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Family Update – October 2020

This is a chaotic season for the Simmons family, as it most likely has been for yours. This last month has been no different.


The coronavirus has been with us now for well over half a year. Still, for us in Stanly County, North Carolina, it was a distant reality. That is no more. In the past month, many of us locally have contracted the virus. Many have been teachers and those who work with the public. Families have had to quarantine for weeks. We’ve even lost loved ones.

This isn’t new. Our country has been living through this now for months. I have a friend who pastors a great church in New York who’s had many within his church die from complications with COVID-19.

Perhaps, the now-present reality is causing us to really address what has been a theory for many months. How do we assess our vulnerability? How do we love those around us that are more susceptible to this threat? Do we have a large Thanksgiving? It’s an awful lot to process.


As a result of the recent outbreaks and quarantines, our local school system was forced to transition to online-only for a few weeks. We’ve been very thankful that our kids have had the option of going to school to learn face-to-face with their teachers. Personally, our kids thrive in that environment. I understand that that’s not true for every kid or family, and that’s ok. This is just how we, as a family, are processing this year of school.

If you were to ask my oldest how virtual school is going, she’d say it’s horrible. It’s not that her teachers aren’t doing a fantastic job. They are. They’re excellent at what they do. She needs the social interaction of a classroom. Her highlight of each day is seeing her friends. She’s missed them so much this year.

If you were to ask my son how virtual school is going, he’d say it’s amazing. For some reason, he HATED his online sessions last year (to his defense, he was in Kindergarten). This year, however, he’s really talkative and engaged with his friends and teacher. He loves people in whatever way he gets to be with them.

The tensions we are dealing with as parents and schools are a highlight of this season’s complications. Every family is dealing with this. Some kids are at daycares signing on to their online classes. Some are home alone. There are so many complicated decisions to try to mitigate the vulnerabilities with the needs of this season. It’s complicated, and there are no cookie-cutter solutions.


Amanda had surgery on Monday of last week to repair the disc between her L5 and S1 vertebrae. The surgery went well, but not quite as expected. The injury was a bit older, and the disc didn’t respond how it would have had the injury been more recent. Consequently, it required a bit more treatment, and that has left Amanda in a bit more pain than perhaps we could have been expected.

The good news is that everything has gone as expected post-op. Amanda’s pain levels, nerve issues, etc. have all been precisely what the surgeon and nurses prepared us for.

We are expecting a full recovery and large strides toward healing starting this week.


1. Pray that Amanda continues to heal. We believe that this will be a FULL recovery and will address many different issues that she has perhaps dealt with in the past. 

2. Pray for our community. Many are vulnerable. Some are sick. A lot are scared. We need wisdom and clarity. We need boldness and thoughtfulness. 

3. Pray for our kids. Our kids will be just fine. Pray for the kids in our community. Some kids are very vulnerable just because they’re home. That’s sad, but that’s the reality. A teacher messaged me not too long ago and asking, “Would you mind praying for my students? They’re not doing well. So many are struggling with anxiety and depression.” Please pray for them. 

4. Pray for me. Pray that I continue to stay focused and faithful. God is at work in my life. I don’t want to miss out on what He’s doing. 

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