January 12, 2010

This is for Me, but Just in Case You Needed to Hear it, too.....

Thursday is my birthday. I turn 29. I'm surprised with myself at how badly I'm taking it. My theory is that ending a decade is much harder than beginning a new one. I'm about to be the oldest age in my decade. It's like I'm trying too hard to hold onto my 20s. Oddly enough, I think turning 30 is going to make me feel much younger than turning 29. This year, I think I'll just stay in bed and put anti-wrinkle cream on my face all day while periodically checking for stray grey hairs. Waaa!

Really, though, I feel the aging process kicking into gear. I have wrinkles on my forehead that use to not be there. Bunions are starting to form on my feet. Cashiers no longer card me when I go into a store to buy wine or beer.

And I know I'm being petty, which makes me feel worse.

My Christian woman conscience within wants to slap me upside my wrinkling head and say, You know youth is fleeting. You know trying to look young always is like chasing the wind. Stop being a sponge for society's agenda. Contrary to what the world around you is saying, you don't have to look young to be desirable to your husband, and God expects far more from you than just looking young.

Psalm 31 needs to be my Cosmo magazine, my reference for what is desired of women:

10 A wife of noble character who can find?
She is worth far more than rubies.
11 Her husband has full confidence in her
and lacks nothing of value.
12 She brings him good, not harm,
all the days of her life.
13 She selects wool and flax
and works with eager hands.
14 She is like the merchant ships,
bringing her food from afar.
15 She gets up while it is still dark;
she provides food for her family
and portions for her servant girls.
16 She considers a field and buys it;
out of her earnings she plants a vineyard.
17 She sets about her work vigorously;
her arms are strong for her tasks.
18 She sees that her trading is profitable,
and her lamp does not go out at night.
19 In her hand she holds the distaff
and grasps the spindle with her fingers.
20 She opens her arms to the poor
and extends her hands to the needy.
21 When it snows, she has no fear for her household;
for all of them are clothed in scarlet.
22 She makes coverings for her bed;
she is clothed in fine linen and purple.
23 Her husband is respected at the city gate,
where he takes his seat among the elders of the land.
24 She makes linen garments and sells them,
and supplies the merchants with sashes.
25 She is clothed with strength and dignity;
she can laugh at the days to come.
26 She speaks with wisdom,
and faithful instruction is on her tongue.
27 She watches over the affairs of her household
and does not eat the bread of idleness.
28 Her children arise and call her blessed;
her husband also, and he praises her:
29 "Many women do noble things,
but you surpass them all."
30 Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting;
but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised.
31 Give her the reward she has earned,
and let her works bring her praise at the city gate.

This is what God desires of me: to be trustworthy and kind, to work joyfully, to be disciplined, energetic, generous, and diligent, to be elegant, poised, a good manager of my home, and God-fearing. Never once does He tell me that younger is better. God does not value youth. He does value life and what we do with it for His glory.

When I dwell that I am leaving my youth behind, I am surely not dwelling on how I am not pleasing God. I have surely missed the mark on who I am here to please.

I was thinking this morning of the similarities of aging and pregnancy. Embracing my wrinkles and gray hairs coming in is so similar to embracing my stretch marks and swollen belly while pregnant. Neither is viewed highly in our society. Both times I was pregnant, the bigger my belly got and the thicker and longer my stretch marks became, the closer I was to bringing forth new life for a child and a new dynamic for my life which would definitely change the ways things were for me forever. I spent the days of my pregnancy nurturing the life inside of me, careful not to eat or drink the wrong things or do anything that would harm that life. I did not want to cause any damage to the growth taking forth within me.

Aging is much the same when you're a Christian.

There is a new Life coming, and my body is starting to show more and more signs that it is getting closer for me. Instead of dwelling and worrying about how the journey to that Life is changing my body in a way that is undesirable to this world, I need to make sure I am nurturing and readying myself for the Life that is to come! I need to make sure I am not damaging or hindering the growth that God is trying to do within me. Am I growing the way that God desires, or am I wasting this time chasing the wind for something that matters not, like the wrinkles on my forehead or the muffin top that I just can't seem to shake no matter how many crunches I do? Am I exercising my soul for the coming of my Lord and the new Life that is in store, or am I sitting numb to it all because the world tells me that it matters not?

Am I a sponge to the world, or am I helping the Living Water flow through the earth, waiting to be soaked up?

Instead of moping around in my aging misery on this birthday and all of those to come, I should wait in joyful hope for what is coming and prepare myself for Him as best I can until then.

So before I blow out my 29 candles {plus one to grow on} this year, that'll be my wish!


KatieLee Photography said...

You don't look any where near 29! And besides think of me - I have to face 30 before you and I have to face it single and childless! Sob! And I have the wrinkles and stray gray hairs and again I'm single and childless! AAAAHHHH!

happy birthday!

Blogahon said...

Katie, I count my blessings, truly I do!

BUT my 29 is not the same as your 29. Having kids does speed up the aging process about 10 years, I think.

I pray often that God would send you a godly, good husband soon!

And you truly embody so many of the godly qualities that God expects of His women. I have a lot to learn from you.

The Jasters said...

Amen, sista! Very well said.

Beth said...

Stephie I think you are aging beautifully and gracefully into a woman that pleases God and serves her family and I loooove that about you! Happy Birthday!

Beth said...

And if you need a drink to help leave your youth behind, let me know!

Missy @ It's Almost Naptime said...

FYI, I have LOVED my 30s. So much more than my 20s. I love really feeling like a grownup, instead of just like I am faking being a grownup, which is how I felt in my 20s.

And in 4 months I will be FORTY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Wisdom From the Pope

“The inalienable dignity of every human being and the rights which flow from that dignity - in the first place the right to life and the defense of life - are at the heart of the church's message." Pope John Paul ended his address, saying: "In spite of divisions among Christians, 'all those justified by faith through baptism are incorporated into Christ...brothers and sisters in the Lord.'" Pope John Paul 2