How are all of you adjusting to the new normal? How are you taking care of yourselves? Are you caring for yourselves both physically and spiritually? Both are incredibly important especially right now.
The McFarlands are adjusting and finding our groove. Or so we hope. But it has taken time and a lot of patience from all of us. Sometimes it has taken massive amounts of patience. (I can be very annoying – just ask my children.) There have been bumps in the road. And I am sure there will be plenty more of those in the weeks to come. After all – this is most definitely not how any of us were expecting the spring of 2020 to unfold when we welcomed the New Year in January. (Wow – doesn’t that feel like an entire lifetime ago!?!)
Change is hard for most folks, and we are all being asked to adapt and to learn all sorts of new things. So very – very many new things and new ways of being in the world!
I have always been thankful for Jason and Jack – but now that I am using (and far too often goofing up strange new tech) I am especially thankful for their tech savvy minds and quick typing skills.
Jack is the brains and talent behind all of the sermon recordings. We know that they aren’t professional quality (not even close) – but hey I drafted a 16 year old to record them with his cell phone and a camcorder he got for Christmas when he was 12!
Jason has started working from home so our dining room is now a second (third) home office. We never did tons of fine dining in there anyway. It was always more of a homework and art table anyway. It is wonderful having Jason at home now that we are all using so much technology as he is the family “tech whisperer.” When I mess something up on the computer he is able to fix it right away these days. I love that!
On-line school officially starts for Jefferson County Public schools this week. We shall see how that goes. Ms. Meers – Will’s teacher – is an absolute rock star – so we are pretty sure his online experience will be great. Online high school may be a bit (a lot) trickier! Again we are trying to be agile and adaptable and to take it one day – sometimes one minute – at a time.
Jason and I had already taken learning matters into our own hands. Jason signed Will and Jack up for online learning classes through Jason’s employer. Jack is taking a class on the Sir Arthur Conan Doyle novel “The Hound of the Baskervilles“, and Will is taking a wonderful enrichment class. Will is loving his class and Jack says his class is interesting. (So – if any of your kids and grandkids are complaining about your parenting styles – you can tell them that at least they aren’t poor Jack and Will McFarland whose mean, cruel parents are forcing them to take EXTRA enrichment classes on top on their JCPS online classes!)
Since it is spring – we are spending tons of time outside. I have always felt winter is my nemesis. I despise winter with a passion and as my poor – long suffering family will tell you – I am very – very – very vocal about it. I detest the dark gloominess of winter and I cannot stand being COLD! So this time of year makes my soul sing for joy. And I like to share the joy of spring by dragging my family outside with me on every occasion.
If the sun is shining and our work is done for the day – we head outside. (Jason and I average 2 walks a day right now.) It has always been grounding and a blessing to me to be able to enjoy the glories of God’s creation – but this year I am finding it particularly helpful. It is so easy to feel lost and unmoored when our routines change and the news is so terrifyingly bleak. And yet – when I step outside and I see the sun shining and hear the birds singing and our neighbors’ daughters laughing on their trampoline – I am reminded that God is still with us. We are not in this crazy – unprecedented time alone.
God is here. God is with us. God has promised that he will never leave us or forsake us. Not ever.
And for me – green grass and trees starting to grow their summer leaves and even the dandelions that grow in our yard (I am a hippy and refuse to spray toxic chemicals where my children play and roll around!) remind me that God is still God – no matter what this life brings.
What reminds you that God is with you always? How are you reminding yourself of God’s eternal presence in your life during these difficult times?
Maybe for you it is music. So listen to your favorite songs over and over and over again. Or sing. Or make music. Or do all three. Host a concert for/with your family. Sing some tunes. Jam – rock out – play air guitar – dance in your socks in the living room!
Maybe for you it is your family and friends. Even in these times of social distancing you can call, text, Facetime, Zoom, and send cards. Reach out to your loved ones.
Perhaps for you it is reading. Then dig in and read. And while you are at it – don’t forget the greatest book of all – the Bible!
Is it art? Then get online and tour the great museums of the world and then make some art of your own inspired by the art you saw online. We are always up to our elbows in art projects at the McFarland house and it feels great.
Whatever it is that helps you feel closer to God – that reminds you of God’s presence in your life make the time for it. Seek God’s presence – because he is near. God is with you. God loves you.
May God continue to bless you and keep you today and always.
In Christ and with Love –