The Beauty of Growing Older

September 10, 2012 | 21 comments


Someone once said that you can’t hide your true colors as you approach the autumn of your life.

And I think it’s true. The older I get, the more I want to be me.
No false pretenses or fancy facades.

Just. Me.

God-made, but imperfect.
Broken, but made whole through Christ.

No masks. No falsehoods. No pretending. Just … real. I want to bloom right where I’m planted, like a sunny petal against the cerulean sky — with enough gaps so that God’s light can shine through.

I want to feel more comfortable in my own skin,
stand for who I am,
and who God made me to be — wrinkles and all.

I want to live free.

I’m 40. All the “gag” gifts say I’m Over the Hill at this point. On the downside of a hill, there’s no slowing down. Maybe that means we can pick up a bit of steam for the marvelously wild journey home, and who doesn’t love the way it feels with the wind blowing back our hair?

When I was 22, I would have thought a 40-year-old me  had one foot in the grave. But maybe we could see it as having one foot in Heaven instead?

And while I’m still here — for how many ever days He sees fit — I want to bloom for my Maker. And I want my life to do more and more of this one thing: magnify His great name.

I want to live my life seeking
God’s plans
on God’s earth
for God’s glory and
God’s great name.

A repost from the archives.

by | September 10, 2012 | 21 comments

21 Comments

  1. ro.ellott

    Jennifer… I echo amen to all this…I am a bit ahead of the road…closer to that “one foot in the grave”…but I have a new passion to finish strong…to let go of fear…getting out of ruts…getting out of my comfort zone…allowing God to do all you shared here. I have often said…I want to be gray and gracious…to let my love for Jesus keep me young…and never…never stop growing in Christ…because when we do…we shrivel up inside. One more observation…those who continue to serve others as they get older…no matter the age…live a more full and vibrant life…less of a burden on those around them.
    And you probably know this….love…love the pictures~
    Is today your birthday?…either way…Happy Monday and blessings to you~

    Reply
  2. Lynn Morrissey

    Hello Miss Little Old Lady Jennifer–BIG JOKE HERE! You are so beautiful, and now that I’m sixty, I can look back on forty as you did on twenty! The one sobering thing is, however, the realization that indeed I have lived more than half my earlthy lifetime. How will I make these (perhaps few) remaining years count for Christ? Surely, those captivating sunflower photos you chose to display were no accident as you write to us about aging. May, I, aging though I may be, be heliotropic in nature and continously turn my face towards the Son! Facing His glory is one way to age gracefully. Like you, I try to be comfortable in my own (now somewhat wrinkled) skin, bloom where planted (even if some of those blossoms have fallen off), and be whoever God wants me to be at this stage of life. I love going out more often sans make-up (try that for a real jolt and test of in-your-own-skin comfort), but admittedly, I like putting a little sunshine in the gray. Thanks for a great reminder of what really counts as we age: Magnifying Him! Great post, Jennifer!

    Reply
  3. Kel Rohlf

    Jennifer- Your musings are a balm to my heart…living free…that’s what I aim for as I follow my Savior who set me free at great cost to Himself!

    Reply
  4. Linda

    I am smiling Jennifer because I am old enough to be your Mama (my younger son is 40). However, I have felt these same things. Not too long ago I heard someone on tv say that 65 and over is classified “elderly.” I’m 65, and I have to admit that it made me feel suddenly different. I quit worrying about the outward stuff a couple of decades ago – but heaven seems closer these days. I desperately want to make them count.

    Reply
  5. Megan Willome

    This is so beautiful, Jennifer–like you.

    Reply
  6. Jenni

    I turned 29 recently, but this post describes exactly how I’ve been feeling lately. I just want to be completely REAL. Thanks for expressing this so beautifully.

    Reply
  7. Jody Lee Collins

    Jennifer–I just celebrated my 60th birthday and my friend said, “it just gets better from here.” I think the older we get the more Jesus refines our focus about What’s Actually IMPORTANT in life. And we truly learn to not Sweat the Small Stuff.
    So getting older….in real life and in Jesus just gets better.

    This is a lovely reminder of those truths.

    Reply
  8. floyd

    The voice of wisdom… I too want to bloom in His beauty. Nice…

    Reply
  9. Annette

    Jennifer thank you for reminding me of renewed vigor of service to our Lord! Love the emphasis of serving!! The sunflowers are my favorite flower!!

    Reply
  10. Cristina

    Jennifer, thank you so much for your beautiful post. I believe it takes a lot of courage to just be real and not try and live up to the expectations of the society. I feel the pressure even more at a younger age, being afraid not to disappoint my family and friends. I do believe though that this fear/pressure brigs out the best in us and keeps us striving to be better each day.

    Reply
  11. Deborah Carlson

    It’s so freeing and I believe its exactly what the Lord desires!
    I’m so happy that He brought me here to meet you…Happy Birthday too Jennifer!

    In His love,
    Deborah xo

    Reply
  12. Jillie

    Hey Jennifer…Terrific post today. I come from a long line of “hating-the-ageing-thing-and-doing-all-you-can-to-avoid-it” type of heritage. Vanity, oh vanity! I’m on the threshold of 56, and not real happy about it. Never been a beauty…therefore, doing my best with what I’ve been given. Still not to the point where I’ll go out without makeup. BUT, I’m also, just lately, getting to the place where I want to be ‘more REAL’. To just.be.me., whether others enjoy the view or not. I have my quick wit and profound sense of humour going for me. ;D I can make people laugh…and that’s a gift both for me and for others. Recently my husband bought me a beautiful bouquet of sunflowers, to cheer ME up, and I hated to see them fade. I wanted them to last forever! Isn’t it amazing to think that these SONflowers, for that’s what we are, will NEVER fade, but go on to bring glory to the One who so carefully designed us just.the.way.we.are.!!! I love YOUR ‘REAL-NESS’, Jennifer! That’s why I come here everyday! Love the photos!

    Reply
    • Lynn Morrissey

      Wow, Jillie! My husband just bought me a big, beautiful bouquet of sunflowers, too, and they have lasted forever. These are really unusually, too, in that they have yellow and not brown centers. Great husbands think alike! =] Love you!

      Reply
      • Jillie

        Amen, Sister. Amen!

        Reply
  13. Julie

    Oh Jennifer, this is my heart-song. And the way you wrote it out completely jives with what he’s been showing me lately. Thank you.

    Reply
  14. Lyla Lindquist

    Ah, and you are the real deal, my friend. I’m so glad for that.

    🙂

    Reply
  15. S. Etole

    From this side of 40, you seem like a very wise “kid”.

    Reply
  16. Eileen

    I just turned 40 last week! Beautiful post!

    Reply
  17. Diana Trautwein

    I’m with Susan on this one, Kiddo. 40 ain’t old. NOT EVEN CLOSE. But you are beautiful, you are blooming right where you are and you do reflect the glory of our Lord. That I will happily give you. :>)

    Reply
  18. Sherrey Meyer

    Absolutely spot on, Jennifer! Loved every word, believed every word. Can’t get any better than God-made. 🙂

    Reply
  19. Betty Draper

    Love this post… We do gain some wisdom as we age and the wisdom that is from above is the most freeing. Only wish my body would obey my mind and do those cart wheels it use to do…Blessings

    Reply

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