How I know I'm old...at 36

I'm no spring chicken. This is all surprising to me since I feel about 28. However, I noticed some crow's feet on my latest round of photos. They should call them "happy feet" since you probably get them from smiling a lot. Which is why I'm ok with getting older. I'm in a good place for the most part. There are sooo many more things I still have on my life's to-do list, but I've checked off a lot too.
I was thinking about things today that are unique to folks in their upper thirties and above. I tend to be among the oldest in my friend circles these days (geez!).
So here's a list for kicks and giggles:
  1. When I took TYPING in high school, I learned on an electric typewriter and with a real book. No computer keyboards for us! We turned in our typing tests to be hand-graded by an actual human, too.
  2. I did not have a method by which to watch a movie in my home until I was 14 years old unless it came on TV and I found it in the TV guide or newspaper or happened upon it with a remote. We were a little late on the VHS-wagon, to be sure. But most everyone I know has been able to "rent" a movie or view one at will since they were little kids.
  3. Speaking of movies, it was a big fat hairy deal when "The Sound of Music" or "The Wizard of Oz" would come on once a year...since I had no other way to watch them.
  4. I did not have a cell phone until college, at which point, it was still a major novelty to my friends. I only got it because I was working a swing shift in Charlotte over the summer. It was for emergency use only. So, I didn't REALLY have a cell phone until after college to use for real.
  5. I never used the internet to write a research paper. We had email and online library systems, but the internet was still a bit of a mystery when I went through school. Imagine my learning curve when I took a master's class in English in '06! I had to learn how to do that kind of research (hint: it doesn't involve Google searches).
  6. And since we didn't have internet and had not really used it much, the idea of HOLDING IT in the PALM OF YOUR HAND was redunkulous. We used phone books made of paper that doubled as seat boosters if you were short.
  7. And it's not all technology stuff, since of course that all changes at the speed of light. I was never a princess, had no desire to be a princess and didn't even understand the allure of ballet class since they had to wear those silly tutus and tights. I wasn't exactly a raging tomboy either. Just a regular girl doing gymnastics, piano, Brownies, etc. The princess culture drives me bananas for soooo many reasons. But, back in my day, it just wasn't the thing. We pretended to be actual things that could earn an actual paycheck one day, like teachers and book salespeople (another story for another day).
  8. I rode a bike. A lot. And played in the woods. A lot. And I watched reruns of the Flying Nun and the Brady Bunch. I get very excited when I see kids in our neighborhood playing outside. I wonder what the world will look like in 20 years when children of the '00's grow up and discover they can't zap their boss with a Wii controller or wave a magic wand to make the world a better place.
  9. The last reason I know I'm old. I just basically used the phrase "kids today..." with a wistful shake of the head and slightly disapproving air.


Trash or Created in His image?

I have a friend from college that posted on facebook something about a recent trial in our area. The woman was convicted of killing her newborn. He said something to the effect of "this trash deserves the death penalty."
I have a heart for justice; don't get me wrong. I think it is a basic instinct and God-given (since we are created in His image) instinct to see consequences to misdeeds--our own or other's.
I didn't engage with this friend, since facebook isn't always the forum to start a war of words. Instead, I'll spend a minute here working out my thoughts in the relative privacy of my blog.  :)
I was convicted a few years ago about calling people "White Trash." And as much as I want to describe folks like this to you for the potential humor value, I'm not even allowed to do that. Because it's demeaning and I think horrifies God when we call His children "trash."
I still believe that it is God's heart to redeem humanity. The good, the bad and even the horrifying ones. I think he showed us His great grace and mercy when He forgave the thief on the cross and gave Him an assurance of joining Him in paradise.
As Christians, we have placed ourselves in His seat as judges of human trespasses. Can I understand why someone would kill a sweet, innocent baby? NO. Never. It hurts my heart, as I really literally would have taken the baby to raise. I do know that the enemy our souls is always at work, and the residue of a sinful world can be hard to escape. I don't know what kind of world this mom grew up in. She might have been so broken and scarred that she had nothing to draw from in the way of God's goodness. She deserves a punishment in the natural world, to be sure; but I would love to see her healed and whole.
We are called to love all people and see them as God sees them. I don't have any forgiveness passes to give out. All I can do is point to the cross. It changed the course of history. It changed my life. It can change ANY life. Jesus died for ALL sins. I simply can't believe that we can call anyone "trash" and carry the cross at the same time. We all deserve to be tossed into a pile to be crushed and burned. But Jesus said "NO. I will side with them. They are not trash."


When you fall off the blog wagon, you just keep getting back up.

We went to the beach. I didn't used to love it, but now I do. The sweat, the sand, the breeze and birds...the people watching! What's up with old guys, speedos and being way-too-tan?! "Sir, you look like a baked potato wearing an indecent red diaper."
I digress.
I realized on my last two trips that I have a significant fear of walking on a dark beach. A fear that I find not at all unreasonable. There are so many things to step on! Jellyfish bodies, living creatures with tiny pincers, sea shells, broken glass, bottle caps, seaweed, fish, leftover lunches...perhaps it's because I was never allowed to go barefoot. I can barely stand to be barefoot in my own house. I always always have something on my feet. ALWAYS. I really can't stand to step on something squishy or slimy or alive. The idea of stepping on a jellyfish sends me into mild convulsions. So, what may seem like an unreasonable and insignificant fear to say...Jerod...is an absolute terror for me.
Our late-evening walk down the beach then became a highlight for my foot-squishing-fear. We had a small flashlight with us, but I could not focus on the sound of the ocean or anything else because I was lurching with fear. The wind was also so stiff that we couldn't hear each other talk if we were turned just the wrong way. There was a family out searching for creatures...and finding them (!!!) which also didn't help my state of mind. This issue went on for a full thirty minutes. Finally, I commandeered the flashlight and was able to walk in peace. Why didn't I think of that earlier? Now I knew just where to step and could relax some.
Of course, the Lord can use our fears to teach us more about Him. Jerod and I even discussed our fears--big and small--as we walked. As we finished our walk and headed back up to the boardwalk, I had such a great understanding of the words in Psalm 119 that promise "My Word is a lamp to your feet and a light to your path."
Knowing, reading, and studying God's Word reveals His character to me. I have faith that he will not let my foot slip...and He will neither slumber nor sleep. (Psalm 121) When His Word illuminates my path, I will know where to step next. Granted, a lamp at my feet--much like our piddly flashlight--only illuminates a few steps at a time. I'm not privvy to what's a year down the road. I do get so caught up in wanting to know what the big master plan is! God promises to give me safe footsteps. If I keep following him day after day, I'll end up where I need to be. Safe and sound. I may have to jump puddles or scale some walls, but He will be there every step of the way.