I've thought about writing a post many times over the past couple of weeks. Like all of you - my world is a bit upside down. Lots of events cancelled, normal patterns disrupted, concern for family near and far. I have been filtering my thoughts which have ranged from ranting (plenty of that already available without me adding my frustration to the mix) to snarky meme level humor (way funnier people have covered this genre which I totally appreciate).
But today I have something to say which may be helpful.
I was sitting at home last night listening to my kiddos chatter in the other room. A serious negotiation was taking place between the teenager and the first-grader who live here. A few minutes later I heard the little one explain the situation to her dad.
Little one: so - I wanna play Uno.
Dad: And - is she going to play with you?
Little one: She says if Mom does, she will.
That was the entire conversation. To borrow a phrase from the 13 year old - I was shook.
If I play the game, my eldest will join in. The little one will be thrilled.
If I don't play the game, the eldest will have a great excuse to not and the little one will be bummed.
The outcome depended on what this mama choose.
Friends - this is the truth for all of us in this crazy time. If we lead by example and show kindness then our kids and our neighbors and our coworkers will see a way forward. If we panic and hoard and exchange cranky barbs about our particular schedule or restrictions of the day then our kids and our neighbors and our society will as well. If we express care and are vulnerable about our fears without subcoming to despair then our kids will grow the ability to endure.
If mom will, she will.
My parents are not in the country at the moment. We've spent the last couple of days working on finding and securing flights. They'll be home Saturday. I'd love your prayers for safe travels.
I asked my mom in the middle of it how she was doing.
She said "I'm good, its a beautiful day and I've switched from singing Happy Birthday while I wash my hands to saying The Lord's Prayer". She explained reciting the prayer got her a mental timer for the 20 seconds for a thorough wash and gave her a constant reminder of where her help comes from. She didn't complain about the cruise line, the frustration or her fears. She gave thanks and pointed to God. And so it enabled me to do the same.
If mom will, I will.
At the end of this mess I want my kids to know that when I say I believe in God and in His care and provision that it wasn't just words. I want them to see that my faith matched my actions. I want them to hear me express my pain or anxiety and then choose in that moment to focus on hope and joy and gratitude. As Jon Acuff says 'fear is a feeling, afraid is a choice. Sometimes I have to choose hope 1000 times a day'. But I'm going to keep choosing hope.
What about you?
I love Jesus. I think my two daughters can change the world. I think you can too.
Sign up to receive Mindy's Quirk-E-Mails