Tag Archives: birthdays

Shared article: What God says about getting older

I was going to save this for when my birthday rolls around. However, since it doesn’t come until November, I thought someone might appreciate some encouragement before then. The following was posted on DaySpring.com and offered as an article to be shared.

What God Says About Getting Older  —    

Imagine celebrating your birthday like you’re 10 years old again. Full of joy, excited for the year ahead, doing something you love with the ones who make you smile.

Why do so many of us stop celebrating as the years pass? Birthdays come and go – maybe there’s a dinner involved, a few cards, some well wishes online. We move up one number, and it’s business as usual.

What would it look like to really celebrate our years again – to begin shifting our focus from the fear of aging, to the rich, full lives God is calling us into as the years pass?

This is not an easy task in a culture that fears growing old. Every day we’re bombarded with anti-aging messages. Remember this popular skincare commercial from the 80’s?

“Why grow old gracefully?” Says a beautiful, wrinkle-free woman, ”I intend to fight it every step of the way!”

But what does God say about it all? If we listen to the One Who created us, we will hear all about grace and goodness; not fear and resistance.

He reminds us more than once in His Word that growing older is an honor. “Gray hair is a crown of splendor…” (Proverbs 16:31 NIV). The more years we live, the more experiences we’re given to learn from, and the more wisdom and perspective we gain to see life in new and beautiful ways. When we see someone in their later years (or when we look in the mirror and it’s us!) lets remember what a gift that is.

And while the media leads us to believe that youth somehow has more value, the truth is, we are treasured by God at every age. Not only that, but He gives us specific gifts to share with the world in every season of our lives. In Titus 2:3-5, Paul reminds the older women of their great purpose – that by living reverent lives of love, self-control, purity and kindness, they will bless and nurture the hearts of the younger women and their families. The generations to come depend on our willingness to share what God has given us.

Some of us also fear growing older for physical reasons. Aging is often seen as a loss of control. Maybe our bodies aren’t able to do what they once could; our memories aren’t as sharp; we begin to need more help than we used to. As the years pass, our fear of the unknown may grow stronger.

But the truth is, we’ve never been in control anyway! From the moment we were created – whether we’ve realized it or not – we’ve relied on our Creator for every breath. Growing older helps us to shed that illusion of control more and more, and to rest in the promises of our loving God. Whether we’re 9 or 90, He vows to be with us every step of the way:

Even to your old age and gray hairs I am he, I am he who will sustain you. I have made you and I will carry you; I will sustain you and I will rescue you. (Isaiah 46:4 NIV)

How can we lean into God as we age, trusting that every day matters, from our first to our last?

Claim His Promises – Sit with a journal and your Bible, and interview yourself about growing older.  Am I afraid of aging? And if so, why? Once you’ve recorded your thoughts, find specific promises in God’s Word that will help bring you peace and assurance.

Make Healthy Choices – While the human body is not intended to live forever, we can still honor our Creator by making choices that bring us health and strength each day.  We are here at this time for a reason – let’s not miss the opportunities to help guide and encourage those around us!

Celebrate Life Every Day – Whether you’re celebrating your birthday or that of someone you love, remember that every day in every life matters. Don’t wait for a milestone to make it extra special.  Look in the mirror and cherish your laugh lines; remember how they are created. Smile at the grays; God says they are splendid. Laugh at the future; remember Who’s holding it all.

Does this make you feel any better about getting older? What is your attitude – and do you have any tips – about aging?

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings!  🙂

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One more day to win! & Life goes on

The time has passed quickly, it seems, to when I will announce my June giveaway winner. Tomorrow evening I will use random.org name picker to find out who receives this beautiful bag. 

butterfly bag5

 

 

 

If you have a postal address in Canada or the United States and would like a chance to win this bag, maybe as a gift for someone else, please be sure to get your name into the draw by leaving a comment on this post. You have until 9:00 PM EST July 15. I’ll be announcing the winner Thursday morning, July 16. I’m now thinking about what I can offer for July’s giveaway.  🙂

June is a busy month for this family. Last Friday marked a year since my father-in-law’s passing from this life … a whole year already. Somehow, life goes on. My sister’s (mumble mumble) birthday was last week. Tomorrow is my dad’s 91st birthday! The day after that is my grandson’s 11th birthday and his graduation from elementary school is at the end of the month. My sister-in-law’s birthday falls on Father’s Day this year, which may hold sadness for her this time. For my husband too, and really for all of us missing someone dear and important to us.  As I said – somehow, life goes on.

Last weekend my husband and I were guests at a small, lovely, outdoor wedding at a location overlooking the bay. Two of our four daughters were able to be there, one was the maid-of-honour – close friends with the bride for twenty-six years. Vows were said while waves rippled over the beach. It was a gorgeous sunny day set in the middle of cooler rainy ones.

Since I’m in a bit of a writing slump lately, my focus pulled this way and that, I’d like to ask you: What is the time of year that seems to work best for your writing? Is there something about one season that inspires you more than others? 

Thanks for writing, and … Creative Musings!  🙂

 

PiBoIdMo; writing through caregiving, loss & other things

November seems to be quickly disappearing; I’m having trouble keeping up!

I want to tell you about a few things, late, but here it is anyway.

Past years I’ve told you about PiBoIdMo. That’s Picture Book Idea Month created and super-efficiently managed by Tara Lazar every November 1-30 since she made it public in 2009. Check out her website HEREI participated for my first time when I learned of it in 2010, and every year since except for 2012. How many ideas have I come up with for picture book stories during those Novembers? Around 170. They aren’t all complete stories, of course. Some are names, some are titles, some are vague ideas, but a few … a few are almost the full story. (Gotta love when that happens.) Perhaps I will be able to combine some of the others to come up with interesting picture books.

This year I have taken on the PiBoIdMo challenge again. It’s fun and stimulates creativity. So far, by day 18, I’ve thought up 31 ideas. There’s one I like in particular having to do with Remembrance Day, known to many as Veterans Day.

As you may recall,  my word for 2015 is POSITIVITY

  • definition: noun: the state or quality of being positive; a quality or state characterized by certainty or acceptance or affirmation

– a tough one to maintain, I’ve discovered. For me, I see it as not giving up my dream … in whatever way that plays out with my writing aspirations. Although I seem to have made very little progress, I haven’t quit yet. I guess that’s worth something. I’m finding that, as we continue on with caregiving of our Dad who’s changing a little more each month, it’s getting harder to focus well on my writing and to do what I really want to do with it. This week I’ve made an effort to sign up for online courses that should give me a boost to learn more of what I need to know. PLUS, two months ago I received the blessing of a private writing coach! I am so excited about that! So although 2015 hasn’t been a productive year in writing, it perhaps has been beneficial in laying groundwork for 2016. What does it seem like to you?

Sad news: The lovely white-faced grey cockatiel my husband got me almost 21 years ago died this month.

PreciousPrecious was 21 years of age this month. In captivity cockatiels can live up to 25 years, so I think she did well. Even with my little Schnoodle, the house seems strangely empty without my exotic pet chirping and whistling to me when I come in the door. She used to answer my microwave and wall oven when I’d set them. 🙂 Precious also mimicked my beautiful old deaf cat, Scamper, several years ago when she’d go yowling around the house. Recently she’d begun mimicking my Meyya’s yip and whine. Yes, it’s sadly strange without her in our house anymore.

This evening I took special snacks to the Alzheimer’s Caregivers support group I’ve been attending for four years … (or is it a little longer? I’m not sure) … to celebrate with them. You see, Monday was my birthday – yes, I made it to another one. We caregivers have developed into a fun group as we support and encourage and inform one another while we make our way through difficult and emotionally painful situations. It’s fun because we all get along, we laugh a lot, and allow the tears that are necessary at times. Alzheimer’s is not fun but funny things happen, and we do have to keep our sense of humour. It’s a rough road. 

It’s been a busy time of late, with appointments, meetings, and trying to keep everything in order here at Dad’s. My writing? Well, there’s still hope! I’m not done yet. 🙂

How do you keep on writing midst the positive or negative stresses of life?

Do you have dreams or goals that keep you pressing onward?

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings!  🙂

 

Easter weekend busyness; reminder of a book giveaway

The Lord is risen!  He is risen indeed! 

In the truth of those words my hope is anchored and my life is secure.  🙂

What a busy Easter weekend we had. On Saturday morning my daughter #3 who lives in Alberta arrived home to surprise her oldest sister on her birthday. Although dd#3 (dd stands for dear daughter) was quite tired when she got here, she got busy adding the finishing touches to a video she had prepared of the many photos we had gathered of dd #1 through her life, from when I was expecting her right up to the present.

Dd #1’s lakehouse had been beautifully decorated inside with lots of birthday bling by dd#2 and dd #4, and pink balloons along the road marked the way there. Eventually, twenty-three of us were gathered in her large living/dining area, and the table was loaded with food for the “potluck” dinner. Once all were settled, in walked dd#3. When the birthday girl looked up and saw her sister standing there she yelled, “Are you freakin’ kidding me?!!” and ran to her for a long tight hug. Only six of us knew dd#3 would be there, so it was a delightful surprise to everyone else. The meal, some gifts, and then the video – which was enjoyable and entertaining, but it was the clip at the very end of it, from her good friend in Egypt, that really made her cry. Well worth the wait. 🙂

The next day was dd#1’s husband’s birthday, our son-in-law, so we had another little party. Since his birthday fell on Easter Sunday this year, we enjoyed our family dinner first – fourteen of us at Dad’s – and then followed that with blue balloons, birthday cake and a surprise gift we’d all ‘gone in on’ for him. It was another fun family event.

I know not everyone celebrates family the way we do. Some do more, some do less, but this is the way it has always been in my family. I remember as a child going up the road to my grandparents’ large farmhouse for celebration dinners. There would usually be somewhere between two and three dozen of us there (if not more), three generations. And everyone got along, except maybe there would be the odd spat among children that would be quickly settled, nothing major.

It has been surprising, and disappointing, to me over the years when my girls have invited friends to join us who weren’t used to that dynamic, but more used to squabbles when their family members got together. Their friends would express amazement to my daughters later and I would feel such regret for them. I hoped they saw in us something to strive for in their own lives and future.

Yes, we have much for which to be thankful. And when things don’t go smoothly, I have found the Lord can do wonders in hearts.

How do you celebrate family events?

AN IMPORTANT REMINDER: Tuesday April 22 at 6 PM EST … book giveaway! Laura Best’s Flying with a Broken Wing. Be sure to leave a comment on our interview.