About the Author

Anna is the author of A Moment of Christmas and Pumpkin Spice for Your Soul. She's the Digital Content Manager at (in)courage, and lives in Minnesota with her husband and their little kids. She loves a good book, a great latte, and walking her dog (not all at once.)

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  1. Thank you for such a lovely and uplifting post, Anna (and congratulations on your news). The basic I’ve gone running back to is a greater appreciation for the nature right around us. Through this restricted period, we’ve waited eagerly for the blossom to appear on our cherry tree in our back garden and are now watching the petals float to the ground, making the strong leaves flourish on the tree. Such a small, simple thing but we’re appreciating it all the more this year. God’s miracles are all around us and in these unusual times I’m seeing more of them.

    • Oh cherry blossoms, how lovely!! Here in Minnesota we’re just starting to see buds on trees, no blooms yet really. But they’re coming. Thank you for the reminder to be on the lookout.

  2. Anna,
    Congratulations on your wonderful news and all the more reason for you to go easy on yourself! As a currently unemployed crossing guard, I see many of my kids and parents walking around our neighborhood in an attempt to alleviate the boredom and ants-in-the-pants their kids are experiencing. I talk to moms who are navigating this pandemic the best way they know how and I pray for them – that God would fill in the gaps where they think they are coming up short. I remember my days with littles and I wonder how I would be surviving right about now?? I think that God is calling us all back to basics. My back yard and my garden have been a small slice of God’s awesome creation and I am looking at its beauty through fresh eyes and thanks to more time on my hands, I’m stopping to smell the roses. There’s a reason we are all in this so I’m asking God what HE would have me learn…
    Blessings,
    Bev xx

  3. I can definitely relate! As a single mother of a wild and crazy two year old, I am also trying to navigate working from home, “homeschooling,” etc. all with no one else to shoulder at least part of the household responsibilities. I’m equal parts jealous and angry when I hear of people binge watching their favorite Netflix shows. I’m trying to give myself grace and find the positive moments in each day.

  4. Amen. Just because all those extras are great, doesn’t mean they are a good choice for me and my family right now. The irony that we are stuck at home and yet still finding ourselves massively overstimulated is a testimony to what happens when we invite the whole world into our home via the internet. I am learning (over and over) to take what nourishes and to leave the rest with a “Thanks, but not right now”. I really like, though, that you are rephrasing “survival mode” with the idea of going back to the basics. I like that concept of focusing in on the essentials. Other things may be good, but they aren’t essential to the nourishment and up building of our family right now—and that’s okay.

  5. Hearing the gentle words of Jesus in this post, Anna.

    And on the boring, technical level: this is the second day I’ve noticed the Click to Tweet function not working. Is this just a me-glitch or is there a problem with the site? Just thought I’d let someone know…

    • Hi Michele! Thank you for your comment. I’d love to help with the click to tweet — can you tell me what happens when you click it? It’s working properly for me and others, so I’d appreciate knowing what it does for you to see if we can help. Thank you!

      • Thank you, Anna.
        Whatever the problem was, it has fixed itself!
        (What had been happening was an error message telling me I had already tweeted that — but I hadn’t!)
        Glad it was temporary!

  6. First, I love the picture that accompanies this message. Such a lovely, peace place to walk! Walking and hiking is my thing.
    I never had children and I’m retired so I had “more” time on my hands before the virus caused us to restructure our lives, but I can still relate to this. I am being smothered with all these virtual tours, gardening ideas, arts and crafts projects from all my favorite craft stores, new recipes to try, educational videos, scenes from around the world. Video church and video this and that. It’s a never ending list of interesting and fun things to do. But there is still only 24 hours a day, I still have to feed my cats and play with them and figure out if there is something to worry about when they are meowing at the door. And find time for that walk I love so much. And time for devotionals and prayers. And check on my 88 year old dad a couple of times a day. He can relate to some of what is going on since he lived through the depression but has difficulty understanding that he can’t go for groceries like normal, or to the bank, or go to church either. So I hang on getting by getting his groceries with mine, doing my laundry and gardening and hugging my cats. It is enough. I am saving many of the interesting video crafts for a winter day, same with the virtual tours, recipes and educational videos for a snowy cold winter day when I won’t want to go anywhere anyway. To get through today is enough because I know God has this in his control and there will be plenty of time for all the other stuff, another day.

    • Yes! It’s a weird time, even if you don’t have a houseful of kids. I’m blessed to be working from home…so it’s just me and my cat. Sometimes it’s great…when the sun shines, the tree outside my window blooms, the grass gets green, and sometimes it’s just plain lonely. I’d love to be trying all the cool crafts…but I’m being paid for my time. Since all of my “work” doesn’t transfer to working from home, sometimes I have little to do…but I’m still on the payroll, so I don’t feel I can walk away and do the “fun stuff” – sew, craft, paint…houseclean. I decided this morning that mowing the grass around the home office might classify as work…we pay people to mow the grass at the “real” office! 🙂 I have tried new recipes … on my own time. I’m so thankful for social media to keep in touch with coworkers and friends but it’s definitely limited and not the same!

    • Judy I love the thought of saving those tours for a winter day! All the online options can be so overwhelming. My husband is the director of our church’s communications, and his job is bananas creating all the options! Like you said, Trudi, I’m grateful for the internet to keep connected but it’s for sure not a solid substitute. Hang in there, ladies. You’re doing good things in this.

  7. I am not a parent. Never will be that was my choice. Don’t get me wrong I love kids. I have two Sisters they have kids. I love them. I hear it from them and other Mums at this time with all being shut down. Or as you say closed to this Covid 19. It is the same over here in Northern Ireland where I live. Parents all over the world having to home school their kids. It hard for them. I used to be a Registered Childminder. Especially if the Parents don’t know how to do the school work themselves. Plus kids most of them don’t have the seel in them to want to do the school work at home. Like they do if as school. As at shool they have too do it. It hard for parents if have kids of different ages sitting at the kitchen table doing the school work for few hours the weather nice outside. The kids not in mood. They want outside to play. The Parents if don’t understand or know how to do the work they find it hard themselves. That can make them the Parent’s cross moody and take it out on the kids. That not fair. The Parents only trying there best. The kids shouting Mum or Dad I don’t understand stand this or how to do it. That makes it harder if Parents don’t understand either. Tempers can fly. Then you wish you had school still open. Teacher here to help. It hard. What about the Parents with that child with a disability. The child does not understand change. Why the bus not coming today to take them to School. Why things different. It hard on them as Parents. It hard on all kids not seeing their friends. We all at this time no matter where we live no matter what side of the world we live on. We have to be patient and keep Praying and trusting God Reading his Word the Bible and Standing on his Promises in it. Ask him God to give us patience to cope. Not get stressed up. Help us be thank full we are still well. Not in Hospital for any reason. Not ill. We will get back to normal soon. But God will help us get through this. No matter what it is we are going through. We have a big big might God. To helping us. Love today’s reading xxx

  8. Firstly congratulations!

    My basics are showering and actually getting dressed. I’ve been working from home and as you say helping my three kids with their online learning. My kids are nearly 14, 10 & 9. In NZ my husband has been going back to work for 3-a full day for the last week. We are still in lockdown but the restrictions have somewhat slightly eased.

    It’s tough but if the kids (my younger 2 are giving me the most trouble). I just take each day as a new day and hope for the best. Getting a walk in our bubble every day helps slot

    My basics are exercise, getting out of PJ’s, coffee and GRACE. Spending my morning reading my bible app and prayer and more GRACE!

    • Actually getting dressed. YES. As I sit here in yesterdays jammies… ha! I love this Jas. Your basics sound spot on, and I’m praying grace for you today!

  9. Congrats Anna, I feel like yours getting in much more than the basics. I applaud you. I’m an empty nester, and my biggest issue is not seeing my young adult daughter and son-in-love because of my illness.

    As I see the memes and things on social media about ” home-schooling,” I have to laugh. Some of the things are true, but some are out there!

    I couldn’t imagine having myself and hubby working at home while ” guiding” 3 kids with school and through such an unexpected and confusing pandemic. When it’s so confusing and overwhelming for us, not even sure how to begin to explain it to them.
    Pat yourself on the back, Moma, you’re doing much more than the basics! Hugs from Texas

    • Jen, I understand. My biggest pain in all of this is not being able to be with my mom. She has several of the listed risk factors, and pregnant women especially can be asymptomatic, so we have kept our distance for these eight weeks, and it’s been so painful. We’re usually with her multiple times a week, so this is strange and unwelcome. It’s miserable to be without our people, isn’t it? Praying for you today.

  10. I’m not a parent, but that all rings true for me too.

    “There is no shame in getting by. It’s a pandemic, not a vacation from real life.”

    Yes! Thank you for that!!

  11. Anna, I love, love, love this! You are spot on! I am a retired R.N. living a very mundane, ho hum existence right now. Every day seems the same. My kids and grandkids live too far away for me to help out. I can only send cards and craft kits. I can only chat on the phone or do FaceTime. Much of my time seems grey. I try to mix things up: flower planting, pressing flowers, taking walks. But I miss my hospice volunteering and my lunches with friends. I do all the shopping (my hubby is more compromised healthwise than me) and it is not fun anymore. At all. But I, too, am doing the best I can. I’m aiming for a “C”. With maybe a B+ in grandparenting? Love to you!

  12. I just want to say I admire all of you women juggling so much extra on your plate right now with school at home, working at home and as you say, we are going through a pandemic, not a vacation!

    Take care of yourself and may God’s lovingkindness pour down on you in abundance today.

  13. Anna,

    Congratulations on the baby news! Praying you stay healthy & rest up as much as possible. The title of this post reminded me of an old song “The Basics of Life” by 4Him. Here’s the first verse & chorus: We’ve turned the page, for a new day has dawned We’ve re-arranged what is right and what’s wrong Somehow we’ve drifted so far from the truth That we can’t get back home Where are the virtues that once gave us light Where are the morals that governed our lives Someday we all will awake and look back just to find what we’ve lost We need to get back To the basics of life A heart that is pure And a love that is blind
    A faith that is fervently grounded in Christ The hope that endures for all times These are the basics, we need to get back To the basics of life. I think that speaks for itself. Simple basics of spending face to face time with family. Playing games, teaching kids to cook, clean, etc. My basic is learning to cook healthy meals & working on 2 Bible studies. Enjoying more time with my furloughed husband.

    Blessings 🙂

  14. Anna,

    I loved your post. I’ve enjoyed all of yours. This one spoke to me. No, we don’t have kids, but I understand the getting back to basics. I think each time we see something pop up, “Hey, this is for you!” it feels like we’re a failure, that what we’re doing to cope isn’t enough. Kudos to you for doing what you’re doing with your kids. And congrats on the fourth! Hang in there. Praying that spring will come to MN soon. It’s been a beautiful one here. And, that spring will come to your soul.