The grace of the Lord Jesus be with God’s people. –Rev22:21
But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” -2 Corinthians 12:9
Grace? What is grace? The Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines it as and unmerited divine assistance given to humans for their regeneration, as well as approval, favor, mercy, pardon, and a disposition to or an act or instance of kindness, courtesy, or clemency. The Lord gives grace unto each and every one of us so in turn, we should give grace to others, including our children, their teachers, and also, ourselves.
Let’s practice extending grace to all of the teachers. Yeah I know, you’re receiving an abundance of calls, texts, and emails. I know, trying to figure out the changes from packets to google classroom, and now having to transition into distance learning has been challenging and extremely time consuming. I also know some of you have even had to go through this process with multiple children, have had communication with multiple teachers, and it’s been quite a lot at times. Let’s extend GRACE anyway. Besides, it’s also their first time trying to figure this all out too. They’re trying to manage the new systems, the distance learning, how to stay in contact with multiple families, all while, they too, are home with some of their own children or families. These are unprecedented times for us ALL. Give grace so that you may receive it. Let’s show more kindness, courtesy, and understanding.
Extend grace to all the children. They are also going through a huge transition being home now all day, having to deal with the challenges of learning new routines, not seeing their everyday friends, unable to go to places they usually would go, all while having to figure out this new transition of distance learning. Let’s show a bit more favor, kindness, mercy, and love towards them during this time. Let’s extend to them, GRACE.
Last, but certainly not least, allow grace for yourself. You, yeah you Mom! You Dad! You have gone from the office, classroom, or place of employment to working from home, helping your child adjust, homeschooling, keeping communication with teachers, all while handling all your work tasks. Allow grace to YOU! Don’t be so hard on yourself. Take a deep breath. Pray! Listen to worship. Speak life over your day and yourself, as well as your children. Set realistic expectations of working from home and talk to your supervisor about it. Stop and take breaks in between. Get yourself something to eat, drink water, and/or go outside and get some fresh air. Recharge and get back at it! You can do ALL things through Christ who strengthens YOU.
For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline.-2 Timothy 1:7
Create New Routines
Creating new routines helps with transitioning. Routines also help with time management. It assists children by knowing what to expect next. It also decreases stress for all involved by allowing the children to be more independent, while allowing parents the time needed to handle tasks in between.
Maybe you’re thinking, I have always had routines in place. Great! I must say, it might be a good time to create new ones, especially if your routines were set in place prior to the changes that have recently occurred due to this COVID-19 pandemic. Developing new routines during this time will help children gain a sense of security.
I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through him who gives me strength. . –Philippians 4:12-14
Don’t forget to be flexible at times! Yes, routines and structure are great and add consistency, but we also have to keep in mind the importance of having moments of flexibility. Leave room for the Holy Spirit to lead you! Don’t miss out on how God wants to lead you during this time, especially as it relates to your family.
One example of flexibility from my own life took place today. We have managed to gain a better handle on our new routines and it’s been working out great. Today, I had a work phone conference. I was discussing my ideas as it related to work and our programs. My daughter was on her Chromebook and by the end of my conversation, I noticed she was totally into what I was talking about. She was even peeking at my laptop to see some of my work. I hung up and looked over at her. She quickly turned her eyes to the Chromebook. I could have said, “Do your work,” but instead, I decided to use it as a teachable moment. I said, “You were interested in what mommy was talking about?” She nodded yes. I said, “Do you want to see and talk a little bit about what mommy does at work?” She was soooo excited and said yes. We took a 10 minute break together to go over some of my work. She was joyous, it was flexible, and she and I were both happy that we were able to bond. FLEXIBILITY, and discernment around flexibility, are key components during this time!
Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.-Philippians 4:6
This is the most important tip I have for you! Prayer! The bible reminds us that “faith without works is dead (James 2:26). This is the FAITH part. The other sections stand behind the “works” part, but prayer helps you to stand behind your faith!
Prayer is communicating with God. People have different ways of doing this. This can be by making your supplications known to Him, petitioning Him, crying out, and/or conversing with the Most High God. When we put HIM in the midst of all things, HE helps us get through, even a pandemic. He gives us the wisdom, favor, and strength we need to tackle our day, and if we get it wrong that day, had less patience, or even sinned, we can repent with a clean heart before Him and HE will forgive us. With this, we have assurance that we can try again in Him!
In the midst of all the transitions taking place in the world today, don’t leave God out of the equation. Make HIM priority in all things and HE will direct your paths. Most importantly, lead your family by example in modeling prayer. Include your children in prayer. Allow them to make their requests and supplications known, for we know that if we train children in the way they should go, when they are old, they will not turn from it. (Proverbs 22:6). They are experiencing much transition as well, and so they, too, need God to get through and persevere during this time.
I’ve shared just a few tips for parents transitioning during this pandemic. Do you have some that you would like to share? Please comment below.