The “Q” Word

By: April Rains

While the calendar keeps moving the dreaded “Q” word (AKA quarantine) has reshaped our thinking. Yes, we are mainly tired of talking about it, but indulge me.

My question is “What did we learn from the quarantine of 2020?”

Oddly, the quarantine has highlighted life’s struggles but has made more beautiful the areas that I cherish the most. I have felt strongly about using this time to evaluate our convictions as a family and readjusting to make sure we aren’t allowing comprises.

As I began to write a few notes to myself about things I wanted to take away from the “Q” word, I thought we could all look at a few that I jotted down (you really don’t want to see them all )

“Don’t rush the mornings”
I have been grateful for less rush in the morning. I want to commit the extra minutes to give love, encouragement and the best start to my family. We do ok with this, but I have loved our special morning time and adding rush to the morning sets the tone for the day.

“Go deeper with People”
I like people a lot, but the only child in me has a way of retreating pretty quickly. I am a more serious person by nature and that isn’t always the most fun…but I have to allow myself to go deeper with people.

“Just stop and say Yes in the Home.”
I am a planner and all the games, puzzles, playing in the water hose, basketball, requests for ice cream, etc. can be inconvenient in timing, mess, etc…but I want to say yes more. Can we play_____? Sure! Why Not!

“Milestones without corporate celebrations are still milestones.”
I hope every graduate will remember that the milestone is the accomplishment and not the celebration. The parties and the celebrations are wonderful, but it is the hard work and the dedication that produced the accomplishment. This truth will keep us all. Our character will only grow when we are forced to be proud of accomplishments even when the public is not applauding. It is quite a life lesson to learn.

“Balance is not always possible, but you can control your families’ best balance”
Each season brings new opportunities, disappointments and changes, and as we shift out of the “Q” word in the months ahead I want to continue to balance our home. Not overcommitting or spending too much in one area or another. This is in recreation, health, finance, etc.

“Technology is good…but not THAT good.”
I am calling for a no screen “Q” word when this all passes. That’s all.

“At the end of the day, I answer to God. Pressure Off and Eyes Up.”
I have had days where I didn’t feel like I checked on enough people, I didn’t send a meal when I should, I forgot to pray over a specific need, I slept in and didn’t get a devotion in, I didn’t respond to a text, I didn’t do what others might have thought I should….that is a lot of pressure. I will never advocate the statement “I don’t care what other people think”, because I believe that a great deal of the attitude behind the statement discounts our impact on the people around us and our responsibility to love and lead well…but I will say “Pressure Off and Eyes Up”. God dropped that in my spirit on week one and has held me there. He starts where our strength ends…and when we don’t quite measure up He always does.

“Less Sugar!”
I am just going to leave this here. Next…

“No substitution.”
In the chaos of our normal life it can feel like we need a lot of other “things” to meet the longing in our heart. During this quieter time it is amazing how clear it is that the only thing you truly long for is to be refreshed in your spirit every. single. day. “Draw close to God and He will draw close to you” – James 4:8.

“Respect is a beautiful love language”
Brent and I have always enjoyed working together yet now we are adding school, no church, no outings, and the uncertainty of the time to the mix. What I have been so grateful for is that when we respect the position that each other have in our jobs, in our family and even in our walk with God it looks like LOVE. Statements like, “I know you have been working why don’t you take a few minutes and ____” or “Why don’t you go and have your quiet time, I’ve got this.”

“God’s really all that we have, really.”
We know this..but Do We Act Like We Believe This?
Not to be morbid or harsh, but when God told us all other things would pass away…He was serious. When the “Q” word is set in place because of a pandemic it shifts the mindset. Our little “Bubble” is challenged, and the reality is that no matter how much we love our church, our family or our position…God is all that matters. We might lose it all. We might suffer. Our status on earth might change. But nothing, nothing, nothing can change our Heavenly status.

This time of quarantine was positioned as a precaution. The thing about a precaution is you never really know the metric on how it actually impacted the situation. We will never know the net effect if we hadn’t closed down our schools, churches, companies, etc. BUT let us not come out of this time without knowing the metric on how it impacted us as individuals. The hard reality is that we took shelter and it cost many people a lot of money, worry, position and stress, and ultimately it cost some their life. The “Q” word has taken our emotions for a ride, but I choose to not let this time go in vain.

What is God asking you to take from this time? Write it down. Keep It Close. Read it Often.

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