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Sunday, September 19, 2021

I prayed for COVID-19

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I prayed for COVID-19 to happen. Yes, you can blame me. Not a week earlier, I had asked God to give me more time with my family. Extracurricular activities, meetings and other randomness kept us apart Monday through Thursday and then again on Saturday.

Between dropping off children, driving to and from work, staying in meetings all day, picking up my children, trying to work out, making dinner, helping with homework, putting them to bed and then back to work at night, I was extremely fatigued. Anxious. On repeat. Lost.

Needless to say, on March 13, 2020, I was elated to stay home with my family for a few weeks. Was I naive or what? Those weeks turned into months. And those months turned into a year and counting. But what did God “reteach” me in the interim? Discipline.

When I started my new role back in 2018, I was looking in all the wrong places on where to find my niche — balancing an executive role with a family. However, it was right there in front of me — in God’s word.

Many of us desire to be a disciple, a personal follower of Jesus, but we don’t want the discipline that goes along with it. In order to be the best wife, mother, sister, colleague and friend, I have to be a disciple first. OK, Lord, I hear you. Then the balance (and freedom) will come.

What areas in your life do you need balance and/or more structure? How are you doing emotionally, physically, mentally, spiritually, professionally and financially?

This has been a difficult season for most of us, but rest assured that you can find the peace that surpasses all understanding if you take it one step at a time to devote time to you. What habits are you forming? What habits are you teaching your children? FYI, they are watching you.

I worked a lot before COVID, and probably work even more now. I’ve put on weight, and now I’m trying to lose it. My children at times have to tell me to put the computer down, or ask me when my meetings will be over.

Now, I’m not saying that it’s time to quit your job or run a marathon tomorrow. Take it slow. One step at a time. COVID has reminded me in a very hard way that we need to prioritize family, self-care is critical to our existence, and relationships are the bread and butter of life.

God stopped us all in our tracks. Our lives have been interrupted. Many of us are simply trying to survive. But I assure you that there is something that you can work on, but only you know what that one thing is. Take the time to devote time to you. Ask God what that one thing is. Find the balance. Create the discipline. And live in freedom.

It’s time to go to another level. Let’s get free together. Are you ready for the journey? Let’s go!

Leslie Nicole Smith is the executive director of alumni engagement at DePauw University. Leslie is a 2003 DePauw alumna, a motivator and community leader. Contact Leslie at lesliesmith@depauw.edu.

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