a conversation on our generation

A nurse at work started a conversation on Friday, and it’s been lingering in my mind the past couple days. 

This nurse is in her 50’s and going to retire this year from the school district after working there for forever…I think about 20 yrs. 

I don’t remember how it started, but she was talking to my coworker (also in her late 50’s)  and I about “this generation.” …my generation…

This generation doesn’t have the drive like we did, she said . When I was young, we had opportunities and we worked hard and we went places. Both of my sons are in their early 30’s and both went to college, graduated, and now decided to join the military because there are no good jobs. And I look at their friends, she said. About 2 out of 10 are doing OK. Just OK. About 2 have OK jobs. The other 8 are still living with their parents, in their 30’s, with no real goals about their future. And they have no loyalty…they hop from job to job because the pay is low and the job is not interesting anymore…they want everything handed to them on a silver platter. They want the best jobs, with the best pay, with the least amount of work. I think this will be the first generation that will do worse than we did, worse than their parents.

 

…just a bit depressing. I hate to say it, but a lot of this rings true. Every generation has their own set of struggles though. I believe ours is the economy, and the continuing deterioration of our culture’s morality, our growing entitlement attitude, to name a few. 

But what do we do? What do we do in our situation? I asked this question, and the response was, “start something new.”  

I think that’s pretty good advice. Start a new business venture, start a new culture/movement, pave your own new path, don’t follow the crowd in passivity. Our generation inevitably will be raising the future generations, like it or not. So we got to go with what we’ve got, and make it work. Soon we will be the ones to care for the younger ones, and they will be looking to us for advice. We can’t be dependent forever — time will not wait. 

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the creator

i accidentally came upon a new years resolution for myself this year. every year around new years, my family gets together and does “predictions.” we sit around and write down what we think will happen in our lives, our friends’ lives, who will get married..earthquakes, new cars, if the cat will die or not, etc..

this year, i had a particularly hard time writing predictions. i felt like my predictions for 2013 were quite boring, in fact. i had some ideas of what i wished i could predict, but nothing that i felt confident enough to write down. like it wouldn’t actually happen.

..particularly in my own life, ’cause i’m self-centered that way. it’s not often that you take time to really think ahead about the future, and try to realistically evaluate what you’re doing and what will most likely happen in the coming future.

so it made me think. what do i want to do? what shall i explore? there is a blank slate ahead that we walk into each day.

it’s intimidating, no doubt, realizing time never pauses. when i took that time to reflect and predict the future, it was a shocking reminder how sealed the past already is. we can never change a moment once it’s passed, only the moments to come.

it brings to mind our Creator, who placed us each in our own hourglass. in some pristine and unknown moment, our last sand will slip though space, and we will fall into a collection of our past, and rest.

i can’t say what the future holds when my hourglass is still, but i do feel a tinge of terror at the thought. i imagine the creator picking up my tiny hourglass, looking deeply into each granular rock of my existence. he would know the origin, purity or lack thereof, of each rock, and contemplate the entirety of my life, quietly contained in his hands.

his power beyond imagination, holding my soul softly. why does he take such care with a collection of dust? why does he gaze with such warmth?

know where you’re going in life

I straight-up copied this from a friend’s facebook post…I love the life lesson in this::

 

A boat was docked in a tiny Newfoundland fishing village.

A tourist from Toronto complimented the Newfie fisherman on the quality of his fish
and asked how long it took him to catch them.

“Not very long,” answered the Newfie.

“But then, why didn’t you stay out longer and catch more?” asked the Torontonian.

The Newfie explained that his small catch was sufficient to meet his needs and those
of his family.

The Torontonian asked, “But what do you do with the rest of your time?”

“I sleep late, fish a little, play with my children, and take an afternoon nap with my
wife. In the evenings, I go into the village to see my friends, have a few drinks, play
the guitar, and sing a few songs … I have a full life.”

The Torontonian interrupted, “I have an MBA from Queen’s University and I can
help you! You should start by fishing longer every day. You can then sell the extra
fish you catch. With the extra revenue, you can buy a bigger boat..”

“And after that?” asked the Newfie.

“With the extra money the larger boat will bring, you can buy a second one and a third
one and so on until you have an entire fleet of trawlers. Instead of selling your fish to
a middle man, you can then negotiate directly with the processing plants and maybe
even open your own plant. You can then leave this little village and move to St John’s,
Halifax, or even Toronto! From there you can direct your huge new enterprise.”

“How long would that take?” asked the Newfie.

“Twenty, perhaps twenty-five years,” replied the Torontonian.

“And after that?”

“Afterwards? Well my Friend, That’s when it gets really interesting,” answered the
Torontonian, laughing. “When your business gets really big, you can start selling
stocks and make millions!”

“Millions? Really? And after that?” said the Newfie.

“After that you’ll be able to retire, live in a tiny village near the coast, sleep late, play
with your children, catch a few fish, take an afternoon nap with your wife and spend
your evenings drinking and enjoying your friends.”

And the moral is:
Know where you’re going in life… You may already be there.

 

tidings

I’ve been much more in the Christmas spirit this year. My coworker has been playing a Christmas radio station non-stop at work since Thanksgiving, and somehow I have yet to inflict self-harm. The music actually makes me cheery and sentimental, and though I keep waiting for the moment when it will make me scroogify, it hasn’t happened yet.

we will be flying back to WA for Christmas, and recently there has a been discussion about having a “non-commercial” no-gift (or very minimal gift) Christmas season with my husband’s side of the family. The idea intrigued me when my MIL asked me if I had any ideas of something we could DO together, instead of buying stuff. No one in the family really needs anything, or needs to spend unnecessary money, so how about doing an activity instead?

Well, I consulted Google to gather ideas on some family activities we could do, which I will share with you. [Note: my husband comes from a family of 3 boys, none have kids yet, which makes this more challenging, but I will include other ideas that different families could use, too!]

1. buy wax and make candles together
2. look through childhood photo albums/ watch home videos
3. do a white elephant gift exchange of sorts. book exchange? bring unused things and take what you like?
4. everyone go out and shovel snow for random people. :D
5. give a list of quotes that remind you each person. or write a silly poem.
6. snowman contest
7. gingerbread house making
8. sleigh ride – we will be doing this!!
9. snow shoeing
10. drive around to neighborhoods with nice christmas lights
11. cookie baking (for boys: cookie eating contest?)
12. ice skating
13. go see a play like “It’s a Wonderful Life”
14. go caroling
15. see a live nativity
16. make snow globes
17. Wii
18. have each person write down private predictions for the new year, then hide them to be read the following year.
19. games, games, games
20. decorate gingerbread men
these were the best I could find. feel free to leave other ideas in the comments!
tidings of comfort and joy to you this season!

best dating advice on how to attract a good man

Lately, I’ve been getting a lot of questions from my single Christian girlfriends on how to get a good man. Most of the questions have been joking remarks, but I sense these ladies are truly seeking some advice, so I’m going to offer my tips here, for what they’re worth. This is the brutal honest truth, and I certainly don’t want to offend anyone, but hopefully this is helpful advice — about how to attract a man. Maybe this post is stating the obvious..it’s definitely basic, but anyway..enough disclaimers…

Fundamentally, men want two different types of women. If you can embody both of these types into 1 person, you have the golden ticket.

Type 1: Ms. Gorgeous

Obviously, men are attracted physically. Men are attracted to a beautiful face, a sexy body, a clean & well-kept woman. This is biological, and men cannot help it — so do not judge them. Unconsciously, men want a healthy woman who will be good for child-bearing — this is  basic nature. If you are lacking in this area, gain knowledge: take care of your body, eat healthy and do not overeat, learn how to clothe your body to flatter your shape, keep your hair clean and well-styled, apply make-up if necessary, get rid of unwanted hairs, do your best to present your best self physically.

Note: do not over-expose your body. This devalues your image and gives men the idea that you are cheap or desperate. Just don’t go there. “Modest is hottest” but make sure your clothing is up to date with the times.

“Your clothes should be tight enough to show you’re a woman but loose enough to show you’re a lady”. ― Marilyn Monroe

“We are all born sexual creatures, thank God, but it’s a pity so many people despise and crush this natural gift.” –Marilyn Monroe

“Remember, a man does not value that which he wins too easily.” — Widow’s Wisdom

Type 2: Ms. Genuine 

Men also desire a genuine, loving, caring, supportive, and encouraging woman. This woman is understanding, patient, kind, and is easy to talk to. She truly cares about the well-being of people — all people. She has inner peace. She is joyful and has a glowing heart. She is a woman of high character, trustworthy and honest. She does not make fun of men (or anyone), put them down, or compete against them. She inspires hope. She is content and happy in her heart (this part comes from knowing Jesus Christ personally!). She respects a man’s thoughts, goals, ideas, person-hood — she does not criticize. She is filled with passion to do good. She has a childish girlish-ness to her; she asks a man for help when she needs it (and is not ashamed to ask!). This woman inspires a man to protect, cherish, and dote on her. He is intrigued by her authenticity and kindness. He feels good being around her; he feels encouraged, built up, respected, and inspired by her. He is overcome by what a special and beautiful creature she is — and he cares deeply for her.

“For attractive lips, speak words of kindness. For lovely eyes, seek out the good in people. For a slim figure, share your food with the hungry. For beautiful hair, let a child run their fingers through it once a day. For poise, walk with the knowledge that you never walk alone.  People, more than things, have to be restored, renewed, revived, reclaimed, and redeemed.”  ~ Audrey Hepburn

These two types of women are the ideals, and no one can be perfect. But we all can change in small ways. For me, just pondering these two types of women helps me be more aware of my actions and who I want to be. We are all works in motion, and every day is a fresh start.

“There would be few marriages declared failures if both men and women would make half the effort to appear attractive, clever and amiable after marriage as they did before.” — Widow’s Wisdom

become a book reviewer

I just signed up to be a book reviewer for Bethany House Publishing.

They will send you an email with books to review…you chose the ones you want to read, and they will send them to you for free. All you have to do is write a review on your blog and on a retailer website, like Amazon.com.

Pretty sweet deal, I think!

For my literary friends, you can sign up below:

sign-up here