[et_pb_section fb_built=”1″ _builder_version=”3.22″ custom_padding=”50px|||||”][et_pb_row _builder_version=”4.0.3″ background_size=”initial” background_position=”top_left” background_repeat=”repeat” width=”85%” width_tablet=”” width_phone=”” width_last_edited=”on|phone” max_width=”1201px” module_alignment=”center”][et_pb_column type=”4_4″ _builder_version=”3.0.47″ custom_padding=”|||” custom_padding__hover=”|||”][et_pb_text _builder_version=”4.4.0″ text_font=”Nunito Sans|300|||||||” header_font=”Archivo Black||||||||” header_3_font=”Archivo Narrow||||||||” header_3_text_align=”center” header_3_text_color=”#231f20″ header_5_font=”Archivo|500|||||||” header_5_text_align=”center” header_5_text_color=”#231f20″ header_5_font_size=”18px” header_5_line_height=”1.5em” header_3_text_shadow_style=”preset5″ header_3_text_shadow_horizontal_length=”0.06em” header_3_text_shadow_vertical_length=”0.06em” header_3_text_shadow_color=”#afc9d6″ header_5_text_shadow_style=”preset2″ header_5_text_shadow_horizontal_length=”0.04em” header_5_text_shadow_vertical_length=”0.04em” header_5_text_shadow_blur_strength=”0.15em”]

A working mother’s thoughts on this past week and what’s ahead…

I went out for a run today, trying to beat the rain in an effort to clear my head. Between the recent tornados and the coronavirus, it has been a gloomy week here in Middle Tennessee and raining every single day. Like many of you, this past week’s events have been rapid and shocking.

I initially did not take the reports of this pandemic seriously. I was in the “comparing it to the flu camp,” but then after I researched it, I changed my mind and regretted that I did not take it more seriously sooner.

Instead of being frustrated that everything around us is closing even as I help make similar decisions in my work, I have chosen to embrace the coming days as a gift.

Here are steps I am taking to embrace the gift of today:

The Gift of Home

We canceled our spring break travel plans to stay home. We were looking forward to spending time with grandparents and other extended family. For now, we will love them over texts, phone calls, and FaceTime.

This can be a precious time to be with our spouse and children? What memories can we make today that can have an impact for a lifetime?

The Gift of Celebration

We will find a way to celebrate – even if it’s postponed. Yes, I am one of those families that has a senior in high school. Questions are being discussed like; will they go back to school? Will they have prom? Will they have graduation? For now, our family is taking it one day at a time and choose not to worry ahead. I can tell you; we will still celebrate Easter, senior year, and all those things in due time, even if it looks different.

In the words of Jesus, “Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” Matthew 6:34

So, for today, we choose to enjoy today!

The Gift to Give and Love Others

Our family is finding ways to help others through our church and as we go in our community. We will continue to give financially to our church and non-profits we support as work and ministry still need to continue, especially during this time. I believe the days ahead have a unique opportunity to connect with and love our neighbors.

I am reminded by Paul who wrote these words while in prison:

“Therefore if you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any common sharing in the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind. Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.” Philippians 2:1-4

What can we do to look to the interest of others? Many opportunities for each of us are ahead.

The Gift of Time

I am on book number three that I have looked forward to reading but always seem to be short on time.

The normal life we knew is on pause. This can be a time to breathe and think creatively for your family and for your career.

Where do you need to think differently?

What do you need to change?

How can you rest and enjoy this gift of time?

On my run today, I didn’t end up beating the rain, yet I chose to run in the rain. Grateful I can run and in the rain. Maybe my gym happens to be closed, but hey, it was the perfect excuse to embrace it.

Whatever rain comes your way, I encourage you to embrace the gift!

[/et_pb_text][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][et_pb_row _builder_version=”3.29.3″][et_pb_column type=”4_4″ _builder_version=”3.29.3″][et_pb_text admin_label=”Text” _builder_version=”4.4.0″ text_font=”Nunito Sans|300|||||||”]


About the Authors: Jennifer Helton is the church administrator of ClearView Baptist Church in Franklin, TN.