That’s something silly to say right? “I am grateful for the shut in”... It’s true though, this year I can be transparent enough to say that my family and marriage have grown stronger. It’s sad to think that it took a pandemic for it to happen, but in reality I think many of our relationships have grown stronger because of it. Now, it should go without saying that many have had a different experience, and to those people I offer my sincerest prayers. This is simply my perspective.
Before March, I was constantly struggling with balance. Balancing my family with work, church and my other projects. I would come home exhausted and still have to cook, clean and make sure to spend some time with the family. I was mentally and physically on the verge of breaking down. As much as Marcus and the girls tried to help, it just felt like there was never any down time for us.
Then the world shut down.
All of a sudden our one hour of rushed family time turned into hours of games and laughter. We ended up learning new things about our girls through listening, having conversations and playing with them. Aria is hilarious! Important moments that we should have noticed before, but because we were always busy, were missing out on. We were spending so much more time with the kids, that when Marcus and I would leave them to go grocery shopping, they would act like we were never coming back! To be completely honest it was the best feeling ever!
Marcus and I have always been good at communicating, but after being shut in the house with each other, we are now great at it. We have become great at having literal conversations with each other, not texting! During this time we took the opportunity to revisit our love languages and actually understand them. This part is extremely important because after being together for many years you still have to go back to the basics to keep that spark going. Yes, you read that right! You still have to work at your marriage even after fourteen years. Seriously, you can get so caught up in your everyday routine that you forget about the basic things like literally talking to each other about something other than the kids. We had the time to discuss our goals and plans for our family. It was nice hearing how excited he was about our goals, an excitement that a text just couldn’t convey. The best part about all of this was that we didn’t just talk about them, we began executing them. We barely even text anymore if I’m being completely honest. Now he comes into my office space, lies on my rug and says, “What do you think about this?” or “How can we get this done?” It’s awesome and I am grateful that our communication and love has grown through all of this madness.
I think we can all agree that this year has been a year none of us will forget. Personally, I like to look for the positive in the negative, and that is why I am grateful for the quarantine. It gave me the opportunity to be with my family, and I know many of you feel the same way. Before this, we were all ripping and running, trying make sure we had enough hours in the day to cook dinner, get groceries, help with homework and even spend time together. Because of quarantine, we now have a few extra hours in our day for goal setting, extra hugs from ours kids, extra kisses from our spouses and clean laundry!
As I reflect on my positive experience, I also pray for those who have had a tougher battle this year. Whether it’s been through sickness, job loss, mental health, or just trying to figure out tomorrow, my prayers are with you. It’s at these difficult moments that we need to look out for each other and realize that asking for help is not a sign of weakness! Reach out to someone for a word of encouragement. Reach out to someone for help if you need it. Reach out to someone for prayer. And if God has placed you in a better position, reach out to someone and offer your help. We are in this together and together we will move forward!
Stay safe, family and be blessed!