When we were stationed in Hawaii, I homeschooled for one very, very, very long year. Let’s just say it wasn’t a raving success because I let distractions interfere as much as my kids. This proved especially true with those subjects I didn’t really like — namely, anything involving the left side of my brain.
One thing said more than once by my actual 2008 self to my three young children was, “Hey, y’all, let’s go to the beach and count sea turtles and call it math!” Not surprisingly, my kids were happy to oblige.
But since Jesus loves me, He gifted me with a good local friend on the island who was also a tried-and-true homeschooling mama. She shared her homeschooling smarts and relaxed, yet productive, ways with me, and lo and behold, the kids and I miraculously made it through the curriculum that year.
At that time, I may have been new to homeschooling, but I was an old hat at being a military wife.
Yesterday, a friend and military wife posted something on Facebook along the lines of, “Welcome to the world of having the government ruin your plans.” While the parallel to this current COVID-19 crisis isn’t perfect, military folks are just some of the people who know what it’s like to have their plans derailed with little notice. After all, many a military family has felt the whiplash reality of thinking and preparing they’re moving to one place and finding out last minute they’re moving somewhere else. Or that they’re not moving at all because their military member is deploying. Or maybe they already moved, say, to the East Coast, but all their household goods were inexplicably transported to the West Coast.
In some ways, the world at large is getting a taste of what our military friends have already experienced.
In some ways, those parents overseeing their kids’ remaining school year at home are getting a taste of what our tried-and-true homeschooling friends have already experienced.
A well-known quote by Mr. Rogers says that when the news gets scary, we should look for the helpers. While this COVID-19 crisis is in one way or another new to all of us, some folks have spent a portion of their lives dealing with certain ripple effects it has caused.
Today, I see military families and homeschooling families as two kinds of helpers. If that’s you, might you share a little of what you do to make your world — and this world we find ourselves in these days — spin a little more smoothly within the context of your own personal experiences?
My eyes are always scanning the horizon for ways you and I can see our specific season through the filter of God’s care and provision. I love to write stories — specifically about change — that help you make sense of your own and help you see where you are with more hope and less worry.
In light of this and my history as a military wife, I offer you this bit of encouragement within the context of this verse from Acts:
From one man he made every nation of men, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and he determined the times set for them and the exact places where they should live.
Acts 17:26 (NIV)
Military families accept that God chooses their location, not Uncle Sam. But all of us, regardless of how often we’ve physically moved locations, are living in a new location of sorts right now. It’s also good to remember the Lord has determined this time for you to be where you are. And while we may all feel like this virus and all its ramifications came straight out of left field for us, the Lord saw it coming, and He will see you and I to the other side of it.
These are foreign feeling days to be sure. So, we rest in the facts of our faith, that God has gone ahead of us and will lay out a way for each of us to make it through. At the same time, He’s with us as we walk this foreign land.
As with any change, the change isn’t the end. God’s grace and goodness are. As we live and move within unprecedented times, may God’s grace and goodness show up for us in unprecedented ways too. And may our eyes be open to the many, many helpers God graciously provides along the way.
As we live and move within unprecedented times, may God’s grace and goodness show up for us in unprecedented ways too. -@Kristen_Strong: Click To Tweet