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love and hugs to you

Hello there!

I have been missing sitting with you all these past several weeks! Bringing a new baby home from the hospital has provided many sleepless nights and with the other four, there is much to adjust to and tasks to accomplish in a day! Our new baby boy is two months old now so nights are getting a little easier. Anybody know what I mean?

I want to give hugs and love to all of you who serve the people in the middle of this worldwide diffculty. Those who are medical workers, those who clean facilities like hospitals, who fight for our country in the military and are away from home, who drive trucks across the country to provide us with supplies, who report the news, who keep up with students from school, those moms or dads who hold down the fort at home while the other one works outside the home. My husband and his workers at Chick-fil-A who are still open and serving our community through food and kindness each day and come in contact with people each day. There are so many of you strong people and I am praying for you. For those of you who are furloughed or may have lost jobs, you are prayed for as well. Even my four girls ages six, five, four, and two are praying for you from our breakfast table each day! We may not know your name but know you are in our prayers and the Lord hears them.

Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.

Hebrews 4:16

I am truly thankful to our heavenly Father who lets us come to Him confidently and that He really listens and helps when we ask Him. We might be able to think of a time we were timid about approaching a parent about a need, fearing we might look silly. It is amazing we can approach our Father knowing He cares and desires for us to come to Him, no matter what we need or how we feel.

Speaking of how we feel, how are you doing? It must be super difficult for those of you who are used to getting up and going to class or going to work each day and now many of you are at home! You may be questioning how to adjust to life during this time and how to adjust to a new home schedule. There are many feeling depressed and anxious and our counseling offices will be filled with people after this is all over and we can return to going out and about. You are not alone if you are feeling just plain weird.

Take care of your soul. Spend time with the Lord each day. I know, it seems difficult to fit it in or to feel motivated to do it! I like sleep as much as the next person and at the end of the day with five little ones and my husband putting in eleven hour days most days, I am tired for sure! I also cannot imagine not spending time with God. I have found that at this time in life, the morning works for me (and is the only alone time I will have all day). I get up to sit at my kitchen table at six o’clock each morning, drink my tea, and listen to the birds that go wild outside the window. I have experimented and I have to go straight from my bed to grab my bathrobe and straight downstairs because if not, someone under 4 feet will wake up and I won’t have those precious minutes to myself. Yes, I am tired but I feel much more tired if I don’t spend time with God and fill myself with His presence. I am a much better person all the way around starting my day this way!

Take care of your body. Maybe you are used to going to the gym on a regular schedule during the week or maybe you have been too busy. Now is a great time to find new ways to exercise or begin getting those muscles warmed up. I am missing my gym classes and gym ladies like crazy. I also miss the childcare for that one sweet hour alone! To adjust, I go from quiet time to the living room and find a youtube video. It is not the gym with my usual instructors or the company of others but it feels good and motivates me to stay motivated the rest of the day if that makes sense. Find some activity that is fun and works for you. It could a walks outside, workout videos, exercising with people on a zoom call, or riding bikes with friends or family. Take that doggy for walks! This exercise produces the happy hormones that lift the spirits!

Get outside. God really does reveal Himself through His creation and the outdoors really does lift the mood. Breathe in fresh air, throw open the windows in your dorm, apartment, or house! Fresh air has also been shown to cleanse homes by keeping germs down, so bonus! Sunshine also provides vitamins to keep our bodies healthy as well. Sit outside on your patio or porch and soak in some sun and breathe in that air!

Focus on others. We can take the attention off of our hardships when we look to serve others. We can see our blessings as well when we look for ways to help others. My girls always wear bows and I make a lot of them, so we are making bows to give to some local girls. What can you do? Where is your realm of influence? Sending cards to leaders at church, sending cards to employees you are not around for now can put smiles on their faces. Calling grandparents or senior adults would brighten their days. Checking in on friends you have not talked to in years would be fun! Why not do something for someone else that you would appreciate yourself?

Create a new routine. Research shows that those who are busier can actually get more done than those without much to do because they have to schedule their time. Idle time leads to no good, so grab a calendar, use stickers and colored pens because that is just more fun, and list a general idea of how you would like your day to flow. It may change and adjust as you try new ideas, but it will keep you on track and help you accomplish what you need with fun time too.

Stay in connection. So difficult right now, but FaceTime family members, do the zoom calls for Life Group at church, watch the facebook live stuff, whatever it is. Even if you are surrounded by your kids like me, spend time doing some fun activities here and there. Sometimes I am tempted to do the laundry and all those tasks that I see ALL the time, especially since we stay home all day everyday. Those annoying things about home taunt me and I just see a list of to-dos, but try to have FUN with your people. We made cookies this week and last week so we could have a dessert since the grocery store was pretty bare. We were able to learn about measuring, pouring, ingredients, cleaning, and enjoyed a treat at the end.

Drink water. Take care of your body - we are only given one and we get the chance to be good stewards of the one God gave us. Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables. Drink your water. Enjoy a treat in moderation, but overall, give your body good fuel to energize you each day. For some reason, staying at home makes me search the pantry for all the snacks foods, but begin by filling a big cup with water in the morning, and not only will you feel better, it will help you stay motivated to eat healthful foods throughout the day.

Put on some makeup. Shave your legs. Change your earrings. Throw on some lipstick. Curl your hair. Paint your nails. We do these for ourselves, not necessarily to impress others anyway, so no need to go full-on glam, but it can create a better day by feeling put together. There are days that call for pajamas, but enjoy a day getting up and feeling ready to greet it and crush it, even at home! Every once in a while, I change out of my home uniform, Nike shorts and t-shirt, and put on denim and curl my hair!

Find a project. Make a list of stuff you would like to accomplish during this time. I have cleaned out a kitchen pantry so far! When I stare a the same walls each day, I can’t help but notice what I should work on. Clean out a closet, donate clothes, throw away trash, and it will enable you to feel lighter and like your home can breathe!

These are just a few ideas to help you in practical ways! I don't have all this down and I am working each day to improve as I utilize all the counseling skills I know! You are loved and prayed for! Now, I am going to get back to a baby who is about to crank up the crying, so until next time, take care!



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