The school year is upon us once again. The landscape is far different than what any of us expected and trying to navigate has proven to be nothing short of a pop quiz in physics and time bending. Many families have parents that work out of the home, or in the home for this season, and must do so to keep the lights on and food on the table while other families are struggling after losing hours, pay, their job or even their company. It is times like these that we must rely on our small groups, our village, our people. We were not meant to go through this alone and we are fortunate to have a community to lean on. If you are struggling, please know that you can reach out to Saddleback Church, as we are here to support the community. I am sure many of you have found yourself in a haze of question marks and here are a few tips that might help navigate this season that I pray are helpful.

  1. Write a list of pros and cons for scenarios that you are considering regarding what different schooling programs are best for your children. Sometimes by doing this, you will have the answer right in front of you. There is no “one-size-fits-all” with your choices so think through these options through a list. Sometimes putting pen to paper will make you think of things that you hadn’t before, which might make this decision easier.
  2. Make your calendar your best friend. Write down a schedule and stick to it as best you can allowing yourself and your children some grace through this. When things are written down and there is a path to follow, kids and parents will have less anxiety about what the day is going to look like. Life happens, so don’t be afraid to deviate if needed.
  3. Check in with your child as they are having big feelings in those little bodies. Often times, we are trying to deflect and keep them busy but honor those feelings that are coming out because it is important that they feel validated. They may see mom and dad with a brave face and that is what they feel is expected when in reality, they are still just kids who are missing out on so much right now.
  4. Remember to find the fun in your day. Kids like to laugh and play, be sure to indulge with the silliness. Letting them laugh will blow off some steam, help them to refocus and it will do you good as well.
  5. Be sure to eat well, exercise and get enough sleep. We are all trying to stay healthy and these are the foundations for staying well.
  6. Most importantly, keep looking up. We are not alone in this. Proverbs 3:5-6 “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.
Jennifer Norton
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