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GENERATION GADVICE FOR SAVVY GRANDMOTHERS WHO WILL NEVER GO GRAY
By MARTY NORMAN
Thomas NelsonCopyright © 2007 Marty Norman
All right reserved.
Chapter OneRICH, SAVVY, AND SILVER
For you, O God, tested us; you refined us like silver. -Psalm 66:10
Let's face it: the twentieth-century grandmother is no more. Gone are the days of shirtwaist dresses, aprons, and rocking chairs. Good-bye to standing hair appointments and the sprayed chignon. Hello to flat irons, mousse, and hair gel. Like it or not, large grocery store chains have replaced homemade pie crust and homegrown tomatoes.
It is a new day. Twenty-first-century grandmothers are a new kind of breed. I know-I am one.
Look around you, and you'll see that baby boomers are changing the face of grandparenting. Many of us have discretionary income and are savvy to the ways of the world. But how does rich, savvy, and silver describe today's grandmother?
The idea came to me one Saturday morning as I was making my weekly run through Target. As I passed by a bright red T-shirt with the words Rich, Sassy, and Single emblazoned on the front in iridescent colors, I thought, Now, that concept is certainly lost on my generation. Then it hit me: if I created a T-shirt for my generation, I would print the words Rich, Savvy, and Silver in much larger letters. That's us. That's my generation. As I went to my car, I continued to ponder from what depth such a profound thought had come.
The meaning soon became clear. These three adjectives are a succinct description of twenty-first-century grandmothers-women who are so abundantly blessed that we have the motivation and ability to give back a hundredfold. Let's briefly consider each of these concepts.
How are we rich? We have a wealth of wisdom and life experience. In recent years, my family has nearly tripled in size, yet I still have the time and ability to travel, shop, create, and do many other activities. I often find myself overcome by the abundance of my life. In my lifetime I have seen everything from birth to death, illness to healing, light to dark, happy to sad. My history has made me who I am. I have lost loved ones to accidents or death, sat by the bedside of a dying parent, and helped families deal with alcohol or drug addiction. I have grieved with friends whose homes were devastated by natural disasters. I have felt pain as churches implode and families divide.
I have also been blessed to experience miracles. I have rejoiced as prodigal sons and daughters have returned home. I have seen marriages restored and families reunited. I have witnessed deathbed conversions and experienced healing, forgiveness, sacrificial giving, and generosity beyond understanding.
Yes, my generation has a lot of experience and wisdom to share.
To state the obvious, I am also rich in years. Years of love, laughter, joy, wonder, sadness, trials, and temptations-many years, many lessons. I've seen a lot, from the invention of the television to the landing on the moon, from the computer to the cell phone. I've watched the Berlin Wall come down, the Cuban embargo go up, and the wars in Vietnam, the Gulf, and Iraq. I've watched Roy Rogers and Dale Evans, I Love Lucy, and Mission Impossible.
A lot of years, a lot of life. Our generation is rich indeed.
Defining how we are savvy was harder. My thesaurus gives the following as synonyms for savvy: shrewd, understanding, discerning. These adjectives describe my generation. We have a shrewd understanding of life. I doubt any of us wants to go back in years, but everything we are today comes from those years of trial and error. Our past affects our future.
We are also multifaceted. We have sung in choirs, been on boards, founded neighborhood associations, rafted rivers, climbed mountains, gone on mission trips, worked with the homeless, taught Sunday school, watched solar eclipses, picnicked in the park, danced on crutches, written poetry, sung songs, cried with friends, laughed with lovers, and lived life to the best of our ability. We have discerned danger and observed corruption. We have learned whom to trust and whom not to trust. We have a pretty good handle on life.
Yes, we are a savvy generation, not easily fooled.
Last but not least, we are silver. Ten years ago, I decided to go natural. My hair is as silver as the mane on the Lone Ranger's horse. Sometimes people describe my hair as gray, but I prefer the term silver, for I will never grow gray. Gray is a mind-set, a metaphor for growing old, but silver is vibrant and alive, a celebration of life. Silver also connotes hope, an attitude that shines with life, rejoicing in where we have been, where we are now, and where we are going.
But silver is not just a hair color. Silver is a valuable metal that shines, refined to showcase its purity. As the silversmith perfects the metal, he holds it over the hottest part of the fire to burn away the impurities. By the same token, in order for God to refine us, he holds us close to the fire to burn away the dross. Most of us have been through God's refining fire time and again, but as our children are quick to say, our process is not yet complete. Surely we are further along the path than we were yesterday.
So the title of this chapter is perfect, for it describes my generation-Generation G grandmothers who are in process of becoming who we were created to be.
Rich, savvy, and silver. That's me-and I'm proud of it!
Excerpted from GENERATION G by MARTY NORMAN Copyright © 2007 by Marty Norman. Excerpted by permission.
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