My Help Comes From The Lord, The Maker of Heaven and Earth.
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.
Finally, 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. 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. 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 and wants to restore you. I believe 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.
Are you there, God? | Helpful Resources
The Mother’s Manual
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
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!
Pray As You Go Podcast
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) 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.) Still, I love being Catholic and feel that I have finally come home. I am grateful that all of my children have been raised in the Catholic church.
Betsy Kristl says
My life was an accident, a mistake. I was born in 1962 (I guess that makes me Gen. Jones now), before birth control, before Roe v. Wade, long before Roe v. Wade would be gutted,… and my mother hated me for being born. She hated me for interrupting her love affair with my 18-month-old brother. How can a newborn compete with that kind of charm? It didn’t help that I was autistic, or that it would take me nearly 60 years to be able to own that title, though I suffered so much without it. My mother hated me, she told me so in so many many ways. My life has come to nothing. I watched my parents rise from lower middle class to upper-middle class, then after graduating from my mother’s choice of schools, the Equal Rights Amendment having failed right before, there was no place to go but down. I forgave. I rose above, but there’s so much you can’t do when you grow up unwanted, nobody having your back.
I read “Are you there God, It’s me Margaret,” too, but I never did get an answer. I want to believe, I try to believe, but at a certain point there’s just nothing left to believe in. If there is a God in heaven, he hates me, too.
Oh, honey. He doesn’t hate you. He loves you. He’s reaching His hand out for you now. You found your way here, didn’t you? Reach out for that hand. If I might suggest you try praying the Novena to Mary Undoer of Knots? This powerful prayer changed my life. https://www.praymorenovenas.com/mary-undoer-knots-novena You’re in my prayers. You write so beautifully and have so many important things to say. Thank you for sharing some of them with me.
Timothy Zonoe says
My name is Timothy M. Zonoe, I was born and raised in the heat of the Liberian civil war, since my birth I’ve never seen the fun side
of my country, all me and my generation have seen are the act of violence, corruption, pestilence and destruction. Bumping into your
article (http://www.jenx67.com/2017/10/lamco-liberia.html ) make me breakdown in tears for this once land full of laughter and harmony.
Thanks for the article, I can do now is to imagine if I was part of it.
I am so sorry for all you and your generation have gone through in Liberia. I pray for an end to the corruption, pestilence, violence. Your heart is tender. Don’t give up hope. God bless you, Brother.
I went to church when I was little…my family stopped going but because we’re catholic my mom felt it necessary for all of us to go through Sunday school…I never got much out of it…I always wondered what all this stuff they were teaching me has to do with me…I’ve always felt a sense of alienation in church….like everyone was getting something I just couldn’t connect with…
Thank you for writing. I pray you will feel a connection to the Lord today. I pray He will meet all your needs and bring you joy and comfort. I feel alienated in Church quite often, and sometimes wonder if God hears me, and still, I pray.
Betsy Kristl says
I had a similar feeling growing up. Then as an adult felt I should take my kids to Sunday School. They didn’t think much about it. My church is the Congregational Church – no less hypocritical than it was when it was called the Puritan Church. But different – it was no longer about how you behaved. It was about how you dressed, how you did your hair, if you read the right books. A weekly contest for the cover of a magazine, a place to show off your new boots, your children’s Lily Pulitzer clothes, nevermind that they’d be returned to the store the next day.
But sitting in the chapel, as an adult dressed in my very own humble clothes, I heard sermons that resonated through every pore in my body. There was a God, an abstract, undefinable God, but He was there, and nobody cared if you couldn’t find him. The minister’s sweet but powerful oration, the glorious sight of the sun through the stained glass windows. It was peaceful there.
Beautiful words, Betsy. They capture so much of how I felt and still feel sometimes. The light through the stain glass, making colored shadows on the walls of the sanctuary – this is still my solace and my worship. Much love to you. Thank you for stopping by.
Love this. You’re doing a great work and a wonderful job! I used to sit on my bed at between ages five and six saying, “Are you there, God? It’s me, Carol.” (and later the Are You There, God? It’s Me Margaret. book I loved. 🙂 Remember the “Shoeshine Girl” ? and at about age 12, I was reading Erma Bombeck’s “If Life is a Bowl of Cherries, What Am I doing in the Pits?” yes.. I had an extensive book collection beginning with the Holy Bible and world maps all over my walls knowing that somewhere in there, we could find where we came from. Oh, and Shakespeare and J.R. R. Tolkien by and before age 8! and teaching my mom ‘how to be a store’) Wow. I love that you are putting all this together. Remember the Live Aid concert, and Comic Relief? (we need another comic relief in today’s times.)
These are terrific memories, Carol! I had to go search Shoeshine Girl. It sounded vaguely familiar, but once I found it I remembered it immediately. Wow – that takes me back! I also read that book by Bombeck. (I still cannot believe she is gone.) And of course, I read Are You There, God? It’s Me, Margaret, and inserted Jennifer. To this day it is probably among my top 10 favorite books. I hope you’ll stop by again! You’ve given me some great ideas for posts. And, yes, we need a 2017 Comic Relief!!
jennifer n says
I found this interestingly inspiring. thank you…from another Jennifer.
Neil Martin says
So very inspiring. A wonderful website that I have bookmarked and will enjoy reading in the near future…… Such a breath of fresh air!!!!
IM A GENERATION X-ER AND APPARENTLY I CODDLED MY KIDS AND WAS CINSIDERED OVERLY EMESHED WITH THEM. WHICH I DIDNT UNDERSTAND BUT IN WAYS I SEE HOW THEY ARE RUDE IN WAYS ESPECIALLY MY OLDEST SON OF THIRTY IS QUITE SELF CENTERED BUT THINKS THE PROBLEMS ARE OTHER PEOPLES FAULT HES NEVER WRONG IN HIS OPINION AND NOW HE RUNS ME OVER IN MY OWN HOME IN EVERY WAY YOU CAN IMAGINE AND I DONT ECVEN HAVE A SAY IN MY HOME AS HE OCCUPIES MY LIVING ROOM WITH HIS PIG STY WAYS AND MY KITCHEN WITHG THE SAME I ALMOST NEVER USE IT ANYMORE AND HIS CAT OCCUPIES MY BATHROOM I NEVER WAS ONE TO ALLOW LITTERBOXES IN MY HOUSE. I LIVE LIKE IN UNSANITARY CIONDITIONS BECAUSE OF IT ID SAY FROM WHAT I SEE WE HAVE BASICALLY WRECKED OUR KIDS WITH LOVE AND RUINED OUR CHANCES FOR RESPECT WITHOUT POSSIBILITY FOR OBTAINING FOR MOST PART…AS WELL I DOUBT IL EVER BE HEARD OR RESPECTED AND IM EXHAUSTED AND DEPRESSED
Niki Park says
Absolutely beautiful. Bookmarking this is post because I would read it again and again.
Loralee Cooley says
What an incredible discovery: this Blog about “God and Generation X”. I’m of an even older generation than the “Baby Boomers” – I’m a “War Baby” (born during WW 2), and I’ve read and enjoyed “Are You There, God? It’s Me, Margaret,” too.
I hope to check this Blog of yours often, now that I’ve found it. How refreshing….how sensitive….how “on target”.
P.S. I’m a storyteller. Also a musician (piano, mostly).
Today is Thursday, May 16, 2013.