This post is by Tami Rodriguez.
“I feel like I’m living in a movie!” I don’t know how many times I’ve said that in the past few weeks, but it’s the best statement I have for how all of this feels. Our state was just shut down for three weeks...THREE WEEKS!! It feels surreal. It feels overwhelming. In a weird way, it feels... welcomed. We are a busy family, and I know we’re not alone, because sometimes as I talk with my friends, just listening to what they're doing makes me want to take a nap! We live in a world where even doing way less than “everyone else”...is still doing a ton! I listened to a wonderful short sermon the other day from a local church. In it, the pastor quoted from Howard Thurman’s book Meditations of the Heart,
“The questions persist: what are we doing with our lives? What are the motives that order our days? What is the end of our doings? Where are we trying to go? Where do we put the emphasis and where are our values focused? For what end do we make sacrifices? Where is my treasure and what do I love most in life?”
The pastor referred to this time as “The Great Pause”. I love that! However, I also know at times this feels more like crazy chaos and overwhelm than a pause!
If you find yourself feeling that way, you’re not alone. So first, let's stop and just give ourselves some grace. This is new. This is scary. This is unprecedented! We are not supposed to know how to do all of this. Read that again. We are not supposed to know how to do all of this. We have never done this before. We are learning as we go and that will take time.
It will also take focus and intentionality which is why I loved Thurman’s questions. “For what end do we make sacrifices?” Right now for many of us, we sacrifice for those who cannot protect themselves, for their health and safety more than our own. “Where is my treasure?” While my treasure is in and with Christ it is also right here, in this home! Mother Teresa once said, “If you want to change the world, go home and love your family.” What an amazing opportunity we have been given!
Maybe this “Great Pause” really can be great. Take some time today to read stories of amazing things people are doing for each other right now. Can you think of something you can do? Write down the funny sayings that are coming out of all of this to save and read back someday! One of ours the other day was, “Pandemic people can’t be picky...eat your leftovers!” Take walks around the block. Build tracks and race marbles (did you know this was a thing?!). Laugh together!
But also talk about the deep and important things we often don’t make time for. Remind your children (and yourself) that God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear! (Psalm 46) Why is that true? Dig together and read the amazing stories of our faithful God. His past faithfulness allows us to trust Him in the midst of all the present fear and uncertainty.
Pray together for our nation and leaders. Pray for the sick and the ones trying to help them. Pray for all those who are working instead of staying home and staying safe. What an amazing time to get the focus off ourselves and all that we are doing and to get it on the one thing that really matters- “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?”
Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself. (Matthew 22:36-39)
Tami Rodriguez is wife to her high school sweetheart and mama to 5 ridiculously fast growing children who are all hunkered down in Michigan racing marbles to pass time. You can find her on Instagram @rodfamily007
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