Thursday, April 14, 2011

Till the End of the World

     I was told last year that I had wonderful hearing…for a seventy-year old.  Because I am not seventy years old the possible benefits of hearing aids were then explained to me; it might be better to look into getting them when I was younger, even if I didn’t quite have to have them yet.  “If you got a new DVD player, who would you want to hook it up and program it; your grandfather or one of your kids?” the nice audiologist asked me.  “Most people will answer that they would want their kids to do it because the younger generation knows so much more about current technology,” he went on to explain.  I can understand that.  It is easy for our kids because learning new technology is just part of the learning curve of life.  Our grandparents, on the other hand, are a bit more set in their ways.  (I think this was a gentler kinder way of saying, “You can’t teach an old dog new tricks.”)  I was encouraged to think about getting hearing aids earlier (since it was highly likely I would need them later) so I could get use to actually hearing everyday noises.  “All of a sudden, you can hear the fridge humming, the floor boards creak, and all those other little noises that everyone else takes for granted so much that they don’t notice them.  It drives older folks nuts to unexpectedly hear all these new sounds all the time.   They have a hard time adjusting to the change.”

How are you when it comes to new technology?  Do you groan, hand the new phone to your daughter, and ask her to set your new ring tone?  Or are you the mom who sits down and is excited to play with her new toy?  How do your daughters see you in comparison to them when it comes to technology?  Are you regarded as wiser than herself? 

I have made it my business to know most of my daughters’ technology better than they do.  My girls can’t hide or delete their internet history to a point where I can’t find it.  I understand and can use more of the functions on our digital camera than my daughters.  My iPod is several generations newer than the one my children share (and that is saying something because mine is not new!).  However, I don’t know all the functions of their Nintendo DS’s nor am I better at playing the games on them.  My oldest can program her Lego Mindstorm robot with ease, and I have purposefully not learned how in order for that to be something that is done with Dad. 

I watch young girls curl their lips and sneer that they know more about the family computer than their moms do.  I see this young generation lose respect for their elders as our culture becomes less defined by the wisdom of age and more defined by knowledge of the latest and greatest.  Technology will get you ahead in life.  Our daughters see dollar signs flash in the (then) young eyes of the founders of FaceBook, Google, and Microsoft.  Our daughters see a culture that values the new fresh ideas of the young over the patient hard-work of their elders. 

I want my daughters to see me as wise in the ways of the world.  I want my daughters to come to me with questions of the heart and soul.  If they see me as “out of touch” or unable (and unwilling) to understand my cell phone; why would they come to me about cyber-bullying or the pressures of having (or not having) a FaceBook page?  Don’t get me wrong, I don’t think you have to be the cool parent…just the one they talk to about anything.  I do believe that our cultural reliance on technology has been a huge factor in the increasing lack of respect that youth have for their elders.

Better a poor but wise youth than an old but foolish king who no longer knows how to take warning.     Ecclesiastes 4:13

Do not rebuke an older man harshly, but exhort him as if he were your father.  Treat younger men as brothers, older women as mothers, and younger women as sisters, with absolute purity.     1 Timothy 5:1-2

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Twilight Tuesday (Beauty Part Two)

When God was creating the world it was not complete until Eve, His last creation that week, was in it.   Then it wasn’t just good, it was very good.  Women were made to show the world God’s beauty.  “Beauty is essential to God.  No- that’s not putting it strongly enough.  Beauty is the essence of God, (Captivating, 34).  In a culture that values material gains you can lose sight of beauty in the search for usefulness.  But Eve was radiant and so are our daughters.
      One thing I ask of the LORD,
       this is what I seek:
       that I may dwell in the house of the LORD
       all the days of my life,
       to gaze upon the beauty of the LORD
       and to seek him in his temple.
                                                            Psalm 27:4

God’s beauty is mirrored in nature around us and in us.  Beauty is both our physical appearance and our inward character.  While you may have one or the other, your soul still longs for both.  It is okay mom, if you are just now learning about your own beauty.  Let your daughter see your joy in discovering how God sees you.  Our worldview shapes our experiences so change your own point of view and experience the difference it makes.
When you are anxious what calms you?  Many people visualize a “happy place,” that is calm, quiet, and…beautiful.  Beauty makes us slow down so we can enjoy all its aspects. 
Beauty is rarely simple; and women are anything but simple.  Women’s brains process information differently than men’s.  God is not within our power to analyze or explain, neither is a woman.  God is meant to be enjoyed and appreciated just for being, so is a woman.  Our daughters desire to be a beauty that inspires time and understanding. 
Women learn in their teens to become artists at using their appearance to tell something about themselves without saying a word.  We become performers in the world so we will be chosen by those around us.  But God already sees our beauty.  Not only does He think we are beautiful (our mother thinks that too) but He sees our beauty.  When the world tells us we are beautiful (or not) we are unfulfilled because God did not create us so that the world could tell us we were beautiful, but so we would see ourselves as God does.  “You want to be beautiful to someone- anyone,” (The Divine Dance, 15).  When our daughters miss out on the beauty in themselves, they miss out on the beauty in God.  Talk about being made for more than this world!  Have you heard about the brilliance of heaven?  Jewels and gold.  God wants to show the world His beauty through our daughters, but first He has to remove the world’s tarnish and glitter from their eyes.