Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Declarations of an older woman...



(Nana and youngest granddaughter)

In just a few days I'll be turning fifty seven.  That is definitely on the downhill slide of the fifties and way too close to the big six-zero for my liking!  It's all too easy to get depressed and give in to a bad case of the dreaded doldrums if I let my thoughts go down the road of worry, anxiety, and fear about aging and what the future holds.  So, I've decided not to go there and instead to head a different direction.  Won't you join me?

Don't Doubt~
As I look back over my life,  God's very evident care, protection and provision is clearly seen.  Why would He,  my good and perfect Heavenly Father, leave me now just because I'm getting older?  Ridiculous, right?  So, when worry, anxiety and fear come knocking, they are going to find a DO NOT DISTURB notice on the door to my mind and heart.  I might even include this scripture verse. 
"...you who have been borne by Me from your birth, carried from the womb: Even to your old age I am He, and even to hair white with age will I carry you. I have made, and I will bear; yes, I will carry and will save you."  Isaiah 46:3-4 Amplified Bible

Decide to Depend on God~
Once a year my husband and our church administrator have to meet with our insurance agent to decide if we are going to stay with or change our current health insurance plan.  Every year it goes up, up, up...this year it went up another 45%.  In this age of so-called "affordable health care",  if this doesn't make it clear that our dependence cannot be on our government to take care of us in our old age, I don't know what does. My dependence can't be on  money in the bank, Social Security, retirement plans, or other people.  God is the one Who gives me life and breath and He is the Only One Who I can depend on.  My husband and I have always tried to put God and His kingdom first.  We've been diligent to invest in things that "moth and rust cannot destroy".  Now, we are facing the future with our hands holding firmly to His.

Decide to be delighted~
I'm a firm believer that you are in charge of your emotions.  They aren't the boss of you.  So instead of being filled with dread about aging, I've decided to be delighted about it!  Why can't the rest of my life be the best of my life?  Isn't the God I serve the God who said that the latter things can be better than the former?  Why can't my older years be my best years?  Well, they certainly won't be if I  have a negative "woe is me" mindset.  For example, I can focus on the not so fun aspects of menopause, like hot flashes, or I can focus on saying a final farewell to the "monthly miseries"!   I can be depressed that my oldest daughter is on her own downhill slide to forty, (which makes me feel really old!), or I can focus on enjoying my grandchildren, (who keep me feeling young!).

Decide to be Disciplined~
Unfortunately, I'm not going to grow older and still be healthy and vibrant without some work on my part.  Besides my usual walking/running, I recently bought a few simple pieces of exercise equipment and have added some Grandmas With Muscles exercises to my exercise routine.  It's fun!  And of course, there is an attempt on my part, (most of the time), to eat healthy and drink lots of water.

Decide to not fear Death~
Let's just face it, I'm not middle aged anymore unless I live to be a hundred and fourteen!  I've actually thought a time or two about how many years I might have left here on planet earth.  It's a bit sobering.  Yet, I made a decision long, long ago that helps me to not fear death.  As a wee, little girl I gave my life to Jesus Christ and received Him as my Lord and Savior.  Because of this, I have every confidence that I have received His gift of eternal life.  When God says it is my appointed time to die, I will be going to the home my heart has always longed for.  Just as my heart breathes a sigh when, after a trip away from home,  I finally arrive back home and get to sleep in my own bed, so will it be when I reach my forever home with Christ.  My heart will know that this is where I have always belonged.  And so, I have nothing to fear or dread.

Decide to Pursue my Destiny and Purpose~
But, for now, I'm still in the land of the living, and God's Word has something to say about that!
For God’s gifts and His call are irrevocable. [He never withdraws them when once they are given, and He does not change His mind about those to whom He gives His grace or to whom He sends His call.] Romans 11:29 Amplified Bible
So I guess God doesn't take back His destiny and purpose for me just because I'm getting older.  In fact, it doesn't appear to me that I can retire from doing what He created me to do.  I believe that as long as I have life and breath I have a God-given purpose for being here and I should be seeking Him to show me what that is and how I am to walk it out in my everyday life.  

 As I stare into the face of my fifty seventh birthday, I declare that I have decided to age gracefully and joyfully.  Amen, so be it.

still following,


   





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43 comments:

  1. I love this, Elizabeth. I'm right there with you, too. If I let myself I'd fall apart every morning. LOL! But I can CHOOSE not to, and focus on the positives instead.

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    1. Dayle, thank you so much for your encouragement on my post about "aging". It's a daily choice to take delight in the here and now and not allow myself to worry about tomorrow.

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  2. Elizabeth,
    Love your intentionality and choosing to trust God.....P.S. You look fabulous :)

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  3. In the deep south, they'd say you're finer than frog hair, which would be a compliment of the highest order.

    Also, you make aging seem a little more exciting, so thanks for that.

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    1. Brandee, thanks for taking time to read and comment on my "older woman" post. You're just a spring chicken, but oh, the time does fly by! I was your age just the blink of an eye ago!

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  4. Amen. As a 66, almost 67, year old, I am learning to age with at least some grace. I am grateful to have stopped by for I needed a boost in this process. Caring through Christ, ~ linda

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    1. Linda, first of all, no way do you look 66! The fact that my post blessed you in some way blesses me. Thank you so much for your sweet comment.

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  5. Oh how I love this. I just turned 48 and the closer I get to 50 the more I can allow thoughts of what my life will look like then run away with me. Such wisdom here. I can totally relate to choosing to be delighted and pursuing my destiny and purpose. You are a treasure and I am thankful I get to share life with you through blogging.

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    1. I feel the exact same way about YOU! I so wish we could have met face to face when you came to Oregon. Some day...

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  6. When I see pictures of you, I see God's grace & light shining through. I see a woman who is beautiful inside & out. You are woman clothed in dignity wanting to share His love with everyone & embracing this earthly life to the fullest. As a woman who is the downhill of 40, your words shared give me encouragement on how to embrace this journey we are on. I also will admit that I hope that I will look as amazing as you do when I am your age. Thank you for sharing your words to give me a new perspective on how to embrace this aging journey.

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    1. Krista, you are still in your prime, but your choices now are so important to facing getting to my age with a positive attitude! You are amazing and every year, every age, has it's own unique and special and amazing things about it.

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  7. Elizabeth, being the same age as you, this post resonated with me as I have entertained some of the very same thoughts. This offers such wisdom on how to embrace this journey of aging. I so pray for the remainder of my days to be more productive than the ones I have already lived. There's excitement for me in anticipating what He has YET for me! So appreciated reading this today. Blessings!

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    1. Yay to both being the same age! We can encourage each other that way.

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  8. Elizabeth, I loved this 'delightful' post...
    On my 60th birthday I read this:
    Psalm 92:14 "They will still bear fruit in old age, they will stay fresh and green,"
    I'm clinging to that........
    You are a beautiful 'older' woman.

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    1. I love that passage too, and decided to post it for my weekend photo and scripture post. And you are one amazing looking, energetic and vibrant, 60 year old!

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  9. Dear Elizabeth. Love this & love you! Happy Birth-Day! God is good! You are so beautiful inside & out & this is so true. You have helped me in walking out of my age of 63 Gracefully this year (in the midst of the medical issues) thank you.
    Love & Hugs Carol

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    1. You are a blessing to me in so many ways. Your positive, encouraging attitude is an inspiration. Love you much, dear one.

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  10. Oh, you have expressed these wonderful thoughts about aging so beautifully! I love the Is. 46 verse about God carrying us, from our birth to our old age. One of the translations ends with "deliver us" rather than "save" us. Somewhere I got the idea that God is sort of "pregnant" with us, & we are to be delivered unto eternal life. To me that is a beautiful thought! (Not sure what theologians might think!) Another beautiful verse that struck me as an "old age promise" a few years ago is Is.55:12, "You shall go out with joy & be led forth with peace. The mountains & the hills shall break forth before you, there'll be shouts of joy & all the trees of the earth shall clap their hands." (Yes, I'm singing this one!) I believe God is telling me there is something GLORIOUS about preparing to meet Him face to face!!! Love & prayers, in Jesus, Cynthia

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    1. I loved your thoughts on the passage in Isaiah 46! You blessed and encouraged me, Cynthia!

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  11. Happy Birthday Elizabeth. I'm a little older than you, and so appreciated your words of encouragement. There are days when the mirror and gravity are not my friends. But there are so many good things about years and experience that I know that deciding to face the future, whatever God has in store, with hope in Him. Enjoy a wonderful birthday celebration!

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    1. Deb, I so get about the mirror and gravity. And is it true that our ears and nose never stop growing, because I could swear mine appear to be bigger! :) But, I'm determined to make the best of each day God gives me, including taking care of this "so not like it was at 35" year old body.

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  12. Such wisdom here, Elizabeth, and rather timely after celebrating my 45th birthday yesterday. Thank you for your words to embrace this journey we are on. And you friend look beautiful!! Blessings. xoxo

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    1. You're just a spring chicken, Beth! :) I do have to say though, that I've always seemed to struggle most with the birthdays ending in five, because then I'm officially on the downhill slide to the next birthday ending in zero. And why do those years zoom by so quickly?

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  13. Thank you for encouraging this "57 year old"! I, too, am so thankful for the blessings God has given me! Especially our grandchildren, who do keep you feeling young! You do have a purpose; and I believe it is to encourage woman (of all ages) to grow in grace and be authentic! I hope you have a wonderful birthday! Thanks so much for your words of wisdom and encouragement! Blessings,
    Cindy~

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    1. Cindy, let's form a 57 club. You're the second one commenting who's also 57! Love that we can "meet" here and encourage each other!

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  14. I've got a few years on you, dear friend, but your words confirm the thoughts of my heart. I recently asked my doctor if the best years of my life were behind me (when my knee was so bad and there were no answers). She quickly said, 'no way! there's a lot of good living ahead of you!' Keeping our eyes on Jesus is the only way to delight in every day and all the changes that come to our lives. And spending time with grandkids is a sure way to stay young!
    ~Adrienne~

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    1. Oh friend, what would we do, if we didn't have the hope and the promises of Jesus in our lives? This world gets crazier and scarier. So glad that He's the rock beneath our feet when everything feels so topsy turvy!

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  15. This makes me want to stand up and cheer! Thank you, thank you, thank you for being a sister a little farther in her journey who is facing the future with hope and joy and faith. Your message is so needed! Please keep sharing about this topic. :) XO

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    1. Holley, thank you so much for your encouragement. Leading the (in)courage group (in)life after fifty I've realized that my age is a growing demographic that needs hope and encouragement to dream and to live life passionately and with purpose.

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    2. For sure. Love this and glad to be connected with you. Holley is so right. We need to keep sharing and connecting generations by being vulnerable about how things are at each stage. I will be 50 this year and have been surprised at the challenges as my nest emptied, I never once thought about what came after. No one I knew talked about it. My mom was still having babies at 45 so I was in the dark... So thankful for the words of those over 50. And love that we connected (somehow??) on IG. Love you sister!

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    3. Love you right back, Kathy! God is amazing to bring these divine connections into our lives.

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  16. Amen Elizabeth,
    You are a wise wise woman! I am 62, and I have decided the same.
    God is certainly not finished with us..........however, I do think these bodies
    require more time to maintain these days than they used to or that I care
    to give them, but that is all part of the transistion..........he is teaching us
    to slow down and smell the roses more............
    and it is downright blissful at times.

    Happy 57th Birthday, whenever it gets here............
    Hey, we should rejoice that we have made it this far, some are not so blessed to spend time with their families this long..........
    Course, the Lord can come anytime and get us that would be just dandy
    with me...............lol

    When my 60th came, it didn't bother me, but I just kept thinking how did
    I get here soooo fast.........lol

    Blessings for a Fabulous 57th Birthday, wise friend.
    Nellie

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    1. Nellie, I so agree with you, it's the way time is zooming by so quickly that's especially disconcerting. Everything you commented resonated with me deeply.

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  17. With you, Elizabeth. Just turned 54. Love the Strength in this post!!!

    xoxoxoxoxo

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  18. I love your intentionality here Elizabeth and how you are choosing to embrace life. I personally need to work on the discipline part! HaPpY BiRtHdAy!!!

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    1. Caryn, I could improve on the discipline part as well!

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  19. What a great post Elizabeth !! Gotta embrace EVERY year of our lives and celebrate each day - Keep doin' what your doin ox

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    1. Thank you so much! Love "meeting" new people here.

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  20. I'm late to this party, but HOORAY FOR YOU. This is a great list - I am particularly fond of "decide to be delighted" - perfect goal for each day. Thank you for writing directly into so many of our fears as we walk this path with its inevitable end. . . and beginning. Just lovely.

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    1. Your encouragement means so much to me, Diana. Thank you.

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