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Having faith and taking action during COVID-19.

What to do when you don’t know what to do.

What to do when you don’t know what to do” is the name of one of the reading plans I’m doing, and boy does it fit right now. Having a little devotional/reading time is always a good way for me to start my day – it’s been really helpful these days especially as we’re over here just taking things one day at a time.

It’s a little crazy and uncertain in our world right now. We’re only at the beginning of a pandemic in our country where schools have just closed, stores can’t keep up with their dwindling shelves, press conferences are being held on the daily, businesses are closing their doors and many of us are on the edge of our sanitized seats waiting to see what happens next. So, here are a few things that have been on my mind and what we’re doing to stay safe & sane during the wake of the coronavirus.

1. Sorting through the noise.

When the virus 1st hit the U.S., especially as it closed in on NC, MD & DC, I found myself (sort of obsessively) scrolling through and clicking on too many internet articles and Facebook posts. I was still trying to decipher between the so-called “media hype” and facts. There are a LOT of politics, different views, beliefs and debates going around out there and it’s enough to make your head spin. While it can certainly lead to anxiety when dwelled on, we have faith and I know God’s got this – He always does, so this situations is no different.

I’m not “panicking” but I do want to stay informed. I took a day to take a little screen detox, stay off social media, and just get outside all day in the sunshine with our kids. And now I’m trying to refer to only reputable sources when it comes to staying updated on the Coronavirus. For example, the CDC, WHO, our local health departments and official press conferences.  I also watched the 20/20 special last week which included interviews and good info from experts. Ultimately I am also trying to limit all of this – reading about it/listening to it all day long isn’t good for anyone’s stress level.

2. Staying healthy

We are trying our best to maintain, if not improve, healthy habits and keep our immune systems in shape. Getting a decent amount of sleep, taking our vitamins and elderberry syrup, eating healthy meals and exercising. I enjoy cooking and trying new recipes, so now we have more time than ever to prepare healthy meals. My preschooler loves to help cook, so this is another great way to spend time with the kiddos and get them involved and helping out.

Last night we made Eggroll in a Bowl, one of our favorite go-to’s – here’s the recipe if you’d like to try it out. – it’s forgiving so feel free to swap out the oil, use liquid aminos instead of soy sauce, omit the hoisin sauce, etc. I know most of us aren’t exactly making “quick runs” to the grocery store these days. It’s easy, delicious, healthy, compatible with many different health plans, and freezable! I always try to make enough dinner for leftovers because it makes lunches easy, and I know if I have enough for my husband to take to work with him, he won’t be left to his own devices (i.e. gas station hot dogs & taquitos). Yes, we also baked (and may have inhaled) a bunch of cookies, but it’s all about balance, right?

3. Practicing Social Distancing

We are officially hunkered down and have been staying home since I picked my daughter up from preschool Thursday, March 12th. I placed a grocery order for pickup Friday (we were down to 4 diapers ya’ll, I did not buy all the toilet paper but we did need some stuff!) I also placed a Target order to fill in the necessary out-of-stock gaps, and had to go back out for a 2nd attempt to pick them up Saturday since they were so overwhelmed.

keep the faith

Other than that, we’re staying in – again, not “panicking” (the worldwide spread and all the unknown IS a little scary and I certainly don’t want any flu-like symptoms in my house, they’re no fun for anyone) but we’re doing our part to “flatten the curve,” and help protect our family and community members that are at high risk for getting into trouble with this infection.

We’re printing and posting awareness fliers at work. At least if they’re going to be in contact with the public we can provide reminders about hand washing, respiratory etiquette and safe distances for one another and customers as they walk through the door, come in and out of the restrooms, etc. 

{Update – although we can still take calls, complete virtual estimates and schedule appointments for the future, we have since closed the retail shop for Dent Group of VA in Chantilly until further notice, which is….bittersweet? Obviously income is an issue for many right now, and being business owners we’re concerned about our employees’ as well, so this was a very difficult decision – but the health and safety of everyone is our biggest priority so I’m thankful we can all officially hunker down.}

4. Staying calm and positive & maintaining as much normalcy as possible

For my sake, that of my husband, and especially our children. Kids are so smart; they sense our emotions and pick up more than we realize when they hear adult conversation. So while I’m not hiding anything from my smart little preschooler, I’m doing my best to explain to her what’s going on at her age level, (Here’s a great video sent by our preschool if you’d like ideas) but we’re trying not to discuss it too much within earshot of her. I’m catching press conferences (or summaries of them) for any new guidelines/closures, but not watching the news all day.

faith during covid 19

*Trying* to get up early before my little ones to get in a little devotional reading time, and maybe squeeze in my workout, first thing helps me immensely on a normal basis, and for me, is especially good for stress relief.

Even if it just means having a little time to myself in a quiet house to take my supplements, drink a cup of coffee, sort through some work messages and have time to fully wake up, it makes a world of difference to start my day, reduce stress, increase patience; the list goes on.

Also, while being home has it’s own challenges that can be just as stressful as working outside the home, I try not to bombard my husband with venting about the day the second he walks through the door. He extends the same courtesy to me. That way, coming home can be a relaxing safe-haven for all of us and we have time to greet each other and the kiddos, and decompress at the end of the day.

We usually get time to catch up on the day during dinner, or after the kids go to bed, and I’m always curious what happened at work when I’m not there so we usually get to ask how each other’s days were over a hot meal.

My kids, like many, thrive on routine. So, we’re currently working on finding a good balance of extra snuggles and playtime (so thankful for this warm weather!) reading more books and watching more movies, and otherwise sticking to as much of a ‘normal’ schedule as possible. For now, with school being closed, that means taking advantage of some great online resources -there are a lot of free ones out there for homeschool lesson plans, kids apps, printable crafts and even virtual museum tours, art tutorials, and music lessons.

We’re being flexible and having fun with it! We’re setting up a little space for our preschooler to have the “circle time” she misses and requested, and doing some activities her teacher shared with us. But if she’s not in the mood, it’s really no pressure. Sometimes just doing something simple and out of the ordinary is a fun way to cure boredom. Eating lunch outside almost every day in this beautiful weather had been our favorite. Today, we had breakfast in the playroom while I finished my coffee and edited this blog post, and the girls loved it.

I’m also trying to stay faithful and positive; despite the uncertainty there is still a lot to be thankful for, especially the time to slow down in this hectic world we live in. I am realizing that this has me focusing on what’s really truly important in life, and this family time has been such a sweet blessing.

5. Praying for our community and leaders

We’re ALL in uncharted territory here, and there are a lot of things we just don’t know and can’t control. Mom’ing during a pandemic, trying to keep our kids safe and occupied, trying to keep the cabinets stocked and everyone healthy while warding off cabin fever (or any fevers for that matter). Teachers trying to teach virtually, pastors still trying to preach, deciding whether to do so in person or online, business owners trying to figure out whether or not to stay open, or find alternative ways to stay in business. Not to mention healthcare workers doing their best to keep themselves and everyone healthy while being exposed to the world and facing a shortage of resources.

Our leaders are in the same boat during this unprecedented time, this simply has not happened in our lifetime, so while we may not agree with every step taken, they’re also trying to make huge decisions and figuring out the best ways to handle this situation too. Sometimes we have a hard enough time trying to make the right decision for our home, family or small business; I can’t imagine trying to do the same for an entire community or country. I believe in the power of prayer and plan to just keep everyone in mine right now. 

For healing, for wisdom in decision making, etc: our community, our church leaders, our local administrators and county governments, and our President. And of course, our first responders, healthcare workers, and those that don’t have the option to be home. Please join me! I will also be sure to keep all of you fellow moms, small business owners and families in my prayers, too.   

Please drop us a line below and comment if you have any questions, tips or resources that you’d like to share!

What are you praying for right now? I’d love to pray for you too. What are you reading or binge watching? What are you doing to keep the kiddos entertained? Are you getting active to stay sane?

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