Translation: “Is That So?”
I’ll never forget the day I saw my Gen Z son loading the dishwasher without being asked. He was around ten years old. I walked into the kitchen and I was stunned. I thanked him for doing the dishes without being asked. He turned to me with all seriousness and said, “It’s funny how money change a situation.”
I had forgotten that he was now receiving an allowance for his chores.
While media is consumed with talking about the habits of Millennials and GenZ, and the social and political interests of Baby Boomers continues to hold its grip on American culture, I am a proud member of GenX, the Hip Hop generation whose music and colloquialisms can be found everywhere from insurance commercials to t-shirts in the toddler clothing section…because, well…after all, “Wu Tang is for the children.” (RIP ODB!)
My older son is a millennial. My younger son is GenZ. Across generations, they share customs, values, and language that is common to our family— the greatest being our love for Jesus, of course. In addition to common scripture quotations like Philippians 4:13 and Matthew 19:26 they also have an appreciation for the music from our time, like Big, Pac, and L. Boogie. They say things like, “Oh Word?!!”
Watching my sons grow up I realized that we have a powerful influence on the people around us just by being who we are. We never sat down and held formal lessons on GenX culture. Our sons simply observed us as we enjoyed our music with friends and spoke in the language of our time. There must have been something about it that was attractive to them. Perhaps it was the joy in our lives as we gather with friends in a “Oooo that’s my song” moment. Maybe it was watching my husband and I speak in song lyrics and Denzel Washington movie quotes. Whatever it was, we didn’t teach it. We lived it, and they picked it up.
That has become my approach to evangelism, personal coaching, and life in general. I’m just out here being me and allowing you to observe it. In this new season, I am more committed than ever to shine through my cracks. That’s what Shine TYC living is all about. It’s not about perfection. It’s not about showing the world how strong you are. Shine TYC living is simply about being exactly who God has created you to be with the unique opportunities and obstacles he’s allowed in your life to introduce you to love, light, grace, mercy, kindness….all of it.
I pray that I make following Jesus look attractive because it’s fun out here in these Kingdom streets. I pray you read TOYI ELIZABETH and you can see the grace of God in your own life. I hope you see me embracing new challenges and decide to shift your life into the abundant blessing that God meant for it to be. I don’t know what God has for you, but I know it’s not perfection. I know you’re going to make missteps and be forced into corrections. It’s all good. You got this! Shine TYC.
So the next time you are reminded that you aren’t perfect, or the next time you feel like you’re too broken to ever stand up straight again, simply look in the mirror and say to that broken, cracked vessel, “Oh Word???”
Then, bow your head, close your eyes and pray with as much or as little power as you can muster: “Jesus, shine through these cracks!”