Find Your Family "Thing"

While families across the nation are staying home, people everywhere are rediscovering the joy of a simple pastime. Whether it's puzzling, baking, or knitting, this time is the perfect opportunity to find your

Unemployment is skyrocketing. Government assistance funds are running dry. The COVID-19 pandemic is shaking our economy and our nerves all at once. But can you guess what industry is booming?

Jigsaw puzzles.

For real. My family received a 1,500-piece puzzle as an Easter gift last month, and my husband and daughters spent hours poring over that beautiful thing, meticulously sorting pieces and interlocking tiny bits of cardboard into place. It took them more than a week to finish, but the result was a stunning safari animal collage—and a huge sense of accomplishment for the whole family. Who knew a jigsaw puzzle could generate such bonding?

Apparently a lot of people do, according to puzzle merchants. The first thing I did when my fam wrapped up the 1,500-piece project was flip open my laptop to shop for another one. And every single puzzle purveying website posted announcements saying they’d been flooded with orders, therefore shipping would be delayed. One site even closed shop for a few days in order to catch up on sales.

Across the nation and quite possibly the world, households everywhere are rediscovering the joy of a simple pastime. For some it’s puzzling. For others, it’s baking. Playing board games. Knitting! My teen didn’t know a single stitch before our stay-at-home order began, and now she has handmade three hats and a huge blanket with more projects in the works.

I’m hearing of families building model airplanes, learning to make candles, arranging music together and so much more. As frustrating and heartbreaking as some aspects of the quarantine have been, one valuable byproduct is the time and space to create, explore, and laugh with the people closest to us.

Have you taken advantage of it yet?

What is YOUR family “thing”?

“And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.” (Hebrews 10:24–25)

Those words take on new meaning under the current circumstances, don’t they? How are you spurring your family on toward love and good deeds? I encourage you, if you haven’t already, to find your family “thing”—an activity or interest that everyone can share during this unprecedented time of togetherness. Months and years from now, when the world returns to some new semblance of normal, we just might wish for quieter days. So let’s make the most of them while we have them—making not just puzzles or pies but memories. They are some of the sweetest gifts God gives us. Amen?

Becky Kopitzke