Friday, March 2, 2012

Why I am Glad to be 50

Fifty. Half a century. Can you believe it??!! When I was a little girl I used to imagine where I might be at the turn of the century, and what my life would be like as a 38 year old. As it turned out, I was a mom of three small children ages 3 and under, praying and wondering what a possible Y2K scare might mean for our family. Fortunately, it meant nothing! With the extra cash we had stashed away we bought a new, very nice mattress for our bed, used up all the stored water and stockpiled firewood, and thanked God that life as we knew it did not end.

Me and my mom, among friends having dinner out at a nice restaurant!

Now the Y2K thing seems like a long time ago, and somehow I have become 50 years old. Not sure how that happened. Despite the surreal-ness of it, I am beginning to appreciate some of the many blessings of being 50.

1. I have lived for 50 years!! AMAZING! Fifty years to experience the joys and trials of life. Fifty years to give and receive love. Fifty years to experience God's faithfulness, and see His hand at work. Fifty years to grow more in love with Him. I mean, WOW, really. What a blessing to have lived for fifty years!

With my hubby at a symphony concert!

2. I have earned the right to be heard. Not that I have a lot to say or anything. ;-) I have learned that there really is a voice of experience. I am continuing to learn when it is appropriate to use that voice, and when experience is best learned first hand. Goodness, I wish I had that lesson down already!

3. I have friends of all ages. How I love and admire all my friends, from young children to old grandmas and grandpas and everyone in between. I love that even though I have lived for 50 years, I can learn lessons from those much younger than I. I love that I have godly examples of how to grow older with grace.

4. I have 50 years' worth of incredibly rich memories. Not all good, but overwhelmingly so. My memories are not to be lived in, but they form a deep and textured background to life in the present. They help inform the choices I make now. They help remind me where I came from, and where I am going.

Playing "mafia" with the whole group. Being the birthday girl I was targeted for "murder" right away!

5. Life has often been compared to a tapestry that can look tangled from our perspective, but beautifully woven from God's. I also like to think of it as a strand of rare pearls that God is stringing together, each pearl a "chapter" in my life. Only He knows how long the strand will be, and how many pearls will be on it, but as I look down the strand formed by the last 50 years, I marvel at each of the different chapters in my life and the blessing each of them has brought to me. That perspective gives me hope, not dread, for the future ~ what will the next pearl hold?

Enjoying hand made cards from each of my five children!

Scarf and instrumental CD from my beautiful daughter!

Chore coupon from the children ~ this made me very happy!

Kimono from my parents ~ to commemorate my time in Japan. Gorgeous and a total surprise!

My cake with a Barbie candle on one side and a Spiderman candle on the other. My hubby said the candles were chosen because I am both a babe AND a superhero, but I think it had more to do with those being the only options. ;-)

6. I am so much more comfortable with myself and in myself than I was when I was younger. Content in the knowledge that God made me, with my flaws and quirks, for a reason, and He doesn't make mistakes. I don't want to be anyone else. I am happy to be me.

7. Discernment is easier now. Sensing what is false and what is true comes more easily. Walking in God's Spirit, the longer I do it, becomes more and more like breathing. What a privilege it is each day to walk with God!

8. I don't have all the answers, and sometimes life seems complicated or confusing, but the things that I know, I know more deeply and fully.

9. I'll admit the aches and pains are no fun. The gray hair that continuously needs to be colored (yes, it really needs it!). The parts of my body that act differently than they used to. But these inevitable aspects of aging in a sin-ridden world are a constant reminder to me that THIS is not all there is! THIS is not my home! My ultimate safe harbor is being prepared for me by the One who is the lover of my soul. When my strand of pearls is complete, I will enter my eternal home, with Jesus there to welcome me, and it will be HEAVEN.

1 comment:

Marsha said...

I LOVE your view on turning 50!!! What a blessing it is, indeed. Love and miss you bunches and bunches!