The 10-20-30 Meme

Well, MinTheGap tagged me (over at Weekend Kindness) to do the 10-20-30 meme, where I tell what I was doing ten, twenty, and thirty years ago. So here goes... I'll start with the oldest and work my way forward in time.

...I wasn't even a twinkle in my parents eyes.

Having repeatedly watched In The Womb (a current oft-requested favorite around here, seeing as how I'm pregnant and the kids love to watch what's happening "in the womb"), I can tell you that thirty years ago, I was a miniscule little egg that had been sitting in my mother's ovary for over 23 years. Isn't it amazing??! ...The eggs that a woman carries all her life (and from which will come any biological children) were formed when SHE was in HER mother's womb, around 19 weeks gestation.

SO, 30 years ago, I was but a 21-year-old unfertilized egg, waiting to be released about 2 years later. (I just turned 28 a few weeks ago.)

...I was eight years old.

Let's see... I was in third grade, learning phonics and probably multiplication and division (does that seem about right?!). My FAVORITE part was that they had a pilot program they were launching in our school district for gifted and talented students, and I got to be a part of it. Mrs. Hammer was my teacher, and we had a blast... for one "six weeks" portion of the class, we participated in a long-term learning game called "Homesteaders". (I tried to look it up, but can't seem to find it online.)

Each student was a pioneer settler in the old West and had certain skills (carpentry, knitting, millwork, cooking, etc.), social restraints (like married/not, multiple children/not, elderly parents, etc.), and was given a certain amount of money, resources, and supplies to start out the journey. There was a land office, where you could look over a land graph of what various parts of the land might look like (rivers, trees, orchards, hills, etc.), and purchase land for your homestead. Then, we each had to make a go of it.

My name was Mrs. Marsh, if I recall correctly. And I was the mercantile operator for our humble town.... we wheeled and dealed (dealt, but it didn't rhyme), bartered and begged for all that we needed to survive in the Old West. We all loved it. Seriously, that was the most fun thing I did probably in the whole of my elementary years.

...I was 18 years old and preparing for my first time away from home.

I had finally left behind the ultra-rebellion of my youth and was totally wrapped up in my preparations to ship off to the small, private university four hours away... as a vocal performance major! :) (I switched majors two times, settling on Political Science with a minor in English/Writing, having racked up a good number of A's in music theory and such!)

I was still walking a line, though, between the spirit and the flesh... partly due to my own sin nature, and partly because I was believing lies from the enemy; I believed that the sins that I previously committed still defined who I was as a person, even after God's forgiveness had been given for the actual sin itself.

I used to describe it as a "black cloud" of shame that followed me around. I couldn't wait to get away from the small town where I'd made all my mistakes, and then, lo and behold, my foolish decisions and shameful past still loomed over me, even four hours away.

The problem was that I didn't understand God's great forgiveness. It IS a hard thing to grasp-- that He removes our sins from us as far as the east is from the west. But it is true! I spent years forcing myself to "do penance" and live life under this self-imposed dark cloud of guilt over past sin (which simply lured me into MORE sin, because I saw myself as such a scoundrel).

It wasn't until a few years later that I would really begin to grasp a fuller meaning of God's complete forgiveness and be able to walk in that FREEDOM in my life. Thankfully, these last 8-9 years of my life have been spent walking in that freedom... but still, the enemy tries to trap me into thinking of myself as that "old" girl.

The Bible has something to say about that:
"Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold the new has come."
I am so thankful to be out from under that cloud, striving to walk each day in the glorious light of forgiveness and freedom from shame!

Thanks, MinTheGap, for giving me this chance to share a little bit about my life-- and if any Making Home readers want to do this 10-20-30 meme, well, then, have at it! (I never tag people-- I'm like the weak link in a chain letter.) But if you want to do this fun little meme, do it and leave a comment so I know where to find you!


CB said...

I really enjoyed reading your 10-20-30 story! I'm going to try it!

Claire said...

Jess, was it called 'Oregon Trail' by any chance? Like maybe that was the official name of the program and your class called it something else? Because I'm just a couple of years younger than you and we did a whole unit in 5th grade called Pioneering, and we used Oregon Trail materials that sound a lot like the ones you describe!

The Old West stuff was hands-down my favorite topic in elementary school too, and it planted the seed that led me to study History at college. I've just Googled the Oregon Trail and they still make (much more high-tech!) materials - they could be awesome homeschool material. Mine are too little for them at the moment, but I'm so excited at the thought I'm going to get to work through all this again with them!

Anonymous said...

Jess! 2 Corinthians 5:17 is one of my favorites! I also have a "past," but it is wonderful to know that we are forgiven through Christ and God doesn't hold a grudge.

Jess said...

You may very well be right- it may have been put out under a different name.

It's funny that your mind went to the same place I did-- as I was writing and describing the program, I began thinking of how to incorporate such ideas into our homeschooling curriculum. Maybe about the time I have a 5th, 3rd, and 2nd grader, it would be a good time to do it for me to do something like that. :) Homeschooling is such a blast, that we can do stuff like that at our discretion and desire.

Thanks for your comment... I'll have to go look up Oregon Trail!

Megan W. said...

Jess, I did the meme. Come check it out at . I love reading your blog, it's habit forming :)


EllaJac said...

Okay, I did it. Thanks! It was kinda fun. But darn... now I see you're younger than me. lol!

MamaJ said...

Hi! I know you posted this meme a while back, but I just caught up with it on Aspiring to Simplicity and wanted to play along. If you go to my blog, Faithfully Following,you will see it!

(Oh, I loved Oregon Trail!! We played it in 2nd grade also. That was so much fun!)

MInTheGap said...

Now, somehow I must have missed a post that said that you were only part of your mom and not part of your dad-- I mean, I always thought it was he who made you a girl. ;-)

Thanks for posting this meme-- as always it's great to see where people have come from.