I know, it’s not like I didn’t see it coming… but still, the Big 5-0 looms large in these final few days in my forties. I’ve been gleaning the wisdom of others who have gone before me and lived to tell the tale, receiving everything from “Life begins at 50—you’re going to love it!” to “Seriously, at 50 everything starts falling apart.” Sheesh. Tigger and Eeyore. I’m choosing to go all Tigger on this one…
“The great thing about getting older is that you don’t lose all the other ages you’ve been inbetween.” Madeleine L’Engle
Isn’t that the truth? You may be shuddering as your look toward the next age milestone, or perhaps you are among the brave trailblazers who take everything in stride. Every decade holds something fresh and challenging. Highs and lows. Hopefully, growth and maturity and the ability to learn from our mistakes and embrace the future. As a Christian, I can’t help but wonder what God has in store for me still. In His big picture, my 50 years have been a mere blink. In the scheme of eternity, I’ve barely begun.
“There has never been the slightest doubt in my mind that the God who started this great work in you would keep at it and bring it to a flourishing finish on the very day Christ Jesus appears.” Philippians 1:6
As “things” start to deteriorate somewhat and the sagging, bagging, and lagging becomes a reality, I take great comfort in that verse. He’s going to bring it all to a flourish one day, for His glory. But before I lunge for the fifties baton, I want to allow myself a slight indulgence (forgive me) in looking back at my beloved forties. It may be my favourite decade thus far, in fact. More maturity and grace than in my twenties, more time to contemplate and enjoy than in the blur of my busy thirties, and all with enough energy and strength to keep up a pretty steady pace. Yes, it’s been good. God has been good.
Counting my blessings, I’m remembering how I:
- finished homeschooling my kids after 13 years and began calling myself a “writer”
- took up Zumba (dancing under the umbrella of exercise—brilliant!)
- traveled to new places with people I love
- witnessed all 3 of my kids graduate high school and pursue their passions
- launched my writing career and had 5 books published
- watched 2 of my kids spread their wings and fly the nest (oh, my heart)
- learned that rejection is a big part of the writing life (experienced in spades)
- was mother-of-the-bride to our only daughter in a fairytale wedding in Montreal
- enjoyed another decade with my man (we have been together FOREVER)
- accepted my body is aging (although I am yet to declare, “This is awesome!”)
- lost loved ones and made new friends
- developed a passion for joy, gratitude, and hospitality (still learning)
- went on a mission’s trip to India with my dad, husband, and youngest son
- welcomed an English bulldog into the family (the princess)
- learned to appreciate the Word of God like never before (why did it take me so long?)
“What lies behind us, and what lies before us, are tiny matters compared to what lies within us.” Ralph Waldo Emerson
Oh, I’ve made my fair share of blunders this past decade. I’ve wounded with words, had parenting fails, missed opportunities to share my faith, grown too comfortable on my Christian couch… and I know my fifties will be liberally littered with shortcomings. But we can’t constantly pine for the past or live in fear of the future—that’s not fully living as God intends. Right now, today, what lies within me, within us, is the Spirit of God and He is ready for us to take action. To love, serve, be present. Whether we are in our twenties, eighties, or anything in between.
“For even young people tire and drop out,
young folk in their prime stumble and fall.
But those who wait upon God get fresh strength.
They spread their wings and soar like eagles,
They run and don’t get tired,
they walk and don’t lag behind.” Isaiah 40:31 (MSG)
So there we have it. Fifties, I’m coming at you, soaring like an eagle, bouncing like Tigger. Counting my blessings, giving thanks for all God has done and will continue to do in my life. Embracing changes and empty nesting and celebrating 30 years married to my love. Will you join me in an Amen with this final quote, however many candles you have on your birthday cake this year, friend? 🙂
“I have one desire now – to live a life of reckless abandon for the Lord, putting all my energy and strength into it.” Elisabeth Elliot
Amen and Amen!
P.S. Now that I’m pretty much “old and wise”, may I suggest a little extra Proverbs wisdom for your day? 31 days in Proverbs 31. Subscribe to receive my FREE ebook devotional Diamond Devos 31 HERE!
Linking up with some fabulous encouragers! Check them out: