As many of us across the world are adjusting to #quarantinelife, I thought I would share just a few ways that have helped our family Stay Encouraged.
1. START EACH DAY WITH A FAMILY DEVOTION
It doesn’t have to be long, but it sets the tone for the day. We always begin with Psalm 118:24, “This is the day the LORD has made. We will rejoice and be glad in it.” I think when we realize that each day is a gift, it shifts our perspective from self-centeredness to gratitude.
The fact that He woke us up and gave us breath in our lungs THIS DAY challenges us to live our lives to the fullest and not allow the little annoyances, that may come, to steal our joy.
During our devo time we pray together (sometimes we take turns and ask one of the kids to lead us in prayer). We may ask Alexa to play one of our favorite worship songs (The Blessing by Elevation worship, Kari Jobe & Cody Carnes is our current fave) – we sing along & if it’s an upbeat song, (like JOY, by For King and Country) we may even dance around the kitchen. Make it fun. We read a couple verses from the Bible. Here are some of my current favorites:
“Do not fear, for I am with you; Do not anxiously look about you, for I am your God I will strengthen you, surely I will help you, Surely I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.” (Isaiah 41:10)
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:6-7)
“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” (Romans 8:28)
“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” (Joshua 1:9)
There are also MANY books, sites, and apps that can lead you in a guided study. My favorite app for this is the YouVersion Bible App. You can search by topic and find many wonderful devotionals to lead your family in.
By setting aside some time first thing in the morning to turn our hearts to Heaven, focus our attention on what’s most important, & give God the thanks and praise He deserves, I feel it sets the tone for a positive & productive day.
2. IF AT ALL POSSIBLE - GET OUTSIDE
Fresh air does wonders when stuck at home for days/weeks on end. Play with the kids in your yard. Go for a walk or jog around the block. Ride bikes. Jump on the trampoline. Write encouraging notes to your neighbors with chalk on your sidewalk. Do some gardening or yard work. Have a picnic lunch. Read outside…or my favorite - simply sit, coffee cup in hand, close your eyes and listen. Listen to nature. Listen to your children playing. Listen for that still small voice.
If the weather doesn’t permit you to enjoy the outdoors, you can always pile the kids in the car and go for a short drive. At least this changes up the scenery a bit and makes you feel a little less stuck.
3. CALL A FAMILY MEMBER OR FRIEND TO CATCH UP
Maybe it’s been years since you’ve last spoken to this person…right now is a great time to re-connect. People are home & many parents are craving “adult-conversation.”
Offer a word of encouragement…just simply letting someone know you were “thinking of them” and wanted to reach out to see how they were doing…can really brighten someone’s day.
One of the BEST ways for you to Stay Encouraged yourself, is to give encouragement away! So start encouraging others. ❤️
4. READ A GOOD BOOK OR BLOG...SOMETHING UPLIFTING
There are so many sad and scary articles all over the news and social media right now, that we have be intentional about diluting all that negative with more positive. Pick up that book you’ve been wanting to read, but just haven’t had the time for (now you do)…Or ask a friend for recommendations. If you don’t have a good book, order one off Amazon or join Audible…they have a 30-day free trial – See how many books you can listen to in those 30 days!
Here is a list of some books that I have really enjoyed reading over the past few years: The Circle Maker, Chop Wood Carry Water, The Greatest Miracle in the World, The Dream Giver, In a Pit with a Lion on a Snowy Day, Breaking Busy, Magic of Thinking Big, Crash the Chatterbox, An Enemy Called Average, Kingdom Thoughts, The Power of Positive Thinking, The Intimacy You Crave: Straight Talk about Sex and Pancakes and of course I have to mention the children’s book I wrote last year, Enjoy The Journey: Life Lessons That Rhyme. If you have kids this is a great one to teach them some valuable lessons during this season. Lessons on forgiveness, never giving up, having an attitude of gratitude, watching our words and more.
5. GET UP, GET DRESSED & SHOW UP EACH DAY
I think this one is so important to “staying encouraged” during this #coronaquarantine. When stuck at home, it can be so easy to sleep late and stay in our PJs all day…Confession…I am still wearing my pajama pants as I type this…so I am preaching to myself. 🤣But I have found that when I don’t get up at a reasonable time, take a shower, do my hair, put some make up on my face, get dressed and give my best to my family, then I start to get lazy & beat myself up at the end of the day because I feel like a failure. This is a vicious cycle, which can lead to a depressed state…
So do yourself a favor: get up, get dressed & show up each day. Your family is more important & deserving of your “best you” than your co-workers….right!?! Right! 😉
I know that it’s so easy to fall into the “fear trap” the media has set up, but be aware that although the Corona Virus is a real thing, the media has always done a great job at exaggerating things to stir up panic. All we can do it pray, be smart about social distancing, wash hands frequently, take care of our bodies by fueling them with healthy foods and lots of vitamins (I have access to some amazing, organic, immunity products that ship straight to your home - if you’re interested just message me) & STAY ENCOURAGED during this season!
This too shall pass! This wild ride will eventually end and life will resume as usual…but what will you say you accomplished with all this TIME you’ve just been given. Did you make the most of it? Or did you waste it by watching TV & scrolling though social media all day, glued to the next news report? Did you enjoy the gift of extra time with your kids and spouse? Did you journal, read, declutter, get organized, set goals, create something, learn a new skill, write that book… did you GROW as you walked through this season?
I just tuned into an amazing LIVE meeting with Holly Furtick last night where she broke down Psalm 23. When she got to verse 4, which says:
“Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.”
she noted that it’s not death itself but the “shadow of death."
This is just a shadow – Don’t be afraid of the shadow.
She said, “We walk through the valley – we don’t stop in the valley.” We will all get through this…the quarantine will end.
God is “with us” in the valley, so we don’t have to fear. He is our comforter and our guide to the other side of this….
And one more comment she made on this verse (which was my favorite) – There is almost always “green grass in the valley” – the valley is a place for growth. Mountain Tops are usually rocky with very little to no green grass (representing growth)….We grow the most in the VALLEY SEASONS of our life… not the Mountain top seasons.
So my question to you is this...
Are you going to allow yourself to GROW through this or will you just go thought it - distracted by the media and crippled by fear? Don’t waste this extra time you’ve been given – each day is a gift.
My prayer is that these 5 tips will help you and your family to STAY ENCOURAGED, so that this time can be a season of great spiritual growth, personal development and unity in your home. I pray that we will all come through this valley stronger, more unified, and better than we were before. 🙏🙏🙏
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