Thursday, August 25, 2016

In Which I Pay Homage to Women 'Of a Certain Age'

I've always loved my birthdays.  Although you'd never know it by this photo.  

That is until the summer of 2013 when I hit 58.  I couldn't quite grasp why that particular milestone wasn't sitting quite right with me ... until I realized that it made the big six-o quite close.  Way too close for comfort. 

Recollections of my sainted grandmother gazing out the dining room window 'just marking time' in her creaking rocking chair played in my head.  Gray hair and orthopedic shoes and endless physical maladies flashed through my mind.

And then images of Lawrence Welk and his accordian and Jack LaLanne exercising came to call.  {You MUST check out these videos!}

Anyway, it was all too much for me to handle.  

Downright unsettling.

Fast forward 3 years.  I've gotten over the shock of old age menacingly looming over the horizon and have moved on.

Because I truly believe that 60 is the new 30.

So here's to all of us women 'of a certain age'!  By God's grace, we're living energetic and courageous lives.  Sure we're sometimes bone-weary by the end of the day.  Who isn't?  But life's tragic sorrows, the grief of divorce, the ravages of cancer, the impact of death that's come to call far too soon, unresolved family issues, and jobs that make us crazy don't knock us out of the game.

We're opening the doors of our homes wide, we're envisioning new ministries, we're walking and biking, we're mixing it up in our communities.

We're writing, we're stepping out of our comfort zones.  We're creating, we're taking in new vistas right and left, we're standing up for what matters most and leaving the small stuff behind.

You'll find us dining well and some of us you are fabulous chefs.  We read voraciously and love going deep in conversations about spiritual things.  Sure, we might muse on retirement or health issues and we might not be all that certain of what's coming next, but we still laugh easily and often.

In the process of living life, our faith has emerged rock solid even though ferocious winds of heartbreak could have knocked us flat and left us lying in the dust.  Refined like precious gold, we are.  And that reality has enabled us to rise from the ashes, wiser for the deep pain we've endured.  And ready, willing, and able to share our hard won learnings with the generations that follow ... with grace, grace, and more grace.

'Cause we've been there, done that.  And we've emerged to tell our Christ-exalted victory stories.

Sorry, Grandma.  60+ isn't looking so bad any more.  




It's time to hear some wisdom from all you sisters {and brothers!}
who are of 'a certain age' ...




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celebrating with

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54 comments:

  1. Great post, Linda, I am sure you've inspired many people of a certain age...and those who are younger, who feared the calendar.

    Until illness firmly stopped me, I gave my mind and body no 'adjustment' for age. I expected that I could run as far and as fast, and do as many pushups as any college athlete, no matter my age.

    It was a good way to live.

    http://blessed-are-the-pure-of-heart.blogspot.com/2016/08/your-dying-spouse-198-words-are.html

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    1. And you're still showing us how to live a life that's filled with wisdom, strength, dignity ... and humor.

      You're showing us what dying well looks like.

      I'm grateful to do community with you, man ...

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  2. Yes! 60 is the new 30!

    This year I turned 60 and was both depressed and amazed: Already? How could this be? I still feel young (in my brain, anyway). So I decided to make this year a benchmark year for me in every way possible: it's the start of something big! I've started my weight loss journey ... 20 lbs. so far ... and even more importantly, enlarging my borders in regards to ministry. I want to look back some day and say ... "It all started when I was 60."

    Thanks for writing this, I've kind of slacked off the last couple months so you've reminded me of my goals.

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    1. I love that you made a choice, claimed a benchmark, enlarged your borders, Jerralea.

      Yes! Yes! Yes!

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  3. Linda, crazy me...I thought your email was taking the place of your blogsite until I clicked through!!! I will see double 6 this October and so far I've not stopped doing a thing. This summer I rode 17 miles on the Virginia Creeper Bike trail with my daughter and two grands. Not once did they have to wait up for me! Still working fulltime and enjoying life. One thing I'm changing up in October? I'm going to collect that monthly check I've been contributing to my whole life and I'm going to continue working fulltime, to boot! I like my life a lot! Blessed.

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    1. Yep ... calling all readers who get these posts via your email. All you've gotta do is click on the title and it'll take you right here so you can join the party!

      Would love to have you join Susan and the rest of us as we dialogue together!

      Don't you just love how she's living life to the fullest?

      ;-}

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  4. I just loved and loved and loved some more all that you have written - yes, I still cringe of Grandma's "just marking time" and I wish that my days would slow down a bit as I realize anew each and every day: "Thou art my God. My times are in Thy hands." Our days are what we make them, and our Lord gives us just one at a time.

    And so as you celebrate your birthday, it is another special day that our Lord has given to you, and I am so thankful for you. Lovingly, Mom

    {via email}

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    1. Dear Mom ... watching you live an abundant life at 86 is a great joy to us all. Thank you for showing us how to live without complaint or grumbling or gossiping ... working hard at seeing the glass half full, not half empty, filled with faith in Christ, concerned more about others than yourself.

      We all arise and call you blessed!

      xx

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  5. Love this Linda! Is it your birthday? If it is, I wish you a very happy birthday!

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    1. Thanks for celebrating with me all the way from South Africa, friend! 61 arrives on Saturday!

      ;-}

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  6. Absolutely LOVE that photo of you two, Linda! Life is too short not to take on the attitude you express here at any age. Blessings!

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    1. A true rarity. A photo of the 2 of us that's halfway decent. I had to share.

      Thanks for smiling with me, June ...

      ;-} + ;-}

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  7. Sixty looks great on you, Linda!!!
    I'm right there with you, girl, and I'm celebrating each and every day, giving thanks to God for health, family, and all His blessings. We may be getting older, but we can always stay young at heart.
    Blessings!

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    1. You're so right, Martha! Gratitude is a huge key to living well, especially as we deal with loss, health issues and other misfortunes that are out of our control.

      Young at heart. Yes. That's where I want to be ...

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  8. Linda - I think you should make a pledge that you will do a Jack LaLane workout every day for the next year! Then as you recuperate, you could watch the Lawrence Welk show. I watched both items you posted - it made me laugh!!!

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    1. I was cackling so loud that Tim had to come investigate to see what was setting me off!

      Lots of memories of both TV shows from spending time with Grandma and Grandpa. Ah ... those were the days!

      ;-}

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  9. Happy birthday to you! And here's a bit of birthday wisdom for you from Rudyard Kipling: "Youth had been a habit of hers for so long that she could not part with it." May we say that about us both, since I'm not far behind you, friend! :) xo

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    1. We venture forth together, friend!

      And while you celebrate in Europe, I'll be celebrating at a Food Truck Festival at the County Fairgrounds.

      Really!!

      ;-}

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  10. Hey, if 60 is the new 30 then my turning 50 this year makes me just 20!! Woo hoo!!! I'm already finding myself in a new era of doing my own thing. My kids think I've become a bit of a hippie with my essential oils, chimes and beaded curtain. But I'm such a happy and relaxed camper! Life is way too short to worry about what others think of my anymore. So liberating!! Enjoy your 30's Linda and happy birthday!! P.S. I miss you incredibly......:-)

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    1. 20!! Yes!! And I can see you beautiful with your oils, chimes, and beaded curtain! To be happy and relaxed in your own skin is a great gift.

      Keep playing for that audience of One, Val.

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  11. I know 60 ain't bad! I hit the big 6-4 in October. Age makes you wiser and more winsome. :)

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    1. Winsome.

      Yeah, now THAT'S a word ...

      ;-}

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  12. Great post! I've been thinking a lot about these ideas myself! I'm glad you're reminding those of us in the same age bracket that it ain't over yet! Lots of living left to do! Happy birthday!

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    1. There's alot of us out there, friend. And based on this conversation, we're in very good company!

      I love that you're here ...

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  13. Yes! Grace, grace, and more grace... How true it is, Linda, that heartbreak could have knocked us flat, but instead God used it to refine us and grow us stronger.

    Have a very happy birthday! May God fill your heart with love, peace, and joy in Jesus! I am not far behind you. I'll be 61 in January. And even though chronic illness has worn my body down to feeling older, I am still a child in my heart. :)

    I love the photo of you and your hubby. :) Blessings and hugs to you. :)

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    1. Your story is one of all that grace, Trudy. I'm grateful our paths have crossed often this past year.

      I'm sorry about that chronic illness. A family member that I love dearly lives with incredible chronic pain. My heart aches for her ... but her love for Jesus and for all those He's gathered around her is positively energetic.

      Blessings to you, dear ...

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  14. 60+ looks absolutely fabulous on you, my friend!! Amen to this: "And we've emerged to tell our Christ-exalted victory stories." That we certainly have and what stories they are. Thank you for this reminder of all the beauty in aging gracefully. I turned 47 this year and really struggled with it. I don't think it was the number as much as where my health is right now. It's important to take care of ourselves as we age and my body's abuse is taking it's toll. Luckily, I'm starting to turn things around, slowly, but surely. My next birthday will be a welcome blessing :).

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    1. Yes, I've been blessed to hear your Christ-exalted victory story, friend! Thank you for sharing His power and grace in your life. You spur me and so many others on.

      May you find the coming year to bring you an increase in health and wholeness, friend. May God even see fit to heal some of the physical challenges you're facing.

      Praying for you even as we speak ...

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  15. You wrote this for me---How sweet!
    Blessings, My Friend!

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    1. Actually, I WAS thinking of you and other women 'of a certain age' this morning while sprucing up this post, Lulu! You are such a great adventurer and enthusiastic traveler. I'm inspired by your jaunts around the world and the energy level that allows you to be such an active grandma.

      You go, girl!

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  16. I love that photo of you and your husband. And I love your words of encouragement, friend. But I ALWAYS do. Happy, Happy Birthday. Thank you for all the ways you encourage and love so many. You are a blessing. xoxo

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    1. And I always LOVE when you come to call. Are you doing well, sweet sweet friend?

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    2. Doing very well. Hubs is now home on a relatively permanent basis. Praise the Lord!!! (((hugs)))

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    3. Oh I am so delighted! Not half as much as you might be, but delighted all the same. Trusting for complete healing for his body and a wonderful new chapter in your marriage ...

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  17. I'm having a bit of a struggle with that myself, hitting 59 this year, Linda. Sometimes I think I should focus my blog on this group you rightly call "women of a certain age". It seems there are too few of us writing or maybe I just haven't found them. Youth is celebrated in all arenas and I do enjoy reading some of those 'young ones'. But life brings some unexpected changes and it's best not to go it alone. So thanks for these words today. Especially these words and especially today.

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    1. Interesting observations you're sharing, Deborah! There's a niche, for sure ... but I do like mixing it up with women {and guys!} young and old. It kind of goes with that everybody needs a mentor, everyone should be a mentor philosophy.

      I look forward to seeing how this plays out for you in your writing, friend!

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  18. Beautiful thoughts, beautiful picture! It's funny how 60 used to seem so old, but anymore, it's looking quite youthful. In general, and on you, my friend! I hope you have a wonderful birthday weekend. :-)

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    1. 60 used to be like Methuselah, ya' know? And now here I am. Weird how life passes by swiftly, oh so swiftly ...

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  19. As I read your post I was challenged by the notion that becoming a woman of a "certain" age may alleviate the wishy washy me who needs to be more "certain" about a lot of things. Looking forward to a God-inspired journey into steadfastness.

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    1. You hit the nail on the head with your last written word, friend. Steadfastness.

      Yes, that's who we're all longing to be, isn't it ...

      You always come bearing wisdom ... how grateful I am to do community with you!

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  20. You made me smile! It's seems like a contentment overcomes us as we get older and have ridden the many sorrows and storms of life. And that is what I saw in your words. I'm glad you continuing to create, and still making dreams Linda. You are touching my world!

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    1. You're making me think of that verse, 'godliness with contentment is great gain' {1 Timothy 6:6}. And sure joins forces with Michele's word, steadfastness.

      Yes, yes.

      This is why I love chatting with you all ... clarity and wisdom come full force when we put our heads and hearts together, don't they!

      ;-}

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  21. You two make 60 look amazing, Linda! What a great photo. You both look so happy and refreshed. I pray that this photo is a reflection of the settledness you feel in your new community, the joy and refueling you feel in this new stage of life and the peace you have in being solidly where God wants you--inspiring all of us! Yay for 60 looking awfully good!

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    1. It was a very good day ... happy and refreshed, healthy and grateful for God's abundant overflow of blessings.

      You saw it, didn't you, friend ...

      ;-}

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  22. Best wishes on your 60 and many more happy years to come.

    Here's what I said about 60 earlier this year: http://timeforreflections.blogspot.co.uk/2016/01/60.html

    God bless you and your family.

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    1. I'm off to check out your post right now, Victor!

      Thanks for coming by today ...

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  23. It is a blessing to hit the certain age friend. I am so happy for you dear friend. Praying that God pours out His Blessings upon your life and family.

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  24. Love the photo of the two of you, Linda, and the encouragement that what's coming is worth waiting for!

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    1. I love doing community with you, Crystal. You bring light wherever you go ...

      ;-}

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  25. Love this ! My parents fully embrace this mentality. Both right around sixty. Vibrant.
    Best way to be!

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    1. And I'm guessing they've birthed a pretty vibrant daughter!

      ;-}

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  26. You are still rockin'! I definitely agree that 60 is the new 30. :) getting older hasn't really bothered me like some. Not everyone gets to, so I want to be grateful!

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    1. Thanks for the sweet reminder that each day, each season is a valuable gift to be cherished and appreciated, Sarah ...

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'I want the people in my life to know that when they come to me, with whatever is on their mind or heart, they will be heard. I am dedicated to hearing the hearts of those around me.'
~ Adam McHugh, The Listening Life

Linda