Friday, March 1, 2013

Quiet Reflections: Generational Heritage

Letters from a Mothers Heart to her Daughters.....

Dear girls,
I came across this verse yesterday and immediately thought of you. so, lets go there today

Don't copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. ~ Rom 12:2 (NLT)

 You have grown up in a tough world in many ways. I think back to the world my grandparents grew up in. Grandma remembers when they got their first car, got their black and white TV and I think I was in 3rd grade when they finally got an indoor bathroom. I didn't like using an outhouse for a bathroom when I would visit, or taking a "spit bath" on the porch with a bucket of water then, but I cherish those memories now. Life was hard then. They didn't have much or buy much. Most of their food was grown in the garden or taken from the livestock they farmed.

Your grandparents had it much better. They had schools like yours. They went to movies and they had school dances. Grandma wore dresses a lot and modestly was a value in their dress code. They hung out at the local pharmacy sharing a coke or root beer float if they had a nickle or dime to pay for it. They worked on the farm and I am betting grandma would tell you she read a lot. Reality TV didn't exist, TV didn't exist for her period. Life was simple still and they earned any extras they had in life. If you ask your grandparents about their wardrobe,  I imagine they could count on their hands how many outfits they had in their chest drawer.

I grew up primarily in the 60's and 70's. Change happened. Rebellion happened. It suddenly became about one's rights and one's wants. It became about spending not saving. It was a generation who enjoyed having fun because there was an abundance of so much and limits began to fall away. Even though we were lower middle class, I never had to know what it meant to "not have enough". Mom stayed home to raise us and she made most of our clothes. Our home was simple and our cars were bought used.

I will never forget the Easter my dad came to me to tell me there wasn't enough money to get me an Easter dress for church. I always got a new dress for Easter. I  think I was 15 or 16. I said okay but I remember I was disappointed and a bit embarrassed at the thought of going to church that weekend without a new dress (remember, this was the generation where we took family pictures wearing matching outfits that grandma made). I don't remember the specifics but I remember walking into my bedroom that Easter morning and a new terry cloth dress laid on my bed. It was simple, peach in color (if my memory serves me right). But no matter how plain the dress was, I was never more excited about a gift than that one. Dad said to me "I couldn't let my girl go to church today without an Easter dress". His words hugged my heart and continue to hug my heart all these years later . I put that dress on an and felt so beautiful! It felt so soft against my skin, like a hug, like the hug of my dads words. Several people commented on that dress at church that morning which made it even more special.

I had to drive my parents station wagon to school. I had to buy my first car with my own money (at the age of 17, I bought a green Hornet for $800-rust and all!). I worked a part time job and had to have Sunday and Wednesday off for church activities. I had to double-date at 16 and the boy had to meet dad first. TV was not a nightly ritual...I had homework every night. I wrote letters to my friends, we occasionally called each other but usually it was only because we had a question to be answered-did I menmtioned we had a "party line" when I was in grade school. That is a phone line shared by four families, each with their own ring tone (you could pick up the phone and hear someone elses conversations!). Summer camp was a huge anticipation. We played outdoors, used our imagination, and sleepovers were only occasional.

Life became busy. And it has continued to grow that way. Fast forward to your generation. Somewhere it became "all about me". You have more activities, more clothes, more TV programs, more wants, more options for everything. You don't have to wait to hear from your friends-you can text them even in class). or Instgram them a picture you just took. Everything happens quickly. If you imagine it, it can be. You drive nicer cars than my parents ever would have imagined even owning when I was a kid. Homes are bigger and nicer. You can determine your destiny without your parents guidance because the state says at the age of 16 you can make your own decision. As a parent, I have been stripped of my rights to protect you and nurture you. That has made it harder on you though you don't see it that way.

To keep up with everyone is hard in your generation. It cost a lot to look good-braces, hair colors and styles, name-brand clothes. If you don't fit in than you are a "loser". Media sets the stage & tone for how you think life should look. They call it "Reality TV", I call it "make-believe". Wearing less is best, rules are dumb, and sex is for fun. BUT....

Kids from your generation are smarter, more inventive, and more successful than any other generation. You are more grown up, more independent and more daring. You have the world and its history at your fingertips in a matter of seconds, and you multi-task like no other. You thrive on excitement, self-growth and self gratification. You will make it happen, no matter the cost.

Is that bad? Yes and no. You have many generations of living under you. It is up to you to take the best from all of them and make them your best. God created us to be the best we could be but we needs to be careful in what we choose for our life. re-read the verse I posted for you...

Don't copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. ~ Rom 12:2 (NLT)

We are living in this world God created but he cautions us in becoming one with the things of the world. He cautioned us in this way several times throughout scripture.

Therefore, with your minds ready for action, be serious and set your hope completely on the grace to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ. As obedient children, do not be conformed to the desires of your former ignorance. But as the One who called you is holy, you also are to be holy in all your conduct; for it is written, Be holy, because I am holy. ~ 1 Peter 1:13-16
Run from anything that stimulates youthful lusts. Instead, pursue righteous living, faithfulness, love, and peace. Enjoy the companionship of those who call on the Lord with pure hearts. Again I say, don’t get involved in foolish, ignorant arguments that only start fights. A servant of the Lord must not quarrel but must be kind to everyone, be able to teach, and be patient with difficult people. Gently instruct those who oppose the truth. Perhaps God will change those people’s hearts, and they will learn the truth. Then they will come to their senses and escape from the devil’s trap. For they have been held captive by him to do whatever he wants. ~ 2 Tim 2: 22-26


You can "be all that" and more in this world with God. He, God, should be a part of every goal you set. Whatever you do, wherever you go, God belongs there. If you don't like where your at in life, let God change that. My happiest, greatest joy's in life have been when I was active with God, seeking Him daily, talking to Him constantly, relying on Him to guide me.

Guard your heritage girls. It has been a confusing life for heritage. Divorce tries to take that from you. But you can embrace the values that have been set before you by the generations before you. Paul instructed Timothy in the same way. Put your name where Timothy's is and read this verse as a message from your mother's heart to you...

Timothy, guard what has been entrusted to you, avoiding irreverent, empty speech and contradictions from the “knowledge” that falsely bears that name.  By professing it, some people have deviated from the faith ~ 1 Timothy 6:20-21 (HCSB)

I wonder what it will be like growing up for your children?

I love you.