I can’t help but reflect and be amazed at how the Lord prepared our family, mostly through our church, to be home for a month. Over the course of the last year they have led studies on what to do when life doesn’t go as you expect/want, studies about how being too busy is not what the Lord wants of us and how to create “margin” in our lives and simplify. The examples go on, and I can’t believe how the Lord prepared us through all of this.
I guess I shouldn’t be surprised.
Last year, our church did Financial Peace University by Dave Ramsey, It was my second time through it and it was a great motivator to work hard to pay off our debt so that we could have more freedom. We’ve paid off a great deal since then and lowered our monthly payment burden by $450. That dedication unknowingly prepared us for Brennan to be off for one month, since unemployment (if he gets it) will not be even close to full pay.
As I did our budget today, which I always do before I know how much income will be received, I wasn’t sure how it was going to turn out. This is Brennan’s last regular paycheck for a month. When I checked to see the amount of his check, it was $16 over what we need to pay our bills/buy groceries! Had we not worked so hard in the months prior, this would not have been the case. We now feel more confident that we can survive this “quarantine” financially, even if it keeps us from being debt free as quickly as we’d like.
More important than financial provision, however, is our relationship itself.
In January, our church began focusing on relationships and improving them. It was a sermon series as well as the subject of our Bible study groups. How could any of us have known that we’d soon be spending four weeks straight at home together?
Every marriage requires time and effort, and I’m so happy that we have great tools to use this time wisely and make our marriage even better as we live and “work” together during this time. Marriage while raising toddlers is a serious challenge because your wants and needs often get pushed to the side, and by the time they go to bed you’re too exhausted to really talk about anything. Now we can focus on parenting AND on our marriage and we’re excited about that.
For those who are “quarantined” with your families, please use this precious time wisely. Can you imagine the impact this time can have on families around the world if we choose to spend quality time together and improve our relationships instead of complaining? We are given only a short amount of time on this earth, and most of it is spent being so busy that we lose sight of what’s most important. This time together is a GIFT.
I’ve seen some people post (jokingly, I assume) about needing divorce court after this is over, and I’m praying that we see the opposite effect: that living through this uncertainty together encourages stronger marriages, stronger families.
May we tell our children/grandchildren someday about how COVID-19 strengthened our family and how we saw God in the midst of it all. We’ve been forced to slow down, to be together, and this has never happened before in my lifetime. Let’s embrace it.