What I learned in quarantine…

As I wrote this a few weeks ago, I was anticipating some disruption to our lives and now it is here. My kids are on extended break and we are working virtually as our nation attempts to slow the spread of a new virus. I thought about heavily editing this, but read it again and am hoping the Lord will work again in my heart through this unique time.

Currently, we’re in a bit of a strange predicament in the world. Coronavirus is all over the news and its a little scary out there. A couple months ago, none of us was thinking about a pandemic, except our family. (We have the game). (Yes, we’re nerds).

Now, the officials are saying to expect disruptions and make contingency plans for things like schools shutting down or quarantine. That’s kind of a weird concept, I think, for most of us Americans. We are a freedom loving bunch and quarantine, well, its just not that.

But it is important and there’ve been a few times where our family has been in quarantine.

Like the time I thought the chicken pox vaccine was more effective than it is and my two kids got it one after another. Bang, one month in quarantine because our community was not vaccinated and most had not had chicken pox as children.

Then, there was the time we got a bad case of hand, foot, mouth disease when it was kind of going around the world. We were responsible for passing it to another team in another city. Oops.

Then there was SARS in 2003. We were there and it was rather frightening at times. When we came back to the US in May, we self quarantined.

As a mom, I was dismayed to quarantine with my kids for the month we had to do that. It felt like it might just make me have a breakdown. Young mom + two kids + isolation= bad.

What surprised me the most was that it was really such a peaceful time for our family. I stocked up each week at the store. I had to say no pretty automatically to most things. And, I focused on my home and family life. My stress level went down and I enjoyed my kids a lot more than I had normally.

I’ve thought about it more this past month because, well, you know, the news. And, I realized how busyness robs me of so much. I was reminded of how much I keep so many plates juggling for many reasons but many I can distill into a desire to measure up in some way.

The question of what good am I if I’m not doing something morphs into this big bully and I don’t know God’s tremendous grace and mercy towards me. And, I also don’t know of His great grace and mercy to others for which He needs me much less than I think He does!

As I write this, I want to make clear that quarantine for many in the world today is very, very scary and difficult on a level I did not experience. My point is that times where we need to slow down and be still can bring a peace that highlights how striving we can become.

For those that are in the epicenters, isolated and alone or displaced, my prayer is that they would know God’s overwhelming presence, comfort, and love. And, I pray that this pestilence would abate but not so that we can go on with life as normal.

Hopefully, the knowledge of our fragile humanity would draw us closer to God.

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