Week 16 (July 5-11)
By Brittney Hernandez, Educator at Carrollton School of the Sacred Heart
The past three months were like a blur to me. My mornings were filled with cold cups of coffee, filling continuous sippy cups of milk and apple juice, calming tears, teaching remotely, keeping up with my son’s schoolwork, and keeping my toddler entertained and happy. My self-care was put on the back burner as I began to sink into the realization that life was going to be different for a while. I struggled the first few weeks to accept the new normal. I reminded myself over and over again that “this too shall pass.” I counted my blessings. I even kept a list of them, and encouraged my friends to do the same. Countless tears were shed each day, as I let go of what was once my schedule and any sense of control I once had. I had to explain to my son why he couldn’t go back to school and see his friends, as well as keep a smile on my face when teaching my own students. All of it felt unnatural, as all I wanted was a sense of normal back. I missed going to work, I missed my long drive, and I missed picking my son up and seeing his sweaty face running at me from the playground at his school.
Then one day it hit me. I had two choices: sit and pout or continue finding something each day to be grateful for and find something new to enjoy with my sons. We began finding our new routine. Daily walks, swims in the inflatable pool, sidewalk chalk, cooking new meals and slower mornings waking up. I realized that things were not going to feel balanced because everything was out of balance and not as it was supposed to be. This is what I had to do to protect my family, and so I had to learn to enjoy this time somehow. I found myself not really talking to God too much like I normally did. I just tried to get through the day, knowing that He was there, and that He was present. He didn’t really need me to talk, but just be still and be present. Words were not necessary right now.
I am grateful for the moments that God showed me, through my own children, just how much He cares. One of these quiet moments happened to be when I was saying bedtime prayers with my five year-old. Out of nowhere, my son said to me, “Mommy do you know that God has a shield over us and our house from the virus?” I responded, “really, how do you know?” He replied enthusiastically, “because Mommy, that’s called protection!”
We had been praying every night for God’s protection over our family near and far for weeks. I have no doubt that God spoke to his little heart to share that message with me trying to protect them and keep everything cool and calm at home. In my heart, never out loud, I had asked God to put a “shield” over us, and here my son was telling me that God had put a shield over us! God showed me in that moment, though you may feel I am far and “our normal” is not quite the same… I am here and I am with you. I don’t know how many of us may need that reminder, especially as our world continues with turmoil. I want to remind you that God has a shield over us, and we will get through this time with His help.
Psalm 28:7 “The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in Him, He helps me. My heart leaps for joy and with my song I praise him.”