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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Uncategorized

Embracing the Call…

“Everyone wants to have a baby, but not everyone wants to be a mom”. When I heard that statement from a young mother recently, it really struck a cord with me. I have interacted with Mothers and Fathers at baby showers when everyone is full of anticipation and excitement, only to see it slowly wane as the difficult parts of raising children come crashing into their daily existence.

stressed_mom_cartoon

The realities of sleepless nights, illness and the ongoing challenges of training children, begin to be viewed as an inconvenient interruption to the personal living preferences of the adults. The child is no longer viewed as the cute bundle of joy that once prompted silly baby talk, but rather a relentless irritant that wont go away. Exhaustion, depression, financial or health difficulties can be very real factors that contribute to the stress of raising children.

Many of us have at one time or another experienced the pains and struggles of child rearing, but what is the difference between those who experience a deep sense of joy in the role versus those who abandon or in some way abuse their role as parent?

EMBRACING THE CALL

” We are His workmanship created in Christ Jesus for good works,

which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.”

Ephesians 2:10 (ESV)

Could it be that the reason that the struggle is a symptom of our own unbelief? We forget that we have been called for such a time as this. Workmanship implies that special care was given during our creation. There were special ingredients added to ensure our success before we ever begin the task. Perhaps the key difference between Joy and discontentment or bitterness in the role of parenting is who bears the weight of the call.

When trying to parent according to a personal sense of proficiency or intelligence, each of us will be found wanting.The new creation – beautiful child given to a set of parents is a supernatural being created by a Holy God. Our fleshy achievements can never prepare us for the complexities of parenting. Joy on the journey is only found in Christ. Apart from him, we can do nothing.

When you are tempted to believe that no one understands the difficulty your particular circumstance. Those moments when you wonder if the loneliness and feelings of failure will ever go away; remember, God knew about all of this beforehand. He has given you everything you need for life and Godliness.  2Peter 1:3

Enjoy the journey…

family life, journey, Rest, Uncategorized, weather

Todays Forecast…Snow…

2013-02-06-sne-snow-map-02-08

In the middle of the latest snow storm which brought us 14 inches of snow, I couldn’t help but laugh as I thought about a few of my former blog posts. In September I wrote about how the marketing moguls attempt to rush us through the months, initiating Christmas in September.

Last month I wrote about how various advertisers continue this process by telling us what to eat, when to eat it, and how to lose the pounds when we’ve eaten too much. One way or the other, there are grand plans to get us to buy bathing suits in February and to go on diets so that we can fit into the bathing suits during the upcoming summer. Just when they thought they had us hyped and ready to buy…God de-planned their plan!

With this winter already bringing us over 53 inches of snow (with more to come…), the retailers were forced to go back into their warehouses to find more winter hats and gloves, and other winter accessories to accommodate the demand of the consumer. Despite all of the best laid plans of mice and men, it is God’s purpose that prevails. (Prov. 19:21) I love to see God shows up people who think they have it all figured out! (myself included…:))

Let it Snow…Let it Snow…Let it Snow!almaty-intro-snowscape-1-1

Wait!!!! Don’t stop reading!!! I know that some of you may feel like I just cursed you or used some other form of illicit language!:) Now it is true, I happen to love Snow. I know that it can be a pain in the neck on a lot of different levels. It can greatly alter our schedules, it causes great damage to our roads.

Potholes are are the worst! I have first hand evidence to this fact because of two tires that were destroyed by a snow caused pothole to the tune of $350.00! I know that the elderly and others who have trouble navigating ice and snow, get tired of being homebound. But stay with me a moment while I explain why I love snow.

11403265-running-people-vector-illustrationAlways on the Run…

We live in a time when schedules, jobs and other activities drive our lives and make us become driven people. Although there is nothing inherently wrong about having drive and ambition, being a driven person is something different altogether. Driven people often miss the little  nuances of life.

We run from one task to the next and miss opportunities to connect with one another. Connecting affords us time to really listen to whats going on deep down inside. We tend to listen more closely to the hopes and dreams that often go unspoken when we pass like ships in the night. The other reason that I like it is because it reminds me that we (humans) are not in control! It forces us to slow down and reflect. The grocery stores are swamped with people buying food that will be eaten together as we all hunker down and wait for the roads to be cleared. Meals that may have been eaten on the run if the weather was more favorable to travel.

Many of us see being busy and on the go as a sign that we are productive and successful. When we are constantly on the go, doing what society dictates as important, we often miss the still small voice inside of us; the voice that has to do with our Ephesians 2:10 purpose. We forget that we are each an individual masterpiece, created for a very unique and special purpose. We just need to learn that it is ok to be still. In other words…Chill...

“Be still and know that I am God…”

Psalm 46:10

The next time the snow falls over night (and it is coming :)), take time to notice the stillness of the morning. The hustle and bustle of cars and people are in submission to the freshly fallen snow. I wonder if we can learn the same submission to the God who made the snow?

Rest, self-acceptance, Uncategorized, worship

Get off the Cycle

 

violon-cartoonSometimes I feel like Mass Media plays us like a fiddle. From September through December, we are convinced that we must buy delicious foods and sweet treats to ensure awesome holiday celebrations. From harvest celebration candy (Halloween for some), to Thanksgiving with all the trimmings; then right after Thanksgiving it’s cookie baking and on to the grand Christmas feast! Soon after we’ve eaten the last stale Christmas cookie we look in the mirror and say, “Oh my God, what have I done? I have grazed my way through three different holidays!”

Work it Out…

Don’t worry! Mr. Ad man (or Mad Man), has the answer. Time to work it all off! Get to the gym! Buy new water bottles to match your new exercise clothing. Don’t forget to buy the new free weights to keep at your desk so you can do some reps between projects. What about all the new juicing gadgets and nutritional machines? We’ve got to buy those so we can mix up all the beets, carrots, spinach and berries. Don’t forget to add a touch of lemon to make it more tasty… Umm Ok…(still trying to get use to the juicing thing.)

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None of the things mentioned above are particularly good or bad. Having fellowship with family and friends, sharing good food is fine. It is also important to monitor your nutritional and physical condition; making sure you have proper balance for optimal health. The concern I have is how media advertising keeps us on a cycle that facilitates a false sense of control; an attempt to coax us into satisfying our needs on our own terms. The truth is that God created us with an internal hunger and full mechanism, endorphins and other metabolic processes that let us know that we need to get up and get moving. As we prioritize fellowship with, he speaks to us and gives us everything we need for life and godliness.

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A new year is upon us. It is a great time to adapt, change and develop new habits. One of the best habits to cultivate is listening to the Lords promptings so that you will know what is right for you moment by moment.  Look at the following passages of scripture.

Post them somewhere in your home. Let them be a guide to help keep you balanced in your perspectives about life and health:

exercise class

“Physical training is good, but training for godliness is much better, promising benefits in this life and in the life to come.”

 I Timothy 4:8

 It is of the Lord’s mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness. The Lord is my portion, saith my soul; therefore will I hope in him.

Lamentations 3:22-24

I too have renewed my commitment to going to the gym at least 3 times per week. I am even drinking heathy juices with plenty of good fruits and vegetables; however, those behaviors are just meant to enhance my ability to live life well so that I may fulfill the purpose for which I was created.

What I really want see developed in me this new year is a new heart and a new mind. An increased sense of balance versus worrying about the next issue the media presents as a concern. I want to stay focused and  remember that I have a God who loves, cares and provides for me. I don’t want my life to be so much about my activity – the things that I do; but rather those times when I discipline myself to rest; physically, mentally and emotionally. Resting in His presence facilitates me to accomplish what he created me to do. To love God and enjoy him forever.