family life, journey, judgment, self-acceptance, Uncategorized

Millennials make us uncomfortable… (That’s why I love them…)

marketing-to-millennials

I was talking with a colleague recently about a vision I had to start a unique think tank of sorts. I expressed my desire to acquire a building where people from various generations could rent space for events, or utilize office space for their daily business activities. I continued explaining how awesome it would be to hear the ideas of Millennial Creatives, then have more seasoned professionals act as their coaches. The older, more experienced generation would help them to add sound infrastructure to the businesses they envisioned. The person quickly responded, “I don’t do Millennials, they don’t like hard work”!

As I to listened to him, I’m sure I had a look of incredulity on my face that was perplexing to him. You see, I am a Baby Boomer to the core; not the hippie Woodstock kind of Boomer, I am a traditionalist. I love rules. They make me feel safe. My friend knows this about me.  Yet, the Millennial generation are some of my favorite people in the world. They are courageous and innovative. They take risks. They dream, and dream big. Some wonder if they are all talk and no action. I’m sure my friend wondered why I would ever want to do business with men and women of this generation.They bring discomfort to our need for a steady existence. They tend to shake up the norms that we have come to embrace in business.

My mother retired from the Federal Government after working for over 30 years. The image of my grandfather receiving his gold watch and pension from Sears Roebuck Department Store, is a vivid and proud memory for me. The family that raised me taught me to find a good job, work hard, and retire with a good pension. That was the way I intended to live my life as well. However, when I entered the workforce, the world was changing. New and creative opportunities were on the horizon. Staying on one job, doing the same thing for 30 years or more was horrifying to me. In some cases that kind of tenure was not even an option.  I like many of my peers, I received promotions by moving from job to job waiting for someone to recognize my talents and offer me a job that they thought would be right for me. Management of my career was passively given into the hands of others.

Having children that are now Millennial young adults has changed my life. When I was raising them, I thought that they would be traditional people too. I tried to steer them into traditional fields. I wanted them to have careers that would keep them “safe”. I was passing onto them what had been passed on to me. But my children wanted no part of what I was offering. They had visions and dreams. Dreams that they dare to walk in every day. They are artists, musicians, graphic designers, writers, filmmakers, and anything else they dare to be and do. They are all very successful leaders. They may not always feel successful, but they are. Moment by moment, they embrace their unique personalities and talents. When they were children, I taught them about different learning styles and how everyone was created with a different “bent”. I taught them that all of the different learning types and temperaments have value. They believed me. They are walking that truth out in their lives every day.

In the community where I serve, the Millennial members are often the most creative and productive people among us. They work very hard. To many onlookers, it may not look like they are not working hard because they work differently. They actually love what they do and have fun doing it. They make us feel uncomfortable because we don’t always understand their process. They come up with the most innovative ideas as they are tossing a ball back and forth joking and laughing among one another. Although they experience stress in their lives, for the most part they keep moving. Many don’t have long term plans; they plan as they go.  This is not their fault, it is the times that they were born into. They have been forced to become possibility thinkers. The fact that they succeed and fail, then do it all again the next day inspires me. They are a resilient, hopeful group. This is why I love them.

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Uncategorized

Faith-Full Friendship

 

“Hey Sis. – do you have a moment to chat?” This was my inquiry to a good friend and accountability partner that I don’t get to talk to often, but when we do – the times are rich. I was tired and a bit discouraged – in need of a likeminded sister. Initially, I was going to text her first to ask if she was busy, that’s the way we 21st century humans wart off possible rejection. But instead, I plunged right in and made the call.

I put aside all small talk and told my friend that I needed to process something. She was working in her kitchen when I called, but I was blessed with what she said next. “Hold on, let me go somewhere quiet without distraction so that I can give you my full attention.”

As I poured out my tale of woe, she listened intently, without interruption. When I finished, she showered me with empathy and assured me that she had heard me. In fact, being similar in age and life circumstance, she had times where she struggled with the same issue of sleeplessness and discouragement.

Her kindness and attention made room for the Holy Spirit to speak through her and bring me deep refreshment. I was still tired, but I was deeply encouraged. Her compassion stimulated deep worship, not just born of discipline, but rich sincere worship stimulated by deep affirmation and attending. From time to time (not all of the time), we all need someone who is committed to giving us undivided attention. We all have the need to be known in the deepest regions of our souls.

Elizabeth and Mary 

This reminds me of the story of Elizabeth and Mary. Mary was a young woman who was told by an angel that she was going to give birth to a child without ever being intimate with a man. As a young woman, this could have seriously ruined her reputation. But the Lord in his faithfulness provided for her a parallel companion in Elizabeth.

39 Now at this time Mary arose and hurried to the hill country,

to a city of Judah (Judea), 40 and she entered the house of Zacharias and greeted Elizabeth.

 41 When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, her baby leaped in her womb; and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit and empowered by Him.

Luke 1:39-41

Spirit Empowered Friendship

Elizabeth was empowered by the Holy Spirit to encourage Mary. These two ladies were related, but the bond was deeper…Elizabeth allowed herself to be used by God to confirm what the angel of the Lord had spoken. Mary was so encouraged by Elizabeth’s affirmation, that it prompted deep worship in Mary called “The Magnificat”. (The song of Mary)

Do you have a friend that inspires you to worship? A friend that does not just tell you what you want to hear, but rather reminds you of who you are in Christ. A person of deep sincerity and wisdom that will listen well and point you back to God? If not – Pray. Ask God, who is my Elizabeth?  Watch for God as he unfolds for you your faith–FULL friend.