The Beauty of Aging

Do you love beautiful, old, abandoned buildings? I know I do. Elegant old architecture made almost more beautiful covered by overgrowth, a tree growing through the middle. There is a haunting beauty in crumbling places.

God has made everything beautiful for its own time.

My mom and I were talking recently about the art of aging gracefully. This seems to have gone completely out of style. Aging, that is. Everyone is so obsessed with youth it seems that aging, even if it’s graceful, has to be hidden at all costs.

The Bible says, “Gray hair is a crown of glory; it is gained by living a godly life.”

‭‭Proverbs‬ ‭16:31‬ ‭NLT‬‬

A crown of glory! Gray hair! There is an entire industry set up around hiding that crown of glory, among other signs of aging.

When Ecclesiastes says that God makes everything beautiful for its time, couldn’t that mean us too? Isn’t there a beauty in 40 that wasn’t there at 20? What about 60 or 70? There is a beauty to smile lines, evidence of a life of laughter and smiling. There is a beauty to hands that have worked so hard to care for a family, worked to support their loved ones. There is a beauty to that crown of gray hair gained by living a godly life. It’s not the same beauty that comes with youth, but that’s kind of the point isn’t it? That each year has its own beauty in and of itself.

God has hidden eternity in our hearts. We can watch our reflections change to see time passing, and maybe that desire to stay young is really that hidden knowledge that while the body ages it hides eternal souls inside. Maybe what you see doesn’t reflect how you feel, and that’s okay because if you believe the Bible then you know there is so much more to life than what we are living down here.

While the world rallies around youth, I think it’s important to remember that there is value, wisdom, and yes beauty, in age as well.

 

 

As Iron Sharpens Iron…

… so a good friend sharpens a friend (Proverbs 27:17).

Would you believe I am painfully shy? If you know me in person I know this seems extremely doubtful, but it’s true.

Throughout most of my childhood I could barely stand interacting with cashiers much less approach anyone to become friends. When I was 16 I went to my first real away from home camp. There the owner of the camp brought all new campers to the highest point on the island and told us that we had the rare opportunity to reinvent ourselves that week. No one there knew who we were yet. There was no history, no labels, we could attempt to be the people we admired and no one would know the difference.

That week I worked extremely hard to be warm and friendly and outgoing.

It helped a lot, and it was something I kept up when I got back to “real life”. I got my first job, and eventually got into college, and the roller coaster of growing up kept throwing me into situations where people were always present so I could continue to practice this skill of being outgoing.

Then I finished grad school for the second time and was unemployed for a year. The shyness started creeping back in. I got my teaching job in Louisiana and met some of the best people which brought me out of my shell, until we moved.

It’s been two years of working at home and living in cities far away from family and friends and that shyness is definitely looming. I know I need friends. Physical, close by, in person people I can talk to and call up for help and confide in. I need this! It’s just SO hard to shake off the apprehension of going out into new situations to meet these potential new friends. When you were the kid who couldn’t look cashiers in the eye while paying for your candy bar, venturing out to a mommy and me gym and striking up conversations feels like an impossible task. Trying out new churches when your husband works nights and won’t be with you suddenly makes the term “shrinking violet” make so much more sense. I swear I can feel my body collapsing in on itself as I try to make myself smaller and smaller so I can sneak away.

Fighting this battle at 16 seemed hard, but at 37 it feels impossible!

This is where I have to take a deep breath and remember I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. He tells me pretty clearly that I need friends. God isn’t going to give me a command without standing by me and giving me the strength to follow it out.

Deep breath, another sip of coffee. I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.

 

A Lovely Ride

Can you see the city in the distance? That is Toronto! I’m waving to Canada right now!

Uprooting your life to move with the person you love has its perks! 

It also has its fair share of stress and hardships. I left a LOT of really awesome people back in New Orleans. It’s been kind of a slow adjustment, especially to this new definition of “summer weather” but it is days like this one when I really love being able to experience new places.

I also had NO idea just how much I use my core when riding on the back of a motorcycle. Every turn and stop I was like, “Hello! Did I work out EVERY muscle in my back yesterday?!!”

I felt muscles I didn’t even know I had. They made their displeasure quite known.

We rode up the scenic way and then on the way back down we stopped at Wegman’s for a snack and to stock up on a few items we needed for the week. The benefits of having a giant cruiser! Wegman’s was not a familiar name, but it’s quickly becoming a favorite grocery store.

What I really love is how friendly everyone in our new state has been. Namon and I are both Midwest kids, and then I spent around ten years in small town southern Illinois and he spent years in Louisiana. We are use to really open and friendly folks. Each state has its own feel, and since I’ve never even been to New York, all I knew about it was of course the city. 

I’m a country girl! I was nervous.

However, we are nowhere NEAR New York City, and instead have found ourselves surrounded by some of the prettiest country ever! It has been wonderful!

Worrying about this move did nothing for me. I should have just realized that no matter what, Namon and I can always find the best in any situation. I should have stayed positive. Either way, I’m glad it all worked out in the end.

I just wanted to share the photo, and a bit of how we relaxed today. Namon is prepping for his next cooking video. 😊 He really enjoys it!

I hope you all had a peaceful Sunday as well!

Here you can clearly see the big red mark left behind by my helmet! 😣 I may need a large… I have a huge head! 

A Day of Rest… and a Run


Getting kitty kisses as I stretch out!

Sunday is usually my rest day. Everyone needs to rest, and in my humble opinion that was why Sunday’s were invented.

Sometimes, however, a quick solo run IS part of that rest. 

My run time is when I can just zone out. I listen to pop music, bounce to the mindless sugarcoated lyrics, and focus on breating in and out. It’s kind of zen for me. Even with Britney singing in my ears that I better work.

I mentioned before that my resting heart rate was really high before exercise. It has since dropped down to a human level instead of a small woodland critter, but I know that is because I work it out a little each day. After my run I feel calm and my heart relaxes into a quiet rhythm. 

The whole point of this post is to say you have to rest, but rest has to be your own definition. My morning run was two miles in 30 minutes, so more like a slow jog, with much walking before and after. Maybe your rest is doing a home project you’ve been meaning to finish, or reading that novel that’s been sitting by your bed the last month, or even taking the kids to the park and playing frisbee. 

Whatever you think of as rest, give yourself time to DO it! Part of taking care of yourself is giving yourself time for peace!

Happy Sunday, everyone! I’m off for a motorcycle ride with my man!