And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good… Romans 8:28a
Last week, in his meditation on the meaning of the COVID-19 pandemic, Pope Francis said, “It’s not God’s judgment on humanity, but God’s call on people to judge what is most important to them, and resolve to act accordingly from now on.” Like him, I’ve always believed there is good in every situation, no matter how bleak. As we all quarantine ourselves, it’s the perfect time to take Pope Francis’ words to heart and take stock of our lives.
What is most important to us? At the very root of our beings, what is it we want to accomplish with our lives? Who exactly do we want to be as moms, and let’s be honest, the leaders of our households? How do we want to shape our days, and the beings we are raising under our roofs?
As the entire world presses the pause button, we have the golden opportunity of slowing down to see if we’ve aligned our lives with our objectives. As we distance ourselves from others, we get the gift of seeing things from a new perspective. The pressure is off to dance to the tune of others. We’re back in the driver’s seat of our lives and we get to pick our destination, and the route to get there.
For me, I’ve had the wake-up call of realizing just how quickly my kids are growing up. Time is of the essence if I want to strengthen their faith, and our bond, so each withstands time and circumstances. My new goals are to come together every day and pray as a family, and enjoy each other through time spent together, unplugged.
Unfortunately, I’m not one of those people who has been gifted with more time in all of this. In fact, I feel busier than ever with work, writing my book, raising a family, and now having three kids at home, 24/7, having to oversee their Remote Learning for school.
What I have been gifted with is a more streamlined schedule: There’s no more stops and starts with after-school and evening activities, and taxi-driving for hours each day. That’s the block of time where I’m trying to make my priorities a reality.
Last week, we began using that time to come together to pray the Divine Mercy chaplet at 3 p.m., the “hour of mercy.” Immediately following, we circle around the middle island in our kitchen for games and silly activities. I can’t begin to put into words the change both things have made on our household.
My hope is that when this is all over, my kids will look back and remember how God pulled us through. I’m also hoping they’ll reflect on all the wonderful memories we’re creating together, ones that will overshadow the difficult parts, ones that will make my kids realize just how much they’re loved by God, and their parents.
Questions for Reflection:
* What do I want to achieve during this golden opportunity of time together as a family?
* How can I go about making that happen?
Claire, I love this! There truly is good in all of this chaos! Reconnecting as a family is such a blessing! Standing in the yard, having conversations with my kids–at a safe distance, of course!–has been so much fun. Visits outside the back door and on the laptop are a pure joy! I have felt so pampered and cared for with dinners and treats (dropped off on the porch) and numerous phone calls. God is reminding us to slow down and really see what is important.
God bless and heal those who are ill and protect all others. Thank you, Claire, for all of your inspired words! You are a blessing–as are all of my family!
Thanks for always being my “Biggest Fan,” Mom! It’s that love and support that has us all knowing you are one of our highest priorities, during a pandemic, and every other day of the year!
I love the 3pm Divine Mercy stop. Before my kids started school and in their earlier years of grade school we used to do the chaplet on TV at 3pm. They got excited for it and reminded me often. I don’t remember when or why we stopped, but I imagine it was because as they grow impromptu prayer can sometimes become a source of tension. I usually end up scolding someone for their less than pleasant attitude. 😔
I love your idea of games and fun immediately after so it keeps the mood up. I’m gonna give it a try. 🙏
I can’t recommend it enough, Jean! Yesterday, I tried to fit a task in between the prayer time and fun time, and I don’t recommend it. The days when we slide right from one to the other have been glorious! Let me know how it goes!
Beautiful, Claire, and the radiance on your children’s faces says it all, of how families
like yours, with a faith filled mom … yourself, extra busy with your writings, etc.
can be that transformative instrument of God at a crisis like this one, to remind you and show other families what is truly rich, valuable and able to be done , giving precious time to your children, with fun activities beyond the schooling, a time to focus on the GIFT of each moment with your children, a time to relish each one with new eyes!!! For sure, we can never outdo God in finding new ways to help us become ever more enlightened as to what each day’s priceless Gifts truly are!
Thank you, Jackie! I feel so blessed that I get to spend this time with my kids. And resurrecting old-school activities like word searches and jig saw puzzles is helping my kids see that there is more enjoyment to be had beyond what requires a screen. Although I wish this whole situation didn’t exist for obvious reasons, it is amazing how much good can come from any and every situation!