Truly, how are you? Are you shaking your head and remembering how you yelled at your children? Put them in front of screens way, way too much? Forgot a work call? Served toast for dinner? Let the children overhear that right now you fear for their grandparents’ lives? Because I am.
In the middle of all this, I pray we will all show ourselves love and self-compassion. We often think of the command to love our neighbors as ourselves as a reproof against narcissism and selfishness. It is a command to love and care for everyone--including ourselves.
I have to admit, I’ve really been benefiting from my immersion in the first and fourth grades; I’m learning a ton! Along with simple machines and the natural resources of the Southeast, the Social Emotional curriculum at our elementary school is speaking to me. It’s called The Incredible Flexible You and it’s perfect, for me, in this pandemic. I love firm plans; I love making plans, following plans, knowing others have plans. But now--flexibility is key, isn't it?
As silly as this is, as I work on my flexible self the word running through my mind each day lately is a quote from the old TV show Friends. There’s a well-loved episode involving Ross and Chandler moving a couch into a NYC apartment building, and while stuck in a stairwell Ross repeatedly yells “Pivot!” Every day as I need to continually change plans, directions, and tactics--with homeschooling, church, groceries--I silently call “Pivot!” It helps me laugh in the middle of a struggle.
Perhaps a more Biblical view of “Pivot!” or the “Incredible Flexible You” is grace. The word grace, in English, is complex; it can mean many things including thanksgiving, blessing, favor, deferment, consideration, and even poise. As we continually pivot during this season, may we do so with grace and in peace, with our eyes on the Lord and with a heart open to blessing those in our circles.
This Memorial Day weekend is a great opportunity to show our family how flexible we can be and find new ways to have special times. Here are some ideas:
- ice cream delivery (our family discovered that several local places will bring us fancy ice cream sandwiches)
- a picnic
- a hike
- yard games (make your own bean bag toss or target game, or find a Frisbee in your garage)
- decorate your house or create a side walk mural commemorating the holiday
- write letters to active duty service members
- bake a traditional Memorial Day dessert -- or even better, make something for a neighbor, friend, or someone who lives alone
- watch the Memorial Day Concert on PBS
Grace and peace be yours in abundance through the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord. 2 Peter 1:2
Peace be with you,