By Kayla Kauffman
Kayla Kauffman joined Veterans United in 2020 and currently works as a loan coordinator. She has a passion for family and women’s ministries. She supports her husband Michael as they pastor CenterPoint church in Columbia. She and her husband served as foster parents for over 10 years with over 30 kids in and out of their home, of which they’ve adopted 4. They now spend their time enjoying life with their 6 children.
“Get the fundamentals down and
the level of everything you do will rise.” -Michael Jordan
The older I get, the more complicated this world becomes. Thirty years ago, I was taught not to
talk to strangers on the internet and never to take rides from people I didn’t know. Now, we’re
told to hop on the internet and ask a stranger to come pick us up for a ride – and generally that
person now knows where we live!
My kids think Google knows EVERYTHING. They are constantly asking to call their friends.
When I say I don’t have the number, my six year old responds with, “Just ask Google, “What’s
Illa’s number?” “ – as if Google holds all the answers.
In today’s world, a girl isn’t just a girl and a boy isn’t just a boy. It’s not only black and white – or
even gray. The spectrum of moral colors spans far beyond any of us can even grasp. Right is
not always right and wrong is not always wrong. Truth is not seen as absolute and the
foundation on which we are told to build our lives depends on what makes us, as individuals,
With all the clashing and constantly changing views in society, I often find it difficult to keep up
with our culture. Sometimes I just find myself confused and completely overwhelmed – and not
to mention the pressure! The pressure to conform, the pressure to compromise, and the
pressure to search for the truth.
What can we do when we feel completely overwhelmed and Google doesn’t have the answer?
What do I try to do?
The answer: Go Back to the Basics.
I love to dance! You won’t see me on Broadway anytime soon, but dancing is one of my favorite
pastimes. I get to be creative, physically expressive, and sometimes just goofy.
But it does slightly annoy me when there is someone new in class. This is because I know that
when we have a new person we spend time going over the basics. I already know them. I’ve
been in classes many times when they were taught over and over and over again. I just want to
move on with the practice, learn something new – not cover the same old steps and techniques
But the truth is – it’s always good to go over the basics. They are the building blocks for so many
other moves. Form is important and if it’s not mastered at the basic level, you could really hurt
yourself trying to do the more complicated movements.
What are the basic ingredients found in baked goods? Flour. Sugar. Eggs. Milk. These basic
ingredients make anything from breads, to cakes, to muffins, and even pancakes. They can be
any meal from breakfast to dessert. The distribution of each ingredient determines the outcome,
but the basics are the same.
Life is the same way. We have this freedom in Christ as individuals and when we grasp the
basics, we each have our own ways of manifesting them to the world. Some of us are breads,
some of us are muffins, and even some cakes. Not to mention the endless other possibilities of
delightful delicacies that will emerge once our own personalities are intermingled in with the
basic truths Jesus has outlined for us. That’s the beauty of this freedom we have in Christ.
Why do we need the basics? It’s so we can remember. The word ‘remember’ is found over 200
times in the Old and New Testaments (give or take depending on the version you’re reading).
We are called to remember the things God has done for us in the past to help us secure our
hope of what he will do in the future. We are so astonished by the miracles God does in our
lives, but we are so quick to forget his power and return to our fears.
When things become overwhelming and seem too hard – we need to go back to the basics.
What are the basics? Those are the simple truths in which our foundation is built so when we do
hit rock bottom, it really isn’t so bad because our ‘rock’ is our foundation that we can cling to in
moments of desperation.
And what is that basic truth?
Jesus loves you.
Jesus loves you. It doesn’t matter what you’ve done, what you haven’t done, or even how you
vote. Jesus loves you. That’s it! We aren’t powerful enough to make Jesus love us any less than
he already does. And we aren’t deserving enough to be loved as much as we already are.
There’s nothing we did to earn his love and there’s nothing we can do to make him take it away.
It doesn’t matter if we’re in shape or overweight. It doesn’t matter if we get angry and yell at our
kids. It doesn’t even matter if we’re rich or we’re poor. Jesus doesn’t love us more when we tithe
and he doesn’t love us less when we don’t. He loves us. End of sentence.
I try to sing to my girls everynight before bed. It’s a song that we were all taught growing up. A
song that holds that basic truth – Jesus Loves Me.
I generally insert their names into the song to make it more personable – “Yes, Jesus loves
Emily. Yes, Jesus loves Chrissy. Yes, Jesus loves Genesis. The Bible tells me so.”
It’s a song they’ve come to love and expect. They can recite the words by heart. But my hope is
that when they get older, they can cling to the simple truths found in the lyrics.
“Jesus loves me this I know.”
How do we know?
“For the Bible tells me so.”
Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed,
for his compassions never fail.
“Little ones to him belong.”
We belong to him – even when we feel little, weak, or tired.
“They are weak, but he is strong.”
The Lord is my strength and my defense,
He has become my salvation.
“Yes, Jesus loves me.”
Now, insert your own name.
“Yes Jesus loves __.”
Do you really believe it?
“Yes Jesus loves ME. The Bible tells me so.”
It all goes back to the basics.
Once we grasp that simple truth, nothing can shatter or destroy us