Learning to Deal with Disappointment

Over the past couple weeks we have slowly seen our hopes dwindle of our children being able to return to school this Fall. The rising cases of COVID is quickly changing that for children all across the country. In our school system we were previously given a start date of August 26th. We were all so excited! My kids actually were looking forward to going back to school since they have not been since March when their world got turned upside down. Most kids dread the start of the school year, but I believe it can be said for everyone that our kids are actually really missing school . They miss their friends , they miss teachers, they miss the structure, the social interaction, and they just miss the normalcy . Normal, what a fantastic word!!! I never thought in my life I would strive so hard for things to be NORMAL!! Not fantastic, not mind-blowing , but just plain ole normal . Who would ever thought that I would miss the early morning chaos of getting ready, getting lunches packed, and trying get out of the door. However , I do. I miss those normal routines , and so do my kids.

So now, here where we live, the schools will start virtually. They are giving a possible start date for in-person classes as the end of September. Although, I feel like even this is wishful thinking. My kids were crushed with the news. My oldest was supposed to start her senior year in college and do her student teaching to complete her education degree. Now that will look much different. My other daughter started her Freshman year in college, and quickly her classes are all being changed to online classes. Another daughter was supposed to begin her first year in high school as a Freshman. And my baby daughter was beginning a new adventure into junior high. The way they all hoped would be the beginning, will now be done through a computer screen. Disappointing to say the least. So how do we deal with the disappointment and how do we help our kids learn how to deal with the disappointment?

Yesterday, my youngest daughter went to her 7th grade orientation at school. They divided the kids into small groups that way that could come in the school, meet their teachers, and learn to navigate their way in the school if they do get to go back in person. Abby did not get to see all her friends. She had to stay 6 feet apart from everyone, and she had to wear a mask the whole time she was there as well as get her temperature checked before entering the building. Was she disappointed about all this, yes of course. However, we did talk about how thankful we were that she got to even go into the school even if it was with a mask. She also got to meet her teachers in person, instead of online. And she at least got to see some of her friends, not all, but some. For all that we were truly thankful. It is important during this time of dispppointments that as parents, we help our kids find the positive things out of bad situations. We must help them find the light and the hope. If we speak negatively all the time about the situation then they in turn will be unable to appreciate even the small victories. Always be sure to pull out the good even if it is difficult. Looking at this picture, it is easy for me to feel sad that I can’t see her smile in this picture because of the mask, but I know it is there. Underneath that pink mask, is a huge smile that she got to experience a partial normalcy, even if it was just for a few hours. That made this mom smile big too!

I am making a effort to try to speak positively through the disappointments. I even made the choice to take my girls school shopping for new school clothes and school supplies. Why you may ask? Because it was our NORMAL. I did not want to give my kids any more disappointments. I wanted to help the expereince feel normal and give them something to look forward to. Do they need the clothes and supplies? Probably not for now, but I gave them hope. Hope that they may get to use them soon. Instead of concentrating on the disappointments I gave them a distraction and something to look forward to. Besides, they can still look cute online if they want to right?

For I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord. There are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope. Jeremiah 29:11

The best thing we can do to help our kids deal with disappointment is to pray for them and to teach them to pray. Let them know they can cast their worries to God. Encourage them and pray for them. Pray that one day soon our “normal” lives will return. Until then, be a light for them and try to be the most positive influence in a disappointing time.

I pray each of you are covered with many blessings today.

Love and hugs,

Jennifer

Be A Light

I feel like a broken record in every blog saying that we are all living in crazy times right now . Between COVID and the ongoing riots and general unrest in this country it feels like the world as we know it is quickly vanishing right before our eyes . It is easy to see why all these circumstances have contributed to everyone feeling fear, panic, uncertainty, and hopelessness. In the beginning of this difficult time we all still had a little bit of hope. I don’t know about you, but I thought everything would be fine. I still had hope. I thought the upheaval that COVID has caused would last a few weeks and then life would be back to the way we knew it. In fact if you watched the news there were moments when that hope was given to us. It would be reported the shutdown would be two weeks, then they would add another week then another and finally the weeks turned to months and very slowly our hopes began to disappear as no end was in sight. To add to it, then came the rioting that caused an unrest in communities that were already heavily burdened with fear.

With everything in disarray it is so hard not to become depressed, fearful , hopeless , and yes even bitter sometimes . I can tell you I struggle with this myself. I have to make a choice everyday to get up and pray that I do not let the world and my feelings drag me down. This is very hard to do, but I can tell you that one thing that has helped me overcome these feelings is the decision that I wanted to be a light to others. I realize everyone is struggling not just me . Most people are having the exact same feelings that I am. Which made me think deeply about the situation. I first started with myself what would make me feel better under the current circumstances? What would others possbily need to make them feel better and be filled with hope? Here are some suggestions that I have compiled that may help you become a light to others.

  • Look in your own heart first. Chances are the things that you seek in a time of darkness is also what others are needing as well. For me, I hate the feeling of loneliness. I want to know that I am not alone, and that there are others that are there with me. Things that help me feel better? Getting a text or call from a friend. My husband or daughters being close always makes me feel less lonely and secure. It is important to remember that, especially now, everyone is going through the same thing. Look into your own heart and that will help guide you on how to help others.
  • Just because we have to be away from each other doesn’t mean you cannot reach out to others. Text your friends to check on them. Send cards or goodie bags in the mail. Keep in touch, even if it is from a distance. Make sure to let others know that you are there even though you may be away.
  • Offer help, espcially to those that may be more vulnerable or may not have others to assist them. Run errands for the elderly, or others who may not be able to get out. Drop off groceries or neccessities to these individuals even if they don’t ask for it. Make them a dinner and leave it for them. Do whatever you can to assist others to let them know they are cared for and not alone.
  • Ask people how they are, just because they may smile on a Face-Time call, doesn’t mean they are ok. Be deligent in asking and be sure to listen if you notice they need to talk. Let them be open and you be open and honest in return.
  • Smile. Yes, simple as that smile. Even if your alone. Think of a funny joke, watch a funny movie, talk to a friend about crazy things you used to do and smile. Not only will a smile lift your spirits but it can lift others spirits as well.
  • Help others be lights. Talk to your children and loved ones. Encourage them to reach out to someone and help them or even just text someone and say “I’m here if you need anything”. We all know the more lights there are the brighter the room is.
  • Talk to God. Let him guide you. Tell him your fears, let him lead your path during these uncertain times. Most importantly, pray for others. Lift them up and help speak hope and peace back into their lives.

Of course, these are just a few things you can do to be a light to others. There are so many ways we can reach out to others and bring a little light into this dark world right now. I would love to hear from any of you about ways that you have been a light? It is great to see good news for once. There are many people out there who are trying their best to make this world a better place. How much different would the world look right now if everyone chose light over darkness? Even under circumstances beyond our control. I truly believe there would be a lot less fear, hopelessness, depression, and disconnect. This world would look much different. I encourage each and every one of you to be a light to someone today. Let’s all make this world shine so bright that darkness can never creep in.

In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven. Matthew 5:16.

I hope your light is shining bright today and that you are covered with many blessings.

Love and Hugs,

Jennifer