March 2020 brought quite a bit of change for all of us.
I'm not really a fan of change, especially change involving my plans. I wrote about that here.
But God gives us a different perspective:
My plans are simply based on my desires. It is God who directs my paths and I want my plans to be in line with His.
Early in March after observing the little boys in their Montessori classroom I realized I needed to simplify and organize our things in a way that encourages them to be more self-sufficient. I was also hoping to bring a little more order (aka control, this is a kind of a theme in my life) to our home so it would be easier for others to help with the kids when we were in Ethiopia at the end of the month.
So we lowered their closet rods.
And labelled hooks for jackets.
And minimized and organized toys for easy play and clean up.
Mid March, we realized our trip wasn't going to happen and that the kids would all be home from school. I was secretly excited to reopen the Irvin Academy as I love having them home (not that it’s all cupcakes and rainbows, it definitely has it's challenges), and I love the amount of time that we have together.
So, switching gears to distance learning wasn't so bad. The kids miss their friends and sports and socializing for sure and I miss that for them.
Some other things got a little weird.
But one good thing about a big family is that there is always someone to hang out with.
Not one to sit idle, and finding myself with some free time, I constructed a mental list of things to to and get done like baking fresh bread, making goat milk soap and finally mastering injera making.
The hens started laying right on cue.
Soap Making (safety first)
I envisioned lots of game nights, movie nights and bonding....which we have done.
Nick and the kids are starting to renovate the barn loft to be used as a getaway and guest space (so get ready to come visit once it's done).
I didn't really help much yet. I've been playing the supportive role, but at least we have a picture of my small contribution to the project.
Nick and Hermela also fixed our tractor!
He's so handy!
I already feel isolated in a way living in a place that is not my home town. We had just started going to a new church in hopes of making some connections and friendships that would point us to Jesus. That's all gone virtual now, but we're still hoping that those connections will be made.
We've worked to stay in shape and keep routines and rhythms with the kids.
Practicing driving on less crowded roads has its perks.
This week is Spring Break, so all rules are off and the kids have stayed up late watching movies, baking and playing video games followed by sleeping in all morning.
We have a sweet 16 birthday, two 14 year old birthdays and another 8 year old to be celebrated in the coming weeks. We are unsure what graduation will look like for our Senior.
But one thing that we are very sure of is that God is in control. I've had lots of time to listen to sermons and read devotions and scripture. A theme to “not fear” and “not be anxious” has emerged and I know that God has given me and all of us the time to pause and look to him and trust him.
Easter service in our pajamas.
communion at home
So when things finally get back to "normal," I hope it is a new normal where we keep our eyes fixed on Jesus, our one true and constant source of hope.