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Wrapping Our Minds Around Aging

My mother-in-law called the other day, she was talking about turning 80 years old. She said that it’s hard to wrap your mind around being that old. I have been having the same sensation regarding aging, though a generation younger, but marvel at how quickly the time has gone. Just yesterday, she was my age,  my children were young. There are times when it is more difficult, really we cannot believe it is us who are the old ones now.

My in-laws possess a simple joy, a grace for living. Now that much has passed, troubles seem insignificant, and what their life represents is goodness. They did what they had to do. I have not always agreed with them at all, but have come to respect them. And in their own ways and life, they have loved the Lord Jesus, believing in Him.

We talked a little about the troubles in today’s world, how it looks as if Jesus would return any time. We thought we’d meet each other in the air soon. How cool is that? Our expectation and hope, a joyful reunion with our Savior.

Simple Joy - Watercolor
Simple Joy – Watercolor

 

My husband and I are as different as day and night. He came from the family that was cohesive, had basic Christian values, a stable understanding of good and what is expected. He knew the Lord most of his life. He knew neighbors and family, helping your neighbor and loving them, giving something all you have, making the best out of what you are given. He had an understanding of animals, and disciplines we have because of them. My earthly growing up family was not that at all, and the Lord Jesus saved me when I was 27. Wonderful real experience meeting Jesus. He makes it worth it to follow Him… nothing else “tastes so good” or has the substance He is. Three years after meeting Jesus, I met my husband. Together in and by the Lord, held together by Him as our glue, I got the best end of this deal hands down. He feels the Lord gave me to him to help facilitate his suffering and transformation, also gift from God.

American Farmer - 28"x22" - Oil
American Farmer – 28″x22″ – Oil

While mothering, I had a sense of purpose and value, a sense also of amazement that the Lord would choose me to raise His young ones. He supplied me with what I needed, the kids grew into wonderful substantial believing people who can survive in this world should I pass on.  They were the first “job” or “purpose” I ever had that made me bigger than I could be, the first “thing” that meant anything to me to do. I gave it all I had. I remember holding my son as an infant, realizing his absolute dependence upon me… I guess that’s when Jesus became dependability in me. When they left, it was very devastating, as I didn’t know who I was if I wasn’t Mom, or what did I used to do before I had kids?? Who is that man I married… and lost somewhere along the way while we were both so busy making a living and such things.

Empty Nester - 48"x24" - Oil
Empty Nester – 48″x24″ – Oil

All these things happen in the time that went by so fast. So, when we’re wrapping our minds around it again, what seems like yesterday is 30 years ago. When we see our kids, they still have pudgy fingers and toes, even though we see these incredible grown ups before us. When I look in the mirror it is a surprise to see a grandmother looking back at me. Oh! surprise, we’re still in here even though the body is old. We do not know we are getting old until we see the “decaying of the outward man” looking at us in the mirror. We forget we have old bodies until we look.

I suppose what we have to wrap our mind around is that we are still, and always will be, fairly young. We are being renewed. We are being transformed into the image of God’s own Son. We will soon pass from this earth. We will meet Him – changed in a moment  – together with all those who believe in Him, in the air. The hard part is looking in the mirror, and believing it’s really us.

 

4 Comments

  1. Ken Keegan Ken Keegan

    Love your website, Jean!. Such wonderful paintings. I’ve always been a big fan, love seeing all you fine work in one place.

    I too am amazed at this aging thing. I appreciate your insights.

    Thanks so much for sharing.

    • Thank you Ken. I’d like to hear and see Ranger Scott Pine’s thoughts and adventures too. He’s one of my heroes 🙂

  2. Jeff Jeff

    Out of Him, through Him, into HIm.

  3. Jean, such beauty and truth in those words describing aging.

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