Candy Blogs: I’ve been contemplating getting older. Since I’ve never gotten older before, I’ve always wondered what ”normal” aging might look like. Some things you can observe in others and are obvious but other things are more personal. They don’t come up in normal conversation. I looked it up and, from several different sources, here’s what I found.
Aging is when you stop growing new cells as fast as when you were young, and your current tissue starts to deteriorate. This process usually occurs after sexual maturation and continues up to the time of maximum life span for members of a species. Death is the final event. (Don’t you just love this one?)
The symptoms of aging are obvious (to whom?!): gray and thinning hair, gray and thinning hair, balding, hearing loss, insomnia, difficulty in reading small print, menopause, dryness of skin and vagina, decreased muscles tone, increased body fat, lower capacity to store urine and reduced efficiency of emptying content, teeth and gum recession, joint degenerating, less energy. These can be minimized with diet, exercise and supplements.
Kind of downer, huh? But at least I know I’m normal. Just some thoughts on these symptoms:
Gray and thinning hair: I am noticing lots more gray hair now around my face. They used to only show up when my hair was wet but now they’re showing up all the time. I noticed on the video of my last speaking engagement that the front little flippies of my hair style look totally gray! What’s with that?! And now I have to check the back of my head every morning to make sure my thin spot is covered!
Hearing loss: Yes, I have it. I notice it. Scott notices it. Pretty soon we’ll be like our parents and grandparents. “Hey?! Talk into my good ear!”
Difficulty in reading small print: It started right on time at age 40. Our son was graduating from high school then. I put it off four more years (denial) and by the time our daughter was graduating, I had to get trifocals and wear my glasses all the time.
Dryness of skin and vagina: I use more than one cream. Yes, I do. Some days I think all my skin will just flake off and blow away in the wind. And … yes.
Decreased muscle tone: This one may be true but since I’ve been doing water aerobics for the past three years, my muscle tone is actually better. My muscles actually work now; they never did before.
Increased body fat: This one may also be true but I’ve always been overweight. I truly don’t remember a time when I wasn’t overweight. But me and my doctor are working on that.
Lower capacity to store urine and reduced efficiency of emptying content: Now when I have to go, it is an immediate emergency. There is no “holding it” anymore. If you wait too long and then stand up, you have an emergency on your hands. If you wait too long and have to cough really hard, you have an emergency on your hands. I don’t want to hear about the Kegal muscle and exercise. I am normal. It says so on the Internet.
Teeth and gum recession: I have this!! The dentist confirmed it to me. Now when I eat meat like chicken, beef or chops, I have to toothpick my teeth. Well, in public I use a toothpick. Celery does it, too. And I have to be careful when I chew gum about where in my mouth I am chewing. The gum has a tendency to get stuck now in certain places in my mouth because my teeth are further apart. What?! I have chewed gum since 7th grade; I’m not about to stop now.
Joint degenerating: Arthritis in my hands and neck and knees. Disappearing knee cartilage. It’s getting harder and harder to sleep away from home. These things really put a crimp in my worship, too. I can only clap for the first song and then my carpal tunnel syndrome and arthritis kick in. And I can’t stand still very long because of my knees so I don’t stand during the singing anymore. I can’t kneel at the altar so when I go forward to pray I sit on the first row of chairs by the altar instead. I miss being an “active” worshipper …
Less energy: Yep. After a full day’s work there is only enough energy left in me to make dinner. That’s it for the night. Good thing I don’t work a full day every day anymore. When our kids go out, their night is just beginning when our night is ending. LOL!
Wow, if I contemplated getting older too deeply I might go into a tailspin.
These things are all true. I am getting older. But I really don’t think about it very much. It doesn’t make me want to be young again. I much prefer the spiritual confidence, the comfort in my own skin, the desire to ponder the deeper things of life, the enjoyment of life lessons learned, the time to invest in others to being young again.
“I am young in years, and you are old; that is why I was fearful, not daring to tell you what I know. 7 I thought, ‘Age should speak; advanced years should teach wisdom.’ Job 32:7
Yep, one day I woke up and I was advanced in years. So I am speaking and teaching wisdom. Don’t fear aging! Embrace it. Outward beauty fades over time. If you are depending on that for approval and significance, you will suffer deeply when it’s gone. Every season of life should be full and engaging. Make it so.
An invitation to ACT upon the truth from God that is brought home to your soul.
“It’s not enough to read the cookbook. Eat the meal.” Adrian Rogers
I haven’t posted for quite a while. I have several posts started but haven’t been able to make up my mind which idea to actually post! I’ve been slightly paralyzed. Recently, I’ve been sensing the wooing of the Holy Spirit, drawing me to a deeper path yet again. I have taken some major steps of obedience in the last year and half, but a couple of weeks ago I read the following and was stopped dead in my tracks. I immediately knew what my next steps were to be.
From MY UTMOST FOR HIS HIGHEST
The Authority of Reality
Draw nigh to God, and He will draw nigh to you. James 4:8
It is essential to give people a chance to act on the truth of God. The responsibility must be left with the individual, you cannot act for him, it must be his own deliberate act, but the evangelical message ought always to lead a man to act. The paralysis of refusing to act leaves a man exactly where he was before; when once he acts, he is never the same. It is the foolishness of it that stands in the way of hundreds who have been convicted by the Spirit of God. Immediately I precipitate myself over into an act, that second I live; all the rest is existence. The moments when I truly live are the moments when I act with my whole will.
Candy’s comments: Isn’t that amazing?! You might want to read that again to get the full impact. To me, the key phrase in that paragraph is “the paralysis of refusing to act leaves a man exactly where he was before …” That’s how I’ve been feeling lately. I had come as far as I was going to come without taking a new path.
But I know I want to truly LIVE. I don’t want to stay where I am. It will require some new changes. For me that means several things:
1) paying more attention to my calendar and not letting other things interfere with my water aerobics. I have been “pretty” faithful to my exercise but, when I think about it, I have scheduled some fun girlie outings on my days off and haven’t replaced the exercise time. I had stopped losing weight and was wondering why. This is why.
2) spending more time reading the Bible. I’ve been reading books about speaking and studying social networking and making connections and preparing for kicking up my speaking ministry. But I have let this preparation move in on my personal time with God and His word. It’s time to rein that in.
3) lessening my caloric intake. Ouch, I don’t like that one. But I am really sensing it’s time. I’ve taken improving my health in steps and, apparently, it’s time to take the next one.
… the moments when I truly live are the moments when I act with my whole will. I don’t want to just exist spiritually; I want to really live.
Consider what the Holy Spirit may be wooing you to. What changes are you sensing He wants you to make?
Never allow a truth of God that is brought home to your soul to pass without acting on it, not necessarily physically, but in will. Record it, with ink or with blood. The feeblest saint who transacts business with Jesus Christ is emancipated the second he acts; all the almighty power of God is on his behalf. We come up to the truth of God, we confess we are wrong, but go back again; then we come up to it again, and go back; until we learn that we have no business to go back. We have to go clean over on some word of our redeeming Lord and transact business with Him. His word “come” means “transact.” “Come unto Me.” The last thing we do is to come; but everyone who does come knows that that second the supernatural rush of the life of God invades him instantly. The dominating power of the world, the flesh and the devil is paralysed, not by your act, but because your act has linked you on to God and His redemptive power.
Candy’s Comments: This paragraph tells me that the intensity of our walk depends on the intensity of our obedience. When we are finally ready to transact business with God Almighty and come to Him, it is the result of choices we’ve made along the way. When we actually come, we are acting on the truth that’s been revealed to us. And that act unleashes the power of God in us! That’s a great, big wow, isn’t it?!
When we are sensing that God Himself is speaking to us about something, it’s serious business. It shouldn’t be something we put on the back burner for when we have more time or when we get around to it. When you think about it, when we don’t act on the truth we know, it’s like telling God that everything is more important than He is at the moment. Where do we get off doing that?! Hello?
Sometimes we don’t get the whole picture as He’s speaking. That’s why writing it down is important. As you look back through the things you’ve been learning, you will see a pattern. Eventually you’ll see the picture God wants you to see. And God’s power will flow through you to impact the Kingdom … until He calls you to take the next new step.
I’m movin’ on down the road. Come on along.
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I have always loved the water. As a child our family spent a lot of time enjoying the lakes and rivers of the Pacific Northwest. I have great memories of special “swimming holes” we loved to go to. Dorena Lake and Sharp’s Creek in Oregon and Sanders Pond in Idaho are my favorites. I always felt so relaxed and free when I was in the water. I loved how refreshing the cool water felt on a hot summer day, and how quiet the world became when you put your head under the water. I even won my leg of a relay race once in 8th grade P.E.
But as I grew older, I started gaining weight. And by the time I was an adult, I no longer spent any time in the water because I didn’t want to be seen in a bathing suit. I have always been overweight. Through the years I’ve tried a few diets, tried a few exercise programs, and studied about my “whys” of being overweight. I had “learned” a lot but I remained overweight.
When I turned 50 last year I had a knee ligament repair surgery. It made me stop and pay attention. The ligament wore out sooner than it should have because of being overweight my whole adult life. After surgery I went through six weeks of physical therapy. Three of those weeks were in the pool. It seemed to be a natural transition to begin a water aerobics class when the therapy was over. That was 18 months ago and now I can’t see myself NOT doing water aerobics.
At first I wore shorts and a tank top to the pool. And I had to go purchase these items because I never wore shorts. I certainly didn’t have a swimming suit. But after a few weeks, I grew tired of the shorts falling down and the top flying up during exercising and purchased a suit. I saw that everyone else in the class felt the same way I did. There was no longer any reason not to be comfortable in the class.
I am experiencing so many daily benefits of this new joy of exercising! I can wash and scratch my own back again. I can steady myself in the shower and when walking. I can sit straight up in bed without having to just roll out. I can lift and move my legs in any direction and height. My arms don’t ache from my carpal tunnel syndrome. (I still don’t have any strength; no cure for it. And I can still overdo and re-injure my wrists. But the aching is gone.) I can bend over and pick up things. I have real muscles and they are actually working for me. I don’t mind walking longer distances. I have full range of motion.
I am slowly losing weight.
I have made simple changes in my diet. No more DIETING for me. It hasn’t worked in the past and it won’t work now. I try to eat more fruits and veggies. And speaking of veggies, I don’t really enjoy them cooked. I’ve always forced myself to eat them because I knew they were good for me … except for potatoes and corn on the cob, of course. But I’ve always loved raw, crunchy veggies. And recently something clicked in my head … why force myself to eat cooked vegetables when I actually LOVED them raw?! Well, for heaven’s sake! So now I throw a few radishes and carrots or sliced cucumber on my plate and I am happy.
I try to order salads sometimes in a fast food restaurant instead of fries. I don’t always. I drink less Diet Pepsi, which is my biggest sacrifice of all. I try to drink more water and iced tea. I am thinking more REASONABLY about food. I know that I’d lose weight faster if I made better food choices, but my head isn’t there yet and I’m going with where my head is.
All this to say, that I am finally making the changes I wish I had made when was 20. And the changes aren’t putting me in my dreaded “box.” I hate structure and boundaries and lines. Diet and exercise always seemed like being confined to me so I avoided them. But I finallly connected my passions and joys with what was good for me … crunchy veggies and water and exercise! Who knew that was my winning combination?!
My husband and I go to water aerobics class together three times a week. We have a great time together there! We have a whole new set of friends there and laugh and play together and sit in the hot tub afterwards, feelilng very spoiled. When I think of the years that I deprived myself of the joys of being in the water again, I want to weep. I deeply regret this.
There are other joys I’ve missed … like amusement parks and concerts because I didn’t like the long walks from the parking lot and felt uncomfortable in the rides and seats. I’m not there yet but I will be. I am MOVING TOWARD JOY!
Young women, find YOUR winning combination. Take a deeper look at who you are inside make it work for you on the outside. It isn’t about how we look, it’s about being healthy and strong enough to enjoy this beautiful life God has given us.
Saying there is “more of me to love” has a new meaning to me now. There is more of ME to love now, not more of my flesh. And that’s the me I want to project to the world.