Wednesday, February 11, 2015

What is different about my generation?

These past few weeks I've had some time to think...I continue observing so many similar circumstances that I really felt the need to write about it.  Maybe it's just me or maybe others have found this to be true too; I don't know yet.  Bear with me as I write this, it's not gonna be super organized...just an outpouring of my heart. So to get to my point - why does my generation (specifically the age range of 18-28) have such an apathetic attitude towards life and becoming a person worthy of respect?  I will expound upon what I really mean by this because the things I have been seeing can't sum up in one sentence.  They just can't. 

We are living in a time of great growth and blessing. We have more technology than ever before, we are more advanced (or so people say), have better lives, more opportunity, more EVERYTHING at our fingertips and that's precisely part of the problem.  It has made people lazy.  Convenience is great but it also has a dark side. No one has to work for anything anymore.  I mean work like blood, sweat, and tears; pull yourself up by your bootstraps sort of work.  Many parents give their children everything they can monetarily, even to the extent of paying for the kids full college bill.  Kids grow up into insufficient adults not knowing how to balance a checkbook, budget for food, bills, etc. or do anything but spend the cash in their wallet.  I mean if it's all been paid for before why should I pay for it now is the way the thinking goes.  Entitlement - we have my generation growing up or grown up and demonstrating these behaviors that demand opportunities (especially work ones) fall into their lap.  If they don't then young people expect to become an actress or a singer in Hollywood and make it big, becoming famous and rich. Even if they don't have a lick of talent! Why do you think there are SO many reality tv shows on cable networks trying to find the next new, desperate person who will literally do anything to get to the top of the music charts.  It's ridiculous! Honestly, I also believe it's a slap in the face to true artists (ones with talent who write, produce, sing, etc.) who work hard and put in the time to get there one day.  They appreciate climbing the mountain not just the view at the top!

When I think about my grandparents' generation I know that it was not perfect by any means.  What I do know is that it was without a doubt a more responsible, respectful, more equipped group of young people.  Many of them experienced the hardship of the Great Depression and WW2 - it changed them.  They realized that the world does not hand you everything.  Work for it.  Be kind.  Be diligent.  Care about things that matter like God, family and friends, and working to improve people's lives.  Fortunately, the US has experienced great peace and prosperity especially over the past 60-70 years.  Unfortunately, that has caused my generation to grow up soft with no knowledge of the outside world and the places where it isn't so peaceful, where freedom isn't cherished, and where innocent people fear for their lives every day.  Our pop culture inundates young people to value fame, fortune, and people's praise over the kindness, love, and honesty that truly shape a person into someone of character, someone people WILL give respect to, but for the right reasons. 

I could go on and on about the problems for a long time but to be truthful that would solve nothing and only further promote discouragement.  Rather,  I really have a call to arms.  Let's take back our generation.  Guys we have been slipping and losing ground.  Let's gain it back.  Shut off the tv.  Turn on your mind.  Partying every weekend gets old and doesn't do you any favors in the long run.  Be respectful of elders.  Respect YOURSELF.  Just cause it's some new cool thing that everybody does not mean you need to do it.  Be a light to others by your actions, the things you say, the person you are.  Decide that mediocre is NOT good enough; you were created for more.  Inspire people around you.  Be integrated; not one person one place and somebody else another.   Be humble enough to ask for help when you need it.  Life isn't all about you.  Your parents love you - show some love back. Challenge yourself on every frontier.  Have people who hold you accountable.  Read a non-fiction book not just novels.  Engage yourself in this life.  As everybody knows Yoda said it best when he said "Do. Or do not.  There is no try!." If you fail, pick yourself up and get going again.  Everybody fails.  If someone mocks your failure it is only because they have never let themselves fall before and live in fear. You only fail if you quit and give up.  That is true failure.  Have tenacity.  Choose friends wisely.  Some people don't care about your wellbeing and they are there to use you.  Wake up.  Those people need to go.  There are better people to be spending your time with.  Let's be real - stop with the fake.  Let people see you cry.  Let people cry on your shoulder.  Stop worrying about other people's business and mind your own.  You focusing on you is better for everybody else than thinking ("oh let me fix so and so's mess) Mean what you say and say what you mean.  Stand for things.  Stop being weak in your defense of who you are.  We are the future. We can be people who command respect because of the way we live our lives.  It's time.  It's time to make waves and stop playing in the shallow end cause it's easy and comfortable.  Let's do this.    

Friday, October 25, 2013

Saying goodbye to negativity :)

After a lot of consideration, I decided that this was going to be my "coming back into blog world" post.  LOL sounds funny right....i know...just get used to weirdness from me ;) I haven't been blogging in quite some time but I knew I absolutely NEEDED to get back into it - however - I wasn't sure this was the post I wanted to's kind of a tough one and requires me to be honest and forthcoming about myself in a way that's not easy for me and definitely not flattering.  Here it is: I've been realizing over the past few months that my thoughts and self-talk are controlling my life in ways I never imagined possible.  It scares the crap out of me.  Because, for the first time in my life, I've come to the point of realizing that I lost me somewhere along the path of negative thoughts, ponderings, and beliefs that then translated into actions. Now…you may be thinking that I sound really cliche' - "lost me somewhere…." blah blah blah…and I would have to agree with you (btw I hate cliche' but give me a break I'm trying to get this out here) stick with me - it will get better….

Gradually, it came to my attention that I probably spend at least 2-3 hours of my day ruminating on all of the stuff that "didn't go right" in my day OR on all of the stuff that I "need to get better at."  After my defense mechanism screamed at me - THAT'S NOT TRUE! - I actually was able to rationally look at the statement and agree wholeheartedly.  It's an easy trap to fall into for anyone and I had done it.  I do use up ~3hrs of my day in that way.  So…..I felt sad. Typical reaction. Typical feeling.  Pity on me.  Wow look how stupid I've become.  Then I realized I was being negative ABOUT my negativity……which made me want to bust up laughing at the absurdity of it all!  

I have a couple questions that I've been working through now and I hope to share them in the spirit of encouragement.  If you are going through a similar situation and are striving to get out of it - good for you! Let's do this thing together! If not, please look around and see that there are plenty of your friends and family who need some tough love to wake up and see they're in a dark hole.  Don't let them get to the point where there is no way to scale the wall back out.  So now….

Question #1)  How the heck did I get HERE??

I think this one is fairly easy to answer but hard to fully understand.  Over time, we all pick up ideas, sayings, and snippets of reality that we make our own.  A lot of those can be subliminally or subconsciously destructive because they play like a cd stuck on replay.  So no I can't point to one exact event that "caused the problem."  I think what might explain it best is the 2nd law of Thermodynamics which simply put is this - If you don't put energy into something, it will go downhill -….you as a person don't just spontaneously become a better individual without work.  Without putting effort into keeping your mind and thoughts healthy and pure, they will just sit there, and worse they won't just sit pretty….they degrade….yes i mean the potential, life, and positivity start wasting away. The world has a way of sucking that out of you.  I don't want that.  You don't want that.  I realized I hadn't put any time or energy into loving and taking care of myself by keeping my MIND positive and encouraged.  Did you know that you speak to yourself more than 10,000 times in a day??? When I learned that bit of information in my physiology class I was stunned….I mean it doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out that if you're putting negative junk in - the amplification of 10,000 times isn't a good thing….

Question #2) So now that I know somewhat of how I got here….my next thought was "well, how do I get out?"  

This question seems like it would be so hard to answer but it really isn't… mind you I DO NOT know everything and would love for you guys to comment and share how you think this question should be answered.  Your comments and ideas are all welcomed!  So anyway I think the answer is more simplistic than what we think!  Essentially garbage in, garbage out - right? everyone has heard that phrase somewhere along the way! So what if we replace garbage in, garbage out with treasure in, treasure out ?  I've been trying this and so far I have been really happy with the progress I am seeing in my life.  I had been putting garbage into my life via negativity about myself so now instead of that I am replacing it with treasure so that little by little there will be no more room for the stinky garbage…'s some of my treasure:

1.) The Bible - what God says about me is a lot better than what I say about myself any day!

2.) My manifesto - lol ;) yes I wrote one out - basically my life's goals and a bunch of positive affirmations about myself - reading it every day is what i've been trying to do

3.) STOPPING - I've realized that once you get rolling on a bad or negative thought it's too easy for it to snowball.  Sooooo if I get a negative thought, I put it out of my mind and choose to dwell on something else that is better in my life.  

4.) Discussions with close friends and family - this is invaluable! They keep you honest with yourself and lift you up when you need it most.  Don't do this cleansing of negativity alone.  There's people out there who identify and can help :)

5.) Zig Ziglar, John Maxwell, etc, etc. - read the greats - they knew a little somethin' :)

6.) Stepping outside of your comfort zone….I have a magnet on my fridge that says "Life begins at the end of your comfort zone" It's SO true though.  It's scary as crap and something I really don't like to do!  I would rather sit in my nice, happy bubble and never push myself.  But to be honest, I have something deep in my heart that just KNOWS that doing that would be wrong and would waste my precious years that God has granted me.  So yes, I will push myself to move outside that bubble bit by bit because I know I'll be a better person in the long run.  :) 

Anyways, this is a journey and one not taken lightly.  I love everyone and wish that we all would try to do this - one step at a time guys, one step at a time.  The tortoise won the race not because he was important, fast, or perfect but because he stuck with it the whole way - never give up! 

Monday, January 28, 2013

Great Article - thought I would share!

Why Mormons Do Better Youth Ministry Than We Do  - this article is not bashing Mormons, it simply puts forth some very good questions we need to ask ourselves as Christians.  It's time to step it up! We're getting a bit lazy :(

Friday, March 30, 2012

Do you really mean what you say?

Does my life line up with what I speak about and supposedly believe in?  This is a question I've been wrestling with lately!! I really want my life to be a beacon of love and inspiration to others around me.  A lot of times I feel like I am just floating through life...merely trying to get by and survive until the next day.  I believe many people feel like that. We try to do the right thing but sometimes our humanness gets in the way.  But I want to live with a passion - totally sold out for the Great Love that has been given to you and me. I know that for myself, when I begin to think this way and question my life's purpose, I find that I am not hungering for God's Word like I should be.  I really think that the Bible has the answers for every area of life - however, I don't really live that! How difficult it is to put something into practice that we speak about every day! Discipline is amazing and elusive....we yearn for it but it is NOT easy to grasp.  Thinking of Jesus' life I am in awe of His discipline.  Every aspect of his life was focused and backed up by action.  I want to strive for that sort of commitment.  What about you?

On a side note - I hope to publish more blog posts this year :)  Lots of different topics and stuff to discuss! My family is doing well and we are happily looking forward to summer. :) Have an awesome weekend


Friday, August 12, 2011

Laura Story's Song - Blessings

One of my new favorite songs is Laura Story's song - Blessings.  I'm going to post the lyrics and then talk about them!  The song is SO true and Laura's voice is beautiful!

We pray for blessings, we pray for peace
Comfort for family, protection while we sleep
We pray for healing, for prosperity
We pray for Your mighty hand to ease our suffering

All the while, You hear each spoken need
Yet love us way too much to give us lesser things

Cause what if Your blessings come through raindrops?
What if Your healing comes through tears
What if a thousand sleepless nights
Are what it takes to know You’re near?

What if trials of this life
Are Your mercies in disguise?

We pray for wisdom, Your voice to hear
We cry in anger when we cannot feel You near
We doubt Your goodness, we doubt Your love
As if every promise from Your Word is not enough

And all the while You hear each desperate plea
And long that we'd have faith to believe

Cause what if Your blessings come through raindrops
What if Your healing comes through tears?
What if a thousand sleepless nights
Are what it takes to know You’re near?

And what if trials of this life
Are Your mercies in disguise

When friends betray us, when darkness seems to win
We know the pain reminds this heart
That this is not, this is not our home
* It's not our home *

Cause what if Your blessings come through raindrops
What if Your healing comes through tears?
And what if a thousand sleepless nights
Are what it takes to know You’re near?

What if my greatest disappointments
Or the aching of this life
Is the revealing of a greater thirst
This world can’t satisfy?

And what if trials of this life
The rain, the storms, the hardest nights
Are Your mercies in disguise?

I can 100% say that all the times in my life that were hard and grueling were the ones that stick out the most when I look at my past.  Yes, they stick out because they were hard.  However, they stick out the most because that is where God grew me and turned me more towards him and away from this world.  The second paragraph says that He loves us way too much to give us lesser things.  Sometimes I think that everyone believes that following God will give them prosperity and all the things they want.  I don't think we (myself included) realize that God's ways are above our ways. Something we might view as difficult or a bad lot in life just might be a blessing.  We can't always see how situations are gonna play out.  We don't trust God with that future whether it is great or not.  I personally didn't trust the Lord for awhile when I found out we were moving from Michigan.  I couldn't see that beyond my selfish desires there might be something God had for me down here.  As I look back over the year I've been down here I can describe NUMEROUS times of God's grace and placement of me where I needed to be.  See, God DOESN'T give us lesser things.  Alot of times the hardship IS the better thing for us whether we see that or not.  What do y'all think?  Have hard times changed you and drawn you closer to Jesus?

p.s. here's the link for the song:

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

To Save A Life

Hey!  Haven't posted in awhile :(   Today I'm going to talk about an issue that's really been on my heart lately.  My family watched a movie the other night and it was extremely poignant to my life right now.  To Save A Life is a great movie just to let you know!  There is a part or two that parents may have to fast forward for younger children.  The story is about a popular, handsome high school athlete and how he handles his best childhood friend committing suicide.  It chronicles his searching and finding Jesus; his dealing with the consequences of his former life.  It displays how he starts to view life differently, and picks up on the ostracizing of certain kids at school.  He changes his attitude and actions as God begins to convict him in areas of his life.  What struck me was at one part in the movie, he leaves a party where everyone has been drinking because he doesn't like himself anymore when he lives like that.  His girlfriend follows him out and is freaking out because she doesn't like how he is changing.  She asks him if this weird behavior is still about his friend committing suicide and then reassures him that it's not his problem and he shouldn't be worrying about it.  Basically, she tells him to get on with life; it isn't his responsibility.  In my opinion it's almost the best part of the movie, because in response to her he says in frustration, "Then who's is it??" Isn't that the truth?? He is convicted because he knew it WAS his responsibility!  God says to love Him first, then others, then ourselves.  Too often, we put ourselves first, then maybe try to put God second, and everything else drags behind like an old bumper.  If we weren't so focused on ourselves, if we weren't too busy with our own problems (I'm not saying you shouldn't be concerned for yourself at all, it's perfectly o.k. to do that, just not in excess!)  maybe we could see the person desperately trying to dry the tears before someone gives him a funny look, or the single mom who is exhausted and could use a friend's thoughtfulness in bringing over dinner, or the child whose hopeful eyes are just looking for someone to love them.  Maybe if we could clear the soundproof room of self away and actually hear the Holy Spirit's proddings on our heart we could help more of our brothers and sisters!  The fact is: everyone has a responsibility to care for everyone else because that's what Jesus would do.  Think about it.  He even felt the woman who touched the edge of His clothing!  He never missed a detail :) We will never be the Perfect Friend He was.  Hopefully though we can strive to have His heart for people and in so doing save some lives.  What do y'all think?  How are ways we can reach out to others?  Do you pray for God to open your eyes to things that others just pass by without a glance?


Friday, July 22, 2011

Selling Makky's cards at the Lexington Farmer's Market.

Yesterday was a fun day enjoying our first venture selling at the local farmer's market.  My second daughter Makenzie definitely has the crafting gene and loves to make things.   In the last year and a half she has really been creative with cards and even had a lady wanting to buy some at a yard sale.  That got her thinking and she has been creating many cards in the hopes of either selling them online or at craft shows and farmer's markets.  So, we finally got our act together and tried out the local market here in Lexington.  Not bad for a first time.  She covered her cost of the market and made a few dollars even though there was not much traffic yesterday, I believe, because it was an extremely hot day!  The experience was fun though in spite of the heat and I am excited for her.  Here is some of her handiwork! :D