With our schedule free, we are given the opportunity to reorient our focus from the busyness of life onto what really matters

My favorite semester of college so far came to an abrupt end recently. During my drive back to my parents house, I pondered what life with my family in quarantine would look like. 

In the back of my head, I knew I needed structure at home because it’s one of the things I love most about being at school. 

At first, I did not realize how hard getting into a routine would be. Everything that created structure in my life had been stripped away, along with everything that made up the lives of those around me.

Once classes started to pick back up, I found myself spending my entire day in my room. I would do everything from the comfort of my bed, from endless hours of homework to reading my Bible. This is dangerous, but I thought,“I don’t have a desk, my parents are downstairs on their own zoom calls for work, my bed is my only option.”

While doing my school work in bed, I would get bored, doze off, get distracted by my phone, start flipping through my high school yearbook and spend hours on Youtube. I wasn’t bettering myself in any way.

I was allowing myself to slip into the mindset that staying cooped up in my room and isolated from family was how I wanted to spend these days in quarantine. When I would think about the life I cultivated at APU, it made me sad because I wished so badly that I could snap my fingers and go back to it. The days were packed, but they were filled with purpose and fruitfulness.

It was when my mom read me a quote she saw on social media, that made me realize what was wrong. I was not being a light or contributing to the unity of my family. The quote reads:

“Satan: I will cause anxiety, fear and panic, I will shut down businesses, schools, places of worship, and sport events. I will cause financial turmoil.

Jesus: I will bring together neighbours, restore the family unit, I will bring dinner back to the kitchen. I will help people slow down their lives and appreciate what really matters. I will teach my children to rely on me and not the world. I will teach my children to trust me and not their money and material resources.”

I realized that as a follower of Christ, I was not doing my part. I wasn’t being present with my family, checking in on them and showing Jesus’ love to them through this troubling time. It was time I re-evaluated my life during this pandemic and set my priorities straight.

I hope to one day graduate from college, start working and live on my own. It registered with me that I may be approaching the last couple of years living under the same roof as my family. I must cherish this time. 

When life is static, it is easy to sit around and ponder what could be, but instead I decided to make myself a schedule. This would include the activities I wanted to do in a day such as setting a time to get outside, playing games with my mom and dad, watching a movie with my brother and still being diligent in getting my homework done.

If I can accomplish all that I do in a day at school, I can be better with how I spend my time at home. During quarantine, I have realized we make time for the things we value. In order to show my family how much they mean to me and to allow the Holy Spirit to move in my family; I must create time for them. 

We can show ourselves grace as we navigate this new season of life. When our days are a blank slate, we get to choose how we live them out. It may look different for each person, but finding a daily routine can allow for a sense of normalcy in our lives and redirect our focus.