No Masks on Monday
We are a couple weeks into September. For many of us, September brings a feeling of fresh beginnings, excitement, and a return to routine. As summer fades, it leaves us longing to fall back into the comfort that predictability brings. We want our "normal" back don't we?
In anticipation of the new school year, our dear governments are setting before us an array of plans we will have to follow, only to change them a week later. These decisions are difficult to make. I get it. Opinions are loud, and clarity on any side seams illusive. Schools will need to use: dividers, distancing, grouping, masking, separating, guilt, punishment, confusion... The perfect way to describe a new year of learning, don't you think?
Sarcasm aside, I desire for all of us to feel the same degree of peace as we embark on this new school year. I do not take for granted how blessed I am as a homeschooler to not have to endure the yo-yo decisions of officials. As I watch and listen to the mandates shift and change, the dialogue become more heated, I cannot help but feel compassion for all those families who had hoped to have a normal school year. And whether you belong to the "mandate masks, they save lives" group, or the "my kids will never wear one of those things I tell you!" group, or the "I don't know what to think" group, this September is NOT normal. May I just say, I'm sorry. Not that I am to blame, but sometimes we just need to hear someone say those words to us. I'm sorry this year is unpredictable. I'm sorry that you are feeling backed into a corner. I'm sorry that you are needing to make decisions for your family that you never thought you'd have to make.
Now lets move to a place of peace. If you have decided to homeschool this year in order to keep people safe, or to avoid mandated restrictions, that decision does not bring peace on its own. Taking over the direction of our children's learning is not an easy move. It is a move that can easily entail doubt, exhaustion, and sacrifice. And I am not talking only of those of you who are pulling your children from formal school.
This past week I have read and watched as many of you have prepared your precious children for an unpredictable year. I have seen some of you pray and speak words of faith and peace over them as they walked onto school buses with masks on. I have seen you remind them that God is going with them. I have seen others of you bravely embark on the first few days of walking out the choice to keep them home with creativity and joy. And I have wanted to stand up and cheer.
The world is full of fear, confusion and frustration right now. And our kids are soaking it up like sponges. I read an article yesterday on the spike of depression among youth and children since the implementation of social distancing and masking. It is alarming. BUT what I have seen this week shows me that you all are standing up and saying "not in my home. not my kid".
It all comes down to what you are leading them to focus on. Perfect faith casts out all fear. And by leading this year with faith and truth, you are providing them with a way to cast out all fear. Those of us who are homeschooling are not immune to the effects of this "pandemic". Our kids are listening and watching too. I personally will not stand by and allow fear to take hold of my home. That includes the virus, as well as any of the other stuff out there. I believe there is something more important than knowing "what is really going on": having suborn faith. Not matter what comes. No matter how controlling our government becomes, no matter how much sickness the world sees, no matter how evil the entertainment industry becomes, no matter ______________... we still have the choice to rise up and believe in our God's great goodness. He is still greater, He is still good. Always. Let Him use this time teach us all to have a new resolve and a deeper faith. And to love each other better. Please teach your children to love both the maskers and the non maskers. This feels so silly to type, but it needs to be said. Have opinions, stand up for your beliefs, but please teach your children not to hate those who have a different opinion.
As for the title, I am grateful my children do not have to face their education with a mask on. The physical one, but also the one that is fear. Put the cloth on their faces, or don't. But no matter what, do everything in your power to strip the fear mask off and replace it with armour.
I'll leave you with this verse.
"You will keep him in perfect peace, Whose mind is stayed on You, Because he trusts in You." Isaiah 26:3
From my peaceful home to yours,
be blessed, choose joy, and stay sane!