These are complicated times. And you know what we need? Simplicity.
There’s no question our lives have been a little out of sorts lately. We have seen the articles and heard the news. We have seen the hardship of so many around us and have watched the disappointment in our kids—first school, then activities, then an abnormal summer and now massive uncertainty with the fall approaching.
Are we going back to school?
Are we wearing masks?
How do I make sure my kids are safe?
Should I just homeschool?
What about activities, sports, parks, pools, clubs, etc.?
I have seen first-hand with my own kids. Especially our 9-year old—she has taken all of this “new normal” the hardest. She even created a list the other night expressing to us why she was upset, and most of it was fear for her future! My heart just crumbled for her. So as I have been helping them cope and talking with them through all their emotions, it has made me a touch nostalgic and longing for simple life. I think we all are.
Most who know me, know most of my daily life revolves around music. From sun up to sundown, I am blasting music. On any given day, at any given moment, our house might be blasting worship music, have classical music playing softly in the background, my kids dancing to modern hits, or my husband and I making dinner to classic rock. Naturally, Spotify has been recommending all these classic rock, happy day music to me! It has literally been singing right to my soul! Tonight, Spotify recommended Billy Joel, and I came across his song titled Honesty.
I love Billy Joel. I have fond memories of listening to Billy Joel with my uncle in his car. But, for whatever reason, I have never heard this one. It is an interesting love song—a desperate cry for honesty in a cherished relationship. But it was the chorus that stood out to me and seems so relevant right here and right now.
Honesty is such a lonely word
Everyone is so untrue
Honesty is hardly ever heard
And mostly what I need from you
At that moment, the song served as a reminder that although truth is sometimes hard to find, it just might be the thing we need most right now. I really believe people want truth; they are watching for it, but don’t always know where to turn or who to trust—especially our kids.
For years this has been a growing problem, and now more than ever, it seems to be getting louder—almost shouting at us. So I can’t help but think the nostalgia of simple truth is just what we need in our homes. We need the simple reminders of a more simple time. We need the simple presence of the gospel in our everyday actions.
As a homeschooling mom of 4, I frequently get asked—especially these days—how do I keep my kids focused on the simple, honest truth of the gospel; and teach them to share that truth with others?
My answer is three things.
The Simplicity of Reading The Bible
Since the pandemic broke out we have been diving deeper into Scripture and into truth, so we can teach our kids not just how to be better people, know God more intimately, or follow Jesus better, but so they can learn to discern what is going on around us as disciples, so they are equipped to reach their world.
This is the foundation of who we are as followers of Christ.
The Simplicity of Honest Conversations
A big job of any parent is having an answer to literally every question, our kids ask—including the all-important, why? But, let’s be honest, so much of what the near future will look like about as clear as mud. Yes, our kids need reassurance, but they also need honesty and truth. Reassurance that no matter the future, you are walking with them–even when you don’t have the first clue what the future holds. But no matter the outcome, God is completely sovereign.
This is how we reassure our kids that our commitment to relying on truth means we fully trust God.
The Simplicity of Smiles and Conversations
It’s a wonderful new habit that I have started with my kids when we go out. Don’t go through the self-checkout line at the store. Go to a cashier and have a conversation, say their name, ask some questions, and show them a bit of Jesus—even if only for a brief moment.
This is how we allow God to work through us by loving others.
When we are prepared to share truth and be genuine and honest with our kids and those around us, we give the world something that it so desperately wants and needs. And while these don’t somehow magically propel us back in time to a much simpler era, they certainly help keep the simplicity of the gospel at the forefront of our minds. They serve as a periodic reminder that no matter the circumstance, God is at work—he is already on the other side, asking us to simply and honesty trust him.