Are You Really This Old?

strawberry-birthday-cake-by-chidorian

Well, they didn’t exactly say it this way, but it’s what they meant. It was the question my daddy and sister both asked within the last few weeks as February 7 is quickly approaching. Yes! They’re as surprised as me. I am that old. I received their questions with grace. No, I’m not going into depression that two digits are changing. However, I must admit it jars me and has made me a little blue.

I know I need to have the right attitude about this celebratory event and not forget it, as I would like. I can’t help but remember Sundays at our church when we lived in Caracas, Venezuela. The tradition each Sunday was to ask who had just celebrated birthdays the previous week. Those special people would then walk up to the front to be recognized. They were given the opportunity to say a few words. I will never forget the words spoken by Hermana Maria, who always seemed to be smiling although her life had been filled with tragedy. With a radiant smile on her face she said, “I just want to thank God for allowing me to complete another year of life.” Children learned through these testimonies that God is the giver of life and that life is a gift.

This week I am reminded that I don’t need to be whining about turning two new digits. I am to say, “Thank you Lord for allowing me to complete another year of life. It is a gift.” Just thinking these words bring a smile to my face and put joy in my heart as I remember the multitude of amazing blessings I received this past year. In spite of a year with difficulties, tears, and sorrow there have been countless pockets of joy that found their way into my life because of Jesus, the giver of life, the giver of all things good. He is the author and finisher of my faith who brings light because He is the perfect Light. May we daily walk close to Him always remembering, This is the day the Lord has made. Let us be glad and thankful in it.

Advertisements

A Wake-Up Call

Senior woman gardening

I had a wake-up call last week that made me very aware that my body is truly wasting away and that I really am living in an earthly tent. This wake-up call came as a result of helping my husband paint our bedroom. We hadn’t painted in years. In fact, fourteen years ago, we took down four rooms of wall paper, where sizing hadn’t been done, and then painted the whole house, stair well included. I don’t remember being sore at all. Now it’s a different story: we both were sore for two days after our latest painting project.

As I was thinking about this, I couldn’t help but be reminded that although my physical body may be wasting away, my inward being, which is my spiritual life, is being renewed and can even get better with time if I’m doing those things which allow this to happen. I can get better with age! That’s definitely something I want to happen. For quite a few years I’ve known that it’s a deep desire of mine to be one who ages with grace. So, what are some things I’m learning that can help insure that I’m aging with grace? Here’s the checklist I’ve come up with so far:

 

  1. Am I practicing having a thankful heart?
  2. Are the words out of my mouth words of a complainer and whiner?
  3. Do I exercise consistently?
  4. Am I eating healthy?
  5. Do I spend quality time with people I love?
  6. Do I cultivate my friendships?
  7. Do I have ways of getting out of myself by serving others?
  8. Am I getting enough sleep?
  9. Are there any areas of resentments, bitterness, or unforgiveness I need to get rid of?
  10. Am I enjoying doing the things that cause me to thrive and grow in an intimate relationship to God? Do I take time just to be still with God?

 

I believe that these are daily practices that will move me forward in aging with grace. I love the words Paul spoke in 2 Corinthians 4:16 “Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. “