75 life skills every twenty- and thirtysomething should know [at least in 21st-century western culture]

Some of these were crowdsourced from Twitter and Facebook; there are some repeats as a result, but oh well. Feel free to agree, disagree, add your own… 🙂

1. Finding stuff on the Internet.
2. Holding a baby.
3. Behaving appropriately around and toward members of the opposite sex.
4. Dressing appropriately for certain situations–interviews, formal occasions, parties, etc.
5. Behaving properly in a place of worship.
6. Cleaning a toilet.
7. Keeping a non-human living thing alive–plant, fish, cat, whatever.
8. Cooking something that isn’t ramen or mac and cheese.
9. Making other people feel comfortable when they’re visiting your place.
10. Taking the time to discern what’s fact and what’s fiction/opinion/ridiculous.
11. Getting the best price for something (especially a big purchase like a car).
12. Protecting yourself in sketchy situations.
13. Washing dishes without a dishwasher.
14. “The first thing that comes to mind is make good eggs” –Sarah
15. “solo travel. Letter writing. Diaper changing / baby holding. Tire changing (even though I can’t do it!).” –Hannah
16. “Balance a budget and stick to it; grocery shop for more than ramen noodles.” –Karen
17. Understanding what you’re good at, what you’re bad at.
18. “How to interview for a job. How to file taxes. How to get around on public transportation. How to do laundry. How to clean up.” –Michaela
19. “They should be able to tell themselves ‘no’. Or, rather, should know when to tell themselves ‘no’ and when to follow through. Also, they should be able to draft a correctly formatted email that includes proper grammar and spelling.” –Nicole
20. Understanding what’s going on with your body.
21. Packing for a trip. (Harder than it sounds!).
22. Making a good mix CD/playlist.
23. Being able to amuse yourself while waiting in line, with or without electronics.
24. Fixing and caring for your electronics.
25. Basic mathematics. Not calculus (unless you have a job that uses calculus, in which case, good for you), but you should at least know how to find the area of something, or calculate a tip.
26. Making good coffee, even if you don’t drink coffee.
27. Knowing how to replace your wallet contents, should you ever lose said wallet.
28. “how to: make a few signature dishes & desserts, paint walls/furniture, basic sewing. i put out a kitchen fire today, so that too. wish i knew basic CPR.” –Kristen
29. Getting good and appropriate gifts for folks.
30. Knowing when it’s time to work and when it’s time to take a break.
31. Keeping your resume updated.
32. Using Microsoft Office, even if it’s only the basics.
33. “How to grocery shop on a budget while still eating well. How to keep copious records for the IRS (because let’s face it, many of us are/have been/will be self employed). How to quickly read a map.” –Dorea
34. A few key phrases in another language.
35. Writing thank-you notes.
36. Being able to let go–of stuff, of people, of situations.
37. “Opening a bottle of champagne.” –Jen
38. “42 ‎(re: the meaning of life.) And also how to write a document, presenting one’s thoughts in a coherent manner, with topic sentences and supporting ideas. How to set a goal and make a plan as to how to work towards accomplishing it.” –Kelle
39. Recalling the basic history of the country in which you grew up/in which you live (if those two things are different).
40. “Knowing how to find a mentor.” –Jeremy
41. “cooking, basic car and home maintenance, how to balance a checkbook, understanding bills and taxes, how to sew buttons and hems.” –Stephanie H. (and her husband, apparently)
42. “How to just “be” on your own. I mean, sitting around your apartment or house by yourself and not call your mom/dad/bff because you don’t know what to do with yourself. I’m still working on that one. :)” –Betsy
43. Being in silence.
44. Finding books in the library (or finding the person who knows how).
45. Keeping important paperwork in order.
46. Saving money.
47. A good handshake.
48. Winning gracefully.
49. At least one card game.
50. Responding to criticism gracefully.
51. “Crowd-sourcing on Twitter ;)” –Bill
52. “change a tire, do laundry, make eggs, balance a checkbook, explain the Gospel (if a believer, obviously), read a map, sew a button” –Dave
53. Using a lighter.
54. Changing the oil in your car.
55. If you are okay with drinking alcohol, you should know how to do so without a) making a fool of yourself, b) putting yourself in danger, and/or c) getting a hangover.
56. Curing a hangover.
57. Riding a bike.
58. Holding convictions without being a jerk about it.
59. Keeping your computer from getting viruses.
60. “i should also add general financial savvy from student loans to saving to buying a car / house, etc.” –Kristen, again
61. “How to change a flat, jump a car, break a window (safely), change a breaker, shoot a gun, and drive a stick. Also, laundry.” –Amber
62. Making cookies.
63. “How to resolve conflict. How to be present with the people around you and not check your phone. How to interact w/ older people. How to end a relationship well; how to communicate that you’re no longer interested in a person and not leave him/her dangling.” –Laura
64. “Making dinner, sending thank-you notes, and changing a tire. (I still haven’t mastered the last.)” –Renee
65. Loading a dishwasher.
66. Dealing with emergency situations–natural disasters, lots of blood, fire, car accident, etc.
67. Keeping up with people you like.
68. Getting along with your neighbors (as far as it is up to you).
69. Making something with your hands.
70. Changing your oil.
71. Booking a hotel room.
72. Proper behavior at a rock show.
73. Paying your rent/bills/mortgage on time.
74. Basic first aid.
75. ” how to compromise; how to wait (budget, schedule, rewards, etc.); the difference between a right and a privilege; and on a practical level, how to change a flat tire, how to comparison shop (for appliances, or vacations, or cars, or schools, or mustards!), how to ask for help!” –Melissa

why i believe in the second coming of Christ

Sometimes I feel like I don’t feel anything
And it’s easier than feeling like the end of the world
Because a whole bunch of nothing is less complicated
Than the sky falling, the kingdom coming, the Man coming round

But nothingness is not relief
It’s just morphine for your cancer
You can go on and be oblivious
While your own body rebels against you

thursday 13 (it’s back!)

Sorry for the very long hiatus. This week: Things you like to drink, and when.

1. While reading: coffee in the morning, tea in the afternoon, Newcastle Brown Ale or Shiner Bock at night.

2. After working out: Water, then orange juice, then more water.

3. While doing desk work: Definitely coffee or tea.

4. At concerts in a club: Gin & tonic.

5. At concerts in a big venue: Overpriced beer, or nothing, depending on how full my bank account is after buying the tickets.

6. Late nights with my friend Madalyn: Cava.

7. When I’m on health kicks: Smoothies. 🙂 And water.

8. Spring and summer: Lemonade. Sweet tea. Cherry limeade from Sonic during happy hour. Margaritas. Iced coffee. Starbucks passion tea lemonade.

9. Winter: Hot chocolate! Also, Blue Moon’s winter version.

10. Autumn: Woodchuck Pear. Oh, and pumpkin spice lattes. And chai.

11. In the bathtub: Shiner Bock. Or Diet Coke.

12. After church: For some reason, this has become a small chocolate shake from Whataburger.

13. At a pub with Presbyterians: Fireman’s 4.

alabama, arkansas, i do love my ma & pa…

1. I’ve been thinking a lot lately about that verse in Ephesians that says that Jesus came to unite all things in Himself, things in heaven and things on earth. We like to dichotomize a lot of things–intellect and emotion, soul and body, wrath and kindness, justice and mercy, the objective and the subjective, the contemplative and the active. I am of the mind that in Jesus, those things all kind of can dance together as friends, not fight as enemies. I mean, He came to redeem all of us, so why not?

2. Yesterday’s sermon from church has me considering how much violence is in my media diet. It’s a lot. I like war movies and sword fights and boxing [which I realize makes me a strange girl]. But is it helpful? I don’t know. I’ve always been sort of an emotionally violent person, and in reality I tend towards pacifism [allowing that there are times when force/war are necessary, but as a last resort], so it’s not like that caused that. And when watching works of fiction, I have just enough distance from it to realize that, oh, those are actors, they’re fine, and if that really happened to someone that would be awful.

But still, I have to ask myself how helpful it is to watch, even when it’s fake. Hard question.

3. Someone at work today told me, “You’re so sweet, everyone likes you.” To which my immediate reaction was, internally, “Woe to you when all men think well of you.” Uh-oh. I mean, not that I want to be a jerk, because that’s not the point, but, um. I’ve been convicted a lot lately of how bad I am at talking about my faith, and that was one more kick in the pants.

4. Part of my problem is that I have trouble knowing how to have strong convictions without being a jerk about it. I think the answer has something to do with love, and something to do with not making being right a high priority. So.

5. Have you guys heard Black Dub? They are amazing. I want them to make another album immediately.

6. The past few days, I’ve had the guitar solo from Wilco’s “At Least That’s What You Said”, “The Ballad of Sweeney Todd”, and the introit from Durufle’s Requiem stuck in my head. Simultaneously. I do not understand my own brain.


1. Thought I had while at Bible study the other night: Isn’t it interesting that Cain was a gardener, when he [likely] knew that his parents had been 1) commissioned to cultivate the earth as its stewards and 2) they had been kicked out of not just a garden, but The Garden? And isn’t it interesting that the offering he brings God is the result of that work, and isn’t it interesting that the curse God gives him is taking that work away from him? I’m still trying to understand the implications of that.

2. You know how I’ve gone on about how I want to do a conference on women and theology? Well. The Gospel Coalition (which is an organization I love and respect) is doing one next summer. Awesome. 😀 Going to start saving now.

3. I wonder if the recent uptick in twenty- and thirtysomethings being more interested in handmaking things–food, clothes, other stuff, everything–has something to do with the uptick in movies and TV shows about postapocalyptic, survival-mode situations. It’s gotten ingrained in our collective consciousness that the robots or the terrorists or Big Brother or the Communists are going to take over, or the government and economy are just going to unravel, or nuclear war or global warming is going to wipe out civilization as we know it, and we’re going to need to know how to take care of ourselves. Obviously, I can’t prove this, but I wonder.

4. I’ve always loved rain, but these days, I’m downright grateful for it.

5. I don’t know what this means, but I’ve had Peter Gabriel’s “In Your Eyes” stuck in my head for the past week. *holds up boombox*