So God Made a Teacher Collection (Sale!) ➔

All winter long my daughter complained because we hadn’t gotten much snow. Or we had the biggest snowstorms on the weekend. Many mornings I’d wake her up before school and she’d grumpy-face around, dismayed we still hadn’t had a single day off from school.

In March, we stopped going to school. We stopped going anywhere and it didn’t have a thing to do with snow. Finally, when we were able to go out again on occasion, you heard it again and again, be sure to social distance and keep six feet apart.

We’ve been six feet apart for six months now. We had no idea how much happened in six months’ time, until they didn’t happen.

Our school’s spring musical, in which my daughter had a part, was canceled.

There was not a spring sporting event to speak of.

Opening day for baseball did happen, almost three months late.

I attended a high school graduation, in a parking lot, with graduates dismissed to walk on stage one at a time.

RELATED: To My Friends Still Social Distancing

There were weddings with immediate family only in attendance.

Some of us have had friends and family pass away. We have our memories but our goodbyes will be said from a social distance.

The sick who find themselves alone so they, and everyone else, can stay safe.

Students finished school online.

Meetings and workshops took place on Zoom.

Special events moved online, social distancing via social media.

Many of us don’t know when we’ll see distant family again nor what that will look like.

Author friends had books come out in a pandemic so launch activities had to be extra creative.

We’ve been six feet apart for six months now. We had no idea how much happened in six months’ time, until they didn’t happen.

I keep thinking this is forming us somehow. 

Teaching us to live simply. 

Reminding us what’s most important. 

RELATED: If We Do This Right, Connection Can Be More Powerful Than Distance

In my family, our I love yous sound more tender. 

When social activities are deemed safe, they feel like a very big deal.

And some days, six feet feels like miles and miles. Six months feels like years and years.

It’s just far enough, and long enough, to help us remember what, and who, matters most in life. If we’ll let it. 

Traci Rhoades

Traci Rhoades is a writer and Bible teacher. She lives in the Grand Rapids, Michigan area with her family and an ever-changing number of pets. Connect with her online at tracesoffaith.com or @tracesoffaith on twitter. She is the author of "Not All Who Wander (Spiritually) Are Lost."

I’m Done Feeling Guilty for Struggling with My Mental Health

In: Living, Motherhood
Woman walking down a sunny road

My mental health hasn’t been great for the past week. I couldn’t put my finger on what was going on, I just knew I was struggling. My whole body felt like I was squeezing, holding in the building tension of life, trying not to burst on innocent bystanders in my path. It took me days to finally clue in that it was my anxiety, a handful of little things combining to create a perfect storm. The endless cycle of sickness hitting my family, parenting pressure, and pain from past trauma. In retrospect, I guess it wasn’t little things at all,...

Keep Reading

Even as an Adult, It’s Hard When Friends Move Away

In: Friendship
Woman looking out car window

I grew up in an anomaly of a small town where no one moved away. Seriously, I can count on one hand the number of friends who left during my childhood. Granted, most of us hightailed it out of that one-stoplight town as soon as we had our high school diplomas in our hands, but I’ll forever be grateful for the friendships I made there. It never occurred to me how much it would hurt down the road when, as an adult, my friends would move away. RELATED: The Heartache When Your Friend Tells You She’s Moving I remember reading...

Keep Reading

Setting Boundaries Has Side Effects No One Talks About

In: Living
Family walking away

I cut off my brother a few months ago. Easter Sunday, to be exact. It wasn’t something I wanted to do, but it was a choice I had to make for my sanity, for my family, for our peace. If I’m being honest, it was something I should have done long ago, but I’ve never been one to rock the boat. I typically avoid confrontation at all costs, but that particular day was the straw that broke the camel’s back and forced me to take action. I was prepared for the anger. I was prepared to feel uncomfortable. I was...

Keep Reading

A Mother/Daughter Bond Should Be Unbreakable, but Sometimes It Isn’t

In: Grown Children, Living
Frowning woman holding phone

It’s OK to grieve your absent parents while they’re still alive. I see so many articles or well-meaning posts from people who had beautiful relationships with their parents and are now grieving their loss. It’s amazing to read about such incredible parent-child relationships, but it also usually comes with guilt for me. “Call your mom, I wish I still could.” Yeah, me too, I want to say. I stare at my phone, my finger hovering over her name, and sigh. I let the screen go black instead. My birth mother is alive and well but I chose to end my...

Keep Reading

My Grandma Doesn’t Remember Me but I Visit Anyway

In: Living
Elderly woman embracing young bride

Today I went to see my grandma in the memory care facility she now calls home. Visits now are nothing like they used to be at her house. There is no kitchen stocked with my favorite snacks or comfortable room of my own with a fold-out bed stacked with hand-sewn quilts. It’s just her, an armchair, and a twin-sized bed that creaks up and down with a remote control so she can be bathed and dressed in the optimal position. But her face lights up when she sees me and her small body relaxes into me when I hug her. ...

Keep Reading

“Yours From the First Moment I Saw You.” Read the Tributes To Olivia Newton-John That Have Us Tearing Up

In: News
Olivia Newton-John Instagram photo

“Tell me about it . . . stud.” I’ll never forget the iconic ending scene of “Grease” when the camera pans from the shocked face of John Travolta as bad-boy Danny Zuko to his high school sweetheart, Sandy, who has literally transformed from an innocent transfer student into a leather-clad cool chick, complete with massive perm and sky-high heels. In the starring role of one of the most successful movie musicals ever made, beauty icon Olivia Newton-John stole America’s heart and never looked back over the course of an awe-inspiring five-decade career, which included both movies and musical hits like...

Keep Reading

The Rollercoaster of Foster Care and Adoption

In: Living, Motherhood
Mother daughter photo on beach

After spending most of their childhoods in foster care, Addy and her brother Dominick had never been to a birthday party or down a water slide. They missed out on many childhood staples, but it was the least of their concerns. Addy was riddled with anxiety and panic attacks—crippled with fear that she would age out of the system before getting adopted. She carried a backpack full of anxiety fidgets to cope with her uncertain years in foster care. She had such a bad case of TMJ that the kids at school mocked her for adjusting her jaw every ten...

Keep Reading

While I Wait for Another Door to Open, I’ll Hold One For Someone Else

In: Faith, Living
Woman teaching another woman by computer

I’m waiting for another door. All my life, I’ve been told that when God closes one door, He opens another. And here I am, staring at the imminent end of the business I’ve built from nothing. Closing down what I started up from sheer willpower, too much caffeine, and the bold determination to work for myself. Scratching out what I made from scratch . . . and it feels horrible. God didn’t just close this door. He slammed it shut, boarded the whole thing up, and hammered the nails in where I cannot pry them open. Believe me. I’ve tried....

Keep Reading

The Pain of Loving an Addict and the Power of Love

In: Living
Couple embracing in hallway

Mental health is no joke. Addiction is no joke. In my experience, these things go hand in hand. People often turn to things like alcohol and drugs when they are looking for an escape from reality. And people with certain mental health struggles are more prone to addictions than people without. These behaviors are a cry for help. They are not attention seeking. They are not purposely trying to hurt the people in their life. They are saying in the only way they can they are drowning and they need a lifeboat. And it is hard on everyone involved. Having...

Keep Reading

Chrissy Teigen Announces She’s Pregnant With Rainbow Baby

In: Living, News
Chrissy Teigen pregnant

Hip, hip, hooray! “1 billion shots later . . . we have another on the way.” In a surprising, but much anticipated Instagram post, Chrissy Teigen delivered the exciting news: she and celebrity musician husband John Legend are officially expecting their third baby! Endeared to millions through her genuine and unfiltered approach to sharing her life on social media, Chrissy’s announcement was quickly met with an outpouring of love and support from fans, many of whom had been following since the model shared the absolutely devastating loss of her third pregnancy back in 2020. RELATED: Chrissy Teigen Opens Up About Her...

Keep Reading

Get our FREE phone wallpaper to encourage you as the new school year begins

It's bittersweet for a mother to watch her child grow—but you both are ready to soar.