Reflecting outside four walls and forced blessings | Mark’s Remarks

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We sometimes can’t get past ourselves when it comes to something. I mean, unless it really causes major issues in our lives, we tend to diminish it somewhat. 

I think that’s why so many people are having a hard time buying into the reality of what is going on with this virus stuff. I mean, many of us are not dealing with major things that are close to home.

However, there are people facing uncertainty, whether it is with their financial future or even their day-to-day lives. So, I’m trying to look at the big picture as I reflect on all this.  

I do think we need to be praying our heads off as a nation; asking God everyday to move and reveal things to us. I’m completely convinced God is using this pandemic to get our attention.

In my own home, we have little if anything to complain about. We are all hunkered down together.  We can’t see our extended family but are able to stay in contact with them and see their faces through modern technology. We are still able to get food we need and our income is fairly stable with no major worries on the horizon.  God provides.

Our kids have settled into a routine. We have all of them home, which is a very big blessing to us.  Our oldest will be getting married in May and so this “spring break” has turned into an extended stay in which we are able to spend time as a whole family unit again. We have enjoyed one another immensely, and no one has gotten particularly aggravated or grumpy with anyone else.  It’s been good.

There’s been time to rest more, talk more and to interact. We seem to gravitate toward one another more than we used to. We are watching TV together, singing together and cooking together. At least once a day, we all pitch in and do a household chore and I’m pleased to announce some of my summer work is already finished thanks to this forced time at home.

How many times in our daily lives have we breathed a long sigh and said “I need some time off.” Boom. It’s here. It happened so fast it made our head spin.

I won’t pretend my job as an educator is wonderfully easy. Within hours, we’ve been forced to completely change our teaching strategies and figure out how to manage remotely. It remains a challenge.

My students have adjusted well and most of them are rising to the occasion.  The parents, especially the ones still working, deserve kudos. We’re all working hard to make this remote learning stuff work.  

I’m paid on a monthly basis, year around. My wife works and is still earning money, even if it’s not as much as it was before. My kids are still learning and moving forward with educational pursuits. As I said, we are fed and we are happy. No one has gotten sick in our immediate or extended family and we have not had any major hardships.

So, I guess I’m at a point where I’m trying to think about what we’ve learned and what we continue to learn during this time. I posted on Facebook that I’ve learned how selfish and impatient I can be.  However, I’ve also realized how important some things are and how mundane other things are.

Although I’m trying not to watch the news a lot, I’m still trying to think of how all of this has impacted others. I’m trying to think outside my own four walls, my own comfortable life.  

We’ve been forced to slow down and we can’t deny we’ve all had more time to think. We can see the blessings because they are right in front of us.  But I also hope we see the opportunity.  

The world might go back to the way it was before, but the blessings and realizations will have a lasting impression.  

So, I’m not sure things will ever be exactly the same. And that might be a good thing.

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