Monday, April 25, 2022

On Being An Older

 When I was young, I wanted to be older.  This is not exactly what I expected.  

I envisioned older with the eyes of my younger self.  I would be healthy.  Energetic.  Laughing and full of fun.  An ever-ready helper for my middles and littles.  Of course I would. 

If you're like me, somewhere along the line you've begun to think "Whoa...what happened here?"  The truth is, sweet friend, our season is changing.  I'm not talking about menopause.  Heavens!  I sure don't want to go there.  No, I'm talking about Time.  Relentless, unforgiving Time.  It's coming after all of us, one season folding into the next.  Reminding us in so many ways that we are older...ever older and older.  I just had a birthday so these thoughts are pretty fresh for me.  

Several years ago, I found Jan Silvious's book Courage For An Unknown Season.  Filled with advice and encouragement, Jan has something helpful to say to all of us, whatever our season.  This book could only be written by an older, and she is.  (I can say that because we were born the same year.)  Not only is Jan an author and speaker, she is a life coach.  Hearing her speak is always inspiring.   In her book referenced here, she completes the thought of the above quote thus: "We all are living in a world we experience uniquely, becoming who we are and who we will be."

I now find my place in the chapter titled "Head Toward Ninety."  Well, crumb.  Really?  Yes, really.  And it's time to "Clean Up After Yourself."  When I talk to my friends, this cleaning up thing is one of the many topics of discussion.  What do we do with all the STUFF?  

There seem to be two schools of thought.  Either... "I'm leaving it all here and they can keep it or throw it away"...or  "I am not going to leave my kids the mess I've had to clean up."  I tend to the latter.   After living a life of acquisition and treasuring the treasures we were left with, many of us are hung up with the responsibility of "saving it for the kids."  No.  Like it or not, the kids don't want it.  Whatever it is.  Unless it's grandma's diamonds and gold which they will probably sell. 

As moms, we are also the repository of their growing-up stuff.  My daughters both live in other states.  Every time they come to visit, I let them know that anything they can haul out of this house would be greatly appreciated.  Especially all the mementos of their lives I've duly treasured all these years.  As they go out the door, they call over their shoulder "I'll get it next time, mom!"  The answer to that, of course, is box it up and sneak it into their car right before they leave.  I'm working on that.

Where do you stand on this timeline?  I would love to hear your thoughts on what to do with the stuff.  And any other topic of your season that might be on your mind.  Leave me a comment and we'll talk.  If you're a middle, you might find encouragement here.  

Ultimately, as Jan would tell us, this is all temporary.  Just a passing place as we head to our final destination with Jesus, where the earthlies have all fallen away and we are surrounded by glory.  How lovely is His dwelling place...the courts of the Lord.  (Psalm 84)

Monday, February 7, 2022

If Only We Seek


"If you look for me wholeheartedly, you will find me.  I will be found by you," says the Lord.
                                                                                    (Jeremiah 29:13  NLT)

Yesterday was one of those rainy, cloudy stay-home days.  As I opened the curtains in my office this morning looking for the sunshine, I took a quick look around the yard and the sight of the palm tree stopped me.  "Wow!"  I was amazed by the fern on the side of the tree.  I know for sure that just two days ago, it looked like a bunch of dried up twigs stuck to the tree...the grey tree trunk and the browny-grey dead fern.  I know that it always comes back...I've watched it for years.  This time was just a surprise because our rainfall had been scant.  Here it was...lush and full and so very green!

God is so often found in the small things.  We expect his glory and his presence to be in grand spectacular vistas and happenings.  Can we really see him in a batch of fern growing on the side of a tree?  My answer is absolutely YES!  When the fern is without water it slowly dries up and appears to be dead.  But a little bit of water...nourishment...brings it back to glorious life.  To me, this is God.  It's God manifesting his presence to us.   It's a message that he is closer to me than my breath if I will just open my spirit eyes to see him. 

Theologian A. W. Tozer says the omnipresence of the Lord is one thing.  We learn that in Sunday School; we expect it.  The manifest presence of God is another thing altogether.  We flee from that presence and from what it could mean on some deep level.  

As he told Jeremiah, he is here for us to find him.  Even in the fern living on the side of a tree. 

Saturday, January 1, 2022

The Day of Knowing

 On the last day of 2021, I went to the funeral for a friend.

Lest you think this post will be a downer, wait for it.  Not for this friend.  Simply put, this woman was the embodiment of love and hope and faith in Jesus and the importance of a positive cheerful attitude.  As was noted at the service, she was a Proverbs 31 woman, leaving a legacy of family and friends who filled the chapel to remember and honor this woman named Louise.  

I've been in that chapel for a few other services.  They were always nice in their way.  But this one was different.  Yes, there was sadness that she was no longer living here but there was an underlying joy that she was now with the savior she had served all her life.  

There is a line in the hymn It Is Well With My Soul:

"And Lord haste the day when my faith shall be sight..."

I knew that Louise's faith is now sight.  She has seen...she knows.  

We have come through Christmas, and now we begin another year.  The Baby has been born.  But hold on!  The best news is ahead.  Easter is coming!  And it is Easter that gives Louise's story and my story and the story of every other Believer the heart of meaning.  It's the best part of this Story of Something More.

Easter.  Resurrection. Life everlasting. Joy unspeakable. Glory.

We walk this life to prepare for our Day of Knowing.

But as for me, I will always have hope;  I will praise you more and more.  My mouth will tell of your righteousness, of your salvation all day long...Even when I am old and gray, do not forsake me, O God, till I declare your power to the next generation, your might to all who are to come.

(Psalm 71: 14, 15 & 18 NIV)

Thursday, December 2, 2021