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May 19, 2020 2:00 am
As pandemic restrictions ease and we look to resume something of a 'normal' life, it'd be easy to forget the good, simple values we rediscovered while quarantined at home. On this broadcast, author Alexandra Kuykendall encourages us to move forward with purpose and intentionality so that we can continue nurturing those values and avoid allowing busyness to consume our families again.
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Wants you the life that God has for he has gifted us every day with a new day and so we can go to that Groundhog Day experience with an attitude of dread. We can go into it, recognizing the pain and the grief I think that I want to find you in it and I know that there is good that's Alexandra Kirkendall and she's our guest today on Focus on the Family with your host focus president Dr. Jim Daly I'm John Fuller and she's talking about helping you clean some life lessons from the pandemic so you can dig in and find the beauty in ordinary life. During these rather extraordinary times. John we often share powerful life-changing stories on the broadcast and those are great opportunities for ministry right now when life is uncertain in the news.
We read is still pretty intense. I think what were all craving or simple day-to-day reminders of God's goodness and provision for us is true that these stay-at-home orders and shelter at home and safe at home. Orders are starting to lift and people are starting to kind of yearn to go back to ordinary, whatever that is.
Wheat we do need some time to come to think through what just happened.
How that worked out exactly and today we want to take some time to reflect on the positive things we've learned through this crisis and how those can improve our relationships as we move forward and I can't think of a better person to do that than Alexandra. You were really pleased to have her back. She has been on a few times before, and Alexandra is a wife and a mom of four girls. The youngest is eight. The oldest of 17 written a number books, the one that is really seems to have resonated with her audience.
In the past were coming back to today is called loving my actual life and experiment in relishing what's right in front of me and of course we've got that. Just click the link in the episode notes for the details. Alexandra welcome back to focus. It's great to be here. Are you described this crisis.
The stay-at-home orders as a recalibration. So tell us how you're saying it is a recalibration well all that extra of life were canceled. Really, I am a mom. Here was just fishing out of basketball season.
I have three players and we had 14 billing my husband was coaching one season where on Friday night we had three games at three different places so literally running from the car into the gym and transitioning into soccer season and then all of a sudden everything stopped from schedule that really was to maintain schedule and we were all there have never spent eight weeks. All six of us in the same house nonstop so we know each other starting to ask ourselves what makes a life because these things that were regular components that we found things were all gone still present in her life was still moving forward, and so brought us back to the essentials which was waking up every day we needed to get some work done that we were together in an intense way and so really just forced us to ask what makes our life. What is key as we start to reenter life and acting in what they want to add not want to add back and that's a good evaluation of what's taken place. I think Gina and I particularly in the parenting modality. That's what we've noticed as well that all the time pressure things that we've added to get going. You know you do the work thing. Then you come home and you got the camping coming up or you got the basketball season, or what have you.
It has been a revelation to really see how much pressure we add to our family life when it comes to a busy schedule and how I think negative, that is just exhausted and so sleeping we definitely eating more family also frequency our schedule is for us to sit down and have dinner together every night. It's nice out we've been going on walks.
The last time we on a walk is a family in the last few years with all the crazy crazy so anxious to spot us back to some simple things you it's funny you met you because your four girls having two boys and RN will say hey you guys want to go for their like math something else that may just be that wonderful compliant one girl thing that they want to do it with you because they're just wonderful daughters. We started all six of us and people peeled off and the youngest and I were the last ones to come home so have to go with people that's for sure you send your wonderful book that being intentional is really critical, that day-to-day living is a way to trust God with our lives unfold that for us.
What is it mean to live intentionally noticing God in that intentionality experienced Groundhog Day kind of experience, training, and looks very much like yesterday and promised look much different and so how do we intentionally so that there components to things we want to get done and things that we need to do to take care of ourselves, both physically and mentally and spiritually, and then we intentionally join in the midst of this grief. I will say I am a family that has been impacted obviously by the pandemic that my husband has not lost his job so we are not the pressure of income loss and we have stayed home because my husband is in a higher risk category that virus so stressed around medical issues carrying different types of stress all carrying stress and so how do we intentionally take care of ourselves. Keep ourselves safe and at the same time take care of our bodies and our minds and spirits in the process that's really good. You know it's interesting several years ago. It's almost like the Lord gave you a peek into what you were going to go through in the future but you experiment of some sort with your life and kind of the stay-at-home orders would cause you to revisit that experiment. What was the experiment kind of explain it to the listeners and what did you learn in the context my nation. The experiment was to not yes the gifts that God had for me everyday, ordinary life and so is the pandemic had and orders were in place I thought okay complain about all the things that we lost to the things I don't like about this. I can look for what God has for me today and has for our family is. I decided to look at a different area of my life for a month at a time, so something like creativity or quiet practical like organization or meal planning and I just yet. Focusing on this one area for my life and streamline some things and make them go better be more intentional about how I use my time. Also see aspects of who God is and what he has for me through those areas and in loving my actual life which is a great title. Love that you mentioned this idea finding quiet and I can imagine it's kinda hard to find that in the house with four girls running around the bathrooms.
Do you have by the way. Seven pretty well to bathrooms, so that's gotta be tough on your husband 1.sometimes like to put his name on the chalkboard, but to the finding quiet. I think that is kind of what we were alluding to earlier but how do we be intentional about finding a quiet heart will say when there are six people at home and so the intentionality is how can I find quiet is quiet and so for me, I realized that client was part the noise audible noise in my life and so I get up early. I coasted outside I try to separate myself physically from people. The quiet of the Spirit to quiet myself. My thoughts go crazy. My fears go crazy during this uncertain time and so part of it was going back to God. When thoughts would kinda start going out of control and I really think part of quieting a spirit disquiet intake world where we can consume so much information and in a time when there's a lot of uncertain information out there around circumstances that feel Gary to a lot of us just cutting out our intake of information can be helpful to you and going back to who God is and what he has promised us now.
I will say every day I try to check in with my local news. My national news and I have sources that I find to be reliable because I want to know what's going on over consume and that can create chaos in my spirit yeah that's well said. I think a reasonable diet of news at this time is a good thing you don't want to take into many caloric news stores Max to eat a whole bunch of agitated. Maybe you also the creativity of finding quiet union husband came up with the idea you could tell us the dry driveway dating that when caught my eye.
Obviously were not talk about high school stuff right now. Well just naturally this wasn't a time when it wasn't intentional need to do this again intentionality when you discover something accidentally, that works then be intentional about lamenting it again so we needed to talk about some adult kinds of things to be interrupted and we were so tired talking 32nd increments, and so we thought we go to just have a conversation we realized the car should we be out of the car. The car around in the driveway so that was speaking from the house and into the street because we were just trying to create a mental barrier from our home house that we could not face the house qualified because I thought you were planning a getaway a long time and so we had a conversation and just heavy neighborhood people walking by the little bit like when you guys to quickly realized what you're doing. You can have a conversation so it just was a lovely way to spend 40 uninterrupted try that Regina could do some car driveway dating that might hope that works out well for you to but you can really have some good talk with our guest today on Focus on the Family is Alexander Kirkendall and she's written a great book loving my actual life experiment in relishing what's right in front of me and of course we have copies of that give us a call or stop by your website are numbers 800 K in the word family or click the link in the episode notes hey Alex, another area I'm so proud of Jane because we this is a natural rhythm for our family, but that that family mealtime idea.
I cannot remember a night that we missed the family mealtime you know when I'm at home and not traveling etc. and when I'm not there. Dream keeps that rhythm going with the boys, and now it's poor Troy, who has to sit there we say how how was your day Troy more than one word that make you feel Troy and what you do tomorrow Troy soap mealtime really been one of those steadfast things that the daily household is always committed to.
But for people that have been busy on the pandemic has shown them a different angle on this. To actually have mealtime together.
Speak to that revelation and the need to keep that moving forward even when you know the cultures opened up again. Yeah well I think we heard how much we love it and closely tied to food to moms over and over, say, how are we creating so many dishes and how are we eating so much food right now because home all the time. It's like summer all the time and I want to remember when you sit down together that I want to continue to do this once our life starts getting a little bit busier and a little bit more hectic since looks forward to that. Coming together time now kind of joke in our house that were together all the time.
Right now, so sitting down to a meal isn't as much of a coming together as it is at the end of a busy day will work just as much more important that is.
During busy times and so mealtime is a great time for adults to lead the conversation.
It helps us to introduce new topics to I can help with older kids to start getting some perspectives and insight going and how they think about things and how we think about things.
Now, if you have younger kids who have a hard time sitting at the table. I want to recognize that just having that rhythm of everyone coming together and maybe it's only for 15 until the three-year-old is up and running around creating a sense of safety and predictability for that three-year-old that is valuable, yet it's so good in fact there's lots of conversation starters in question books out there.
Jim and I the other night was pretty funny actually.
The question we looked up and focus has some of these questions you can ask render dinnertable ours was what would be three autographs that you would want to quickly rock Jesus, Peter and Paul think of people outside of the faith them. The so we moved to sports figures and others, but those are the kind of questions that are kind of fun you know the kids light up but think about it, so it's good hey Alex. Another area that you cover in your wonderful book loving my actual life is this idea of adventure. Now I love that. I think that is refreshing in your family structure you know in your marriage. Certainly your parenting to have a sense of adventure to little more difficult right now with everything kind of being in shelter in place only go out if you need to kind of environment.
So how do you invoke a sense of adventure regularly and then how do you do it in this circumstance.
This chapter I was really thinking about the mom parent is stuck in the mundane of everyday life and standing at the sink washing the same dishes. I washed yesterday seems to be Cutting the same carrots. Where is the beauty in my life is this is good is going to get kind of mentality and realized is that we can't go out and around the world trip or claim of 14 are likely to be able to do or run a marathon. The time constraints, the physical constraints, financial constraints, to do what we need the picture is that they could venture our life that how do we create new ventures in our day-to-day life, which means driving to school in a different way or letting her kids despite having drive to school. Something new for dinner. Trying a new crap just mixing things up a little bit so is groundhog day of opened here in Venice where you can decide this is how I'm going to fill my day. Things that need to get done.
Kids need to get their schoolwork done. If you're working remotely, worked on the house needs to be cleaned and create an interesting day. So that doesn't feel just like yesterday and the last 25 days. John, I think this is a good place.
I haven't mentioned this in a while but barbarian night is the right throughout the picnic cloth and let the kids eat spaghetti with no utensils and no hands it's face first and moms going to cringe but badger going to have a lot of fun with this one I just get your face in those noodles and suck them up. But that kind of thing is a lot of fun and the kids will enjoy it for sure you did something we both have 17-year-old juniors. I believe you thought of the school seniors that are missing so much of the end of their senior year. The prom and they don't get that back juniors will hopefully have a chance to do everything next year as seniors, but my heart breaks for those seniors to enjoy the last semester. It's gone and not have that back and that is unfortunate in so many ways.
But what did you do with your Junior to make sure she didn't have a total bad experience right.
We realize school was canceled for three weeks and that was not within the window of promise or hope was that prom was still going to happen at the end of April and then as it became clear that prom was going to be canceled. She was disappointed and that's the reality we are all experiencing disappointments right now but we thought.
How can you still make something special happen on a day when she's feeling about the disappointment and so asked her if it would be okay if we were to take out. That night we had ordered takeout from the restaurant up to that point and she got to pick where we ordered food from she got her dress on and she wanted to take pictures so all got dressed up to and took some pictures and had a really fun night stuck at home altogether different evening apart from all of the other evenings where we were eating dinner at home during the stay-at-home orders so it was a memory that she will be number. It wasn't the prom that she had hoped for the rest of us are going to remember my younger girls knew that the night was all about their oldest sister and it was very sweet to see how they rallied around her.
Now we can't make our kids react and respond. We hope they will win the wonderful gift and she went along with it. She was C-17. It's not the prominent seat was better than sitting at home in our pajamas and so those moments that we can make with intentionality happen a lot of work.
I just went into my closet and picked up the fanciest dress I could find and put it on production by me, the night stand out and made it special just let her know on the boy side of this equation.
So my Junior we were. I was teaching him how to drive a stick shift because he wanted to little car that I have prom night so all that got suspended when prom was not to happen. So he was disappointed to teach him how to drive that stick so that he can have fun next year, but anyway Alex were right up against the clock. Now your book loving my actual life. Let me end with the obvious question you break out a way to focus on how to love your actual life, using that phrase.
What is he wants you yes the life that God has for he has gifted us every day with a new day and so we can go to that Groundhog Day experience of dread. We can go into recognizing the pain and grief. I think that I want to find you and I know that there is good in there and so I love my life. That means that I really cherish it that I relish and grateful for it. If I love my life and not comparing my life and my circumstances to other people because right now that's very easy to do and so I try to stay off social media also just try to check my heart and recognize God has put me in a unique place unique family actual life. That means the life and living today circumstances.
I didn't ask for or choose the reality that I need to deal with and a life and I have to recognize that God creates life and I am grateful to breeze every day to ask what he has for me while I have a short time here on earth instead of letting my actual life is really being grateful and looking for God in every corner, in every space in every experience because he is there. That's really good Alexander. It's been so good to have you on focus. Thank you for being with us all having infirm, being interested in talking about loving the everyday. During this time that such a good reminder to use this time as a way to recalibrate and reprioritize your family and to really put the emphasis on what matters most. You so it's interesting Jim is that sometimes a simple reminder can have a profound impact on that's true Johnny were hearing that from listeners as well. One woman named Shelley told us that she listened to one of our recent broadcast with Dr. Kathy Cook.
She wrote down the four main points and hung them into rooms of her house. Yeah, I think. I think she also went on to say that she not only post those. But let's those be a reminder every day to rely on God. Again, a simple reminder with a profound impact well and I love the simplicity that's what you're addressing. I want to thank those of you who make this broadcast possible. I mean, especially our monthly sustainers. It's because of your support that people like Shelley can give encouragement and do the right thing and hopefully change the course of their marriage, their parenting their relationship with God and you know John so often we fail to mention this but usually every year about 280,000 300,000 people are making a commitment to Christ are re-dedicating their life to the Lord because of listening to Focus on the Family and man. My hat goes off to the supporters and oftentimes I'll mention this knowing God's economy you're making that happen. We may be the hands and feet right here. Focus quickly broadcast together of the podcast of the YouTube version of this and you know that's right but you the supporter are the ones that accrue to your account. I totally believe that is how God sees it. And I hope you feel that so often all of us fail to mention that from time to time. God knows that and I hope if you haven't supported focus.
You'll step up and be a part of the ministry not through our credit but to yours recognize God's work in your life by helping others through focus.
It's a wonderful thing to do and I think a great investment well into Jim and I both are committed to being monthly donors to the ministry. Hope you'll join us in that we do understand times are tough for some folks if perhaps you can just make a one-time gift. Either way, contribute to the work Focus on the Family today will send a copy of Alexander's book to you would be our privilege to thank you in that way. With this great resource and you have against cold loving my actual life. You can call 800 K work-family and we also have the link in the episode show notes if you like to contribute to the work and get a copy of that book coming up next time will be taking a look at the future what heaven is like a tunnel or doorway that you go to you with four to be with the Lord forever. On behalf of Jim Daly, and the entire team. Thanks for joining us today for Focus on the Family I'm John Fuller inviting you back once again help you and Your Family Dr. in Christ