How to Survive a Quarantine-Themed Spring Break

So depending on where you get your news and how much time you spend gathering information, you may have realized that the fear is starting to settle in from the CoVid-19 virus, commonly know as coronavirus. So what do you do about it?

Well for our family, I’ve been planning a new twist on the staycation, namely a quarantine-themed spring break (I’ll have to come up with a trendy term for it). And how does one go about planning such a fun-filled week with 3 rambunctious kids, you ask?

Here it is, my plan-in-the-making for our quaran-break (hmmm, maybe):

  1. Plan to not leave the house.
    • This was implied in the word quarantine, but humans have the odd need to re-state the obvious, so there you have it.
  2. Stock up on essentials.
    • This is where your prepper skills will win the day. But since not everyone knows where to start, I’ll list my top priorities.
      • First I should preface my list with a disclaimer, I believe whole-heartedly that our family WILL get the virus. Now that we no longer homeschool, the kids go to school in a HUGE petrie dish. I’ve just accepted that we’ll get it, and I’m moving forward from there. So here’s my list:
    • Toilet paper – umm, yeah, I would HATE to run out
    • Acetaminophen and Ibuprofen for children and adults – fever is the number 1 symptom with this virus
    • Other medical supplies:
      • Nasal sprays, aspirators
      • Humidifiers, misters
      • Vitamin C supplements – Airborne, etc.
      • Homeopathics, oils, colloidal silver – whatever floats your boat (and this may be the time to try something new)
      • Anything else you can think of to keep you breathing comfortably
      • 90 day supply of any prescriptions
    • Food and water for 2 – 4 weeks (I could write a whole other blog on this, but so many have – use Google or Pinterest if you need ideas for this)
    • Hand soap – we use the regular stuff, I’m not sure how well the antibacterial soap would do in this situation, but it never hurts to have an extra store of both kinds
    • Disinfectants – sprays, wipes, hand sanitizers, etc.
    • Dish soap, dishwasher detergent, laundry soap, etc. – stuff to get clean
    • Those are my biggest priorities, please feel free to add your priorities to the comments.
  3. Make it less miserable.
    • This is where the real planning comes in, no one wants Spring Break to be boring and stuck at home. My husband and I haven’t finished deciding our plan yet, but here are some ideas:
    • Make it truly Survival Themed – with camping in the living room, low tech games and activities, and survival skill lessons. Just, you know, don’t burn the house down…
    • Plan a Spring Cleaning Frenzy – get the kids involved in clearing out their rooms, play areas, etc.
    • Focus on the Family – dig into family history, make family trees, teach the kids about the way their ancestors lived, tell family stories, make your own family story/memory book, have videocalls with your relatives (technology is a wonderful thing).
    • Ask the Kids – we’ve asked our kids for ideas and here’s what they said: build a fort, board games, crafts, origami, teach us to cook, etc. Basically they are hoping for time to spend with us without distractions.
    • There are tons more ideas on the web for what to do over the summer with the kids at home, including my earlier post. Do some digging and find something that will work for your family.

How ever you face this plague, keep in mind that a good plan and a healthy dose of faith can turn a week (or more) of misery into a meaningful family-strengthening memory. Don’t let the fear bring you down.

Blessings,
Sarah

Update 8 March 2020: I am in no way endorsing hoarding, this is not the time to get a year’s supply of anything. But careful and measured preparation will lighten the load on the healthcare systems and local governments. So my updated recommendations include trying to get 90 day refills on your prescriptions and self-isolating if you are in a higher risk group.

May God Bless Each of You!

God’s Tiers of Learning – Tier 1

When the Israelites left Egypt, they had been in living in captivity for centuries. They were not an enlightened people, they had just begun the first step on the path of recovery from all the bad habits and thought distortions that had helped them survive the worst conditions imaginable. These habits and mental justifications become ingrained so deeply, that tens of thousands of the Israelites chose to perish in the wilderness rather than accept a new, higher code of conduct.

How often do we see this pattern repeated around us? So many loved ones and friends would rather cling to the justifications for their behaviors rather than accept the work required in following Christ (or any great religious teacher at this point). Much of our current culture is bending over backwards to rationalize their desire to “do away” with religion, morality, and God in their lives.

This poisonous mindset did not work out well for the Israelites in the desert, and someday soon, it will work just as badly for the sad milllions around the world. I have not counted the number of times the Israelites were given a chance to follow a simple commandment, and chose to suffer death instead. I can only imagine the heartbreak and frustration God felt while watching this play out over and over. Whether it was looking up at the brazen serpent, or not going into Canaan after they complained that it would be too hard. Again and again, they fell by thousands and tens of thousands to the natural consequences of their disobedience.

God, in His long-suffering nature, suffered with them through this painful transition time. Recognizing their spiritual weakness, He gave them strict, but simple commandments. These commandments, the Ten overarching ones, along with the many daily and habitual ones, are commonly referred to as the Law of Moses.

The Law of Moses, especially the Ten Commandments, were designed by God to bring His people, then and now, out of slavery. How can we relate to this slavery? Slavery is the complete loss of freedom, the inability to choose for yourself any of the basic decisions like; where you will sleep, what you will eat, etc. When we allow ourselves to be led astray by temptations and addictions, we bind ourselves in a form of slavery to our carnal nature. Take a moment to envision how the following choices can limit our options and restrict our freedom to act for ourselves:

  • Alcoholism
  • Gluttony
  • Violence against others
  • Vandalism, theft
  • Drug addiction
  • Pornography
  • Insert your own ideas

The path back out of the bondage from these choices is never easy. Even the laws of man recognize the need for rehabilitation clinics and psychologists and a myriad of social services to aid people back into a state of freedom. God set out His plan for the path to recovery thousands of years ago. He guided the Israelites lovingly, patiently through the desert of rehabilitation; sometimes with harsh interventions, but always, every day, letting them know that He was present.

The lessons He taught them, the commandments He gave them, were designed to bring them out of captivity, not just their bodies, but their minds and spirits as well. The liberation of their minds and spirits was a much longer process than their bodies, but He stayed with them, guiding them as a loving parent, throughout the process. Until finally, they were a people prepared to establish a great nation in the promised land.

As we work to establish ourselves in an “American Dream” or other such vision of success, let us study the first tier of learning set out by our loving Father in Heaven. Study the Ten Commandments and the journey of the disobedient Israelites, and we can find our own Promised Land.

More on the Tiers of Learning to come.

Blessings,
Sarah

Photo by Zulmaury Saavedra on Unsplash

Dangerous Depths of Discouragement

I am not as emotionally robust as many others I know, especially when it comes to my own work.

I have researched deeply and I know that disappointment and discouragement are a normal part of any writer’s journey. But knowing something intellectually, and preparing your heart for the attack, are very different ballgames. I can prepare my mind with relative ease, but my heart is a strange mystery to me.

I have studied my heart from every angle, and most of the time I convince myself that I have it well-understood. But then I can look back at patterns of avoidance and discouragement, and I realize my heart has been steering me away from a wound and I was oblivious.

This is where I am now, I have been avoiding writing for about a year now, because I just don’t have the emotional robustness that this path needs…

Does that mean my stories and story-ideas should be abandoned?
Of course not!
But I guess I needed a break.

Perhaps I won’t ever be published, I’ll have to console myself that I had good ideas, but not the right personality type to bounce back well enough to sell them. I’m not a salesman. I’m just me.

Maybe I’ll grow stronger in the future (this is always my hope)…

Blessings and Hopes that you are stronger,
Sarah

Coming to Terms With Big Changes

Hi there!

I haven’t posted for a while because life happened and it’s taken me awhile to process it. Basically, my husband and I sat down with our family budget and realized that we couldn’t wait any longer for my books, blog, etc. to generate income. So, to do the responsible thing, we would have to sacrifice Homeschooling so that I could go back to work.

I can’t express how much this decision has pained me, but I still have faith that the Lord has a plan for us. Thankfully, my kids have wonderful teachers who care deeply about their education.

This site may end up back on the free WordPress site, but that decision won’t need to come until January. Until I am able to focus on this blog and my books again, you are welcome to follow my activity on Pinterest, where I am still actively pinning.

Thank you for reading this and Blessings!
Sarah

I Am Undeserving

Psalm 100:4

The Lord has blessed me in such immeasurable ways, that I cannot begin to understand them all, let alone re-pay him.

I am grateful for my husband, he is loving, considerate, passionate, hard-working, he cares deeply about our welfare and gives his all to provide for us. He is also less-than-perfect in all the best ways for me. Working to overcome my pride and take care of his fragile heart, have made me a better wife and woman in general. I love him so completely.

I am grateful for my kids. I am blessed with three amazing children that I get to watch grow and learn every day. I am also blessed with one brilliant, defiant son from my first marriage who challenges me to grow farther and fastest than I ever imagined. I am also blessed with 5 step-children who amaze me with their capacity for respect and forgiveness. These nine beautiful souls have touched my life and my heart and caused it to grow beyond my comprehension. I love them each so dearly.

I am grateful for my rental home. I am blessed with just the right amount of space to teach my kids and let them be safe exploring outside. We have enough room for all our kids to be comfortable at night, even if they all come visit at once. We are in a good neighborhood and enjoy our neighbors.

I am grateful to have two cars again. It is truly wonderful to be able to go to the library and the homeschool coop while my husband is at work, without having to wake everybody up at 6 am to get ready and take him there. I am grateful that these cars are well-maintained and will last us a good long while, barring anything unforeseen.

I am grateful to have reliable internet service and a computer. I am blessed to be able to have the resources to build a business that I can run from within our home. I love being able to care for and teach our children, as well as hopefully have the means to provide the extra income we need to pay down our debt and save for our own home.

I am grateful for cellphones. I am blessed to be able to talk to my husband and other family members regardless of the distance between us.

I am grateful for indoor plumbing and a hot water heater. I am blessed to be able to drink and cook with clean water, and shower in very warm water.

I am grateful for our refrigerator and freezer. I am blessed to be able to store and preserve foods, so that we may eat healthy food.

I am grateful for our furnace and fireplace. I am blessed that my family can be warm at night, even when it’s 5 below.

I am grateful for many other temporal blessings that the Lord has provided my family and I. Perhaps I will continue counting them another day.

For now, Blessings to You, and Thanks for stopping by!
Sarah