Survival Guide for a Day Off School

That's right.  We got the call 5 minutes after the alarm woke us up.  My phone rang announcing school had been cancelled.  It came as a surprise -- had I not watched the news the night before or checked the weather app in the last 24 hours?! I struggle handling my expectations.  What I had planned for today didn't line up with how things were playing out.  However, our weekend was super busy, so the thought of being "stuck" sounded a bit refreshing too.

Unfortunately, my middle-schooler and I could not get back to sleep after "the call" and the other two were up soon after.  By 8:25am I already heard myself saying, "You guys, it's way too early for candy and please pace yourself on screen time.  It's going to be a long day."  Far from the refreshing, stuck-at-home-ness that I desired.

In that moment, God reminded me where I was putting my hope -- it's not in having a peaceful day with my kids.  My hope should also not be in the expectations of my day being met.  Those things will never satisfy and only leave me frustrated, empty, and longing for more.  

Crying out to God, I was determined to not let any of this swing my pendulum.  I wanted my joy to be in the Lord and not let any circumstance of the day destroy that.  Because this day off of school came as such a surprise to me and the roads were too slick to go anywhere, I had to put my creativity into action.  While God was asking me to trust Him with my day, I wanted to be present and purposeful.

Did you know this was a thing?!  That's right, now you don't even have to leave your home to get a Redbox movie.  You can stream movies straight from your phone or computer.  We have a Roku and there is a Redbox App on there that we use to watch movies.  

Our movie of choice today was Wonder.  My 4th grader just finished the book, so she was anxious to see it.  While I remember the days of watching Daniel Tiger and Veggie Tales, I am really enjoying this stage -- all five of us can sit down and enjoy a movie together. 

Today was sweet.  The girls and I had seen Wonder in the theatre, but Chase hadn't.  During the movie, there were so many opportunities to talk about treating others how we want to be treated and everyone being created in God's image.  And yes, I cried through the  e n t i r e  movie and my kids made fun of me.  It tugs at all the mom heart strings. 😥  I tried explaining to them how they are each a piece of my heart -- anytime they leave me, it hurts because they are a part of me.  They don't totally get it yet, but it gave me a beautiful picture of how God feels about me too.  I'm his daughter, created perfectly in His image.  

This morning I needed to get a few things done -- including a shower.  By the time we were ready to start the movie I quickly realized it was also time for lunch.  That seemed daunting and too long of a process.  So, I grabbed a plate and filled it with fruit, veggies, pretzels, and lunch meat.  At one point in my life, I would have scowled at this.  But, the kids thought it was a fun change of pace and it allowed us more time to just hang out. 

I can get caught up in the Martha mentality around my home.  Do you too?  I am so busy running around : cleaning, feeding people, picking up, folding laundry, and checking my phone that I miss the opportunity to just be with them.  Same with God.  I serve and I work and I check off all the things I'm "supposed to do" and forget to just be still at His feet.  

That's right...I said screen time.  Because, come on, we're trying to survive this day at home and keep the peace. 🙃 A little screen time never hurt anyone.  😜This also gives you a little time for yourself.  So often we can look at "me time" or time alone as a guilty pleasure and tell ourselves we shouldn't do that.  In reality, it is the best thing we can do for our husbands and kids because it fills our tank back up to love them well!  Time alone allows us to hear from the Lord, to be still before Him, and to sort out what's going on in our hearts.  And, while your sweet little ones are watching their favorite show, it also gives you the opportunity to learn from other Christians and sharpen your faith.  We are loving podcasts right now.  There are so many good ones, but here are a few that we can't get enough of right now...

This is the most important.  Whether it's first thing in the morning or half-way through the afternoon, just take a few minutes to keep your eyes on the Lord.  Sometimes I sneak up to my bedroom when no one is looking and close the door.  Granted, it only takes about 30 seconds for them to notice I'm gone.  But, when the house is so noisy, I have trouble hearing God's voice -- it becomes muted and I need a little space.  So if I can get 30 seconds or 30 minutes, I'll take it.  I grab my favorite devotional, my pretty Bible, and a journal that's fun to write in and dig in deep with the Lord.  Sometimes it's rich.  Other times God feels distant.  I keep seeking, though.  He's worth it and He hears me and He knows my heart.  He even cares how I feel about days when we're stuck at home.  

Let me just encourage you to keep this list in your back pocket for the next snow day or day when your unexpectedly stuck at home-- because guess what -- if you live in the KC area, I just watched the local news and the forecast is not looking promising for the next few days!!  🙃

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