Last Christmas, I found myself reflecting on the past year more than usual. If I had to characterize the year with one word, it would be “change.” I started a new job with a nonprofit a couple of states away, which meant cramming as much of my life as possible into my car, moving from sunny California to the damp environs of Washington, and finding a whole new church family and community of friends. It was one of those experiences that bridges the gap between exciting and terrifying.
Question to Discuss: What are some interesting new things you are trying (or want to try) this year?
Roundtable: Try Something New
There’s plenty of time to try something new this year if you haven’t already. Have you been considering a new job? A new marriage? A new idea? Go for it! Our roundtable has taken those very steps this year, and will encourage you to step out in faith. One of them is even living on $7 a day!
There I was, a professional 30-year-old working woman with a mortgage and a newly-earned promotion, and I still felt like I belonged with the 21-year-old interns. As everyone sectioned off into tables at our department Christmas party, my co-workers gravitated toward each other in a predictable fashion: the married with kids at the same table; the young, single women at another; and the recent college grads and interns at another.
Even though I was closer in age to the married-with-kids folks, I still felt like my co-workers thought of me as one of the fresh-out-of-college assistants.
“You’re worth it.”
The statement came at the end of a commercial for make-up. Make-up. I rolled my eyes. The intensity of the statement didn’t seem to match the triviality of the product. (It actually turns out there’s a whole story behind how L’Oreal came up with the slogan in 1973 and its connections to feminism and the human psyche.)
In recent years, the message of “you’re worth it” has become prevalent in advocating all kinds of experiences and products — posh vacations, luxury cars and weight-loss programs, just to name a few.
When I was a teenager and my mother would complain about my bad grades or foul mouth, I would say, “Mom, I don’t drink, smoke, do drugs, or have sex — what more could you want?”
I was especially proud of the fact that I wasn’t having sex, which is probably odd for a teenage boy. But I was a religious teenager, and among many evangelicals, virginity was one of the primary reference points of holiness for the single individual.
Welcome to Et Cetera, where we feature some of our favorite internet content for the week. If you’d like to recommend that we feature something (even if it’s your content), tweet us a link@BoundlessTeam and let us know. We’ll take a look, and we might feature it. In the meantime, check out this awesome stuff.
First up, a blog post from one of my favorite Christian thinkers, Randy Alcorn. Check out 11 Questions to Ask Ourselves About Debt.
With the rise of the Millennial comes the rise of the extended single life. Most of us won’t marry until at least age 27, studies show, and 25 percent will never marry at all, according to a Pew research study.
Maybe that’s because we love our individualism and sense of freedom, or we want to wait until we are “ready.” Regardless, I think by prolonging marriage, we may miss out on something that my grandparents learned: the beauty of long-lasting commitment and love over nearly 50 years.
Question to Discuss: What’s your opinion on Christians pursuing bigger and better jobs?
Roundtable: Holy Ambition
Balancing godly ambition with selfish desire can be quite tricky in today’s work environment. How can you tell if you’re trying to reach your God-given potential or simply running after prestige and a bigger paycheck? A panel of employed millennials wrestles through the issue with candor and self-examination.
Culture: Thoughts on the Spirit
The Holy Spirit can sometimes be described as the “forgotten third” of the Trinity.
But that doesn’t mean all goals are bad. So in the spirit of attempting new things without fearing immediate failure, here are four broad ideas for giving your year a little boost:
1. Quit something. Author and humanitarian Bob Goff may have the corner on this one.
The other day, I was talking to a single woman who was lamenting the distance she felt between herself and a close college friend, who was married. “Marriage changed things,” she said. “But since she’s had a baby, it’s a whole other ballgame.”
As a single person, I noticed the same thing. My single friends who got married (or who were even seriously dating) seemed less available, but the married friends who had kids … well, sometimes I felt as if I might as well wish them a good life and bid them adieu.