I am going to be 60 years old in 91 days … how did that happen?! How did I evolve from a piano-playing, book-reading, bike-riding little girl into a grandmother?!
When did wrinkles and age spots appear on my formerly peaches and cream complexion?!
When did I start to look more like a post-menopausal woman rather than a fit and svelte 20-something?!
When did the golden blonde turn to mousy brown turn to gray?!
If there is one thing that is true about life … it is that life flies by far more quickly than you can begin to imagine. It is impossible to lasso time … or to press pause on the soundtrack of your life … or set it to play on slow motion. Time moves at lightning speed and the only way to capture time is in your heart.
There is an interesting aspect, however, to the effects and speed of time. When the age of a person is viewed from the outside and from the inside, there are two distinctly different views indeed.
You might look at me and think, “Yep … she is a grandmother with highlighted hair and a diminished sense of style.” However, when I look at me … I see something much, much different than what my outward appearance may present.
When I look at me … I still see a little girl who dreams about being an author.
When I look at me … I miraculously view a teen-ager whose heart aches when listening to an LP of Chopin or Gershwin because the music touches a deep spot in me that I didn’t even know existed. While everyone else is listening to the Beatles and Jefferson Airplane and the Rolling Stones … I am proudly addicted to the harmonies of the Letterman and to the lyrics of “Climb Every Mountain”!
When I look at me … I am able to conjure up a college freshman who is so homesick that she longs to be a little girl again in the safety of her pink and white canopy bed. I can still feel the angst rise up inside of me as I cry myself to sleep night after lonely night of the fall of 1973 in a college dormitory room thousands of miles from home.
When I look at me … I have a vibrant peek at a young bride who is head over heels in love with the young man of her dreams. How was I chosen to marry him?! Did he really choose me?! It is true, my 22 year old self remembers, when you meet “the one” … you just know that you know that you know.
When I look at me … I melt at the view of a first-time mother who watches her baby boy even while he is sleeping so great is the wonder and joy! I remember putting my nose next to his little mouth and then smelling his baby breath … so fresh from heaven. He is what love looks like … this squalling, red-faced night owl is the personification of the love of my husband and I. Imagine that!
When I look at me … I am able to take a gander at a homeschool mom in a jean skirt who knows that she is divinely called to raise the next generation for significance and destiny. In spite of piles of laundry and yesterday’s dishes still in the kitchen sink, I long to place inside the hearts and my minds of my 5 progeny the richness of Shakespeare … the fulfillment of solving an impossible and confusing algebraic equation … and the fact that all vocabulary roads lead to Rome!
You only see the “me” of today … I see the “me” of every season of the life that I have been given.
And, when I see me, I don’t just see “me” because life is the compilation of those who have invested and left a deposit of “them” in “me”.
When I see “me” … I see Grandma Blew’s love of Thanksgiving and Auntie’s commitment to children.
When I see “me” … I see my dad’s love for the Word of God and for giving one’s life to foreign missions.
When I see “me” … I see my mother’s love for the giving of extravagant and thoughtful gifts. I see my mother’s ability to turn an ordinary day into a holiday.
When I see “me” … I see Miss Sullivan’s, my fifth grade teacher, love for words and for their meanings and their derivations.
When I see “me” … I see my second grade teacher’s, Mrs. Dombrowski, love for Laura Ingalls Wilder … and Louisa May Alcott … and Charlotte’s Web.
When I see “me” … I hear Uncle Doug, the world’s greatest piano teacher, encouraging me to memorize a Chopin Waltz or a Rachmaninoff Concerto.
When I see “me” … I see a little girl at the altar of the Batavia Assembly of God church simply wanting more of God.
And so, as I stand at the threshold of the big “6-0”, I don’t stand there alone. I stand there with all of the people, experiences and events that have helped to write my story. And although I know that there is more of life behind me than in front of me, I stand confident in the conviction that there is still much of life left to be lived!
There are grandbabies to love and books to write!
There are women who need to be encouraged by the power and principles found only in the Word of God and more friends to be made!
There are Bible verses to be studied, continents that need reaching and gifts to be given.
There are young women who need mentoring, blogs to create and dreams to be dreamed.
There are radio programs to be produced, conferences that need planning and Christmases to be celebrated!
I am nearly 60 years old … and I have only just begun to LIVE! God is not finished with me yet … and He is not finished with you, either. So, roll up your sleeves, and get to work serving God. Never let creaking joints, a less than stellar memory or a few extra pounds stop you from pursuing passionately all of life that is yet to be lived!
I intend to cross the finish line sweaty … not rusty! I will be the one with my hands in the air, a youthful twinkle in my eye and with not one ounce of regret.
I have only just begun to live!