This is part two of a special series contributed by a local parent to encourage other parents on shifting their perspectives while staying home during COVID-19 shutdowns.

In part one, we talked about the gift of quiet that we’ve all been given while we’re isolated at home. As you contemplate your own changed pace of life, use these steps to dig into your life in this moment of quiet. I know, it sounds almost as fun as running out of toilet paper right now. But I promise that this can really be a blessing if you take the time to let it be.

 Get in the Word

If you are like me, you have always said that if you ever had the time, your devotions would actually happen. Well, here you go! Your relationship with God has to be what is sustaining you in life – not what happens on the side when you happen to have a spare minute. Pray instead of stressing. Do your devotions instead of looking at Facebook.

Turn off your television

I know—this is a hard one, but I promise it will pay off in the end! You will never be on your deathbed someday wishing you had watched more televisio. It just will never happen. It is a huge way to distract us from all that we can use this time for.

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Take time to play with your kids

Playing with your kids is actually a great tool that lets you really see where they are at in life, what they struggle with, and what brings them joy. I wouldn’t suggest starting with Monopoly or Candyland. Those are my personal nemeses and if you are like me, they won’t make you happy memories. But there are a ton of great games out there, and even some games that are great to play with your teens! I would highly recommend Settlers of Catan, Ticket to Ride, or Code Names which we just bought. It’s a great game to play with the whole family!

Evaluate your schedule

Be willing to ask yourself some tough questions about your previous schedule now that things are at a standstill. Most of our activities are great, but when you combine many great things, you sometimes take away from what is really important. Your kids need you to not be so burned out that you don’t have time to talk to them about the things that really matter. It is our job to raise them well, and that can’t come second to basketball practice. Has been being so busy really benefitted your family, or would paring some things down allow you to focus on each other differently?

Ask who needs you right now

We have an incredible opportunity to be a light in a moment of darkness. Can you imagine going through all of this without our faith in God? I think I would curl up into a ball! Look around you for people who are scared and hurting and help take care of them. Share your hope with them, and possibly even a roll or two of toilet paper.

I hope we can all use this time to bring us closer to God and to each other. I know it has changed me in ways I wasn’t expecting. For instance, I never thought I was a hugger, but here I am with all of this forced personal space, wishing I could get a hug from a friend. . . after they showered in antibacterial soap of course!

I am grateful for the conversations I have had through this, and for the choices I have gotten to remake that I hadn’t stopped to think about for the last 15 years. And no, we will probably not use that bag of dried beans that I bought, so look for it in the donation bin in July!

This post was written by Christina Davila, a Concordia alumna (2002, B.A. in English, minors in Education and Communication), mother of six, and a home educator.