There’s never been a time or a season quite like the one we are bearing witness to today. Here, at the end of May, we alternate between wanting to whoop and holler, “Freedom!” in our loudest spring voices–and wanting to keep everyone safe in a bubble of virus-free air for at least another six weeks. Wherever you are in the corona curve, whatever exit strategy your state or nation is prescribing for the path to a new normal, don’t let longing for the way things were cheat you out of the lessons present in the way things are.
I’m joining Emily P. Freeman this month in her seasonal round up called “What We Learned.” One of the big things I tackled and (mostly) learned this spring has been how to create an email newsletter. It’s been on my list for a long time, and some of you have already signed up and have received the first issue in your inbox. If so, you know that another big thing I learned this spring is how to create a collection of devotionals that is both printable and shareable online.
It all started with four slim journals I’ve been keeping for my sons since they “outgrew” their baby books. Since the outbreak of COVID-19 and our shelter at home order, I’ve tried to document these times and the impact on our family. Stories will be told about the Spring of 2020, and I’m already curious about how it’s all landing in the memory bank of my young grandson and granddaughter.
Story is the way we preserve memories. The stories we tell to one another reveal our truest heart, so I’ve collected some of my pandemic stories in one place called “Peaceful Reflections for Perilous Times.” It’s free to all newsletter subscribers as a little thank you for letting me visit from time to time in your inbox. If you haven’t yet subscribed, I hope you will. All that’s needed is your email address and first name, either on the pop-up form here on the site–or click here for instructions.
Here are three more things I’ve learned this spring:
1. Every loss is real, and we shouldn’t compare.
Life on a country hill in Maine for a homeschooling mum really doesn’t swerve too much off track, even in a pandemic. A few cancelled speaking engagements are nothing compared with the loss of life and livelihood some are experiencing because of COVID-19 afflictions. However, I do live with a high school senior who is experiencing the cancellation of All State orchestra, the summer camp where he lifeguards, his job at the YMCA, anything related to graduation–and the ability to visit his girlfriend. The way he’s weathered all the disappointments with so much maturity is only one of the reasons I’m so proud of him.
In the midst of so much BIG loss, it’s easy to discount whatever smaller losses you happen to be dealing with. Know for sure that God sees all of them, and he walks with us through the disappointment and sadness. Don’t fall into the trap of comparing and discounting your very real losses.
2. There are many things I will miss about homeschooling.
Don’t be surprised if a whole post pops up on this topic in the future, but as much as I’m going to enjoy the freedom of NOT ordering curriculum and administering standardized tests and being the resident algebra apologist (“Yes, you WILL need to use this someday…”), I will miss the early Saturday morning planning sessions with my mug of tea, the continual refresher on fascinating facts about our world from teaching the sciences, and the daily sitting down at the table with my kids.
As much as my mothering life has changed as my sons have grown, in many ways, it’s still the same. I was grateful to share a post over at Kindred Mom’s website this month along with a few minutes of fun conversation on their podcast. Click here to read or to listen.
3. Technology is the friend of long-distance grandmothers.
My good husband and I have spent a lot of time in front of a screen since the April 25th birth of Graham John Morin! We’ve been able to hear his little squeaky-door-hinge noises and see his first bath, and that should keep us going until we get to see him in person.
Even our nearby grandchildren were “long-distance” for March and April as we sheltered at home, so we bridged the distance with Zoom story times each evening.
The gift of family has never felt so precious.
That’s especially true of this guy as we celebrated the 30th anniversary of our being “heirs together of the grace of life” in May. Some gifts just keep getting better and better.
Grace and peace to you,
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