Faith Over Fear

Who could have predicted this past month? I know this is not what was on our calendar. This past month has been filled with so many emotions for us as a nation, country, state, city, and household. We are ALL going through something together. This Coronavirus pandemic that is dictating our lives right now is pushing us all to limits we never thought possible. I have been more aware of my surroundings, my feelings, my relationships, and the government than I probably have ever been. I have so many thoughts on what is going on, as I am sure we all do. Wherever we all stand on the spectrum right now, we are all in this together. This is an epic time and I don’t ever want to take anything for granted so I thought, what a better way to remember just what it is like (for us) on a daily basis than to write about it. I mean, we are literally living the future history books right now.

Beginning of March: 
The boys and I are on spring break in Florida visiting Nana and Ted. We are having a wonderful time. We are watching the news and seeing things canceled but are thinking, Is this really going to be that bad? Maybe this was us in a state of denial.
March 14: Day 1 Self-Distancing
I rush to the grocery store to stock up (not hoard) on the essentials and two weeks worth of meals. It was an experience that had me thinking outside the box as many of the shelves were bare. We deep cleaned the house-wiping down all surfaces with disinfectant. At this point we are thinking, To be on the safe side, let’s keep things cleaner than normal, wash our hands after coming in from outside, and limit our contact to just our neighbors. Maybe this is the beginning stage of acceptance but still in a bit of denial as this is going to pass over soon.

March 15-16: Days 2 & 3
We are taking many walks and enjoying the sunshine, watching Netflix, swimming, playing kickball multiple times a day with the neighborhood kids. The kids are very aware of what is going on and practicing self distancing and washing their hands. I am an exhausted mama as I am keeping about 8 kids entertained as school is canceled and parents are still working. Definitely in the stage of acceptance but thinking this is only for a short time.
March 17: Day 4
First day of homeschool as it is announced schools will remain closed for two weeks. Teachers are still working on what exactly this will look like so taking it upon myself (my kids are so lucky they have a mama who is a teacher), I create work for both of them to do. We create a schedule to follow each day and hang signs on our doors telling everyone when school is in session or time to play. The first day goes okay with only a few reminders to the boys that this has to be taken serious and this is how school is going to be (for a short time-so I am thinking). We kept busy with washing the cars, playing outside, and had Science outdoors that night watching the International Space Shuttle fly over head. Totally accepting what is happening and just going with the flow.
March 18: Day 5
OH MY!! The stage of anger has come to haunt me. Homeschool today did not go well. One of my students had to be kicked out of class and basically the schedule went down the toilet. I mean, day 2 of homeschool…is this what it is going to be like? I decided to run out to the grocery store as we ran out of some essentials (milk, cereal, bread, bananas…forget about the toilet paper, that is nowhere to be found. Thank God Rick found a big pack while we were away). Half of my items are nowhere to be found on the shelves and I am just angry. Who is taking all this stuff? Why can’t I just get one gallon of milk? I am suppose to be self-distancing but I have to run to 4 stores before I find what I need? I might of sat in my car a bit and cried. I do not like the feeling of defeat or not being in control. I call a few of my family members as that brings me comfort and they can speak some encouragement to me. I get myself together, go home, wash hands (of course), and come up with a plan. I decide to set up the dining room as a make shift classroom. I mean, the boys probably don’t need this but I need a sense of organization and a new perspective if this is going to be our ‘new normal’ for awhile. I forgot to mention, I also had to run out for ink for the printer and to see the line of parents in the store doing to same thing was a bit surreal. The set of panic, fear, and the bad news on the media consistently in our faces is literally causing so much chaos in the world. This is not acceptable (in my household) and it must change. 
March 21-23: Day 8
My attitude is adjusted and I am back in the stage of acceptance. I am being forced to have faith like I have never before. I am accepting the fact that it is ok to not be in control and that God IS in control. My heart is hurting for those being affected by this in so many ways. So many people have it worse off than we do (losing jobs, no child care, trying to work and homeschool at the same time, fearing financial problems, people getting sick and dying, health care workers feeling overwhelmed, and essential employees being over worked). On this day we decided to leave it in God’s hands, have faith over fear, focus on what it is important, and be a light to others. We decided to have Psalm 91 be our comfort. We hung it on our door and are believing that God has us under is wings and he loves us beyond what we know. The boys started writing down God’s promises on a window. This will continue until we will be able to leave these 4 walls. As far as being a light, I wanted the boys to show others that through hard times, we can all work together, show kindness, and share God’s love. We decided to make some care packages and the boys walked around the neighborhood and left them on the front doors. If we could make one person smile, that was enough! We were contacted by the local newspaper and they wanted to know why we did what we did. It was an amazing opportunity to share our thoughts and to encourage others to do what they can do….even if that means to just #STAYHOME

March 24-27: Days What day is it? Does it matter?
We are spending our days swimming (thank God for a pool and warm weather), playing games, calling family and friends (why don’t we do this anyway?), cooking (I will admit, I am tired of cooking already.), biking, and getting creative. The boys really needed haircuts so I ordered what I needed on Amazon and cut their hair myself. I did amazing if I do say so myself. Rick however, will not let me do his. That could get interesting. Surprising enough, the boys have been troopers and overall we have all adjusted to what each day is bringing us and are remaining positive. They are doing their school work with no complaints, enjoying their ZOOM meetings seeing their friends and teachers, and the amount of time I have been able to play and just ‘be’ with them is something I will cherish. When Max’s teacher asked him what he likes about all this, he said, “I love having my mom be my teacher!” Roman is bringing joy to his friends and teachers by singing to them on ZOOM. He even made a short video to make people smile. This kid is able to shine right now and I am just sitting back watching it happen. God has a plan in all of this and although things look grim right now…I am so excited to see what comes of all of this and how good can come from bad.

March 29: Two Weeks In
It is now the two week mark of being self-distanced from others. The playdates outside with friends stopped a week ago. We are on a stay home order except to go out for the essentials. I am the designated one in the house to run out if we need something. The boys have not left the house in over two weeks. We are watching church online. The buildings are closed but God is very much alive and we are now seeing just how the church is not a place to go but the people inside of it. We have no idea how much longer this will last. We continue to pray for all those on the front lines. We pray for our government that they make decisions with wisdom. We pray for the parents and teachers who are working together to keep our kids going. We pray for all those who are living in fear. We pray for the sick to be healed and the well to remain healthy. We pray this will all be over soon….but if it’s not, we pray that we can all learn what is important and what we want our memories to be during this time. 
March 31: Days don’t have names or numbers anymore
The President has extended our stay home order until April 30th. That is a whole month away. That is another month of getting creative with our kids, homeschooling kids when we don’t have all the knowledge, preparing more meals than I want to cook, distancing from those we love, watching our hair grow, watching our nails fall to pieces, and wearing out our yoga pants faster than ever before. I am choosing not to be discouraged though. Many things throughout the day can easily set us off as the internet is jammed with so much traffic, groceries are still hard to come by, and major ‘cabin fever’ has set in. All I can keep doing is trusting that ‘this too shall pass.” Getting creative with ideas for the kids is ongoing (thank God for all the great ideas spreading on the web) and it is actually fun to see the world come together and support each other in ways we never thought imaginable. 

Things I have learned so far:
-24 rolls of toilet paper actually lasts longer than you would think-no need to hoard
-homeschooling is no joke
-being creative with your resources is essential
-cooking 3 meals a day for an unknown period of time is NOT for me
-homemade donuts are not as easy to make as you would think-even with a donut maker
-pool water isn’t as cold when it’s one of the only things you can do
-laughing keeps us alive
-Tiger King makes me feel better about myself
-keeping daily chores for the boys and having them write down God’s promises is important
-getting dressed, blow drying hair, and makeup are not necessary when you can’t leave 
-days are long but it seems this year will be long
-physical distancing is more appropriate than social distancing-we are actually more social now than ever before
-my boys are quarantine troopers
-although sports is so important to us, we are handling not having it in our lives right now
-The church is actually the people
-Easter is approaching and on that day, God said, “IT is finished.” NOT “I am finished.”

-We are all carriers…of what though? I am a carrier of hope, faith, and love.

Click for February/March Photos and Videos  (Make sure to watch the videos on this album...there are some pretty funny ones.)


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