Home with Family

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So where to start……
 We started hearing about coronavirus back in January….. Brandon and I had some travel plans and just thought we will be careful – I’m sure its no big deal. Well as you know it all got bad…. It really starting to sink in when the schools started sending out emails keeping us informed about COVID-19….. then the talk of closing school. 

I am a 9 on the Enneagram so pretty peaceful, not a lot of anxiety when feeling overwhelmed I can easily retreat to my “inner sanctuary”. I was starting to  feel this inner turmoil within. For me, this looked like walking in circles overthinking everything in my kitchen. I had a lot of thoughts. Prior to having kids in school, as a stay at home mom, Brandon and I discussed all the school options. Homeschooling was never really discussed because I just didn’t believe I would be effective, organized or really any good at it. Well doesn’t God (who knows us so well) know how to fill in the rest of our weakness when we know we can’t? Romans 8:26. The message says it this way: 

“Meanwhile, the moment we get tired in the waiting, God’s spirit is right alongside helping us along. If we don’t know how or what to pray, it doesn’t matter. He does our praying in and for us, taking prayer out of our wordless sighs, our aching groans, He knows us far better than we know ourselves, knows our pregnant condition and keeps us present before God. That’s why we can be so sure that every detail in our lives of love for God is worked into something good.”

All he wants for us is to include him, He is there! This opportunity has been a wonderful experience ( it is definitely an experience :)) so far. Allowing our schedule to slow down….. focus on HIM who is greater than this coronavirus. I will say -I was excited my spring calendar was filled with great activities….and every one of them slowly ( well kinda fast really) started to cancel and fall off the calendar. Like I said earlier – there where lots of thoughts circling my head…… but I am thankful I know that the God who created me knows me, and can provide for me what I can not provide for myself. I am thankful that He will not allow me down a path of self-fulfillment. He will stop me and kindly remind me I need HIM…. I need HIM in all facets of my life.

Being a teacher looks different for everyone. Everyone has different strengths (different weaknesses) different personalities. I am finding for my kids……. To capitalize on what I am good at and USE it for the fun has been super successful. I just happen to love CRAFTS, sewing, and the arts…. So I make that part really fun for my kids to do with me. If you love MUSIC – use it….. if you like history – USE IT, if you like SCIENCE – have fun! Your kids, in turn, will see you more, and get to know you more. Let your kids see that you aren’t perfect – and that GOD is helping you do things you didn’t think you can do. His grace is so great. Let your kids see it. Ask them questions you may not think they would understand – you may be shocked!!

TIPS:
1) Order your day – make a schedule – it can be simple…..

8:00am – breakfast
9:00am – get dressed, brush teeth, 
9:30am – start school or project or craft  (For my little kids – 30 minutes on – 30 minutes free space)
10:30am – snack time (listen to a book – storyline online)
12:00pm – lunch
1:00pm – PLAYTIME
2:00pm – finish up work
3:00-4:00pm – fun experiment or craft.
6pm – family dinner

  • discuss high and lows 
  • favorites and least favorite
  • ask questions
  • get to know your kid’s fears, joys, favorites. 

2) USE your skills to create FUN – If you’re passionate about it – you will be really good at making it fun naturally

3) See the world through their eyes (your chance to be a kid) – My kids like “popping bubbles” on gonoodle.com – and I dance with them – they like when we act silly – believe me – you aren’t too cool or too old to join in with your kids. 

4) I use Pinterest a bunch for fun creative ideas – no need to recreate anything that has already been created.

I am feeling my way through this new season and opportunity. I need my community ( friends, school, church) and people who are better at things than I am. We can all do this “school at home” with our kids. God is there…. ALWAYS….. just ask him for help. I know when I start to lose patience I pray, “Lord, I am not handling this well…. Only you can fill this space that feels empty…. Help me have love and patience for my child”. I talk it out loud so my Kids hear me struggle, and ask God for His help, and they can see and experience how God does step in. When my kids aren’t getting along I remind them to not let satan win – to ask God for his overflowing love and patience to fill their hearts to love their brother/sister when it’s really hard to do. (Maybe one day they will remember that on their own and not need me to remind them that God is there to help)

I really hope that this opportunity (though daunting and uneasy) can be a season of growth for all – relational, spiritual, familial and communal (are those real words???). What Satan plans to use with fear and anxiety – God is using for GOOD drawing families, communities, and relationships closer and hopefully closer to Him. I pray we all draw intimately closer to him and let HIM fulfill your needs.

– Nicki Barr