I’m NOT Too Old For This (I Start with Crumbs)

November 18, 2009 | 23 comments

She’d taken only a single bite of her barbecue chicken-leg, and the rest of us were already backing chairs away from the table. I scraped chicken bones into the garbage can, as Lydia hovered over a full plate.

“Mommy?” she asked. “Do you think everybody’s taste buds are different or something? Because I don’t really like this chicken. And at school? A lot of the kids bring popcorn for snack, and I don’t like the popcorn at all.”

“We all have different tastes,” I said. “But our tastes change, too.” As a child, I told her, I once gagged over a plate of pesto-chicken pasta, sickened by the sight of green globs stuck to stringy noodles.

And then I reminded her: we had pesto on our pasta just the other night. “It’s one of my favorites now,” I told her. “Be patient, because your tastes might just change.”

And in the corner of room, I see the Bread.


I grew up with Bread on the shelf — and that’s where I kept it: on the shelf.

The leather-bound Food for Souls could have satisfied every hunger I had — but I rarely ingested it.

Even as I grew older, I didn’t scoop these Words onto the plate.

I didn’t eat Bread

stale in my mouth
like crackers that left my tongue thick
I feasted on the world
and all it had to offer
hungered for fame
got my fill of self
and manmade idols dripping chocolaty with
A buffet of me.

And in a day, I was hungry again
Tummy growling for real food.

Taste-buds changing
I came to the table hungry

and whispered:
“Pass the Bread please.”


Then Jesus declared, “I am the bread of life.
He who comes to me will never go hungry. …”
— John 6:35

I feast on these Words now. I eat this Book, this Bread of Life. And I’m playing ravenous catch-up for years past. I teach 20-year-olds at a Christian college, and tell them they probably know the Bible better than me, their journalism teacher.

And they probably do.

But it’s not too late for a 37-year-old to fill her plate with ancient Words that taste new, to digest them so regularly that they become a part of the marrow. I’m dining on Bread.

PHOTO: Passages I’m committing to memory,
using a tool that converts verses to just one letter per word.
Click here to use the online resource.

It’s not too late for me to memorize. My brain works more slowly than it once did, but I’m not too old for this. It’s never too late for this….

This week, I have begun a new journey through Scripture. At the prompting of Ann Voskamp, with whom I join weekly at “Walk With Him Wednesday,” I am memorizing Romans 8. This brain can’t handle the whole chapter at once, so I’m starting in verses 28-39.

I’m using a memorization technique with the help of an online tool that converts your passages to just one letter per word. It’s a technique that helps burn words into the mind. (This Iowa mama — hungry for Bread — offers thanks to Ann Kroeker and to Ann Voskamp for sharing this technique. Isn’t the Body of Christ beautiful, passing ideas from hand to hand, heart to heart?)

And it’s already working! These ancient words are igniting a fresh fire in my soul, prompting tears to sting these eyes as they scan letters over and over again. I feel them finding a home within.

“F I a c t n d n l, n a n d, n t p n t f, n a p, n h n d,
n a e i a c, w b a t s u f t l o G t i i C J o L.”
–Romans 8:38-39

(These letter represent the tail-end of the Scriptures I’m committing to memory this week. Do you recognize these words? Aren’t they lovely? And to think: This is just one crumb of the Bread. We shall NEVER go hungry.)

holy experience

I join Ann each Wednesday.
I am so blessed to walk with that community over there,
growing in grace together.

by | November 18, 2009 | 23 comments


  1. mom2six

    Your words, "My brain works more slowly than it once did, but I'm not too old for this. It's never too late for this…." reflect how I'm feeling! Thanks for the encouragement to press on even though the pace may be slow.

  2. Jessica

    Great to see others using this first letter tool. I was thinking of giving it a try…and I guess peer pressure wins 🙂

    Love the food analogies throughout this post. So beautiful. "Manna" has been the word floating about my world this week.
    More great verses to digest.
    Thank you.

  3. elizabeth

    Love this!

  4. Beth E.

    An interesting memory tool. The older I get, the more help I need! I'm going to check it out.

    Thank you for another great post. I always look forward to reading what you have to say. 🙂

  5. ~*Michelle*~

    I a a b w I v y p, J. Y t h a g.

    That translates to
    I am always blessed when I visit your place, Jennifer. You truly have a gift.

  6. Tyne

    Lovely post! I am going to visit that site and work on some memorizing myself. If it is good enough for you and Ann, it is good enough for me!

  7. Lisa notes...

    A great post! Thank you for passing the Bread to us today. I hope these thoughts stick around with me for quite awhile.

  8. Ann Voskamp @Holy Experience

    Simply and wholly– I love this post!
    Rather like how I feel about you! 🙂

    All's grace,

  9. Wylie

    Amen! Come to the table fellow travelers, because we know where there is bread!

  10. God's Not Finished With Us Yet...

    Yeah, you got your site header back up!! I'm so glad!!

  11. Karen

    I can really relate to this…thanks for the links to this memorization tool…your analogy was very good!

  12. Jennifer

    I sigh over how many years I wasted with the Word sitting on a shelf beside my bed, only taken out for Sunday services. Now, I consume it, but I still can't get enough. I want to never stop learning, to never get too old for His Word to speak! Wonderful post.

  13. Nanci

    Jennifer, I really resonated with your blog today. Your poem was particularly poignant. I too had the Word on the shelf for all to see but not to eat. This 57 year old woman recently had a life crisis 5 years ago that brought me back into the arms of Jesus who had been waiting there so long for me. I began a bible study and we are doing the book of John this year. I opened my Bible after reading your blog on the Bread and guess what my lesson was on today? John 22-40. V. 33..".For the bread of God is he who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world". Perhaps you and God are wanting to be sure that sinks in today. Thank you for your writings.

  14. Nanci

    Sorry…I left out the chapter. That was John 6: 22-40

  15. Jennifer @ Getting Down With Jesus

    Nanci, Praise God. Isn't He just somethin'?

  16. Shirley

    Oh! I've been wanting to do this (committing scripture to memory) but at 62, I feared I would not be able to. I'm going to go check this method out!

  17. Ginger

    Passing through from More Than Just Adam's rib, and I am walking with Him too. Never heard of this technique though, hope it helps you along the way.

    Nice to meet you and Happy memorizing,

  18. Deborah Ann

    Beautifully penned, Jennifer. I agree, our taste for things does change over the years. I'm starting to love cilantro and pesto and other things I didn't use to care for. And the bread of life? I'm craving that more than ever…

  19. Deb

    …chocolate idols…a buffet that can't satisfy.

    Make my heart hungry.

    For Him.

    Sweet dreams.

  20. L.L. Barkat

    A poem! You sneaked one in. Love it.

  21. KEE

    Beatiful as always Jennifer.
    I will have to check that site out. I don't read the Bible as often as I should and certainly do not memorize it to you it when I need those words.
    Something I am working on and this may just be what I need to help.

    Have a great weekend.
    Hugs to you my friend.

  22. A Simple Country Girl

    Through your stories, His scripture, and your poetry, you reach all of my senses–especially my sense of needing more of Him.

  23. Marcus Goodyear

    I like this:

    "manmade idols dripping chocolaty with /… A buffet of me. // And in a day, I was hungry again"

    That is really cool and poignant. And I have to say that I do not like buffets at all at all at all.


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