Load-sheddingI have a confession to make…a few weeks ago, I fervently asked God to help us manage our time better in the evenings and make the time to talk and read the bible with the children. I found it too difficult to commit any time between cooking, dinner, homework and bath time to sitting down together just to talk!

Well, it would appear that God has helped us after all, only now the entire city has forced relaxation time as well!

The positive outcomes of load shedding

Being without any power is definitely an inconvenience and  just plain annoying, but there are some really positive outcomes as well!

Quality time

One of my favorite indulgences before I became a mom was to unwrap and open a brand new magazine and read it cover to cover. As a mom I still often treat myself to magazines that interest me but I rarely make time to actually read them. Thanks to load shedding, I can sit down and read my favorite magazine with a cup of coffee from my flask….pure bliss!

Despite the obvious inconvenience, load shedding has turned out to be a huge blessing for the whole family. Under normal circumstances we can hardly find the time to sit down together and enjoy each others’ company between homework, preparing for school, finishing off work, story time and bath time, etc. During our enforced relaxation time we are doing bible study, we talk about our day and we pray together and it’s all done by candlelight. It also feels as though the Holy Spirit is magnified in those dark hours. Load-shedding has allowed us to each enjoy some me-time and some quality time together without any other distractions!

Neighbors acting neighborly

I’ve been checking the load shedding schedule for our area which is available online but last night we had an unscheduled power outage and we were caught unprepared without a single candle! My neighbor then came to borrow a lighter to light her candles and, seeing us sitting in the dark, she brought us much more candles than we needed.

Truthfully, all our neighbors (us included) seem to be offering each other the most basic essentials like lighting, candles, flasks or even just a heads up about the days power outage time slot! The shops are sold out on all these supplies so everyone seems to be helping each other where they can.

A grateful heart

Being without power has literally brought the affected parts of our city to a stand-still for those few hours a day and forced us to make do with whatever we had. It makes us consider how other families in so many parts of our country live like this, without any electricity, on a permanent basis. For us, being without electricity is an inconvenience, for others, candles and cold water are a harsh reality.

Our power always gets restored and when that happens we can’t help but breathe a sigh of relief and be grateful for our privileged circumstances.

Here are some practical ways to prepare for the next power outage:

  • Get all office and school work done before dark (you will not feel like working after 2+ hours of relaxing).
  • Move bath/shower time to an earlier time slot (especially the children’s).
  • Get any items you need for your bedtime routine out of your cupboard and in plain sight (it really sucks looking for PJ’s by candlelight).
  • Prepare your dinner in advance and heat it up just before the power is scheduled to go off.
  • Fill a flask with boiling water for coffee & tea.
  • Take out any games, books, etc. for your entertainment.
  • Fully charge all your cellphones, laptops, kindles, Ipads, notebooks, etc.
  • Most importantly: Ensure that you have enough candles or torches on hand.

Are there any other tips you could add to this list? If you have been affected by load shedding, leave a comment and share how you spend your down-time.