I read a devotional from “Girlfriends in God” last week and it has stuck with me since I read it so I thought I’d share. It's a lot of words but please don't stop reading now. You'll be glad you didnt, I promise!
I think it says enough on its own without me adding my rambling thoughts to it (although you might notice I couldn’t resist in a few spots – the parentheses). It is written by a woman in the “older woman” category (this title came from the devotional and is not my own...lol) but even I, being in the “young woman” category found it to be something good to think on of how I would want to reflect on the life I am living now, down the road once I enter that other category.
Imagine: You are sitting across from a cherished (spunky) “older woman” in your life, sipping a cup of tea and she is giving you one of those “life-talks". :) At least that is picture of how those talks have went for me. Love those talks and love that cherished lady in my life.
By Mary Southerland
I have some advice for you, girlfriend. If you are a young woman, it really is true that you should cherish every day and every moment with your friends and family because the older you get, the quicker the days fly by. I look at my children who are married and having children of their own and wonder where all of those years went. How did this happen?
If you are an older woman, take a deep breath and celebrate the fact that you are breathing. I believe if you are alive, God has a purpose and plan for your life. Give yourself a pat on the back for your survival skills. Take a few moments to reflect on your life and don't get hung up on what might have been. Celebrate what is and what will be.
I have discovered some wonderful advantages to growing older and have learned some valuable lessons along the way. Each chapter of life seems to grow more exciting and I keep wondering when that "slow down" thing is going to kick in. I am no longer overly concerned with a lot of things that once kept me awake at night. There is great freedom in having paid a lot of "life dues" because I have already been there, done that and don't really care about getting the T-shirt.
(Love this paragraph) I can say with authority that you probably will live through that crisis you think will be the death of you. What defines you today may very well seem ridiculous in ten years or even ten days. Stupidity will give way to wisdom learned the hard way. I now give myself permission to do or not do things I once would have felt compelled to do simply because it was someone's ridiculous expectation… not God's plan. My audience has certainly changed over the years from the people who love to leer at me through the glass bowl in which I live, to running the race of life for an audience of One.
Yes, there are moments when I have made a frenzied and desperate attempt to stay young. But then, why would I want to do that? There are many years of my life I really do not want to revisit and there is so much of my life now that I love. During one of those youth seeking moments, I came across the following list of ways to stay young and found it quite interesting.
This is a “feel good” list. You know, one of those lists that makes you feel like, “Yep, that is the way life should be.” But…you never actually live any of them out. And I have to say that there are a few of these that I don’t agree with entirely, the principal behind it maybe, but not taking it at face value.
How to Stay Young
1. Throw out non-essential numbers such as your age, weight and height.
2. Keep only cheerful friends. The grouches pull you down. If you really need a grouch, there are probably family members to fill that need. (Haha…“if you really need a grouch”….stay away from those joy stealers)
3. Keep learning. Learn more about the computer, crafts, gardening, whatever. Just never let the brain idle.
4. Enjoy the simple things. When the children are young, that is all you can afford. When they are in college that is all you can afford. When they are grown, and you are on retirement, that is all you can afford.
5. Laugh often, long and loud. Laugh until you gasp for breath. Laugh so much that you can be tracked in the store by your distinctive laughter.
6. The tears happen. Endure, grieve, and move on. The only person that is with us our entire life is ourselves. (and GOD!) à Jill’s insert.
7. Surround yourself with what you love, whether it is family, pets, keepsakes, music, plants, hobbies or whatever. Your home is your refuge. (But don’t let these things become idols.) à Jill’s insert.
8. Cherish your health. If it is good, preserve it. If it is unstable, improve it. If it is beyond what you can improve, get help.
9. Don't take guilt trips. Go to the mall, the next county, a foreign country - but not guilt.
10. Tell the people you love how much you love them every chance you get. Never assume they know.
11. Don't worry about things you cannot change or do anything about. Accept them and move on.
12. Read more and dust less. (Ha…love this.)
13. Spend more time with your family and friends and less time working.
14. Whenever possible, life should be a pattern of experiences to savor, not to endure. Recognize these moments now and cherish them.
15. Do not "save" anything. Use your good china and crystal for every special event such as losing a pound, getting the sink unstopped, or the next blossom of flowers you see.
16. Wear your best outfit to the market.
17. Don't save your good perfume for only special occasions. Use it even if you are going shopping or just to the bank.
18. "Someday" and "one of these days" should vanish from your vocabulary. If it is worth seeing or hearing or doing, go and see or hear or do it now.
What about you? Are you living each day to the fullest? Jesus is all about living an abundant life in the here and now…whatever stage of life that may be for you. Jesus came so that we can live abundantly and eternally. Eternity began the moment you accepted Him as your Lord and Savior.
Who or what is stealing the joy from your life?
What circumstance are you facing that you need to see through God's eyes and boldly trust Him for?
Look around. What can you find in your life to celebrate?
(Some(thing) Beautiful! J)
Are you living out God's purpose for your life or are you bowing to the wrong audience and listening to the wrong voices?
Today, make the decision to celebrate life and all God has for you.
Romans 8:28 – And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them. à God is at work to make your life exactly what He wants it to be.
Read the original post by “Girlfriends in God” here.