It’s just a phase, don’t miss it. These words keep looping in my mind as I feel the tension of the COVID-19 unknowns mounting by the day. I first heard this phrase at a parenting conference when I had two toddlers. It is simple yet profound if we take a moment to sit and think about it through the lens of grace. The temptation during this time is to have a grin and bear it mentality; just check the boxes, do the virtual lessons, stay connected with work, keep the peace with siblings, prepare yet another meal, try to limit screen time…the list could go on and on. Never in our lives has the world hit the “pause” button in such a dramatic way; this is new to every human near and far, and no one is quite sure when “play” will resume. It has been interesting to observe how various personalities are handling this season. Some are basking in the slower times, others wish they could hit fast forward, and some oscillate back and forth between the two depending on the day, or moment. I want to offer a few suggestions that my family is trying to implement as we try to find a new rhythm in the pause; the pause that was not a surprise to God who sits on the throne and is above all and in all. There is grace in this time – let’s not miss it!
1. Morning prayer – I don’t know about you, but our mornings are usually the most chaotic part of the day. Getting all of us out of the house with all the things and jackets and assignments and library books by 7 a.m. is honestly my least favorite part of the day. So, during this time when no one is leaving the house, we are trying to make morning family prayer a part of our routine. This is an opportunity not to miss as we can gather around the breakfast table, drink our coffee out of porcelain cups instead of to-go mugs and give our day to the Father who meets all of our needs.
2. Play – This is something I have to be very intentional about because, honestly, I don’t typically choose it. It is easy for me to think that my children have each other or neighbors so they don’t “need” me to play the game or color with them. I usually see it as an opportunity to get another load of clothes done or empty the dishwasher while they are occupied. But during this time of pause I am asking for grace to be present in the play, to put my phone on silent, to go outside, go for that walk, play the 50th game of Trouble and to not miss being with my kids before the pace of life picks back up again. Because it will pick back up!
3. Worship – I know for many of us, going to church on Sundays is part of the routine. Depending on your church and kids’ ages, many of you drop off little ones or separate before attending your “adult” service. Now that church is online, we all have the opportunity to worship together. I know this looks different for each family, but I encourage you to do this together – even if just for the songs. Allow “church” to come into your home – what a sweet memory that would be for your children to remember during this time. Praise drives out fear; let them see this in you.
As you sit down to come up with your new schedules, make sure to include these things, along with others you come up with as a family. Now is a great opportunity to start new habits that will enrich your lives and families now and in the months and years to come. Don’t forget to have hope and remember that this is a phase not to miss. Have grace for yourselves and stay well!
Lower School Counselor
Mrs. Angela Liner is the lower school counselor at Charlotte Christian School. She writes a monthly blog designed to help and equip lower school families to parent with a grand perspective centered on purpose, intentionality, and grace. Mrs. Liner is a 2000 graduation of CCS.