Aging Grace-full-y

Aging Grace-full-y

I’ve always had a fascination for objects that have been around a long time. I pick up a silver spoon, slanted at the tip from years of stirring, and wonder about my grandmother’s favorite dishes, about the incredible meals she made from next to nothing when times were tough and her pastor husband hadn’t been paid for months. I run my hand over a tablecloth I bought at a garage sale for two dollars and imagine family gatherings filled with laughter and reminiscing. My husband and I enjoy lunch at the table his mother sat at as a child, eating homemade bread spread with lard because butter was too costly. If these keepsakes could talk . . .

On a recent motorcycle ride, my very patient husband pulled to the side of the road twice so I could capture pictures of scenes that stirred my imagination. An old barn, worn anOld Barn Colord weathered, creates the perfect backdrop for bright orange tiger lilies. How could a person pass this and not take a picture?

And then there was the truck. A pile of rusted metal–long past its prime, cast aside, useless. Until someone saw it’s potential as a canvas for an explosion of summer color.

As I approach my mid-60s, it occurs to me that maybe I’m searching for some hope-filled life lesson in these artifacts. I could draw a parallel here–I’m approaching an age where my role is to simply be a gray and fading background for the youth and beauty around me. But to that I say . . . NOT! I am not about to give in to that kind of negative thinking.

So what positive can I draw from these history-laden things that capture my attention? Maybe that I, like they, have seen much in sixty-plus years. But I have the advantage of having learned from what I’ve witnessed and experienced. And I have a voice.

It dawned on me that the person whose yard I trespassed to snap the photo of the old, repurposed truck would probably not have stuck a hodgepodge of flower pots in a random spot in his or her yard. The flowers needed something to gather around. And the tiger lilies, had they sprouted in the middle of a barn yard, may have been mowed down if not for the glorious contrast of color on fading wood, old against new.

Lord, as we grow in years, let us be gathering places–sources of hard-won wisdom and knowledge of you. Show us how to offer others a reason to bloom. Help us to be encouragers who share hope that is based on seeing your promises come true–over and over again. And, Lord, teach us how to embrace the fading and graying with grace. The Amazing kind that comes only from you.

 

 

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Becky Melby About Becky Melby

Wisconsin resident Becky Melby is the author of the Lost Sanctuary Series and a dozen other contemporary fiction titles. Married for 43 years, mother of four, grandmother to fifteen, Becky thrives on writing, reading, camping, rides on the back of a silver Gold Wing, and time with family. Connect with her at her website or Facebook.

Comments

  1. I love this post. I turn 59 this week and I’ve been feeling and struggling with growing older. Your words filled my heart with purpose and joy. Thank you.

    [Reply]

    Becky Melby

    Becky Melby Reply:

    Thank you, Penny. We need to be reminding each other of our purpose as we grow older, don’t we?

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  2. I love, love, love the metaphor! Now that I’m technically a senior citizen, I see how lively senior citizens can be. My mom is eighty-five and going strong. She and her friends still have that joy for life. I think they’re the tiger lilies, not the barn!

    [Reply]

    Becky Melby

    Becky Melby Reply:

    Let’s strive to be tiger lilies, Linda!! There’s something fierce yet beautiful just in the name, isn’t there? I was blessed with a mom who was still taking part in exercise classes at 91.

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  3. Show us how to offer others a reason to bloom. Help us to be encouragers who shares hope that is based on seeing your promises come true–over and over again.

    There is an undeniable “witness” in that – a testimony that God never fails, though the ups and downs of a long and full life. Trusting Him to continue His faithfulness to us even now.

    [Reply]

    Becky Melby

    Becky Melby Reply:

    Amen, Cathe!!

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  4. Janet K Brown says:

    Cute post. Sometimes, I sure feel like that old truck. It gave me a laugh, but put a prayer on my lips.

    [Reply]

    Becky Melby

    Becky Melby Reply:

    I have those “old truck” days, too, Janet. Love your “put a prayer on my lips” line.

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  5. Thank you for this Becky. I needed it today exactly. I so much want to age gracefully, with wisdom and increased selflessness. Thank you for this sweet reminder and encouragement.

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