Tag Archives: aging

Worth in the Wrinkles & Grace for the Grey

One night a couple weeks ago my husband and I were eating dinner. It was just the two of us that night. I don’t know what we were talking about but I do remember when he looked up and out of the blue asked, “Do you think you will grow old gracefully or fight it as long as you can?”

Had I not just seen for myself that very day the grey hairs framing my face I wouldn’t have known what he was referring to.  But as it was I instinctively knew he saw exactly what I had – all those wiry greys! It was as if he read my mind because since seeing how obvious they had become I had been thinking maybe it was time to add a little color.

Fast-forward a few days to when I was looking over the headshots a friend took for me.  My husband’s question floated back into the forefront of mind. This time it wasn’t so much the greys bothering me, but the wrinkles around my eyes. It would be so easy for my friend to smooth those out a bit in the pictures. (And to be honest, in one she did). But apart from a miracle cream I don’t know about it, those lines in real life aren’t ever going to totally disappear.

My insecurities over these visible signs of aging got me thinking about how alike we women are to our daughters. Here we worry about how they see themselves and the pressure to be perfect, but we are no different. Whether we admit it or not, we too look to our appearance as an identity.

By this I mean we base our worth on how we look. Our weight, the wrinkles, the grey, the sag or flab, it can consume us. Only made worse when we look around and compare how we stack up to others. So at any given moment – at a party, the gym or scrolling through Instagram – we have those same thoughts as our daughters. I’m not enough. I need to be better. Everyone else is perfect. And just like our daughters, we also exert alot of energy trying to make ourselves enough, better, perfect.

Now I’m not saying there is anything wrong with taking care of ourselves and wanting to feel and feel good. The problem is when our appearance becomes the measuring stick for determing our worth, and the worth of others too. What we turn to for our identity.  What we think if we attain or maintain will make us happy and give us life. And in its ruling over us, we will in direct and indirect ways communicate to our girls and others that appearance is where their value comes from too.

But if my true identity is found in Christ, then the extra pounds, the wrinkles, the grey hairs, my grey tooth (yes, it’s true I have one!) or whatever else it is that bothers you about yourself is not what defines us!

I’m writing this for myself, because what I saw in the mirror and reflecting back at me in the photos knocked me off this gospel truth. I didn’t want others to see the wrinkles or think I looked old because of them. But it takes a constant reorienting to remember who we are. One minute I know the truth and feel secure, and the next minute I’m looking to false sources to make me okay.

Because this is true of me, what better entry point to help our daughters see we are in the same boat. We understand her self-obsession because we too become self-consumed.  So what we both need is to see our false identities as the sin it is, and point each other back to who Christ is for us.

In Christ, I am perfect and perfectly loved. An his opinion, truly, is the only one that matters. If only I could always fix my eyes on this truth, maybe I could grow old gracefully (with colored hair or not)! By his grace. 

“Those who look to him are radiant, and their faces shall never be ashamed (Psalm 34:5).”

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The Beauty in Aging

Today is one of those “big” birthdays for a dear friend. She is 30. Another close friend turns 40 this month. A couple just hit 50.  My grandparents each at 90. And my daughter now 16. All significant birthdays. All occassions for celebration, but also reflection, anticipation and sometimes trepidation.

As I’ve visited with a few of these ladies and others, plus thought about my own experience in moving from one decade to the next, I think its interesting to consider why we either become excited or depressed about a new age.

One of the obvious drawbacks is AGING – the physical ailments, limitations, changes and eventually death. But I think with our culture so obsessed with being forever young we forget all the wonderful blessings that come with aging and instead of embracing who we are, we are constantly coming up with new ways to cover up.

Here is some of what the Bible says:

“Gray hair is a crown of glory;
it is gained in a righteous life.” Proverbs 16:31

“Wisdom is with the aged,
and understanding in length of days.” Job 12:12

“They (the righteous) still bear fruit in old age;
they are ever full of sap and green…” Psalm 92:14

“So teach us to number our days
that we may get a heart of wisdom.” Psalm 90:12

“Grandchildren are the crown of the aged,
and the glory of children is their fathers.” Proverbs 17:6

“Moses was 120 years old when he died. His eye was undimmed, and his vigor unabated.” Deut. 34:7

How beautiful to view aging this way! To esteem wisdom that is gained only through the accumulation of life’s events, trials and tribulations. To consider our days lived for the Lord with great purpose and to still find significance in them. To think though we become physically weaker we are still full of life and bearing fruit. To see our grey and wrinkles as “crowns of glory.”

This is the perspective I hope to hang on to – beauty growing with age, wisdom in weathering the storms.

It actually explains why I would not turn back time to an earlier age. Because even though I am not truly seasoned in life, I still see so much more clearly now things I didn’t a decade ago.  Idols, really, that used to consume or drive me. Fears and worries that occupied too much space in my head. By no means have I graduated from that nor will I until glory, but again how beautiful to think how 10 more years of growth and time will continue changing me.

So to my friends being celebrated this month- Behold the glory of the Lord and let His radiance shine in and through you day by day, year by year.

An Anti anti-aging Perspective

th I love my birthday!  I always have.  Not necessarily that it’s so close to Christmas, but I just like the idea of celebrating, the excuse for a party and having a reason to connect with family and friends.  In fact, my husband laughs at me because depending on whether or not all those phone calls (or now texts, emails and FB messages) come has been known to make or break my day!

Since once again, today is that day, I better hear from you 🙂  Just kidding… since today is that day, the reality is I have to face my age in the face!

Have you ever thought about how when you are kid you can’t wait to be older? Especially when turning double-digits for the first time, becoming a teen-ager, getting your drivers license, voting rights at 18 and then 21!

But then what happens?

We get older … and all of the sudden we want to be younger!  We want to turn back time.

My good friend just gave me the bestseller book, 7 Years Younger, and I am soaking it up. I can’t wait to try the recipes, the skin care tips and whatever other enlightening ideas it tells me will shave seven years off!

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But, what we all know too well to be true is that even if we succeed in looking and feeling younger than we are, it still isn’t going to reverse our actual age.  Last year as I approached a bigger birthday (in significance) then today, I really dreaded hitting that certain number.

But then my perspective changed in a way that I hope I still hold on to four decades from now.  At my age today I feel a sense of greater security,  contentment and insight than when I was younger.  The anxiety of striving to become something or someone doesn’t drive me.  The fear of not knowing what the future holds crops up, but doesn’t rule.  Things that used to bother or worry me are not as controlling.

As I’ve thought about why this is, my only conclusion is the grace of God.  Just a I blogged last week about David learning to calm his soul and to level out the “noise”, I see that as the years pass me by, God is upholding and growing me.  Growing me to be more dependent on Him for life.

And if this is the case, I don’t want to turn back time, to a time I was younger and more restless.  I want to continue to embrace and enjoy each of life’s stages.  I want to continue learning new things, but always remember the main thing: that life is found only in Him.

To God be the Glory… wrinkles, greying hair and all!

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…my favorite 🙂

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