(Press play to listen to this episode, or read the highlights below.)
If you struggle with how to feel about aging, or if it’s got you feeling down, THIS episode is exactly what you need to hear.
And stay with me to the end, because I’ve got a freebie for you with my top tips.
I titled this show, “Aging in His Grace”, because without His grace and without Him, we are left with the world’s opinion of aging, and it’s not a good one.
As I’ve aged, I’ve learned the truth that so much of aging is a mindset. It’s the thoughts you build about yourself constructing a godly vision or a worldly vision, and it’s captured vividly in the quote by Tim Challes:
Every day, we are all building the house we will live in when old age comes. Some of us are building a beautiful palace. Some are building a dark prison.
So sister-in-Christ, what are you building?
I can’t help but notice there’s a lot of bitterness, regret, and insecurity when it comes to aging.
You can feel the sting of it in quotes like this one form famous model, Paulina Porizkova: "Nothing ages worse than a beautiful woman’s ego."
For those of us who love Jesus, we never have to feel this way.
And then on the other side of the spectrum, we have Eleanor Roosevelt quote, "Beautiful young people are accidents of nature, but beautiful old people are works of art." And works of art require skill, an investment of time, and creative effort.
This episode covers three things that will help ensure you’re building a beautiful palace... because after all, you are the temple of God.
This is where we take inventory of how we view aging, what we’ve been told, what we’ve allowed to affect our self-view, and most importantly how God views it.
We can’t fix what we won’t face, so let’s undo the lies of the world for the truth of God.
Who or what has shaped your thoughts about aging or makes you think you’re old, it’s too late, and it’s over?
Myron Taylor wrote: “Time may wrinkle the skin, but worry, doubt, hate, and the loss of ideals wrinkle the soul.” As we gracefully accept the passing of years, God will smooth out the wrinkles of our souls.
Isn’t that beautiful as the years pass, think of how far you’ve come, friend! God’s grace is growing you into something beautiful!
When it comes to aging in God’s Grace: it’s like seeing our lives through His lens, not ours.
I’ll give you an example. My hands aren’t pretty or delicate, they are working hands, they’ve probably spent way too much time in the Arizona sun, they definitely show my age, but these hands cook meals for my family, they clean our home, they type books, and podcasts episodes and one really awesome thing I can do with my hands is walk on them.
Through the world’s eyes, my hands probably need a makeover, but when I choose to see them through God’s lens I immediately feel the grace of perspective and my view of them is that they are vehicles for creativity and purpose. This is deep and empowering.
And it speaks to point number two.
Embracing your age, your season, and becoming the grace-filled godly woman you want to be.
After we acknowledge how we view aging and whether or not it’s a worldly view imposed upon us or a Word view, we can adjust our mindset
As I’ve walked with God and grown in Him, I don’t think of aging as something you dread or try to hide, I think of it as a gift to celebrate and to use purposefully.
2 Corinthians 4:18 tells us..
So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.
Think of a woman who inspires you.
Have you ever embraced what kind of woman you want to be? Not the woman the world wants you to be the woman God wants you to be?
On the Revive Our Hearts Blog, I saw this and was so inspired I thought I should share:
Here are some of my aging gracefully choices:
When we focus on living a life for God for His glory the way the world sees age loses importance.
Armed with the Word of God working in you, and knowing your identity is in Him, you can age your way. You don’t need to succumb to the world’s view of aging as something to dread, fear, or be ashamed of.
Embrace, who God made you to be and lovingly accept who you are, in the season you’re in, and intentionally create and invest in the godly woman you want to be in your future: mind, body, and soul
I want to share a story because aging gracefully is a choice...
3. Be Intentional
It was 5 a.m. on a hot Arizona morning, and I had just begun my morning run. My body felt like an old car trying to start up. It was screaming at me and complaining with every step. A good ten minutes passed before everything kicked into gear and I felt warmed up.
On this particular day, I was feeling sorry for myself. I was thinking about how I had to work out first thing in the morning or I wouldn't have another opportunity. I was irritated because my family would still be sleeping by the time I was done running, showering, making breakfast, and packing lunches. That seemed unfair and just irked me.
With the sun barely peeking over the mountains, and my mind in a state of utter turmoil, I could see a man running ahead of me with a stride that seemed off. I ran faster to make sure he was okay. As I drew nearer to him, I realized he had survived a stroke, as his body was paralyzed on his entire left side. My heart sank, and I felt as though God was sending me a message.
Now you may remember my dad had a stroke and he was my life-changing reason to get healthy. So, this moment didn’t seem to be a mere coincidence. I stopped the man who was running and said, “I have to applaud you. You are truly amazing.”
This man was in his early 80s, had survived a stroke, and was still running at five o’clock in the morning even though he had every reason not to be. I told him that I didn’t feel like running that morning and had to force myself to do so.
He looked at me and said,“Well, at least we can.” What! At least we can, His words shook me - and they’ve stayed with me to this day.
His perspective changed me.
After that encounter, my dreaded run felt more like a privilege, and I couldn’t wait to get home and have breakfast made, lunches packed, and everything ready for my family when they woke up.
I still have moments when I tell myself, I get to work out, sometimes we need to change what we tell ourselves from I have to - to I get to!
Think of the quality of life in your days…when you picture yourself at 80, don’t you want to be playing with your grandkids, or great-grandkids, and telling them stories, or do you want to allow the prison of worldly mindsets about aging rob you of the joy and gift of age?
We have to intentionally take care of ourselves to live a long life.
And to some degree it’s our choice how we age.
For a moment let’s remove vanity from the self-care equation.
How do you take care of yourself?
Too often our motivation to take care of ourselves is found in what we look like versus honoring God in our bodies with the very best choices.
Here’s an example: When I do a plank and look down and see my stomach skin, I could think, what’s the point of working out having a big baby destroyed my skin there’s nothing I can do I’ll never look the same again, or I could smile to myself and say thank you God for the honor and privilege of being able to have my sweet girl, Giavella Sophia! My heart is tender enough to know that not everyone will become a mother...
The last point I want to make is that aging is a gift.
The next time you put a candle on your cake consider the fact that not everyone will make it to that age...
When I think of my niece Lisa who died at 30 of breast cancer and fought so hard because she couldn’t say goodbye to her 2 and 4 yr old sons, Matthew and Robert.
Or my dad who died of a massive heart attack at 61, I know that whatever age you are today, not everyone will get to celebrate it.
The world sees aging negatively, so we have to acknowledge our right and wrong thoughts about it, embrace who we are and who we want to be, and then intentionally act to take care of ourselves.
Toby Keith has a song called," Don’t let the old man in!"
There’s a line in the song that really stuck with me, it says,
How old would you be if you didn’t know the year you were born?
–>Now you can do a couple of things with this message, you can hear it and hit control alt del! LOL... or you can say, you know what, I’m going to age in God’s grace and be the best me I can be!
What will you choose?
When I told my amazing husband, Bill about this episode he said oh you have to share this, so here it is:
“On the plains of hesitation bleach the bones of countless millions who, at the dawn of decision, sat down to wait, and waiting died” – George W. Cecil
The point is don’t want you to wait to take care of yourself.
I think what happens to some of us is we can get stuck in a moment and we can’t get out of it, or we are always trying to go back and be someone we used to be, but our lives are ahead of us not behind.
Make peace with what was even if it hurts, because God’s not done with you friend and He still has a purpose for you that you need to fulfill.
My Prayer for you:
Many of us don’t ‘share it, but privately we struggle with how to feel about aging, we fear the future and the world fuels this with their narrative.
BUT in you we can completely reject this thinking. Show us where we have allowed the world to be louder than the Word. Help us begin building the godly woman you want us to be and motivate us to act with intention to invest in taking care of ourselves for our future 90-year-old selves.
I pray that the liberating truth of your word empowers the thoughts of every one of my fit sisters in Christ to see aging as a gift you’ve given them to be cherished, and that they can age in your grace...
In Jesus’ name. Amen!
God reassures His people: “Even to your old age, . . . and even to gray hairs I will carry you. – Isaiah 46:4
So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. – 2 Corinthians 4:16
Charm is deceitful and beauty is passing, But a woman who fears the Lord, she shall be praised. Give her of the fruit of her hands, And let her own works praise her in the gates. – Proverbs 31: 30-31
I hope this has felt like a sister encouraging you...because you are so precious to God. Don’t let the world's view of your age stop you from being the godly woman you want to be.
Okay, as promised, download "Aging in His Grace: My Top Tips" and a copy of this prayer.
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Until next time...
From my heart to yours,
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