An Interview with Laurie Macy, by Anna Van Wechel
Recently on one of our many sunny afternoons, I met with Laurie Macy on her deck overlooking Shilshole Bay. As we sipped on iced coffee and downed a yummy raspberry bar from Mabel (a little gem right up the street from Trinity), she shared some things with me that I felt could be helpful for our TCS families during this Covid season, especially given this most unusual school year.
Anna: Laurie, since you’re somewhat new to Trinity, tell us a little about yourself.
Laurie: My husband Scott and I moved from Chicago to Seattle a little over a year ago to be close to two of our three adult children. In Chicago I was a public elementary teacher for 33 years, and now I teach at a Seattle Public School in Wedgwood.
Anna: What was it that prompted you to reach out to me?
Laurie: I was having my devotions one morning and praying for families and children during this time of Covid. I was thinking about the extra time parents now have with their children who have to be home from school due to health restrictions, and how (in spite of its challenges) this could be a gift from God. It provides a chance for parents to speak more intentionally into their kids’ lives in a particularly critical cultural moment.
Anna: How does your role as a teacher impact how important you feel this is right now?
Laurie: When children are at school and playing sports and involved in many activities outside the home, they have a lot of external input into their view of life. In my years of teaching, I’ve witnessed how influential that input can be. But with many of those voices silenced by this Covid isolation that’s keeping kids at home, parents have the chance to be the “louder” voice children hear right now.
Anna: How does your role as a parent impact this as you reflect on those years?
Laurie: As Scott and I were raising our children, we knew they were exposed to lots of ideas from their peers and school, but we knew they also heard viewpoints from us and from church. We now wish we had spent more intentional time in their earlier years discussing important issues and teaching them how to interpret with Scripture the things they were hearing in the world around them. We thought we had plenty of time for that. But when you wait—either because life is so full, or you think “We’ll get to that in time!” or whatever the reason may be—you may find out your kids have already formed their opinions and aren’t so ready to discuss the important issues with an open mind.
The world and its view is like a hose on full force. With that hose turned down some now, parents can be filling their kids with the water of God’s love and His Word, and it can have a great impact.
Anna: Do you have some practical suggestions for parents of ways to incorporate more of this in their day-to-day?
Laurie: Talk about issues at the dinner table. Hear their concerns and their ideas and guide them to see what Scripture says (you can learn together if you’re not sure!). What does God say about justice? Sexual identity? The poor? Read together biographies of famous Christians so they can be inspired—Corrie Ten Boom, Jim Elliot, Hudson Taylor, George Mueller. Talk about how real God was in these people’s lives. Pray together for their friends, the homeless, their community. Help them foster a heart of prayer for those around them. I learned how to pray from the modeling of my mom who would always say, when any big or small situation arose, “Let’s pray!” We would pray together as a family and keep track of how God answered.
Anna: Knowing that Covid has brought particular challenges to families, what encouragement can you give?
Laurie: Look at this as an opportunity, not an obstacle. You will never have so much time with your kids as you do now. Kids grow up fast and our time is limited. You may not be able to have a deep conversation every day, but one time a week over this next year will be 52 great conversations that lead to a life of knowing God and having a firm foundation in faith. Kids need tools to navigate. They need to know God is real and relevant to their moment-by-moment lives.
We currently have our son and our oldest daughter and her husband living with us (and 2 dogs—it’s a fun and full house!). Our youngest son and Scott have been looking for jobs. Our daughter and her husband are trying to sell two condos so they can buy a house. Every night we have set an alarm to remind us to get together before we head to bed to pray about these situations and ask for God’s help, guidance, and blessing. Covid brought us all together, and together we are coming before God. We are using this “extra time” to practice the importance of prayer, faith, and community. Scott is using this extended time with our son to do a book study together, learning and sharing and building relationship, sharing a Biblical perspective on life. We have lots of discussions about current issues around our dinner table or when we go for walks. We feel privileged to continue to build into our kids and discuss together a Biblical perspective. We are talking, sharing, and learning together.
The upcoming study on the Ten Commandments is so relevant to this. These commandments deal with the very foundations of our faith. What a wonderful time to focus on these truths as a family and discover how they relate to our lives today, our understanding of God, and how we can follow Him.
Beginning October 2020, TCS will engage a new sermon series on the Ten Commandments: Delighting in the Law of the Lord. We encourage you to deepen your love and learning of the Law through this weekly guide for worshiping at home.