Monday, November 10, 2008

The 80's are back, but they're a bust

This weekend my kids were invited to a birthday party at a skating rink. I was stoked! I used to love to skate. In fact, I even have my roller skates from middle school.

It is no small miracle that I still have these skates. Its a long story but when I was 17 my mother died, our house was sold, and nearly all of our possessions were sold as well (sold or stolen - its kind of a sorted story). While I don't have any of the clothes, furniture, toys or mementos from my childhood, I do have my roller skates.

After the birth of my first child, a couple girlfriends and I decided to go roller skating one evening as a girls night out. I strapped on my old skates - white boots with orange wheels - and even though I was wearing maternity jeans instead of my old Jordache jeans, I felt like I was 13 again. We laughed and skated, and did the Hokey Pokey like we were back in the 80's. That was ten years ago. Then I put the skates away again, until this Saturday.

The skating rink this Saturday was perfect. It was complete with a disco ball, strobe lights, and even a "fog" machine and it felt like the 80's were back. I eagerly strapped on my middle school skates and hit the floor. I took my first lap slow but they felt as good as ever. About the time I was ready to experience the wind in my hair, I felt a funny bump under my right skate. Thud ... thud ... thud ... thud... I could tell something was uneven. I looked down at my skate wheels expecting to find a candy wrapper or something stuck to it, instead I found the entire orange covering on one of my wheels had come off!

For a moment the 80's were back and feeling good ... but then my nostalgic bubble was burst.

I took off my old skates and traded in for a pair of the skating rink's skates. They were brown rather than white and they didn't come up past my ankle like my old skates do. At first they felt strange and I skated a little unsure of myself. But after a few laps on them I was feeling at home, skating, spinning, "shooting the duck," skating backwards, and doing the chicken dance in center rink with the kids.

Our favorite pair of shoes is usually an old pair isn't it? We like the ones that are broken in, conformed to our feet, and worn soft in all the right places. They’re the ones we grab when we want to feel comfortable and not have to think about our feet. They aren't much to look at but they feel oh-so-good.

Our old patterns of behavior can be like that too – especially those sinful behaviors we like to repeatedly indulge in. Patterns like gossipping with friends, over-eating, day-dreaming about a married man, or taking our anger out on others when we're in a bad mood. They may not be all that pretty, or smell all that great, but they can feel oh-so-good at the time. They’re comfortably familiar and we often choose to wear them without thinking about it.

Wearing our new identity in Christ, doing the things He calls us to, can be as hard to get used to as a new pair of shoes. It feels awkward, and may even feel binding in spots. At times we give up and throw back on our old selves. Just like the skinny jeans and leg-warmers of the 80's are comming back in fad, back comes my sinful self if I'm not careful. And each time I let it, because it feels good at the time, I lose my bearings. How much better to walk with God in the new garments He made for us.

Let's take a look at the "skates" God encourages us to trade in, and the ones He wants us to put on. Check it out here: Colossians 3:8-15.

All Skate ... tell us what has the power to take you back to your childhood, like roller skating does for me?

And if you're feeling brave enough ... tell us if there is something that you recognize has the power to take you back to your sinful ways?

Couples' Skate ... Take Jesus' hand today and venture out onto the rink of life, trusting that His ways will keep you upright and moving forward with grace you wouldn't otherwise have.


  1. really, a very nice analogy.


  2. I like to ice skate. Reminds me of happy winter memories and being young. but I don't do it much now.

    I think the skates i want to put on is calm patience.

  3. Great post Rachel! I can't believe you still can fit into your skates from middle school, I definitely haven't gotten any taller since then but my feet sure got longer!!

    What takes me back to childhood? Mostly different smells, I guess...certain Christmas cookies bring me right back to my Grandparents' house and I feel content, secure and warm. Don't know that I have anything as powerful as your orange wheeled skates though.

    You know, a lack of routine can really be out my sinful ruts. I am a habitual overeater -- when I am bored or just hanging out. If I structure the days at home with the kiddos I don't raid the fridge, but if the tv is on and I'm being a sloth you can bet I'm munchin' away. Argh, how easy it is to slip back into that "comfy" spot.


  4. This post took me back to my childhood. I loved roller skating although I couldn't go fast or backwards. Mine were white boots also.

    The thing that gets me the most: the smell of dried tobacco. My uncle was a farmer and he had dried tobacco in his barn. The last time I was at an outside museum type place...I smelled it...oh, Heaven to me. Very rare but my beloved also so very much enjoyed the smell. I've never met anyone but him who enjoys it.

    I become very lazy on Saturdays. Not getting up or routine, I end up literally laying on the couch all day...don't even check email or blogs.

    Sweets tempt me to over indulge more than my body (hips) say so.

  5. I felt the breeze going by my face as I read of you skating. I love to skate also. Like you the upside world of my growing up years left my "treasures" behind in the rush of crisis after crisis. I have a few photos and trinkets and like your skates they are priceless.

    Thanks for this post. What a blessing.

  6. Growing up in the 6o's & 70's the music of that time brings me back to long hot summers, crickets chirping, riding my bike all through my town. What warm & toasty memories! It is funny, the music of the 70's & 80's can bring back the times of sins that I know Jesus has forgiven & forgotten. However hearing these song sometimes bring doubt, of my Lord's forgiveness! I feel like I am condemned all over again. Thank God, He has put into my life reminders of His great love & forgiveness! Peace & Blessings Mary

  7. Great post Rachel, wowww did you take me back, expecially when you said the hokey-pokey! haha!
    But you are so right, I went 2 years ago with my step son, and it was fun and exciting I took my own skates, yes I have my own :) the tightened them up and oiled me up and said I was good to go!! But I had the fear the fear of falling so I had got me knee pads-elbow pads- and if they would of had butt pads I would of gotten those too! haha
    Today I want the shield of God as well I do not want to fall.

    Thank you for the step back in time, disco ball and all!

    God Bless America and our Troops

  8. Great post. I used to love to ride the bicycle. I would beg my mother to buy me one but she was afraid I'd get hurt so she never did. However, I had a friend (a little older than me) who had a bike and she let me learn to ride on hers and yes I fell and got some scrapes and bumps, but I loved it.

    When I was first married and my children were old enough we all had bikes and would go bike riding together. Oh, how I miss those days with the wind blowing through your hair and the closeness to my family.

    With all the surgeries I've had I would be afraid to even try riding a bike now. I'm so glad that when things happen to us God doesn't leave us, He always there to keep us going even when we can't do the things we use to do.

  9. Thanks for visiting my blog. I just saw your comment today. Yes, it will soon be turkey time and then celebration of our Lord's birthday.

  10. The '80's music definately can take me back. I think of dances when all the boys were on one side of the room and the girls in circles on the other- laughing and giggling!

    Our old sinful ways are so much like what you wrote, "They’re comfortably familiar and we often choose to wear them without thinking about it." Slipping in to selfishness seems to be my comfort zone. Even if it does not show on the outside I know it is there as does God.

    My behavior seems easier to change than the heart issue, which only the Lord can transform and mold. And that takes my submisson and cooperation. Thankfully we have a loving and patient God!

    Thanks for the encouraging post and your Proverbs 31 devotion for today!

  11. Hi Rachel,
    I found your blog from Prov. 31. I used to skate in the late 70's and 80's too. I still have my skates, but I don't go skating much these days. Last time I tried, the music was that Rap stuff and it just wasn't like the disco days. Reminds me of how anxious I'd get before going and hoping to meet a new guy! Well, I am more a bicycle rider now. I enjoy the nice weather and so much of God's goodness around me while I'm riding. I love to see his flowers, butterflies, hear the bird singing and smell the sweet honeysuckle. I thank God for my health and ability to ride - long 20-30 mile rides are a great workout for me! I also relate to slipping into the old habits and if only I could stop myself sometimes, I know I'll be asking God for forgiveness later, and yet occasionally, (probably more often than not), I still do what I don't want to do. "God give me strength!" I say, and yet I fall. Thank God he is there to Love us to pick us up again.
    Gods' blessings to you - Roll on!

  12. Rachel,
    oh how funny. Our grandson had his birthday party at the skating rink this weekend as well. And like you I loved the thought of skating with everyone else. Well I have been battling a cold and had a little congestion in my ears. You would have thought I had never skated in my life. I was worse than the beginners. Well at least I tried, (and fell) :)
    Your post was good. We need to give the "New Shoes" a chance. I know it's the better way.

  13. I tried rollerskating once, and was slow, but had a lot of fun. 80's music always takes me back to wonderful memories. I passionately sing outloud when no one's around!

    Anytime I blog I seem to be confessing some sort of weakness, but anytime I read one of P31 devotionals, or your blog, it speaks to something in my life (like today) that God is pointing out. Just yesterday I felt like God was wanting me to get serious about eating healthier foods, and getting into shape. He actually has been prodding me for a while, and I will eat healthier in spurts, but He seems to really be trying to get my attention now. I think that I have an addiction to carbs. I really enjoy chocolate baking, pastries, muffins, chocolate anything, cinnamon buns, chocolate everything, and anything originating from dough or sugar. I can get so tired during the day as a result. Sometimes I have fasted from these things, but then I get right back into indulging a little to much! I have slowly put on about 10 pounds in the last few years and my lean stomach is no longer lean. I feel like this is something that's hindering my relationship with God. It's hard to even admit that, because then I have to recognise that it's true. Self control and discipline, two tough words for an area that is hard to give up, especially when it seems to be an acceptable sin in my world. Then, is it really that important(I ask myself)? I guess it is, if God is convicting me of it.

    So once again, thank you Rachel for your posts, and for being open to God and to us.

    Connie, Canada

  14. Rachel,

    First let me say how sorry I am that you lost your mom at such a young age. My mother passed away when I turned thirty and I still ache for her.

    As far as what takes me back to the 80's...Love's Baby Soft perfume, record players, stick shifts, and words from your post like "stoked" can bring me right back.

    Thanks for the trip down memory lane!


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