It is hard to believe that five weeks ago I was holding my newborn grandson while preparing my notes on mentoring to teach at the March Louisiana School of Ministry. It was a busy time as I had a full calendar schedule set before me between meeting with boutiques about selling our products and traveling to churches to share about our work in Haiti. Until COVID 19 hit and our world changed.
We all are feeling like kids in the backseat of the car on a long trip. We seem to be echoing that repeated question, “Are we there yet?” Especially parents with young children. On those long drives, the alphabet game is always a good distraction, but on those long stretches without many signs, it can still become boring and you need a new game. My husband was the one who was great at creating games. A favorite travel game for our family was the ‘van game.’ He took the ‘punch buggie’ game and went to a whole new level. No punches involved between siblings!! Instead we added points. Vans were 1 point. Station wagon 2. VW Bug 3. Motorcycle 4. Police cars 5. And lots of laughter came as mile after mile everyone attempted to keep the youngest of the clan from winning once again. And of course I always provided a story on CD – not just a read-a-long but one that was more of a radio theatre style. Narnia. Jungle Jam and Friends, etc.
Although I was a stay-at-home mom when raising my own kids, I still had freedom to take them out for ice cream or go visit a friend or just simply go to the local park and have fun! Yet the young moms of today are attempting to keep their kids occupied while having to explain why they can’t just go to a friend’s house for a play date.
I love the posts on social media showing creative ways people are getting through these days. Here are some of my favorites so far:
- Neighborhoods placing teddy bears in windows for families to “go on a bear hunt” together.
- Families taking chalk with them on a walk and randomly writing or drawing pictures throughout their neighborhood with messages of encouragement or the gospel.
- People leaving notes and gifts for the postal worker to thank them for their faithfulness.
- Picnics in the backyard.
- Building castles from boxes and dressing up as royalty.
- Helping kids create their own ‘show’ and allowing them to ‘preform’ it on a live video.
- Friends leaving gifts or coffee or notes at another friends door.
- Parents creating scavenger hunts.
- Grandparents leaving gifts at the door for the grandkids.
- Pastors leaving encouraging notes at the homes of those who are under his care.
- Churches and businesses organizing groups to help the local food places by choosing a night to order take out from the same location – honking and waving to each other as they pick up their food.
- Individuals seeing it as a time for personal ‘required’ retreat – and maybe sharing the time online with a few friends.
And so many more! It reminds me of a couple of passages in scripture:
Deuteronomy 11:19 “Teach them to your children, talking about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.”
Luke 19:13 “…..occupy until I come.”
As challenging as this time is, He has been gracious to give us time with family and time with Him. One day this will be a memory. When that happens and we look back over our actions and attitudes, what will we find? Did we choose to maximize our alone time or did we become agitated that life had come to a complete halt over night?
Too often on that last leg of the long drive, we find ourselves out of ideas and frustrated – just ready to get out of the car and start our vacation! That’s when it helps if we have that one person who can change the atmosphere for everyone with creating a new game or making one comment that breaks the silence and brings laughter in the car. Many of us need that to happen in our lives today.
Maybe you are that person who has an idea for a new video or book or game for the family. Start it. Share it with others. Just like on a road trip, we all need help at times with navigating through roadblocks. Let’s ask Him today how to keep on occupying during the remainder of this event. Share with others the ideas He gives you. Remember, we are in this together and we have a great Father who is right here with us.