Like many of us, I have found myself creating a space in my house to work over the last several weeks. I have worked from my couch, dining room table, outside, and on a makeshift desk tucked into the corner of a room. We have all had to adjust to this new normal that is self-isolation.
I have attempted to keep my morning routine decently similar to the way it was before, but with a lack of commute time, my podcast and audiobook time has seemed to dwindle; however, so have my road rage, traffic stress, and driving exhaustion. It has been hard for me to find that exact stopping moment at the end of the day, previously signaled by the math equation of the amount of time traffic will take me to get home before dinner. Now, I walk down the hall.
We have all had to adjust. But you know what I have loved about this self-isolation? I have loved the intentional time I’ve gotten to spend with my family. There has been a real reprioritizing of what many psychologists call the work-life balance. I have found myself, instead of taking the coffee break walk down the street with a coworker, taking a walk with my family or sneaking outside for a breath of fresh air and a quick game of tag. I don’t know that we initially set out to be intentional with our time, but once we noticed new habits forming, we quickly started implementing a new standard into our lives. Here are some things we have added to our routines:
1) Pizza night. Friday nights are now pizza nights at the Hudson household. This has given us the opportunity to build anticipation all week to what our pizzas will be topped with or if we’re going to make individual pizzas or a family pizza. I promise, this has been a big deal at our house!
2) Daily walks. Every day I have carved out a portion of my day to make sure we’re active and get out in nature. Some days have been a stroll down the street or a drive to a different neighborhood to walk around their streets and dream of how we’d decorate the homes we pass. Some days, we find a field to run around in, tall trees to explore, and leaves to collect.
3) Game time. We have instituted that just after dinner, we play some sort of game. Follow the leader, cards, and “act like Mommy” have become some of our favorites.
4) Study and prayer. Every day we have prayer as a family, a short devotional, and discussion about what the passage was about. There is very little more humbling than being reminded by your 3-year-old that you forgot to pray before shoveling pasta into your mouth. There is very little more refreshing to my soul than a 3-year-old asking deep questions about God. During this global pandemic, we have had intentional prayer time for healthcare workers, first responders, leaders, our neighbors, friends, and family.
You now what’s great about each of these scenarios? We’ve had some great conversations during each of them. Spending intentional time together has brought on some great, deep, serious conversations as a family. I am quick to recognize that while we are in a season of having a young child and these ideas may not work with your teenagers, the concept remains: how can you be intentional with the extra hours at home we’ve all been gifted with? Many nights prior to this isolation, I had worked into the evenings to make sure the next big thing we were working on was just perfect. Now, I realize that the next big thing I need to pour my life into is sitting right next to me. I have become unapologetic when my little girl wants to climb into my lap during a meeting—I simply turn my camera off and mute my mic, or don’t, depending on the meeting.
I am trying to be very intentional during this time that many have become anxious and nervous about (including myself) and give God the glory for the time to be a better husband and father. Romans 8:28 says, “We know that all things work together for the good of those who love God, who are called according to his purpose.” I sure don’t want to make light of the seriousness that this season has called us to, but in Him all things will work together for His glory—yes, even in a pandemic.
My prayer for you, as you too may be becoming saddened by the disheartening statistics, is that you may be filled with a new energy to find new ways to be intentional with your family.