Well, this definitely doesn’t look like the blog I was originally going to post. I had it in my mind that I needed to get it written before we went on vacation. Now, I’m wondering what day it is and how we are going to use the next 6 hours before our sons go to bed – because we’ve already done a lot this morning since being up at 7. The days just run together.
So, how can I – or you – use this quarantine for good – and not just waste the time away? It will look different for everyone. We’ve all seen memes that tell us its ok to just survive, or help you plant a garden, or start a side hustle, or write a book, or read all the books (I love to read but I can’t read with littles around me, my brain only has so much space). Or maybe you have to bake all the bread and put together that 1000 piece puzzle. I can’t even see our dining room table right now and if we tried to put together a puzzle all the pieces would be lost.
So, I’m not here to tell you what to do in your 24 hours, just offering some simple suggestions.
- Pray. Yes, I know we all probably do it – but maybe none of us do it as much as we would like. This is a great time to set aside some of your “free time” to spend in prayer. Have a prayer journal – asking God to do specific things in your heart and in your life over the coming weeks. And in the lives of others. Whether it’s a spiritual need or a physical or financial need – God is able to handle everything. And to handle it perfectly. No one else will have a better answer.
- Do something. Laziness is something we are working on with our boys. Because they would like nothing better than to sit and play on their kindle fires all day. That’s pretty lazy. They aren’t reading or learning educational things. They are playing motorcycle racing games and a Minion game or Angry Birds. Yes, they play well together because they help each other and laugh with one another. But, I don’t want them to be lazy and do that all day. So, help your children by doing things around the house together. You can play ball outside. You can read a book together or act it out. You can watch a movie together and ask questions – being deliberate with your media consumption. You can teach them to bake food. You can even do a porch delivery of goodies to a neighbor – teaching them to serve others.
- Never Think Anything Bad About God. This is a quote that Dallas Willard said decades ago and I heard it again recently. Even in the midst of the chaos and unknown around us – we have to remember that God is a perfect and good Father. If it seems like things are falling apart – well, they aren’t. He is in control and loving you all the way through this.
- Don’t Be Discouraged. I heard something as I was driving around today making porch art deliveries from a new book by Jason Meyer. He said something to the effect of don’t be discouraged because by looking at the whole picture we can see that there is something better coming. Basically, if we just look at our circumstances (and believe me, sometimes they are hard and lonely and scary and we never see the way out) we will get so discouraged. We see it in the Bible. Discouragement is real. But God says look at me. I’m doing something. A friend of mine, mother of three, struggling with daily pain, once said to me “This season, no matter if it lasts the rest of our lives, is really short.” No matter how long our quarantine, our unknowns, or our difficulties are – the future with Jesus is eternity. And we can look at all of our present realities and take them to the Cross.
Isn’t it neat that we are celebrating Easter during this time of quarantine? Not able to get all dressed up and take photos in front of the church and go out for expensive brunches. Not able to gather with lots of family and have big egg hunts with all the kiddos. Yes, there is sadness. But, I pray that you will use this quiet Easter to still celebrate the work of Jesus on the cross and the wonderful news of the empty tomb.
Here is a song, mixed with an old one, with a few more lyrics, that we’ve been singing in our home this week:
Turn your eyes upon Jesus
Look full in His wonderful face
And the things of earth will grow strangely dim
In the light of His glory and grace
Turn your eyes to the hillside
Where justice and mercy embraced
There the Son of God gave His life for us
And our measureless debt was erased
Jesus, to You we lift our eyes
Jesus, our glory and our prize
We adore You, behold You, our Savior ever true
Oh Jesus, we turn our eyes to You
Turn your eyes to the morning
And see Christ the Lion awake
What a glorious dawn, fear of death is gone
For we carry His life in our veins
Turn your eyes to the heavens
Our King will return for His own
Every knee will bow, every tongue will shout,
‘All glory to Jesus alone!’
Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus by Sovereign Grace