Covid-19 · Fostering · Parenting

Snapshot

If someone was to walk into your life today and take a snapshot what would it reveal?

Our photo albums (or phones) are filled with snapshots… we tend to keep the good ones. We like to record the moments of our lives that make us smile. But what if you had no say on what that snapshot recorded? What if there were no Pinterest ideas to frame it, no filters to make it cute and pretty… just raw unedited data?

A snapshot of Alberta this week definitely doesn’t give you the full picture of what this beautiful province is like. We ‘ve been setting records for low temperatures all week! But it’s just a snapshot, a moment in time.

The snapshot of your life is also just a moment in time. Positive or negative is can’t tell the full story. Would that snapshot reveal a person hanging on for dear life trying to ride out a pandemic? Would it reveal the chaos of a life turned upside down by economic stress and quarantine? Would it reveal a blank stretch of boredom uninterrupted?

Would you say that you are surviving? Or thriving? or somewhere in between?

I dare say that some of you would be horrified to have someone arrive without notice and make a record of what your life looks like. Not just your physical surroundings but your mental, emotional and spiritual life as well. When uncertainty looms we can choose to just coast, and stop making choices to grow in life.

Nobody thought that this pandemic would still be going on almost a year later… and there is no definite end in sight.

If you have put your life on hold to ride this out it’s time to put things back in gear and start being intentional about what your life will look like now. Covid-19 is not going away anytime soon, maybe never, and we are now faced with learning how to live in the new world that has been engineered for us.

Whether you agree with the masks, restrictions and decisions being made or not they still shape your current reality. The good news is that this snapshot is just a moment in time! Don’t let someone else decide your life path by default. Be intentional… look ahead to where you want to be this time next year… and make a plan that gets you headed in that direction. Even if the plan needs modifying as you go it will still get you somewhere!

Wouldn’t it be great if that snapshot of your life revealed peace and purpose in the midst of the pandemic? It is possible!

The Covid-19 pandemic has been our crisis to deal with. It has affected the globe.

In foster care many children are in danger of being judged by a snapshot of their life. As they deal with trauma many kids act out in ways that aren’t pleasant. They express their pain and disorientation in the only way they know how. For many it is anger which is only the tip of the iceberg. So many things are going on underneath. Icebergs are dangerous.

Fortunately a snapshot is just a moment in time. It shows us something about what it is going on, but it is never the full story. We have the opportunity to shape the life of kids by stepping in and loving them in spite of the behaviours. As we walk with them through the anger we learn what lies beneath the behaviour and can help them find ways to work through the emotions. I don’t want the children of the Other Mother to be labeled by the snapshot of how they came into care. They are so much more than just foster children.

Your life choices are yours to make no matter what is going on around you. One of our kids recently stated that they “had no self-control” as the reason for a behaviour. Interesting how it can feel that way when you lack the emotional resources to make a better choice for yourself. Everyone has the ability to control themselves but for some people the amount of effort it takes is overwhelming. Self-control is not a magical superpower granted to amazing people. It is a skill cultivated in our lives as we learn and grow. Developing that skill takes intentional effort and patience. It also takes an awareness that you are valued and worth the effort. Trauma can take that away from children in care. We can give it back to them.

Stop and take a look at your life…

Are you proud of the snapshot?

Own it.

And if the answer was no… do something about it! The choice is yours.

In the midst of the mess

Marny

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