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Name: Linda

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Tuesday, March 13, 2007
In This Skin



The lighting in the restroom of our church is not kind; rather it is a very harsh sort of lighting. Whenever I look in the mirror of that restroom it is a bit of a shock. Who is that older woman looking so bewilderedly back at me? Surely she isn’t the same woman I see in the gentler lighting of my mirror at home. I have never been one to fuss a lot over my looks. Perhaps it is because I don’t consider myself particularly beautiful. I’m just me, and my face has become so familiar I don’t really see it any more. However, that face looking back at me in the church restroom mirror gives me pause. I’m getting older. There are just no two ways about it.

I don’t know how I ever came up with the notion that of course everyone ages – with the exception of me. I never thought of myself as getting wrinkled or less agile. I never imagined my hands with prominent veins or arthritic joints. I didn’t think I would lose the fight with gravity and watch my body change. It was a silly notion of course. Every one of us will age, and we will all experience its affects on our bodies. I just somehow thought I would be different.

I had never been concerned with age until I hit my late forties. That was when I became a grandmother for the first time, and I saw myself through the eyes of my granddaughter. The sagging skin on my neck began to bother me. I suddenly became very aware of how I had changed. I think I even envied those Hollywood stars who I knew very well were my age or older but looked years younger. How much would plastic surgery actually cost?

Then I turned fifty, it was somehow liberating. “It’s all right,” I thought. “I’m getting older, and I really don’t mind. I am just going to be me, and I don’t care who I impress.” I began to feel comfortable in my (albeit aging) skin. I didn’t continually look in the mirror to see if anything else had fallen or wrinkled up. I just relaxed.

Now I am sixty. I am content. I sometimes wish I were more limber or could sleep better, but life is very sweet. I have learned to cherish each day. I want to live each day well – with no regrets. Material things have become very unimportant. I still like pretty things and a nice home, but I don’t place too high a value on them. I am learning to live more open-handedly – to give up trying to control everything and everyone around me. I am learning to trust the Lord.

So many of the things I took for granted in my youth are now like precious gems in my life. Because I was saved as a child I didn’t value the gift of salvation as I should have in my young adult life. I held the gift far too loosely. These days I can hardly keep the tears from flowing when I begin to give thanks to God for the precious blessings He has so abundantly poured into my life.

I tend to be less judgmental in my “advanced years”. I often ask the Lord to let me see others through His eyes, and I find my heart filled with compassion and mercy. The rhythm of my days has slowed. It is a lovely time of life. I get to spend my days with the man God has given me to love. I have discovered that marriage is hard work, but it is worth it. These days it is so much easier (but I am still learning). We have children and grandchildren who bring us indescribable joy.

I don’t know what the next decade holds for me. However, I know that the Lord already knows all about it. He has promised to be with me. He has promised to help me. I am putting my life in His hands. Psalm 139 has been a lifeline for me in recent years. I particularly love verse 16:
“Thine eyes have seen my unformed substance;
And in Thy book they were all written,
The days that were ordained for me,
When as yet there was not one of them.”
He has written the story of my life. The thought overwhelms me. My life is safe in His hands.

This post is part of a new writing project called Woman to Woman. For more writings on this subject go to Morning Glory's beautiful blog. She and Lei are hosting this for us.

Blessings,
 
  posted at 5:21 PM
  20 comments



20 Comments:
At 5:35 PM, Blogger Linds said...

What a beautiful post, Linda, and how much I identify with what you say. Contentment is a word we don't hear often enough. Thanks for the reminder.

 
At 7:01 PM, Blogger FruitfulSpirit said...

Linda a very beautiful post! I hope I continue to age with the grace you have. Turning 49 tomorrow really brings age to my mind today!

I am stopping by to ask you to please email me you address so I can send you the gift you won at the Blog Party! I have even added a few extra things to the package.

My email is dlc6300a@aol.com

 
At 7:09 PM, Blogger Susie said...

Linda,
This was a beautiful post. I think I have a mirror like the one at your church LOL!!
But, like you,I feel incredibly blessed to be right here, in this moment, living this life.
Great writing~~
((hugs))

 
At 7:27 PM, Blogger Tigersue said...

I love that thought...
Trying to see people through God's eyes. What a wonderful concept and thought. I truly appreciate that as I have tried to do that in my life. I am not perfect, but God knows each of us perfectly.

 
At 9:41 PM, Blogger Morning Glory said...

Linda, your honesty is wonderful. I really enjoyed reading this, especially the part about the mirrors in the church bathrooms. Boy, isn't that the truth. I'm so glad we don't really have to be the person we see in those mirrors.

Thank you for sharing your heart with us.

 
At 10:38 PM, Blogger Dawn said...

YOu did it! And I was right - it was very well done! Hasn't this been fun today?

 
At 11:40 PM, Blogger Randi said...

I love this post, Linda. Very honest and encouraging!

 
At 12:02 AM, Blogger Nadine said...

That was so well written and beautifully put. Thank you for sharing your insights in such an encouraging way.

 
At 5:16 AM, Blogger Christine said...

I have learned also that I'll never actually feel older- I just feel like me- so seeing the aging happening in the mirror is sometimes startling. But I have loved each decade better than the last. I'm in my 30s and all things have gotten better- my marriage, my motherhood, my friendships- so I assume they just will keep improving! I loved your post; it really showed how God has worked in you throughout your life thus far!

 
At 8:44 AM, Blogger Lindsey @ Enjoythejourney said...

Linda, you are beautiful inside and out. I think you are just precious sister. I wish we could meet in real life! ;)

 
At 9:35 AM, Blogger smilnsigh said...

Thank you for commenting {in my blog} that you used to live up North and
completely understand how exciting it is to finally see bare ground!! :-))))

Mari-Nanci

 
At 9:44 AM, Blogger smilnsigh said...

Lovely entry.

Yes, we'd best come to terms with the effects of age... the earlier the better, methinks. :-)

I take it that these are your words. You told us of turning 40, and 50 and 60. In 12 days, I will be able to 'let you in on' what it's like to turn 70. ,-)

And you know, I don't expect it to be much different than 11 days from now. Nor different from 13 days from now. Age is relative. Outlook is more important, imho. In many ways, I'm much 'younger' now, than I was at 21. :-)

Mari-Nanci

 
At 10:18 AM, Blogger Susanne said...

Beautiful post, Linda. Them church lights really do highlight a few things don't they? :v)

What a comforting thought to know God already knows what the next decade holds!

 
At 12:30 PM, Blogger Blessed Beyond Measure said...

Linda, I swear it felt like I could be writing this - even sounded like me to me. We must think alike. Thank you for telling me about this project, I'll go take a look. There is a grace in aging, feels very comfortable doesnt it!

 
At 2:33 PM, Blogger Kristen said...

That is a beautiful post, Linda!! You are a beautiful person inside and out and I am privileged to know you!

And those church bathroom mirrors? They make the lighting that way on purpose. It's a conspiracy. Trust your bathroom at home. I know I do! ;-)

 
At 5:09 PM, Blogger Tammy said...

This was beautiful. I have been reading so many contributors to "In the Skin" - all are wonderful, and yours in no exception. I can so relate...I have always somehow thought that everyone else ages...and somehow I'd be the exception.
Though only 44, I am suddenly seeing things change a little faster than they have been, and I haven't liked it one bit!
But I know I need to let God change and soften my attitude towards aging...because there can be such a beauty in maturity!
Wonderful thoughts...:)

 
At 7:30 PM, Blogger Susie said...

Linda, once again you have been my Titus 2 friend. I love your words and your beautiful heart. I pray that God gives me such a peace as I age. I'm 9 months from the big four O! I am not as confident about the aging process, but when I focus my thoughts on the things of God and on serving others, my worries tend to fade away. Thank you for this post. I'm heading over to read more.

 
At 3:36 PM, Blogger Michelle said...

What an insightful post! You have led a fulfilling life!

 
At 8:40 AM, Blogger Chappyswife said...

It is special to see life through your eyes, to get a sneak preview, and to hear what you would change. I don't want any regrets either. It's just hard to stay peaceful when we hit the ground running, but I am trying.

 
At 11:18 PM, Blogger Lei said...

"So many of the things I took for granted in my youth are now like precious gems in my life. " This would be a wise aspiration for so many younger women like myself! Thank you for your thoguths; thank you for participating!

 

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