Concerning the Times and the Seasons: Spring 2020

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.

Whether we have ten minutes, ten years, or ten thousand years remaining on this planet, let's not waste them!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.

Joel B&WLife 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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60 thoughts on “Concerning the Times and the Seasons: Spring 2020”

  1. Congratulations to your 2020 graduate! I do feel for the students who are missing their milestone markers. Your sweet little grandson is adorable! I’m so grateful for technology too, especially during this time. Happy 30th Anniversary!

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  2. Happy anniversary! And congratulations on the adorable new grandson! My heart goes out to your son. This time is so looked forward to all one’s school years. I’m thankful he’s weathering the disappointments well.

    I agree with all these points. At first I was minimizing whatever I felt due to the pandemic because our lot wasn’t so bad. But it’s better to acknowledge and deal with losses and changes, big or small. It’s funny, making school lunches was not one of my favorite things to do during my sons’ education. But the last week of my youngest son’s school year, I got sentimental over making the last school lunches. 🙂 There are always things we hate to leave behind and things we look forward to in any change. I am so thankful for technology, too–this quarantine would have been much harder to bear without it.

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  3. THAT BABY!!! Even with a little smile.
    It really is a time to be documented – dont know if its a beginning of something for our future or just a season, but we know it’ll be in history & we’re living in it

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  4. I always love your words, but this post struck me in a deep way. Literally bringing tears to my eyes. Your words made me feel seen, understood and loved, just by you sharing your heart. Thank you for making me feel less alone in my thoughts. Always grateful for you, friend!

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  5. Kudos to your son for accepting these new limitations and losses with grace. You are right, of course – losses are losses. They are not to be compared. You should be proud of his composure and self-assurance.

    And…congratulations on becoming a grandma again! What a precious little cutie. He’s even smiling for the photo! I hope you get to see him soon. Happy 30th to you and your husband.

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  6. OH my goodness! Just look at that adorable bundle of joy. What wonderful lessons you’ve learned this spring.

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  7. Even still … life goes on. I continue to stand in awe that Baby Jack is developing at a very fast rate in spite of COVID. Spring is blooming gloriously even though we spent two months sheltering in place. You are tackling some amazing projects in between finishing up your youngest son’s last year of homeschooling. All of this points to the goodness of God, who is not one bit surprised by our current situation.

    I do applaud your son and his perseverance through everything life has thrown at him in his last school year. Best of luck to your son.

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  8. Wow, this is a huge season of transition for you, friend. That you’re capturing, embracing, releasing life as you’ve known it even as you move ahead is quite an adventure. I’ve already told you that the sky is your limit! I know you’re going to fly high!

    Can’t wait to watch and cheer from the sidelines …

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  9. What a precious baby! I know you are missing these early times with him. Things are in flux for all of us. Strange times we are living in! Congrats to your graduate! I am three years away from retiring from teaching. Cannot imagine it! Thanks for linking up.

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  10. Happy anniversary, Michele! And congratulations on finishing homeschooling! Well-done! I home schooled for 15 years, and enjoyed it immensely, but have also loved the freedom of being done with it! (My youngest did not enjoy school at home as much once her brother graduated, so it was hard, and we were kinda glad when it wrapped up.)

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  11. Congrats to your graduate, Michele. (And also to his teacher.) Your grandson is adorable! I will enjoy seeing your newsletters in my inbox. Someday I may start one too, though I have no timetable for that right now! 🙂

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  12. My grandson was saying about what events happened in my lifetime, what happened in his mom and dad’s, and guess now so far the pandemic would be counted for his generation in his early 20’s. But also for my little grandkids and greats. Some in grade school. One grandson was to start HS this next school year, but not too sure yet how it will look for him. Truly is sad for all that the Seniors have missed this year as well as what others would be doing for Summer. We are open in Ohio, but I’m remaining cautious. My county has large numbers because of the prison. People are out anda bout though.

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  13. This statement caught my attention: “The stories we tell to one another reveal our truest heart.” I’ll have to give that some thought, as I review the stories we retell most often in our family, or the ones that get shared as we meet new friends. I’m thinking we’d be wise to choose the outcome we desire, and let that decision determine the story/stories. P.S. Baby Graham is truly adorable as is that couple in the wedding photo! (Love your dress, Michele.) Congratulations on achieving the 30-year mark!

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  14. I so agree with you on the fact that we shouldn’t compare losses! Comparison is always a risky proposition, and especially when it comes to grieving a loss. Congratulations on both your new little grandson (he’s beautiful!) and your 30th anniversary!

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  15. Michele, the lesson-planning-love is a thing to be missed but when you see your grandchildren begin to be schooled by their Moms and when you get to share your own experience and ideas, a sprinkle here a sprinkle there…it starts to quell the felt loss. I’ve had that sweet experience in this season thanks to COVID. What joy!

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  16. Congrats to your son, and kudos on top for being so gracious about all the disappointments too! What a hard year it has been for seniors missing their graduations and all the fun that those milestones bring! I love that idea about chronicling the way the pandemic has impacted your family, community and nation, Michele! That truly will be a story to be read and talked about for many generations to come! Btw, I hope you get lots of subscribers too! And one final congrats on your anniversary! 30 years is quite the milestone!

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  17. I do a lot of journal writing. Mostly my journal have been filled with happier life experiences from living off the grid in a floating cabin and RV travels in the States. Like you, I am keeping a journal about what life is like right now during the pandemic and lockdown. It’s not as much fun writing now, but an important way to get my thoughts and feelings out. – Margy

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  18. It’s good to know that you had some positives from this strange condition of the world. I can’t imagine homeschooling, so I applaud all those that made it through!

    Thanks for being a part of ‘My Corner of the World’ this week!

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  19. Lovely post Michele, hopefully we will all value the lessons learnt through this CoVid19 time. 😀
    Congratulations on a sweet arrival of your new grandchild! And Happy Anniversary!
    Bless you,
    Jennifer

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  20. ********************************************************
    Thank you for sharing at #OverTheMoon. Pinned and shared. Have a lovely week. I hope to see you at next week’s party too! Please stay safe and healthy. Come party with us at Over The Moon! Catapult your content Over The Moon! @marilyn_lesniak @EclecticRedBarn
    ********************************************************

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  21. Congratulations on your new arrival! I bet you can’t wait to have him in your arms. I really love the idea of keeping a journal to keep thoughts, ideas and stories in specifically for future reading. This is going to be one of those moments that goes down in history I’d imagine! Thank you for joining us for the #DreamTeamLinky

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  22. Congratulations on your anniversary Michele and the birth of your new grandson – he is absolutely beautiful! I can only imagine how grateful you are for Zoom, it has facilitated our lives a lot during this lockdown period. I hope you will be with your family again soon. This pandemic has definitely been a time of great reflection, I completely agree with you on that #globalblogging

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    1. We flew out for a quick visit, and I got lots of time to hold and get acquainted with him. They’re planning a visit home this summer, and I just know he’ll have changed a lot, so I’m glad we got that time together when he was so tiny.

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  23. Happy anniversary and congratulations on the new arrival in the family. I cannot imagine what this lockdown would have been like without tech! Thanks for linking up with #globalblogging

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