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Circle the Wagons

Back in the days of Cowboys and Indians and wagon trains crossing the prairies in an effort to "go west," there was a common method of circling the wagons that would allow the people a barrier of protection from dangers outside the wagon train. Today, families are circling the wagons in efforts to protect their loved ones from the dangers of COVID-19.

In by-gone-days where families traveled by wagon train to new plantations and farms, the family was mostly all you had. Your neighbors were "down the road a spell" and you would often only see them Sundays at church. You would ride a horse or take the buggy to town for "supplies" when you ran out, but you generally grew or made everything you needed. There was no running water; you went to the well. If you were cold, you grabbed a blanket. During the evenings, you read, mended tears on clothing, and sat around telling stories. Children lay on dirt floors playing with man-made games and dolls. Life was peaceful, plane, and simple. Parents were responsible for the education of their children as schools were far and few. They used their daily living experiences to give their children foundational understandings of what it meant to be a family, to be neighborly, and to be a part of a larger community. They taught things like manners, caring for your siblings, and how to protect and love one another. The children learned about faith in church and read the Bible at home. Parents were their teachers, their mentors, their employers, and preachers.

Leading up to the months before COVID-19, parents sent their children to school to be educated while they went to work. After a long day of work (both parent and children) they would come home and relax by ignoring each other. Fast food was eaten in different rooms from each other while video games and binging on movies took everyone's focus. Communication, when it did happen, was short, bitter, and critical. Parents would go to bed before the children who continued to talk with friends on their phones while laying awake until the early morning hours.Their lives were routine, disconnected, and uneventful.

Introduce Coronavirus.

Children suddenly are being sent home to parents who have been also sent home. Welcome 1880 into your home. You can't go to the movies, no date nights, no escape from the house, no where to go, and no one you can visit. Just you, your spouse, and your kids. What do you do?

Many parents are taking this opportunity to get to know their kids and are rekindling their relationship with their spouse. They look into the eyes of their loved ones and realize how precious life is and how much was wasted on TV, Internet, work, and school. They are playing board games (on carpet not dirt), riding bikes, walking and talking together. They are doing crafts, and some have started to do dream boards together helping introduce imagination back into their children's lives. The cell phone still rules and video games and bing-watching are still a part of the day, but they have so many more hours of time together they get bored and look to each other to connect. Mothers and fathers are teaching their kids how to cook, work on the car, and children are learning how to clean their rooms. Once again, parents are their children's teachers, mentors, employers, and preachers. For the most part, as routines are redefined, life has become peaceful, plane, and simple.

Look around at your circumstances and appreciate those who are surrounded by the wagons. Family is a precious gift from God, these hours with them will be only a memory tomorrow, and those memories are defined as good or bad by the actions you take today. Will your children look back at this time of their life with fear and trembling or with fondness and comfort. Will they grow from this experience more confident and sure of themselves or will they be anxious and depressed. Only you can define their memories through circled wagons of love and encouragement.

"My people will live in peaceful dwelling places, in secure homes, in undisturbed places of rest."

Isaiah 32:18 (NIV)

Day 65: Peaceful

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