“She is clothed with strength and dignity; she can laugh at the days to come.” –Proverbs 31:25 NIV.
They Say After 50 Some Things Disappear. Hmmm. The title of the article catching my eye as I sipped cold tea. With no time to read the words I could only guess what it said.
Although I’m unclear about anything disappearing while I age, I can certainly tell you characteristics that seem to magically appear. Overnight. My mother’s hands showing up one day while brushing a web of tangles from my daughter’s hair. Where did those come from? I hadn’t noticed my time-worn fingers before.
It’s so cute too. Where we lack in observations, our children are sure to lend a hand. One afternoon my son’s naivety getting the better of him, “Mommy, you have a cut in the middle of your eyes, you need a Band-Aid!” I told him it wasn’t a boo-boo, but a blessing. Then I slathered a Band-Aid with wrinkle cream and stuck it tight to my face.
I’ll admit, I’m still trying to master the whole “growing old gracefully” idea. OK, does “graceful” include breaking bones and slipping “graceful-like” as you walk out the door? I’m just wondering. Because they sure don’t mention these sorts of issues when you find mail from the AARP crammed into your mailbox. The card looked more like a party invite, really. The thoughtful AARP people sent mine early. Uhg. Then they wanted me to pay to be a member! What? I had no idea they expected a big payment for a little discount. I’ve bought cases of Icy Hot, AARP people—I’ve paid my dues.
So maybe it is true. As I get older and think about approaching 50, some things have disappeared. Like the thought of being an Oceanographer. I love the ocean. I wanted to study it when I went off to college. Or maybe just play in it. Either way, I thought I was destined for that career. Except I live in Ohio. God knew that dream would fade with the cold breezes that swept across my back yard. As Art Linkletter said in one of his books, “Life is what happens while you’re making others plans.” Or living far away from the sea.
Now that I’m older I still make plans, however, some ideas have faded. Like a vibrant chevron kissed every day by the bright sun, I can’t, for the life of me, remember why I worried sooo much. But I’m not going to worry about that now. Or why I wanted to have a super clean home? That urge has completely disappeared.
This mama would have no problem staring down an army of dust bunnies while they taunted me from across the room. But now, if I could rewrite a few memories, I would change it up a bit.
For instance, I would hold my children a little longer. I would play with them a little harder and get dirty more often. I would laugh vigorously when they stuck straws up their noses and tape on the handle of the dish sprayer. Well, I would laugh and then have them clean up the mess.
I think if I knew now what I “thought” I knew back then—I would complain a lot less. Like about laundry. I would step over the piles and count them as heaps of blessing. Stinky blessing, but blessing all the same. I would strum my fingers across the soft feel of a baby blanket like I played a violin in a fleeting orchestra. And as I watched the dust flutter across the rays and fall hard onto the folded garments, I would take time to smell the laundry. Ah.
Because the article title is right, some things do disappear.
O Lord, thank you for being the giver of life. Help us to see our age as an overflow of your eternal generosity. May we cherish this day, seek you in the busyness, and breathe your goodness—a blessing that never ends.