DeacPost “A New Normal”

 “And this is my prayer, that your love may overflow more and more with knowledge and full insight to help you to determine what is best…” Philippians 1:9,10a

As a parent, I know that adjusting to a new normal takes time and includes some pain. Having moved back to the US from Costa Rica a few years ago, my family knows that. But knowing doesn’t make for faster or less painful adjusting. We also know that what we’re experiencing now is different than one family’s cultural adjustment. This is the whole world learning to deal with a new normal, one that upends lives — those that were comfortable and those teetering on a precipice before COVID-19. Child and domestic abuse cases are rising as the stress gets to us. This is hard.

There are poems and articles out there with encouraging words about “letting go” and trusting, and how it’s OK to have a bad day. For parents, there are good pieces of advice out there, including makewordsmatterforgood.com from a psychologist and parenting researcher at Indiana University, where I teach Spanish (now through online forums).

Each Monday, during this time of isolation, our diaconal communities are praying the Diaconal Litany. For those of us sheltering in place in our homes along with our families, some of the lines jumped out at me as good for further meditation.

Revised by me to match our current situation, I share this prayer: Gracious God, who created all humanity in your image: Make us grateful for the companionship of our families, receiving them as gifts of your grace; Shape us into companions for our children and spouses, And satisfy us with your own gracious gifts as we work and cook and clean and parent in isolation… Enlighten our eyes to see you in our children and spouses… Free us from fear to learn from each other; And give families your grace to be different together. Amen.

Deaconess Kat Peters, Valparaiso, IN

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