If you asked me how I’ve been doing during this season of Covid lockdown, I would have to confess that I’ve been struggling. Some days have been good, great even, but others have been too hard. I haven’t been enjoying the lockdown life, and I haven’t been good at it either.
I’m a stay-at-home mom with a homeschooled 7 year-old, a 1 year-old and one in between. I adore my kids! I love them and I like them, and we have a blast together, yet I still find myself struggling in this season.
It’s like a plant made for full sun has been living under a bucket, in the shade, wilted and droopy. That’s the feeling.
I don’t want to press pause and wait until Covid is over, and things are back to normal before I can start thriving again. I don’t want to just scrape by, endure it and hide out until things are easier. I want to thrive (to grow, develop, flourish, prosper)! I want to live life to the full, enjoy the people around me, and live with a purpose, today.
I want that for you, too. Thriving in a season of struggle is possible, but we need two things: the right perspective and the right tools.
- It’s ok to be doing the thing you’re supposed to be doing and still have times of struggle.
- I’ve been home with my kids since my middle was born, almost 5 years ago. It was not my initial desire to be a stay-at-home mom and yet God’s direction and equipping for me to do this was undeniable. I know this is where I’m supposed to be right now, and some days are still hard. The present struggle doesn’t mean I got it all wrong.
- We need more than self-care.
- These past two months I’ve taken a ton of baths, spent time exercising, watched Netflix, eaten so much chocolate and even had alone time. These are all wonderful and necessary things for any mom to do, but on their own, it’s not enough. My soul, the entirety of who I am, is still feeling parched, begging for something more. I don’t need more self-care, I need soul care, which includes my physical, emotional and spiritual self. It means making time for fun and laughter with other people, processing my emotions (journaling, talking to someone), and spending time with Jesus (reading the Bible, talking to God and worshipping).
- Seeking human connection and real community
- When we do life on our own and keep to ourselves, we can survive and cope. We can even do fairly well on our own, but we won’t be able to thrive unless we are doing life with other people. We need people. We need to know each other, encourage and help each other, and remind each other that we’re in it together when we start to believe we are the only ones who struggle. Let’s move past surface level and reach out to someone, show up, take a risk and be real.
- Making a change
- I know the feeling when it seems that everything is pressing and squeezing in from all sides and there’s no way to stop it. The truth is, it only feels like nothing can be done, but there is always something that can change. The change might be internal, like an attitude shift, prioritizing gratitude or giving yourself grace. It may be external like setting or adjusting boundaries, asking for help or altering the daily schedule. If we don’t make a change, we will continue down the same struggle path.
I don’t know if this is a difficult season for you or what your particular hardships are, but I believe for both of us that there is more for today than just struggle. I believe we can thrive, even in this season. We were made for the sun, not to be kept under a bucket in the shade. Being intentional with our perspective and putting to use the tools we have will change the trajectory of how we walk through this season. These shifts have personally transformed these last couple of weeks.
If you don’t know where to start, tell God how you’re feeling and ask for His help and direction.
Resist the urge to remain in the struggle alone. Don’t lose hope.
There’s always more!