Except it’s not.
Something as simple as walking into the kitchen to make lunch is kind of like cracking a dam. All of a sudden the toddler has to use the big boy potty. The baby is making a beeline for the lego towers. The five-year-old wants me to glue the tail back on his plastic scorpion and the four-year-old just dumped the play dough toys where I was about the serve lunch. On top of that my brain is spinning with the new articles I read on Facebook about 10 memories you must make with your kids before they turn five. Oops, guess my oldest already missed out. Then I realize I only have two of the seven ingredients I need for the Pinterest “pepperoni pizza in the waffle iron” recipe I was going to make. Make lunch? Well, it was a nice thought.
As moms we are constantly thinking, “What can I do to make this easier?” We look around our homes and the wheels start turning. “It’s the stuff. It’s the internet. Donna Reed never had these distractions. It’s all got to go!”
I have to catch myself when I start romanticizing about the good ‘ol days. The truth is there are no good ‘ol days. Sin is a lot older than the internet. Kids have always rebelled. Discontentment was not a new invention created by Pinterest and Facebook.
And yet we still try to rid our homes of sin by first ridding them of stuff. The trend to simplify is sweeping through this generation of new moms. Minimalism is so tantalizing. The “Tiny House” movement is attractive and mysterious. A few articles have circulated recently about throwing away all your kids’ toys. I’ve read the articles and I was encouraged by the practical advice. Simplifying is a beautiful thing.
It doesn’t address the heart.
Cleaning out our homes without cleaning out our hearts is a form of works righteousness. It gives us another reason to pat ourselves on the back. We begin mentally logging how many hours our kids play outside. Every minute they spend playing in the dirt instead of with electronics is another check mark on our “Good Mommy” chart. As soon as we rip the iPad out of our kids’ hands we feel we’ve completed our task. What usually follows is smugly comparing ourselves to other moms who aren’t as wholesome as we are.
We resolve to kick the stress of discontentment out of our lives by shutting down our Pinterest and Facebook accounts. But turning off stress is not as simple as turning off the computer. Our stress comes from within. It comes from a weak grasp on the gospel.
Sisters in Christ, do you want to simplify? Let’s simplify:
Jesus Christ loves you.
He has removed your sin as far as the east is from the west (Psalm 103:12). You are clothed with His righteousness (Isaiah 61:10). The Creator of the universe sings over you with joy (Zephaniah 3:17). You are beautiful to Him.
Jesus paid it all,
All to Him I owe.
Sin had left a crimson stain
He washed it white as snow.
Now that’s simplifying.
So don’t just get more simple. Get more biblical. Don’t go back to the basics – go back to the Bible. The Bible tells us who we are in Christ. It reminds us of the Giver of all good things. Our kids don’t need toy rations as much as they need to know the God who made them.
Has God placed it on your heart to simplify? Go for it with joy knowing that you are already loved by a great God. Simplify back down to the gospel, not just a tidier house. Pray about it. Make changes that you feel are sustainable for your family so the kids are blessed by your consistency.
What works for one mom might not work for your family.
And that’s okay.
Life isn’t simpler when it’s old fashioned. It’s simpler when it’s about Christ.
photo credit: http://respacedpdx.com/2013/02/10-organizing-tips-for-stressed-out-parents/