It's a little after 8 am and I'm sitting at the kitchen island with my Bible, to-do list, notebooks, computer and pen by my side. My husband is working in our room at his make-shift office while the rest of the house is in a peace-filled state of slumber.
This is how our days begin now. I look forward to these moments, first thing in the morning, when the house is still and the day feels hopeful and full of promise.
I would be lying if I didn't admit I like this new pace. Our lives have slowed down, come to a halt, in many ways. My husband and I lay in bed longer than we used to every morning. The kids sleep for as long as their little hearts desire - and I'm learning the hearts of teenagers desire many, many hours of sleep.
I'm not enforcing much of a schedule at this time. That may change in the future, but for now, I recognize our days are usually booked solid and this is a unique time in our lives for rest that is otherwise hard to come by.
In a typical day, the kids read and find something on the computer to support their education. As of today, there will be more resources available to us from the school - so that will help. They are helping more around the house with chores, cooking and yard work. In the weeks to come, I hope to invest in each of them individually. What are their God-given strengths and talents? What do they each want to learn more about?
This is a time when we can supplement traditional education with real life skills, new hobbies and allow them time to learn about subjects they find fascinating.
We have hung hammocks out back for people to rest on during the day, and have begun to grow a small herb garden in our windowsill. Puzzles have been completed and books have been read. A togetherness and sense of unity exists in our home that is unique to this time.
How long will we be in our home? I don't know. Will the kids go back to school this year at all? I'm not certain. When will my husband go back to the office? Nobody knows for sure.
We are taking it day by day.
I am trying to look at the silver lining. To see the good that is intermingled with the challenges.
A friend said to me the other day, "It feels like God has put us all in time out." Her words resonated with me. What are we learning in this global time out?
We say we want rest and that we are overbooked and overcommitted. Now, we are not.
In America, many of us are used to getting what we want exactly when we want it. Now, it's not that easy. Items that were once in plenty are now hard to come by, and we really shouldn't be going out in search of those items. Instead, we rely on others to find them for us.
And the earth that so desperately needs our attention, is finally able to heal a little. There has been a drastic decline in air pollution as harmful emissions have significantly decreased in areas such as China, Italy, and I would imagine here as well.
When I send my kids to time out, my hope is that they will take time to pause, think, reflect and hopefully come out ready to make a few changes to their behavior.
I wonder if we will make changes to our behaviors when this is over?
Will we appreciate our loved ones more? Will we feel gratitude for things we once took for granted? Will we stop looking down at our phones as much - and begin to look more into the eyes of the people around us? Will we start to think more of others, and less of ourselves? Will we think more about the people who don't have the luxuries we have - such as clean water, food and even toilet paper?
Are we like the Israelites wandering in the desert right now? As God provides our daily manna, will we continue to grumble and complain? Or will we feel truly grateful? What will we be like when we come out of the desert?
I know my quarantine life doesn't look like the quarantine life of everyone. I recognize I am speaking from a place of privilege. I know people are losing jobs and the economy is hurting. I realize people are getting up every day and putting their fears aside, and walking into work that may resemble a war zone. People who suffer with addiction, depression and anxiety may be struggling now more than ever during this time of isolation. Pregnant women who were elated at the thought of giving birth a few weeks ago, may now find their minds and hearts battling new anxieties. People are afraid of losing their jobs. And of getting sick.
We are in desperate need of medical supplies. People are dying. And their loved ones aren't able to say goodbye. And there are many others in ICUs around the world who are very sick.
This is the world we live in right now. And the experience is different for everyone.
I am trying, as I know many of you are, to make lemonade out of lemons. To see the beauty that lies in the pain. And to remember this isn't our forever. This is only our now.
God is up to something.
And when my anxiety begins to well up, I cast my eyes on Him. On the Creator. The Way Maker. The Miracle Worker. Our Perfect Father. I thank Him for my daily manna.
Do I know what tomorrow holds? No. But what I'm realizing is I never really did before. I thought I had a good idea, but I didn't. I assumed life would always go on as normal, but that isn't always the case.
We are not promised tomorrow. But we have today. We have this moment.
It is a gift we have been given.
And I hope to make the best of it.