Your divine upgrade to the post-menopause season of your life is now COMPLETE! Let's put the cherry on top and finish this topic focusing on the call upon our hearts, minds, emotions, and bodies to make the most of these last several decades (God willing) as we embrace a mindset shift toward the blessing of aging gracefully and with purpose.
Our gratitude ought to be spilling over about now!
In my study of elderly women of the Bible as well as verses about aging, I found 4 pillar character traits that we want to be sure to emulate: strength, wisdom, service to others, and hearts set to dream.
Let's just set the record straight right now on the promises we have to become strong physically and mentally (and not only when we are older)!
If you want to be physically and mentally strong and flexible, this means you will take very good care of your body and brain. You will offer it "fuel" that is of highest quality; you will exercise it with some resistance to prevent atrophy, sluggishness, and pain; and you will make sure that the thoughts you are thinking are godly and pure, not self-focused and toxic.
God has given us the mind of Christ. What does this mean? It means that we can process life God's way. We have mental and emotional fortitude. We have clarity of thought and purpose. Our minds are organized and productive. We awaken with purpose and drive, no matter our age. We learn something new each day. We try something new each day. We go somewhere new each day. We enjoy how far we've come, and we celebrate the age of our bodies and the privileges that come with maturity.
On my desk I have a jar filled with small stones. Each tiny pebble represents a day in my life. Written on the jar is this verse from Psa. 90:12: "Teach us to number our days aright, that we may gain a heart of wisdom." Years ago I had read about a rabbi who had a jar of marbles in his office. Each day he removed a marble and before tossing it outside, he prayed over his "day" offering it to God, come what may. He recognized that life was so fragile and that each day was no guarantee he would see another. As he aged, the level of the marbles, of course, continued to decrease day after day. The profound importance of living life fully each day God's way because increasingly more vital to him.
Needless to say when I told my kids what I was doing with the small pebbles and how I had estimated the number of days I might live, they thought it was positively morbid, just horrible. I assured them that I calculated my age to 120 so they should not worry!
I genuinely want wisdom to make each day count, but too often, I'm rushed and sadly there are days that I forget to slow down and give God my day. But when I notice I'm off track a bit, I can reorient, switchback, and step into what's most important each day.
The Bible tells us that "Wisdom is with aged men, with long life is understanding" (Job 12:12). Some say that wisdom is the most valuable treasure we will have as we age. Of course, wisdom is not reserved for the old - even children can be encouraged to become wise and practice wisdom. Although sadly we may make plenty of choices that keep us from growing wiser, perhaps the very best practice we can do to step into wisdom at any age is to study and apply God's Word.
In the Hebraic way of thinking, studying God's Word is the highest form of praise.
SERVICE TO OTHERS
Many of us as we enter our 50s have parents, children, and perhaps even grandchildren. We are the "sandwich" generation, nestled between two if not three other generations. The call for us to serve each generation could never be louder. We honor our parents and live longer as we do so (Exo. 20:12), our grandchildren become our "crown", plus we get to soak in the glory of our children (Pro. 17:6).
What is our role, then, with our parents, our children, and our grandchildren? In our wisdom, we teach and we serve. We mentor, we encourage, we share. We show reverence in our behavior and we teach what is good (Tit. 2:3).
Now, before we go much further, I want to be respectful to what you may be thinking. Your parents may have died at an early age. Perhaps you are estranged from your parents or children. Maybe you never had children. Perhaps you are the only person in your women's group without grandchildren. Hold for a moment. In your case whatever it may be, you will need to reframe how you look at it. You will want to develop a new perspective. Trust me. There are plenty of grandparents, peers, children, grandchildren...who need one thing in their lives: Y O U. Pray and ask God whom you may adopt into your heart forever. Then go serve. I am convinced that someone, some where is waiting on you right this moment. Find and serve that person that you wish you had. You have so much to share. The time is now.
HEARTS SET TO DREAM
We chase our bliss. We find that pursuit that really revs our engines. We step into the unknown like a wide-eyed child in a toy factory. We become the adventurers we always wanted to be. We celebrate just how far we have come and how many more steps we may be blessed to take! We keep going. We don't quit. We dream, and we dream big. And we always start each moment with a grateful heart (no matter our conditions or afflictions).
Even old folks can have dreams by means of God's Spirit (Joel 2:28). Let's live our lives expecting to die "in a ripe old age, full of days, riches and honor" (1 Chr. 29:28).
The righteous man will flourish like the palm tree,
He will grow like a cedar in Lebanon.
Planted in the house of the LORD,
They will flourish in the courts of our God.
They will still yield fruit in old age;
They shall be full of sap and very green,
To declare that the LORD is upright;
He is my rock, and there is no unrighteousness in Him.
Psalm 92: 12-15
And the motivation for our dreaming? To declare that the Lord is our upright, righteous Rock.
If the Lord is our Rock, we won't be held back. Our foundation is firm. When we take care of our bodies we stay strong to reach many milestones, goals, and dreams. When we guard our hearts and minds and when we study and apply His Word, we grow wiser. We are positioned. We are ready, willing and able to share God's love with others and to serve selflessly.
So, my dear postmenopausal friend, you got this.
Now is the time to step in to your Divine Upgrade.
Celebrate the godly terms and conditions and show the world what you've got!
We are waiting.
Be like Sarah who overcame the odds at her age.
Be like the prophetess Anna in her devotion and wisdom.
Be like Elizabeth (John the Baptist's mom) in her faith.
Be like Lois in her service to her family.
Be like Naomi in her adventuresome, determined spirit.
Be you. Your unique, beautiful, able, and capable YOU.
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