I raise my eyes toward the mountains. From whence shall come my help? My help comes from the LORD, the maker of heaven and earth. He will not allow your foot to slip; or your guardian to sleep...The LORD is your guardian; the LORD is your shade at your right hand. By day the sun will not strike you, nor the moon by night. The LORD will guard you from all evil; He will guard your soul. The LORD will guard your coming and going both now and forever.
Looking for God in those 2 a.m. cigarettes, as we look to the stars in the sky on all those many nights.
–From Ode to Generation X, 2009 (Author Unknown; Link Unavailable)
I’ve never smoked a cigarette, but if I did, and it just so happened to be at 2 a.m., I’m pretty certain that alone in the smoke and the lamplight, I’d be looking toward God. I’d be inhaling on all the years that have rocketed by and exhaling on all the things I can’t change – like people I love growing up or growing old or moving away. I’d be inhaling on my cautious hopes for tomorrow and exhaling on how I wish for my Bridgy and Sully and Juliette — and Juliette — and Juliette — a perfect world with no sorrow or pain.
And, then I’d inhale on bigger hope, because life is short and I want to seize the day. Then I’d close my eyes and exhale at the thought of my children — laughing and smiling — with most of their lives still ahead of them; and my husband Robert, his black hair salted more and more with each passing day.
And, then I’d breathe in again at the thought of my own mortality, and that one day, I will leave this world, and I hope my living matters – even if only to them. And, suddenly, I’d let go of my breath, so glad there is a God who understands that all this inhaling and exhaling at 2 a.m. is not cigarettes, but prayer. And, then, I’d ask Him for a miracle – whatever kind He thinks I might need — because it never hurts to ask.
God, Our Father, Knows Your Name
Hello, Person Staring At The Screen.
Hello, person staring at the screen. Person who read all the way down to this point. You finally made it here to the Gen X blog. Thank you for being here. Thank you for not clicking away. I know everyone is competing for your attention. And, it’s exhausting. I’m not asking you for anything. Not a LIKE, not a SHARE, not a COMMENT. You’re here. That’s enough!
I’ve been blogging about Generation X for almost a decade. When I first started writing about us, some people thought the idea of a blog devoted to Gen-Xers was pretty weird. But, now, time is slipping away. Our parents are dying or have already died. Our children are growing up or are already grown. We’re not young anymore.
As more and more time passes, we find we have a deeper connection to those who lived through the same stuff that we did. Things like:
- Growing up latchkey
- Coming of age with AIDS
- Enduring the Cold War — with the help of MTV, of course.
- And so much more
Your Life Is Not An Accident or Mistake.
I have worked so hard to build this blog. I’ve poured so much time into it — and I did it for you — and other Gen-Xers like you — who are still trying to figure out where they belong in the world — and if anyone cares that they’re alive. YOU BELONG RIGHT HERE — WITH YOUR GENERATION. And, with God, Our Father, who knows your name! Your birth and your life are not an accident. You were born for a purpose! The Psalmist tells us that God knew you before you were even born. He loves you. He wants to restore you. He and He alone can and will make everything in your life new again.
We Make Our Plans…
There’s a Proverb that says, we make our plans, but the only the Lord knows which way we will go. He has ordered your steps, and that is why I am so grateful you came here today. Please stick around. I want to stay in touch with you and I would love to hear your story or see any pictures you’d like to share. We have a Daily Photo on the Facebook page. Check it out.
The Mother’s Manual by A. Francis Coombes was given to me by my friend Laurie. It was one of the most lifechanging gifts I’ve ever received. I love it and highly recommend for all mothers who desire to be close to the heart of Christ. It is available on Amazon.
“…Your prayers endure forever. None of them die. They live in the air about us and they move us like the breeze of Pentecost. They may appear dead, but they sometimes lay like an ember in the dull, gray ash of the present moment. Then the Spirit blows, the coals flare and the fire burns hot.”
–Calvin Miller, The Path of Celtic Prayer
Pray More Novenas is a website where you can sign up for reminders to pray beautiful prayers for nine days in a row. Novena is Latin for “nine each.” I enjoy these prayers very much and highly recommend signing up for these reminders.
Every day on the way to school, I play the Catholic Sprouts podcast for my younger two children. It is a downright amazing podcast that gets my kids on track for the day. It is geared toward younger children, however, as a Catholic convert, it has actually helped me. Nancy, the host is such a beautiful person. She is truly ordained and I admire her and her ministry so much.
Although we may never meet in person, I’m privileged to pray for you. And, I don’t need to know your real name to pray for the real you. So, use this prayer request form or email me at jenx67[at]cox[dot]net. I will carry your prayer requests to the grotto I visit every week here in the Heartland. Take comfort in knowing someone is going to light a candle for you this week and take your needs and problems to God. You can also pray for me. I would appreciate it so much!
The Pray As You Go podcast is the work of Jesuits in Britain and beyond. It is my number one go-to podcast providing me with a new prayer session every weekday and one prayer session for the weekend. Prayers are based on Ignatian Spirituality and are paired with beautiful music and Scriptures. When I listen to it I am drawn into prayer and through it I have become more aware of God’s presence in my life.
I believe in God, the Father almighty, creator of heaven and earth. I believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord, who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried; he descended to the dead. On the third day he rose again; he ascended into heaven, he is seated at the right hand of the Father, and he will come to judge the living and the dead. I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy catholic Church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting. Amen.
Generation X and Religion
I love pictures that reflect the religious and spiritual histories of young Gen-Xers.
Based on a study by the Pew Forum for Religious Life, 20 percent of Gen Xers claim no religious affiliation. This is compared to 8 percent of Silent Generation members and 13 percent of Baby Boomers. What were your religious experiences in youth and how have they informed your adult life?
I was raised in the Church of the Nazarene. My father was a (God love him, and I certainly did) a hellfire and brimstone preacher. I spent much of my childhood and youth growing up in parsonages across the Rural Heartland. Today, I am a convert to Catholicism and desire to live a liturgical life. (I have a long way to go.) I am grateful that all of my children have been raised in the Catholic church. I love being Catholic and feel that I have finally come home.