Someday When My Kids Are Grown…

As you all know, I don’t have any children – hey, I’m only 24! Still, as more and more of my peers settle down, I like to imagine the kind of world my own future children will inherit. What will matter to them when they’re my age, 20 or 30-something years from now? What will they enjoy, pursue, fear? Which of my favorite shows will make it to TV Land? What will the world look like someday when my children are grown?

This is a collection of my thoughts. 

Someday when my kids are grown…

I hope they read about civil unrest in books, not the news.

I hope “Adopt Don’t Shop” is the norm.

I hope they never saw me complain about stretch marks or wrinkles.

Someday when my kids are grown…

I hope that my daughter is called by her name, not Mrs. Husband.

I hope that my son changes diapers and vacuums like a boss.

I hope they find a spouse who will watch Friends on TV Land.

Someday when my kids are grown…

I hope I’m there to see it.

I hope my grandkids aren’t little turds.

I hope the world is worth a few more birthdays. 

Someday when my kids are grown…

I hope social media is outdated and cell phones obsolete.

I hope the garter toss is no longer a thing because it’s awkward and just why.

I hope all the teachers haven’t moved to Texas yet.

Someday when my kids are grown…

I hope that in a casual culture they make some things sacred.

I hope they love their body because I probably made it, and I’m good at crafts.

I hope that seeking therapy doesn’t have to be a secret anymore.

Someday when my kids are grown…

I hope they know how to shoot a gun but never need to pull the trigger.

I hope Disney World is still the happiest place on Earth.

I hope tolerance isn’t confused with truth.

Someday when my kids are grown…

I hope they come to visit.

I hope they know the difference between joy and happiness.

I hope they chase meaning.

Someday when my kids are grown…

I hope my children walk with Christ, the reason I hope at all.

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Why does the Virgin Mary always wear blue?

Growing up Baptist, I’ve learned to take a few church conventions for granted. One question, though, has plagued me every Sunday since I was a wee Awana’s cubby. A five-year-old Sunday school student may not be able to explain the meaning of communion or articulate the difference between a Lutheran and a Methodist, but there’s one thing all preschool church-goers know beyond a shadow of a doubt: the Virgin Mary always wears blue.

But why?

As the Catholic Family blog points out, realistically Mary’s clothing would have been kind of drab, plainly colored, simple in structure and modestly dyed in a dull shade at best. So why the fabrication? Pun intended. The reasoning behind Mary’s wardrobe is more complicated than I would have guessed, as many explanations are out there to be considered. Surprisingly enough, though, Mary hasn’t always been so keen to the sky blue hue she most often dons today.

“The older, classic and more representative color is dark blue,” wrote Rev. Johann Roten, director of the Marian Library-International Marian Research Institute at the University of Dayton. On a student FAQ page, he wrote that “Mary’s dark blue mantle (cloak), from about 500 A.D., is of Byzantine origin and is the color of an empress.”

“The Virgin Mary” by El Greco, 1595

Our Sunday Visitor, a Catholic news site, offered somewhat of an expansion/alternative theory. The OSV writes that the dark blue color of Mary’s mantle represents a kind of waiting that occurred in the darkest part of the night, which corresponds to the Catholic celebration of Advent. The OSV also suggests that the color parallels the many associations between Mary, the moon and the stars, which is seen in Revelation 12:1 and depicted in the stained glass artwork below.

The Virgin and Child by unknown, 1505-1510

According to the OSV, the mantle had symbolized protection since well before the Middle Ages, as women would conceal babies and other vulnerable people inside for safety. Handy, right? After the Middle Ages, however, artists began using a sky blue for the cloak, which illustrated her status in the Catholic world as protector and mother of the Earth. The Catholic Family blog supports this interpretation, adding only that the color blue also symbolizes tranquility and peace. Because the majority of Christian denominations share a common heritage, this lighter shade of blue is most commonly used today even in non-Catholic sects of Christianity.

Stained glass window at St. Mathew’s Lutheran Church in Charleston, 1912

So although there may never be one definitive answer to the question that haunts Sunday school veterans everywhere, one thing is certain: Mary’s attire is deeply rooted in Catholic symbolism. This likely explains why many of the leading sources on this topic stem from Catholic organizations, too. So this year at your church’s annual Christmas pageant, when you spot the Virgin Mary sporting her signature blue, you can lean to the person next to you and wow them with your Sunday school trivia.

You’re welcome.

3 Spiritual Lessons from HIMYM

Confession: I’ve been on a serious HIMYM kick lately (Thanks, Netflix.) We’re talking a season a week, here. As I’ve been watching, I can’t help but draw some parallels between the show and my own spiritual life. That probably sounds strange, seeing that HIMYM isn’t a faith-based show or anything, but I’m inclined to believe spiritual lessons are all around us if we’re willing to be open-minded. With that being said, I present to you 3 spiritual lessons from HIMYM.

1.     It’s okay to be scared.

“Doesn’t being scared let you know you’re onto something important?” – Ted

Ted

Think back to the last time you took a leap of faith and followed God’s calling. Whether it was something huge, like becoming a missionary, or something small, like joining a church, there’s a good chance you felt nervous and maybe even a little scared before taking the plunge. Don’t let that stop you. Just as Ted points out, being scared means  there’s a good chance something big is about to happen.

2.     Mistakes happen.

“There are certain things in life where you know it’s a mistake but you don’t really know it’s a mistake because the only way to really know it’s a mistake is to make that mistake and look back and say, ‘Yup. That was a mistake.’” – Lily

Lily

Not everything in life is black-and-white, and it’s so easy to get confused in the gray. Romans 3:23 reminds us that no one is perfect, and we are absolutely, 100% guaranteed to make mistakes. When you do, don’t wallow in regret and self-loathing. Sometimes you just have to say, “Yup. That was a mistake,” and carry on (Romans 6:6.) Remember, God can use even the biggest mistakes for his glory.

3.     It’s all about the journey.

“You can’t jump straight to the end. The journey is the best part.” – Robin

Robin

David, a man after God’s own heart, wasn’t always a spiritual hero. Neither was Jonah, Peter, Mary Magdalene and plenty of other Sunday-school superstars. It’s no secret that every spiritual life has its ups and downs, and a good testimony isn’t just a snapshot of the ups. Like a good book, your story takes time to develop. So be patient, rejoice in today (Psalm 118:24) and make the most of your spiritual journey.

I hope that you found something worthwhile in this post. If you have absolutely no idea  who Ted, Lily and Robin are, I suggest you get yourself a Netflix subscription and dedicate a weekend or two to a truly fabulous show. If you have absolutely no idea who Jonah, Peter and Mary are, might I suggest you hit up an online Bible and dedicate a weekend or two to some truly inspirational stories. Now that you’ve read my post, I have a question for you.

You know that I think it’s possible to find religious value in nonreligious places, but do you agree? Tell me what you think in the comments below.