Did you know that in just a little over 2 months I will be turning the big 6-0?! Yes … I believe that I have mentioned it a time or two … or three or four!
You know some things in life are worth celebrating and I believe that significant birthdays are one of them! I am not ashamed of being 60 … but I must admit … I wish that I could be 30 again … there are many moments when I wish that I looked like I did at 20 … or weighed what I did at 20!
Oh! The bliss of being able to “start all over again”! Now … wouldn’t that be something?
If I could do the last 6 decades all over again what would I do differently?
It’s all about priorities, isn’t it? What we prioritize in our youth may not be exactly what we prioritize later in life. What we deem as important and valuable during those exciting and challenging days of the teens and 20’s begins to mellow and evolve as each decade flies by.
And so, in the twilight of my 50’s, I’d like to share with you some things that I have learned about priorities. My prayer is that wherever you are on your life journey that these musings from a nearly 60-year-old heart and mind will enable you to live the life you were made for.
1 – Read your Bible.
Of all the things that I have done well, reading my Bible remains at the top of my list in every year of every decade. When I open its eternal yet rejuvenating pages, I become the very best version of me.
Because of the transfer of power that happens when I take the time to nestle into a Psalm … or am challenged by the writings of Paul … or read the life story of an ordinary man or woman who was used by God … it is with that power that my life explodes with possibility and with strength!
2 – Spend time with your family.
In the hustle and bustle of working, paying bills, soccer games, church responsibilities, volunteer activities, shopping, cooking, cleaning, laundry, mowing, and exercise …sometimes we lose sight of what is truly important in life. The loud call of the expendable drowns out the whisper of the valuable.
There is nothing as valuable as the family you have been given. Nothing or no one should be allowed to distract you from the treasure of these imperfect people who have your DNA.
People who have lost a dear family member understand this priority painfully well.
Listen to your children when they speak … make time for a date with your spouse … call your cousins who live far away … plan a family reunion … take ice cream to your grandmother’s house … call your mom.
Your family may not be perfect … they may even be weird … but they are still your family. And guess what? If their weird DNA is running through your cellular structure … that would make you weird as well!
3 – Make healthy choices when you are young.
Go for a long walk every day … take your vitamins … eat healthy foods … make time for relaxation.
I intend to do everything within my power to slow down the aging process! Growing older is a non-negotiable … getting old is optional!
I want to keep on jogging when I turn 65 … I intend to have a youthful spring in my step when I turn 70 … I will have a mischievous sparkle in my eye when I turn 75 … I plan to go on a missions trip when I turn 80 … I can’t wait to have long and meaningful discussions with my great-grandchildren when I turn 85 … I want to cook for the entire family when I turn 90 … and when I turn 95? I want to still be able to bend my knees in prayer.
4 – Give your money away!
Tithe every paycheck … be generous by investing in missions and ministries. Help someone less fortunate than you. You are not defined by what you earn but you are defined by what you give.
5 – Spend your money wisely and save more than you spend.
Oh! How I wish I could do this part of life over again! Life flies by and how we handle our money when we are young impacts our latter years. If all you can put away is $5 a week … do it now! You will never regret saving your money.
6 – Keep a journal.
A journal is the story of you. It is a record of your emotions, your prayers, your growth, your failures and your successes. No one else may ever read it but you and God … but in the writing of life experiences you will discover that you are not the same you as when you started this glorious adventure of life.
As the years pass quickly by … and they will … when you re-read the story of you … you will bask in the treasure of the pilgrimage that was uniquely yours. You will be able to discern the fingerprint of God upon the ordinary days of your extraordinary journey.
Your journal is a poignant reminder of the girl or boy you used to be.
Even if you have passed your 60th milestone, today is a wonderful day to commence the delight of writing down the adventure and history of your life.
7 – Be kind.
Kindness is the richest legacy that a person is able to leave. Kindness is the most valuable asset one can possibly own. Kindness is all that really matters in the end, isn’t it?
Be kind to your family and to strangers.
Speak only kind words with the utmost of kindness in your voice. And remember, sometimes the kindest thing you can do is simply to be quiet.
Look for ways to exhibit kindness every day … at the grocery store … in your neighborhood … at church … in the workplace.
Let’s face it … if you are too busy to be kind … you are just too busy.
If anyone remembers me for anything at all … I want them to remember that I read my Bible … I valued my family … I never lost my zest for life … I was a giver … and I was kind.
My friend … whether you are turning the big “2-0” this year … or the big “8-0” … or anything in between … what will your legacy be?
"He has told you, oh man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you? But to do justice, to love kindness and to walk humbly with your God.” – Micah 6:8