How many of you read “Little Red Riding Hood” as a child? I know I did many times. The main character heads off through the woods to her grandmother’s house. I think most are aware of the rest of the story. Today, I want to focus on the journey to grandma’s house. I will harken us back as we look at simpler times in our lives. Follow me on the road to my grandmother’s house.
My Nanny, as I called her, lived in a big city. She called Belfast, Ireland, home. Instead of a house set in a row of trees, her place was in a row of houses. Nanny’s place was the third from the end of the row. Across the street, on the ground floor of another home, lay Davie’s Shop. We grandkids could run over to Davie’s to buy sweeties once a day and charge it on Nanny’s account. He also sold bread, eggs, and a few other essential items.
Clop, clop, clop. Here comes the horse-drawn milk truck. The bottle clink and rattle as it draws near. The milkman made daily deliveries because most of the homes had no refrigerators. Nanny stored her milk in the shade of the dining room table. In summer, the drapes danced as a cooling breeze fluttered through the open windows. A coal and peat fire warmed our bones in the winter months as the earthy smell wafted around the room.
Lack of Amenities
The power came from gas and not electricity. A gas meter hid behind the front door and required a regular feeding of coins to keep the lights burning. But, nothing heated the water. Bathing required boiling pots of water on the stove to fill a metal basin in the kitchen. We then proceeded to takes turns standing in the “tub” as mom poured water over us. We fought over who went first to get the cleanest and warmest water.
The water closet (toilet) sat at the bottom of Nanny’s small enclosed backyard. Yes, that means outside the house. A nighttime ritual included preparing a pot to carry upstairs. The pot went under the bed to save going downstairs and outside in the middle of the night. The scent of Pine-Sol lulled us to sleep. And, another fight occurred over who carried down the vessel the next morning.
No telephones in the home, but she did own a small TV. With only three channels to watch, we played make-believe or read books to entertain ourselves. We walked to the nearby stores or rode the big, red, double-decker buses into town for clothes shopping. Nanny bought her meat from the local butchers and the fruits and vegetables from the greengrocer.
As I look back on those simpler times, it is hard for me to believe my Nanny lived in that house till the day she died a mere thirty years ago. My own home as a child had many more amenities than my Nanny’s. But the memories remain strong for me and still brings me a smile. The whole area was torn down in recent years, and new, more modern houses were built. These came with all the modern conveniences that we expect nowadays. I can’t imagine living in those old conditions now. It sometimes feels like a dream when I think back to those days.
Jesus Makes it Uncomplicated
As I talked about in my blog last week, things do not bring us happiness or joy. Even though the place lacked so many modern comforts, we fondly remember these simpler times because of the love shared. We could overlook the discomforts of visiting Nanny for a few weeks because of the love she gave us and the joy she displayed when we saw her. Even back then, I viewed her way of living as rudimentary and challenging compared to my life. But, visiting her was worth the time and effort.Christ wants everyone to feel so absorbed in His love that nothing else matters as much. Click To Tweet
God offers us a simpler way of life also. He does not want us to worry about the material things around us. He just wants us to bask in His love. And once we fill ourselves with His love, God wants us to share it with those around us. Christ wants everyone to feel so absorbed in His love that nothing else matters as much. Jesus Himself gave up so many worldly comforts to show us that love.
Let’s look at some Bible verses to understand the importance of God’s love in our lives:
- John 3:16; “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”
- 1 John 4:7-8; “7 Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. 8 Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.”
- Romans 8:37-39; “37 No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. 38 For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 39 neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
- Isaiah 54:10; “Though the mountains be shaken and the hills be removed, yet my unfailing love for you will not be shaken nor my covenant of peace be removed,” says the Lord, who has compassion on you.”
- Matthew 11:28-30; “28 “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”
Ways to a Simpler Times
God’s love is all-encompassing. When we walk in that love, He makes our burdens light. It is fun to look back at the simpler times in life. But, maybe that is because we like to complicate things in our world. Lay all your complications and problems at the foot of the cross and let the love of Christ flow down over it and simplify life. And as the song by Helen Howarth Lemmel reminds us;
“Turn your eyes upon Jesus.
Look full in His wonderful face.
And the things of earth will grow strangely dim.
In the light of His glory and grace.”
My Lord and God. Life seemed so easy in the past. Forgive me for the times I complicate everything. When my heart longs for yesterdays, remind me of Your love and how that will carry me through all things. Thank you for providing the best way forward. And thank you for Your Grace. In Christ’s Name. Amen.
Yvonne M. Morgan, author, blogger, and speaker.
Matthew 28:19 “Therefore, GO and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit.”
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40 thoughts on “Looking at Simpler Times”
This is beautiful Yvonne. I love thinking about the simple things in life that bring joy. Precious memories from the past and new memories being created now. I am thankful for His love.
And no matter how much things change, His love remains the same yesterday, today and forever. Thanks Melissa and God bless.
Love, love, love this quote:
“Christ wants everyone to feel so absorbed in His love that nothing else matters as much.”
Thanks. If we fully understand the depth of His love we would never be in want again. God bless Ava.
I love this! My daughter, age 12, has grown up w with cell phones/ipads/computers/modern amenities as the norm. Yet she often longs for the days depicted on Little ouse on the Prairie, when kids played outside, people cooked and built homes together, we didn’t have electricity, etc. I long for it too, some days. Your post reminded me of this.
Modern technology can sometimes complicate our lives it seems. We are always “on” and “connected “. The old days seem quiet and slower paced. Thanks Jessica and God bless
Such beautiful reminders of a simpler time and the less convenient ways of living that our grandparents and great-grandparents experienced, and a beautiful reminder of intimacy with Jesus. Thank you for these picturesque recollections and these comforting reassurances.
Thanks Melinda. In these crazy days sometimes I need to remember those simpler days. God bless.
Such a neat story about your Nanny’s house and simpler life. My maternal grandparents and paternal grandmother often told similar stories, although they had more conveniences by the time my twin sister and I came along and moved back to my mother’s hometown in VA. Still, modern technology had not yet birthed and so my childhood memories are simpler with only tv’s and record players (I hear vinyl is making a comeback). So we played outside a lot and read more and didn’t carry devices. Thanks for sharing, Yvonne. Enjoyed this!
Thanks Karen. I did hear vinyl is coming back. Some of the old things are better so technology is not always better. God bless.
Hi, Yvonne. Your beautifully written blog is a story and an application in one. It drew me in to how precious our ancient memories are. One of our authors, Lynn Byk, tells a similar but different story of living with her father-in-law and learning about the lives of Polish immigrants. (Mister B: Living with a 98-Year-Old Rocket Scientist). How we can anchor what matters in life by these stories! You bring that out with what really matters, and focusing on that so that all else fades. Thank you! Our publishing house has a publicity blog at https://booksforbondinghearts.com/
Thank you so much for your kind words. It is very important to cherish such memories for the future generations. I realized it myself since my grandparents and parents are now gone. It was up to me to record the story. I will check out your blog too. Thanks and God bless.
Your description really had me feeling like I was there in your Nanny’s house. I love the way you tied everything together, and shared “Turn your eye’s upon Jesus,” that was actually one of my Grandmother’s favorite songs!
My parent’s both lived that song too. We get so distracted today and it is because we take our eyes off of Him. Thanks M.J. I appreciate your comments. God bless.
What a great story and memory of your Nanny. The simple life can be so freeing in some ways and easier to connect to God. Thanks for sharing!
Our stuff can really get in the way of our worship. Learning to live simple can make such a difference. Thanks Mary, I appreciate you visiting and commenting. God bless.
Life is always simple when we don’t complicate it. I remember my grandma, she lived a very simple life. And all the things she treasured were dear to her. Sometimes God can speak clearer into our lives when He can get past the clutter🙏
Yes, that is very true. Thanks for visiting and commenting. God bless.
Yes, things have gotten so complicated in this world that we often long for simpler times. I love that God isn’t complicated. That He keeps it simple. He tells us just to follow Him. He says to love God and love people. He keeps it simple.
And to love Him more than our things. It feels like more and more people want to love things more than people or God. Thanks Collene and God bless
I so loved this! And reminiscing about visits to my own great grandmother’s home in the country. By the time I came along, she had a proper bathroom, but still had a “vessel” beside the bed at night. She didn’t have central heating, so during the night in winter it was as cold inside as it was outside. She, too, was a happy and godly woman who blessed all around her! Praise God for His love through our grandmothers and for His love to each of us His children! Blessings! 💗
Thanks so much Teresa. I am glad it helped you to reminisce. What a blessing to know your great grandmother also. God bless
Turning mountains into molehills is spot on! “Jesus makes it uncomplicated”. Amen! I will remember that when I see a mountain and He is trying to show me that in Him it’s a molehill. Thank you for this amazing post!!!
Thanks so much Barbara. Our faith should be simple and uncomplicated. God bless.
What a beautiful post! You write just beautifully and your story made me reminisce of my own mother’s house as a child. Comparing this simplicity of life to the simplicity that God offers was powerful. Thanks so much for writing this!
Thank you so much for your kind words. I wanted to write about those days to preserve the memories. As I get older I realize the importance of simple things. God bless
Amen! Thank you for this wonderful post, Yvonne. I love the prayer at the end. We really complicate things sometimes! Thank God for his wonderful love to us and how we are being saved by his ultimate peace and wisdom in the most unexpected ways!
Thanks Sheryl. The worst part is the way we complicate our faith too. We must keep that simple too. God bless.
I loved reading your post! I live in Southern Ireland and I grew up on a farm. We used to fill big milk churns with milk and deliver them to a milk parlor to be distributed to shops and homes! I’m not that old but times then we’re simpler! Thank you for reminding me that faith doesn’t have to be complicated-I am loved just as Iamby my savior❤️
Well, very nice to meet another Irish girl. What city do you live in? Those days were much simpler and I like to remember them when life get complicated. Thanks for commenting and God bless.
I enjoyed reading about your grandmother’s home and your memories there as a child. You’re absolutely right about how Jesus can uncomplicated things. I picture a bunch of necklaces all knotted up, representing what we often make of our lives. Then Jesus comes along and sets everything right. I grew up singing “Turn your eyes upon Jesus” and it is still one of my favorite hymns!
I loved that example of the necklace. It makes so much sense. Thanks for commenting Summer and God bless
Beautiful. I pray that God restores our sense of wonder as we draw near to Him.
Amen Evangeline. Thanks and God bless.
I absolutely LOVED this! Your writing transported me to another time and place this morning. Jesus does make everything simpler and more uncomplicated for us. I am SO grateful for Him and how much He loves me.
Thanks so much Donna. His love is amazing. God bless.
When I learned to live already in God’s love my life changed.
Amen and thanks
Such a beautiful comparison of the simplicity and ease of life which God wants for us. We tend to make it complicated! Thankful for your reminder today!
You are welcome Rachel. Thanks for commenting. God bless.