Family Life and COVID

Honestly, I wasn’t sure what to write for this post.  I had it on the calendar to tackle and I’ve been putting it off and I think I know why. 

This is really hard.

Family life is really hard right now.

Who wants to read about that? I struggled to come up with a line of thought that wasn’t morbid, negative and angry. Hence, the “putting it off.”  Well, God is good, and while I was in the middle of my mental tirade of “I can’t, I can’t, I can’t,” God quietly reminded me of some thoughts I had forgotten. I want to share with you about what has been most challenging for our family life during COVID and where we’ve seen hidden blessings and, in the midst of the good, the bad and the ugly, how I think we need to respond. 


The Unknown–  We are still in a season with this crazy virus that makes it nearly impossible to plan, to promise, to commit. We really don’t know what tomorrow holds–or next week or next month. When I drop my boys off at school, I never know if it will be the last day. Neither do they. Having our everyday world so subject to change is really hard for us as parents and for our kids as well. There is a constant level of underlying anxiety and stress in the not knowing. In our house, our new common phrases are “We’ll see” and “I don’t know.”  This truly has left everyone rather unsettled.

The Isolation ALL TOGETHER–  Let me start by saying that I love my family, and I am so thankful to do life with them. I just never thought I would be doing THIS much life with them.  Wow. This has been super hard for every member of our family. We are all pretty sick of each other….in the nicest sense of the word. I’ve got an introverted son who desperately needs space to quiet his mind and find balance, as does my very introverted husband who is currently working from our guest bedroom. Then there is my very, very extroverted, energetic younger son who would just like a friend (or two) to play with on a regular basis. On both ends of the spectrum, patience is thin and behavior problems are mounting….for all four of us. I’m somewhere in the middle, stressed out about the constant togetherness and really missing my normal outlets I have with friends. It’s in that time with my friends that I can sort out my problems, find encouragement and support during tough times through the sharing of stories. God ministers to my heart in a very special way through my relationships, and COVID has made that very difficult. 

How to Respond: 
Hold Fast and Reach Out–  We might not know what tomorrow holds, but God does. Thank goodness for that promise that we find in Scripture. In the midst of the challenge of the unknown, we simply need to hold fast and trust deeply in our God. When we are struggling to do that or when our children are struggling, we need to ask for his help. One thing we have been doing as a family is instead of just letting the “I don’t know” sit like a giant lump in the middle of our conversations, we are choosing to focus on what we do know…starting with what we know to be true about God and what we know to be true about how he feels about us. 

And as far as the “all together isolation”? Reach out. Host a front yard gathering or take a walk with a friend (6 feet apart). We still need our friends, but we are going to have to get creative about how we connect. While it’s hard to be vulnerable and say you could use a friend, it is truly worth the effort it takes.  

The Little Things–  One of the biggest secret blessings I’ve noticed during this season is my awareness of small things that bring beauty and sweetness to life. When the everyday seems to be challenging at every turn and I’m desperate for reprieve…just something…. I look around me and I see the mountains or the changing leaves and my soul wakes up just a little bit. Despite all the togetherness, we have found moments of blessing in laughter and silliness. Enjoying the outdoors has been another huge one. Or simple things like school….my kids have never been so thankful for the opportunity to go to school in the actual building. Seriously. This particular time has heightened my senses to the small gifts I had been unable to see in the past due to busyness, numbness or simple complacency. 

The Questions– Another hidden blessing has been the questions that our children have been asking about the goodness of God, his sovereignty, his provision, etc. Our boys are experiencing a world that is far different from what it was before, and it has them wondering about deep things. This has given us many opportunities to speak to the boys about who we know God to be and what the Bible teaches us about him and how he feels about us. We also have been able to use these times to preach to our own hearts and remind ourselves of what is true.    

How to Respond: 
Share and Dig Deep Together– I think that when we have those moments where we are thrilled by small things like leaves, mountains, laughter and toilet paper, we need to share those moments of gratitude with others. Not only does it cement this sense of gratefulness inside our own hearts, it speaks volumes in a world that is increasingly afraid, negative and searching. Your grateful sharing will cause people to stop and wonder why you can even think about something good while we are dealing with so much hardship. When they give you a quizzical stare, you can start sharing about the source of all those small things of joy…the big God you serve. 

And those questions that come right at bedtime or when you’re trying to navigate traffic at 5pm? They might not feel like a blessing, but they are. Your children are searching for answers, and they are asking YOU. That means they feel safe around you and think you can help. Rather than being afraid of saying the wrong thing, say a quick prayer and let the Holy Spirit do his good work through your broken answers. And when you don’t know the answers, search them out together. As a family, you are walking through this together in all aspects: spiritually, emotionally, mentally and physically. And don’t despair if your kids immediately change the subject to dinosaurs or McDonald’s…that’s par for the course. They heard you and they love you for trying.

What has your family life experience been like during COVID?  What has been hard?  What has been good?  How has God been working through this crazy time to teach you and your family?

Amelia Furman has been a member of Faith for seven years. She is a professional fine artist and teacher who specializes in mixed media art.

At Faith, Amelia serves as a writer for the blog and The Perspective and encourages others in blessing people with their creativity. She loves telling meaningful, thought-provoking stories that shape imaginations and minds for God’s glory. 

Amelia is from Pennsylvania and enjoys painting, reading, running, hiking and laughing.