To Zoom or not to Zoom
Ladies, we are in unprecedented times, are we not? Times of isolation and sickness; times of trying to homeschool while maintaining relationships and figuring out how to have “date nights” and do online church. Ah! I don’t know about you, but sometimes I just feel really overwhelmed.
Initially when the covid-19 shut-downs happened I did what most Enneagram 7s do: I looked at the bright side (which was my overflowing jar of popcorn) … and then promptly stuck my head in the sand. I guess I just assumed that if I approached each day for what it was, tomorrow would be different! But it wasn’t. Each passing day engulfed me more until finally the popcorn wasn't just over my head ... it covered my entire body.
I think that’s why Zoom felt hard for me to grasp initially: I hadn’t accepted my current reality so I just didn't see the point. I was also trying to navigate homeschooling my three kids (plus haranguing a 12-month old foster babe who was staying with us at the time), and I just felt trapped - literally and spiritually.
But then the Holy Spirit intervened, as he always does, and I realized that my hesitancy toward Zoom had nothing to do with Zoom itself. It had more to do with GRIEF.
Pastor Peter talked about grief in his sermon this past Sunday, and it was a timely message indeed. He stated that“grief is the emotional process of reacting to change”. Which means that we don’t only grieve when our health is at risk; we also grieve when our child starts kindergarten, we start a new job, or we get bangs. (Amirite??!)
Change is a predictable pattern of life. It would behoove us, then, to familiarize ourselves with the 5 stages of grief so we can expect it, acknowledge it, and then move on from it WITH God.
Because we don’t grieve as the world grieves, friends. We grieve as a people who have HOPE!!! (1 Thessalonians 4:13).
Looking at Zoom from this lens allowed me to see the greater picture: it’s not about creating one more thing for us to do at church; it’s about being a part of the harvest! And the harvest is ripe, you guys.
EVERYONE is in the same boat right now. EVERYONE is stuck at home, twiddling their thumbs, looking for ways to find hope and joy. And that’s why our church is so amazing! They created a pathway for us to connect almost immediately (through Zoom) while also encouraging us to do outreach (through micro-campuses).
But the question still remains ... how do we, as busy moms, make time to Zoom while wrangling our kids and grappling with the daily flux of emotions?
Well, first, we need to stop relying on our emotions and trust God more.
Nothing is harder for me to do as I am a 200% feeler. I feel all of my emotions (and yours) ALL OF THE TIME, and I usually trust those feelings. I'm also a "connector", so I would always rather talk to you in-person than over the computer. But that's not my reality right now. So I can't just keep crying in my bowl of popcorn (which I've done); I need to put on my big girls pants and do what's hard ... join a Zoom call.
Secondly, just say YES.
Our church talks about "the grace curve" all the time and for good reason. It basically means that when we agree to step into “the uncomfortable” (like joining a micro-campus), it enables God‘s grace to shower down upon us after we’ve said yes. So don’t wait, my friends. Your kids will always be there and it will always feel intense. But say YES anyway so God can take care of the rest. ❤️
Third, develop a plan WITH God.
Once you join a micro-campus (or a small group), come up with a strategy for how to handle your "Wild Thing" children and invite God into the process. He’s WAY more creative than we are anyway, and I just know he’s got strategies for how we can manage our rag-tag crews.
Here are a few ideas to get you started:
Play zone defense: agree who will be on defense first (hubby or friend); join the call together; once the kids go hog wild, hubby/friend leaves and you finish the call.
Give them something extra to do: extra screen time, extra craft time, extra whatever-time just to keep them occupied for 20 minutes so you can PRAY with others!
Send them outside: think bubbles, sidewalk chalk, jump ropes, or water guns. Maybe even let them paint rocks. That's been a big hit over here. 😀
Skip naps: yikes, I know. We all love these hours of respite. But maybe if you skip it once in awhile, you'll be able to put them to bed earlier? (#gracecurve)
At the end of the day, remember the goal is connection. There are several ways to achieve this, of course, but I believe God is using Zoom in our church to help us stay spiritually connected while also reaching new believers. I mean, in my micro-campus alone we have several couples who said they were completely disconnected until now.
(Say what?!?!?! You mean people are actually experiencing MORE of God because of Zoom?!!? “That’s right, Jonna,” says the Lord. “Put on your big girl pants and join the revival.”)
So I have. And we need you too!!! 👊
These were his instructions to them:”The harvest is great, but the workers are few. So pray to the Lord who is in charge of the harvest; ask him to send more workers into his fields (Luke 10:2).
Jonna Meidal is a mother to 3 girls who seeks to parent them by the fruits of the spirit (and her Quiet Hat). She's been to 20 countries (yay!), loves to write & laugh (a LOT), & can’t get through the day without eating popcorn (duh!). You can read more of what she’s been up to at jonnameidal.com or follow her adventures on Instagram @jonnameidal.