work they are provided, learn together, read together, pray together. Many kids are in the same situation, they aren’t going to fail because they didn’t do the same, if any, work as their peers.
  • Enjoy being “stuck” with the ones God has blessed you to care for.
  • Take positive advantage of the​ necessity​ of them being home to seek what God is calling you to do during this time. He has a purpose in all of this.

Friends, let’s put to practice the fruit of Faithfulness and allow God to fill in the gaps. The one thing that is a constant throughout this is Christ. ​Show.Them.Christ​. What greater blessing can we give our kids than to use His Word to draw us nearer to Him by growing in the knowledge and character of Jesus Christ?

Pray over your homes, mess up, start over, and let God show you His greater purpose for this season of your life.

Praying alongside you,
Jessie