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Posts Tagged ‘Birthdays’

I checked off another birthday this week.  This one was difficult to accept.  It wasn’t a milestone birthday.  It’s just that upon examination, my life isn’t what I thought it would be by this point.  I am not who I wanted to be.

I asked Hubs, “What’s so great about being this age?  Please tell me.  I need to focus on something positive.”

Sweet thing that he is, he tried to comfort me with talk of wisdom and depth.  Somehow, those perks seemed worth little when weighed against drawbacks like wrinkles, gray hair and sagging body parts.

So I had myself a good, long think.

I thought about how I spent my youth borrowing against the future.  I couldn’t wait to get to the next thing.  I always wanted to look older.  Never satisfied…

I thought about how that shifted.  Around age forty, I started looking back.  I missed the trappings of youth.  I wanted to look younger.  Never satisfied…

Like a giant light bulb illuminating my pity party, it hit me: 

Why not just be satisfied with this moment, this age, this life right now – just as it is? 

What if wishing to be somewhere else, or pining for my youth, or nursing my dissatisfaction is sapping my energy and joy? 

What if all this “wishing for different” is really me playing the victim?

Gasp.  Shudder.  Ew.  Gross. 

As folks say in the south, “I tell you what.”  (Contextual translation:  “I am so over that.”)  It is time for some changes. 

I don’t have God’s perspective, so I’m leaning on His.  I have laid out my every activity and attitude before Him and asked, “Is this what You would have for me?”  The answers have been surprising. 

He is renovating.  I am an observer, watching Him work.  As the drywall dust settles, I see glimpses of a new creation.

And what freedom!  I am no longer a powerless woman having a pathetic mid-life crisis.  I am His project, which means I am fully empowered to move forward – with boldness.  I can say “no, thank you” to things which might be burdensome, and give a resounding “yes!” to things which He has determined are right for me.

Birthdays need not be a funereal passing of another year. 

They can be the start of something wonderful – a birth-day, a cause for celebration.

Today can be a birth-day.  It’s all in the attitude.

“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come:  The old has gone, the new is here!”  (2 Cor. 5:17, NIV)

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Tomorrow is my birthday.  Again.  I know this will shock you, given what you know of me, but I am in a contemplative mood rather than a celebratory one.  (Inching closer to mortality does that to a person.)  I’m even a little blue.  So I have been holding onto this:

“Therefore we do not lose heart.  Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day.” (2 Corinthians 4:16, NIV)

This human body that I inhabit continues to remind me that I am not the woman I was in my twenties.  Fine.  Let’s just have a look at me back then.  Ladies and gentlemen, behold me, twenty years ago.

Me in my twenties

Fig. 1

 

Figure One shows the following:

A.  Blonde, highlighted hair – on my hard, stubborn head.

B.  Gleaming white smile (had braces three times) – above a chin often stuck out in defiance.

C.  Underdeveloped heart – but one that God mercifully took on as His project.

D.  Short skirts and high heels meant to show off a nice set of gams.

No, I am not the woman I was.  My outsides are definitely showing signs of wear.  And please, let’s not even talk about what childbearing does to a body… 

Here I am now.

This is me now

Fig. 2

Figure Two shows less of a figure.

A.  My hair is naturally curly, so I let it be curly.  Gray hairs arrive daily.

B.  My smile has laugh lines around it. There is experience around my eyes.  Worry over loved ones has made creases on my brow.

C.  My heart is a bit bigger now.  God is shaping and growing it – sometimes painfully, sometimes joyfully.

D.  Ugh.  I wear jeans most of the time to cover the saggy places, but I still wear heels.  😉

I miss my younger self sometimes.  But honestly, I don’t want to BE her again.  My husband, bless him, says that I am more attractive to him now than I was then.  I hope that God feels the same way when He looks upon the heart He is renewing, refreshing and re-creating, day by day.

When I blow out my birthday candles this year, my prayer/wish will be for eyes to see what our great and good God is doing to my insides, and acceptance of what’s happening on my outsides.  Are you with me?

May He continue His work of renewing us inwardly, so that every day is our re-birthday.

Happy re-birthday to us!

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