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Our Journey to Simplicity: Part 12 – The Kids

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What are my kids learning from Simplicity? Everything, I hope! I hope this is a normal way of life for them.

One day I was wearing my back up sunglasses because I couldn’t find my normal pink pair. Adelynn noticed. “Mom you got new sunglasses on.” she observed.
“Well, these are my old sunglasses. I can’t find my pink ones.” I say.
“Maybe when you find them you can give these sunglasses to somebody who doesn’t have any sunglasses in case they need them.”

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Yes! This girl really gets what it’s all about! I agree that 2 pairs of sunglasses could be considered excessive. Unless you’re Elton John or something.

Here’s a pile of Adelynn’s shoes in only 2 sizes! (38 in all)
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Not long after we sorted through her shoes, I brought home 2 new pairs of shoes for myself. (My feet grew after Ava was born and I am still working on owning shoes that fit). After she noticed the new shoes, her first question was “How many pairs of shoes did you get rid of?” 🙂 That’s my girl!

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We had been gifted a large batch of clothing from a friend recently and she made the same comment about some of the clothes she was trying on. She knew she had a lot and wondered what we were keeping. She knew this!! Give them responsibility. I let her help me make piles as she tried them on. Then I went through the discard pile and either kept it, saved it for Ava or put it in one of our boxes. I also went through the keep pile and made a few revisions. 🙂

Your kids are always watching. And they will call you out on it! At 4 years old Adelynn knew 2 pairs of sunglasses was excessive. She knew that she didn’t need all of those clothes. She knew that too many choices can be overwhelming and that others can benefit from our excess.

Live it out. Don’t just make Simplicity a part of your stuff, but make it a part of your life. Like we covered, your kids are always watching.

So how do you get your kids involved? Include them in everything. Normally you might just take your coats to the coat drive and drop them off while running errands. But if you’re intentional about it, take the kids with you! Make it an event worth attending. Explain the process to them. When they have more than they need, they can’t imagine that some go without. It’s up to you to tell them and to teach them compassion.

We used to do a meal exchange with friends and Adelynn loved it! We had 4 families who took turns cooking. On Mondays I would cook for 4 families and run out to deliver it. Then Tuesday – Thursday, those families would take their turn and there would be piping hot meals delivered to our doorstep! She knew when I was cooking that it was usually for other people. She also knew to expect others to bring us meals most nights. She saw people loving us, and us serving others on a regular basis.

I hope they see us serving in church too. I grew up watching my parents serve and our girls are getting the same view.  We are working at being better about serving in the community and not only giving others our “stuff” but at sharing our lives and hearts. Being Jesus should be ingrained into their personalities. It’s never too early to start.

I don’t want to burden them with tons of junk to sort through when I croak. I hope they see that as something they can pass on to their kids too.

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So there you have it! Being an example is SO important. What are you teaching your kids today?

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