I recently read an article about families and COVID-19 called: Families Keep Going, In Pandemic and Health by Rachel Anderson. This quote particularly stood out to me:
In reality, God designed and entrusted families with the care of their members, in sickness and in health. Families honor the sacredness of life in all of its vulnerability and precarity (Ps. 68:6). Yes, there is brokenness in family life. But God also equips many families with resilience, adaptability, and love for just such a time as this.
As I read her description of “God-designed” families, I was reminded of all the changes my family has managed during this pandemic. The distancing from friends and family, the extra time together, the house projects, distance learning, cancelled events, the missed milestones... I decided we needed to remember these moments that have been both enjoyed and endured, so I started a list.
As I began writing down our experiences, I was surprised at the grateful tone my list carried. And it felt good. I felt like I was given the gift of perspective, a perspective from which I could see us being vulnerable with each other and caring for each other. I saw moments of great resilience, moments of accepting and embracing all the changes, and opportunities where our family had to act in a new way because we were made to “love for just such a time as this.”
These are the gifts of a “God-designed” family… that’s also broken and living in a broken world. I became more aware of the blessings found in my broken and beautiful family.
Now I wonder what other family’s lists would look like. Some families might find it hard to find the good. Some might find this past year wasn’t all that different. And I wonder if at the end of each list, families would have new insights into their “God-design” and be grateful.
Here’s my list. I used the alphabet to rein it in, and then, of course, the rhyming just made it fun. I’d love to read yours if you’d like to share. We can be grateful together!
The Ash Family’s COVID-Inspired Moments (Alphabet Style)
Added a puppy to our family of six.
Baked bread, built a fire pit, watched Netflix.
Celebrated Christmas with the cousins outside in the snow.
Driving tests were passed and then had nowhere to go.
Easter Sunday we worshiped at home, online.
FaceTime piano lessons actually worked just fine.
Graduation from high school, how do we plan?
House never felt this small for our clan.
Instantly gone are the snacks that we buy.
Jeans no longer fit and we wonder why….
Kisses and hugs are needed by all.
Laughter is a gift not taken for granted within these walls.
Masks fill the glove box so we’re never without.
Nature provides space for us to get out and about.
Ordering online has become the new norm.
Pajamas worn all day are comfy and warm.
Quarrels between siblings are common and loud.
Random bouts of tears often catch us off guard.
School on the Chromebook became the new way.
Take-out dinner became our traditional Wednesday.
Under the smiles, we’re so tired of adapting.
Virtual life is not the best for interacting.
Wrestling and football were less this year.
“Xbox gets old,” was a surprise to hear!
Yoyo—a fitting word to describe all our feels.
Zillion. The amount of love God reveals.
(You all thought I was gonna say something about Zoom, didn’t you??)
For more on practicing thankfulness in a family setting, check out the Faith Practices Project’s resources on the practice of gratitude.
Want to join the conversation? Share your 'alphabet style' gratitude list on social media using #crcfaithpractices!