Thursday, October 24, 2013

Growing Older Gracefully

So many women I speak to loathe growing old.

I don't.

I look in the mirror at myself and I see beauty.  I see the beauty of laugh lines around my mouth and the start of crows feet at my eyes; the result of joy, laughter, and yes, sometimes tears.

I see the white hair that has come in to frame my face; the memories of years gone by of meeting my husband and true love, the birth of our children (one now grown and out of the house with several more following suit soon), and the growing of our family through good times, bad times, love, and loss.

I see my body with its stretch marks from carrying six amazing children, and I see the affects of gravity.  I no longer have the body I had 10 years ago, but then again, I would no no longer wear what I wore back then, so it doesn't matter.

I see myself growing older.  I see the marks of time written all over me for the world to see.  And I'm choosing to do so with grace.

The Bible says many wonderful things about being older:

Gray hair is a crown of splendor; it is attained by a righteous life.
 ~ Proverbs 16:32
Yet so many people, especially women, cover their "CROWN OF SPLENDOR" each day.  Of course is it only splendor if you live a life of righteousness.

The glory of the young men is their strength, gray hair the splendor of the old.
 ~ Proverbs 20:29
The young show off their strength, their glory; but too many of those growing older see their splendor, hide it, and hold tight to their youth.

Is not wisdom found among the aged?  Does not long life bring understanding? 
 ~ Job 12:12
So many are saddened at the signs of long life and want to look younger.  They fail to see that with long life brings WISDOM and UNDERSTANDING.  They are gifts.

Stand up in the presence of the aged, show respect for the elderly and revere your God.  I am Lord. 
 ~ Leviticus 19:32
This one is my favorite though.  In the SAME BREATH God commands that the younger stand out of respect for those who are older and to also revere God.  Amazing!  He placed respect for elders on the same level as reverence for God!  If that isn't enough to make a person realize that the signs of growing older, and even growing older itself, isn't something to be proud of, I don't know what is!

The world glorifies youth.  GOD glorifies those with a "crown of splendor".

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I have said these things unto you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.
~John 16:33