I love schedules. I find them exhausting, and yet I thrive in a day that is scheduled to the hour. So when my children began elementary school, I found comfort in our new highly scheduled days. They were busy but exciting. There was school and taekwondo and swimming and soccer and ballet and the library. Then came the pandemic and all of that changed. My perfect schedule was gone. It was just me and the kids. At home. Everyday. I was terrified.

We’ve had good days and bad days, great days and horrible days. But I will cherish this time I have had teaching them to bake, helping my son learn how to read, showing my daughter how to plant a garden, and playing Star Wars or pirates or park rangers in the backyard.

As cities and counties open back up for business, life for many is beginning to resemble normalcy. But the scars from the pandemic and the resulting closure of many of Oregon’s business, institutions and churches remain.

The past three months have been hard on us all. I will confess that there have been moments when I couldn’t see how my little family would make it.

Still, spiritual gifts can be found in dark places. We need only open our eyes and hearts and witness them.