Sunday, October 3, 2010

Growing Up

I had one of those "Aha!" moments a few days ago. It had something to do with aging and wisdom and failure and responsibility and so many things I've been thinking about in recent years. I'm still not sure how to write about it - how to get from point A to point B and have it all make sense. I'm just thinking out loud....

Not too long ago I heard a news reporter refer to a sixty-something gentleman as elderly. Elderly!! How had I suddenly gone from middle-aged (which in and of itself was a complete shock) to elderly? Perhaps the mirror really hasn't been lying.

I don't think I've ever really been comfortable inside grown-up skin. Having been married for nearly forty-four years with three children and seven grandchildren, one would have thought I would be by now, but it isn't so. There is a child heart inside of me that just refuses to acknowledge the passage of time. It is much more comfortable letting someone else do the grownup "stuff."

A few days ago, I sat at a table with a group of women who were young enough to be my daughters. As I looked at their beautiful faces, I felt the Father whisper something into my heart - something that sounded very much like, "It's time to grow up daughter."

From time to time I've gotten those letters from church asking for older women willing to mentor younger women. I've read them and told myself that I could never be a mentor. I have done too many things wrong, failed too many times, lacked enough wisdom, wasn't a mature enough Christian. I often hesitate to offer advice or to even write about some of the things I believe feeling I have not lived them out myself.

On that day the Father seemed to say that, yes, all those things (and more) are true, but He has redeemed all of those things. He went on to remind me of all the mentors He has placed in my life - at just the right time and in just the right places; of all the gifted teachers who have poured so much into my heart and mind. Even though I have not always perfectly lived out the things I know to be true and wise and right, it doesn't mean I cannot share them with someone else.

On that day, my grownup skin began to feel a bit more comfortable. I looked at those beautiful faces and knew that the Father was calling me to move to a different place. There are some callings, some responsibilities, that simply come as we enter a new season of life:

" Older women likewise are to be reverent in their behavior, not malicious gossips, nor enslaved to much wine, teaching what is good, that they may encourage the young women to love their husbands, to love their children, to be sensible, pure, workers at home, kind, being subject to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be dishonored."
Titus 2:3-5


Blessings,
Linda

11 comments:

Nancy said...

These are great words for me too Linda and I love this Bible verse you included. Growing old gracefully is a blessing indeed.

deb said...

you make me smile.

and there was a recent uproar in our local paper when an auto accident reporter referred to the 60 year old as elderly.

I say 60 is the new 40!

and you know... you are right. sometimes we must put aside the could have should have and just embrace the gift of who we are and how we can best serve.
it is a beautiful thing , Linda. it is .

S. Etole said...

I suspect you have untold wealth just waiting to be shared ... from your loving heart.

Heather said...

Oh, Linda... please know that you teach and mentor and love... every single time you share. And I'm blessed, over and over and over again. Your heart is a gift, a life-changing, life-encouraging gift.

B. Meandering said...

I've not read Titus much, so that verse was somewhat new to me, but what a blessing it was!

My students think 50 is old and then are amazed when they find out I'm 56---I guess they're surprised I'm not tottering on a cane!
I think we have much to offer each other regardless of ages. We're individuals, so that even if we've made the same mistake, it won't be quite the same. A new perspective is always good when directed by God.

Blessings on you as you begin this new mentoring phase.

emily wierenga said...

oh Linda... how beautiful you are... do you know this? and i feel mentored by you through your blog... but in some ways, i hope you never 'grow up'... in the ways that make you run to the father on childlike legs... i love you, friend. and how i hope we can maybe meet next year at the retreat :) we shall see how time goes, but i will pray. have a beautiful day. xo

Elise @A Path Made Straight said...

I'm with Emily... I hope you never really grow up! You bring such joy to my heart with your observations of our little family life, and yet you mentor me so with your quiet wisdom. It is your words I sit and ponder, your words I trust.

Love you.

Angel said...

Love this post! I have been mulling the subject of aging over for a while now. Here in the "middle years" I have struggled to come to terms with the changes in myself and in others perceptions of me and trying to figure out how to adapt to new and changing roles. Thank you for helping me see that I must learn to accept "my grownup skin".

Dawn said...

I love this. And 60 is not elderly! That's an insult for sure. But I do like those "senior" discounts, even if they don't bother to ask!

allie said...

I SO get this!
Thanks for putting it into words.
Not an easy thing to do.

Doug Spurling said...

Hmmm, am I the only man making a comment here? Anyway, awesome and thanks. I love your wisdom and felt your heart and heard these same things from our Father... "Even though I have not always perfectly lived out the things I know to be true and wise and right, it doesn't mean I cannot share them with someone else...There are some callings, some responsibilities, that simply come as we enter a new season of life"

It easy to encourage another and say "You can do it" but for me to say "I can do it" Oh boy, now that's another story...We must remember "I can do all things through Christ..." Thanks again, think I'll come back here and set-a-spell.