This has been an interesting month, to say the least.

When this year started, I never could have imagined what 2020 would hold. I didn’t know that we would be spending our days completely at home, missing friends, playdates, moms’ groups, and Bible studies we were used to attending every day. Even on Sundays, we have to do church at home since we are not able to congregate. It is a strange feeling being so isolated from the rest of the world, and yet so close as a family.

It is a challenge some days trying to keep life feeling normal for two little boys, in the midst of so many changes.

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Along with the new challenges, there are blessings. Life has a slower feel to it. Home is a place of safety from the scary situations we are reading about that are happening all over the world. Family time is all day, every day. From what I can see on social media, many other families are also enjoying this time of “forced” fellowship with each other. They are rediscovering the joy of just being with the ones they love most.

To my own sweet sons, you probably won’t even remember these days except for what I tell you, and the photos you will see in my scrapbooks. You are only 3 and 5 years old. Because of your youth and innocence, you haven’t been scared or worried. You don’t know that the world is basically shut down because of a pandemic, or that we are quarantined at home. You don’t even know what those words mean.

You just know that the playground equipment is closed and that our activities are canceled so people don’t spread germs. But you haven’t really questioned anything further than that. You were used to going somewhere and seeing friends every single day—and yet, you haven’t complained about not getting to do that anymore, not even once. You seem perfectly happy to play at home with each other, explore the backyard, and go on outdoor adventures like nature walks and bike rides.

During these days I have been standing back, watching the two of you, my sons.

And with every day that goes by, I am absolutely amazed and blessed by your relationship with each other.

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I have always known what a gift from God each of you is to your father and me. Now, with each passing day, I see your relationship with each other grow into something so real and strong. I see your kindness toward one another, and your special bond of friendship. I realize what a gift from God each of you is to your brother.

It’s not perfect, of course. You have your moments of fighting, normal little boy arguments. But it never lasts very long. Apologies and forgiveness are offered so quickly between the two of you. In no time at all, you are back to hugs and giggles and telling your brother how much you love him.

I watch the two of you and I see the way you share, the way you act like a team, and the way you take care of each other. More than once, I have heard you talk about how thankful you are that God gave you a brother, and heard you say that “brothers are the best!” I couldn’t agree more.

RELATED: The Fierce Bond of Brotherhood

I have a feeling that moms all across the world are experiencing some of the same feelings I am watching their children.

While they are separated from friends at this time, many siblings are probably realizing how thankful they are for one another, and building strong relationships and lasting memories. One of my favorite things is seeing posts on social media from my friends of all of the fun and creative ways they are enjoying this time with their families. Brothers, sisters, or a mixture of both—whatever makes up your family, is a gift from God. This is especially evident during this time of staying home. The world is struggling through a hard and sad event—and yet, it’s OK to see the little blessings that shine, even in the midst of darkness. Blessings like the “extra time” we have been given to slow down and reconnect with the people we live with every day.

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I pray that the closeness families have experienced over this last month will continue long after life gets back to normal.

I pray that the laughter flows freely, and so does the love, patience, and forgiveness.

I pray that if there are families who are struggling with so much time together, they would find peace and joy in the moments they have been given to share.

I pray that the bonds formed by brothers and sisters all over the world will remain strong throughout their lives.

My sons, I am so comforted at this time when we are away from other people, that you always have someone to play with. You go to sleep at night knowing your brother is just across the room. You wake up looking forward to another fun and carefree day. Your boundless energy leaves me little time for worry. Your joy and wonder keep me joyful, too. Your smiles are contagious and your love fills up my heart.

When the world is not what we think it should be, you remind me that there are still gifts and blessings to see every day.

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Angela Sensenig

Angela Sensenig is a follower of Jesus Christ, a wife, and mother of two little boys and one little dog. She is a former teacher now embracing her role as a stay-at-home mom. She finds joy singing and playing the piano, riding horses, and running. Through the changing seasons of life and family, it is her goal to practice contentment and gratitude every day. She is so thankful to God for grace, His unfailing love, and for the gift of motherhood. She loves being a mom so much that she started a blog in hopes to share encouragement about life through God's Word and her reflections on raising children. She is passionate about learning and sharing Biblical truths that will enrich and refresh the hearts of mothers everywhere. You can find more of her writing at Thankfulmommy.com, or follow her “Thankful Mommy” page on Facebook and Thankfulmommyblog on Instagram.

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