Live on Mission and Build Community in Your Home During COVID-19
There are only so many board games one family can play and still enjoy it! I was realizing during my fourth game of cards the other night, if I want to foster unity in my home, we need to focus on something outside of ourselves. I first learned this when I served as a missionary – families would visit and remark after a week, they felt more “connected” than when they had gone to a beach. There’s something about seeing the best in each other, thinking about someone else, and sacrificing, that simply pulls us together. Added bonus: When we focus on others, doing what we can in this present moment, rather than worry about what will happen in the future, it lowers anxiety.
Below are a few ways a family could live “on mission” during this unique season:
- Pick someone you agree to encourage, think about what would bring them delight, and order a gift for them online.
- Create a play list where everyone contributes one meaningful song. When tensions are high, or chores need to be done, turn it on as a message to the whole house – we are in this together.
- Pick a book you want to read as a house. At a set time every day, gather to hear 15 minutes read aloud. Maybe consider another family or friend who would want to join you digitally for that reading.
- Brainstorm as a family a list of people to reach out to, everyone contributing at least one name. Divide up the list and call with the idea of being a listening ear. Share at dinner how those conversations went.
- Everyone clean out their closets, toy bins, etc… and find a place where you can donate your extras.
- Think about how fun it is to receive mail. Get out some stationary, or order cards online, and sit together, writing a note of encouragement to someone in the medical field, or whose family has been impacted by the virus.
- Take a family walk around the block, and make a point to stop and engage with whomever you come across, maintaining appropriate social distancing.
- Everyone pitch in to make double the dinner. Choose someone who could use a break from cooking and drive it to them.
- Are you already at the store? Think of someone you could text and offer to pick up groceries for them.
- Sit down and talk about whose life has been disrupted by the quarantine. It could be someone sick, or who has lost a job, or who has postponed a wedding. Decide to fast a meal and pray together for them.
The result of looking around to the needs of others are generosity, investment, simplicity, approachability, sacrifice, thoughtfulness, service, kindness. Yes, I would like more of that… I have been telling my family: if we do this right, when this season is over, we’ll understand how critical “we” is over “me.” This virus is costing a lot, but we should demand something of value in return – empathy for others, connection with family, an outward focus – those are gifts we can appreciate for the rest of our lives.