When I’m an Old Woman, I Shall … (Plus An Incredible Giveaway!)

May 20, 2013 | 37 comments

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When I’m an old woman, I really shall wear purple. But I won’t actually wait until I’m old to wear it.

And when I’m an old woman, I shall not really know that I’m old. But I shall think myself quite young.

And I’ll cry easily at the Hallmark card stand, and laugh loudly with a friend at Panera, and wear gaudy jewelry, and sing at the top of my lungs in that old wooden pew, and from time to time, I shall embarrass my children.

And maybe even embarrass myself.

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When I’m an old woman, I shall wear my life on my skin. I shall see each wrinkle as a badge earned, and each scar as a storm weathered. I’ll not live with a series of regrets and “I-Wish-I’ds.”

When I’m an old woman, I shall remember the glad days of tiny hand-prints on windows and carpet picnics and dandelion bouquets and rocks in their pockets and chubby fingers and “Goodnight Moon.”

But I shall not stop holding hands or singing lullabies or stringing words or telling stories or believing in fairy tales.

When I’m an old woman, I shall lay on my back, counting stars. And Lord, I pray that my favorite farmer will be sprawled on the grass next to me. And that we’ll hold hands. And that we’ll laugh because we’re not sure how to get back up again.

When I’m an old woman, I shall still weep the happiest tears over the ways I’ve been wildly loved and utterly cherished by a King, despite all the dumb things I did, the stupid things I said or the ridiculous notions that I thought.

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When I’m an old woman, I shall still be a child. And I shall still like getting presents.  And I will know that the best gift I ever got, hands-down, was Jesus Himself. 

When I’m an old woman, I shall — at last — know what Robert Frost meant when he wrote, “the afternoon knows what the morning never suspected.” And I will still want to learn more about myself, and who I am becoming.

I will not be afraid of the night.

And I shall never stop learning or loving or laboring or laughing until that day, when they lay me down, face up toward the sky, with my eyes and heart pointed toward heaven.

And that’s when this woman — be she young or old — that’s when she shall know by sight, what she had come to believe by faith.

 

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{Photos of a few of my dearest “in-real-life” Jesus-sisters, as we celebrated the 50th birthday of our very good friend, Renae.}

AN AMAZING GIVEAWAY

Oh friends, we have more to celebrate!

My friend, Kris Camealy, has launched a gorgeous new blog today at www.KrisCamealy.com. You will LOVE her. She’s also announcing a new retreat, called Refine. And we’re having a blog-warming party for her. With presents! Maybe a present for you? Look at this amazing giveaway! Kris is giving away a ticket to the Refine conference, jewelry, books, a generous Amazon gift certificate, some goodies from DaySpring. And much more!

Enter below to win. (Email subscribers click here.)

Be sure to check out Kris’ amazing blog by clicking here. Tell her I sent you! 🙂

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

by | May 20, 2013 | 37 comments

37 Comments

  1. ro elliott

    Yes….yes..I am down that road….and I do believe in this upside down kingdom we age backwards again….I see it more clearly…we become more childlike …..but just like in another writing of Robert Frost….there are two paths set before again….both lead to becoming more childlike….the path of the spirit leads to childlike faith and wonder….running more free…less encumbered ….the other path of the flesh makes us more like a child….self focused…demanding…and a view that the world revolves around us….oh for the Grace to travel the road less traveled….the road leading to deeper discovering of the glorious wonder of God.

    Reply
    • dukeslee

      Aging backward. Becoming more childlike. Yes! Thank you for that perspective, Ro.

      Reply
    • dukeslee

      We had a ball. And … for the first time ever, I wore some tan “Easy Spirit” shoes. Very comfy! 🙂

      Reply
  2. 3dLessons4Life

    You are hysterical. (and you have amazing friends). Thanks for making me laugh on a crazy Monday morning.

    Reply
    • dukeslee

      We simply could not stop laughing all night. Such, such fun. Thanks for stopping by, Lyli.

      Reply
  3. Kris Camealy (@KrisCamealy)

    Oh Jennifer! I love this! Such a great reminder for us! And thank you for celebrating with me. God is so amazing!! Love you, friend.

    Reply
    • dukeslee

      Yay! Kris! It’s so fun to celebrate YOU today. Thank you for letting me be a part of the party. 🙂

      Reply
  4. sheri

    Honestly, I had heard of you before the JT conference but I had never “heard” you… And I have to admit, you got me hooked pretty quickly, not just because of your genuine open realness or your ability to touch the heart so deeply but also because of that hilarious video. For those of us who aren’t quite so brave as to laugh at ourselves nearly enough, you resonate with us simply because you love and embrace life–ALL of it–with clarity, creativity, laughter, joy, and then solemnity where needed. Sometimes we hold too tightly our “failings” or our “not enoughs” as we age, and I wonder if that’s what really makes us withdraw into “oldness.” I realized that all too clearly in my own zipline experience at Jumping Tandem (which I haven’t taken time to put in writing yet). I needed your good word today. Thanks for bringing light and laughter into dark places.

    Reply
    • dukeslee

      Oh Sheri … Bless you, bless you, bless you. Do you know how nervous I was about that whole talk at JT? How terrified really? And even the video scared me? Dan King said that during the opening Mad Scientist video, I looked like a stone statue, with a straight face. I was so worried about being goofy on the screen like that. Worried how I would be perceived…. Meanwhile, behind me, people were laughing and enjoying the moment. I am really just learning what it means to be all me, to embrace the goofy parts, and to be brave enough to laugh at myself. It’s hard for me. But you friend? You make me feel brave. Love to you.

      Reply
    • dukeslee

      Nacole … Thank you. We had such fun.

      Reply
  5. Linda

    Well I am pretty much there, and this echoes my heart perfectly Jennifer.

    Reply
    • dukeslee

      I love you, Linda. I want to be like you when I grow up. You are so dear to me, and mentor me with your life!

      Reply
  6. Glynn

    That one in the middle of the photo – os that an old woman or is that Old Pharoah?

    Reply
    • dukeslee

      LOL! Oh, Glynn. … The one in the middle is Yours Truly. When we had our photo shoot, we were still waiting for Grandma Larsen’s hats to arrive. So, my friend Michelle tied an apron around my head. It looks completely ridiculous, doesn’t it?

      Reply
  7. Simply Darlene

    have your children seen this?
    and your husband?

    maybe you’ve started a trend. every month i’d like to see a new theme with you all in costume… sorta makes me feel not so weird in WeirdVille.

    Reply
    • dukeslee

      Yes, they have, Darlene. Scott was there. And the girls have seen the pictures. 🙂

      Reply
  8. Pamela Mursch Steiner

    Who said we had to grow up? I love these pictures…you have a wonderful sense of humor and a great message for us “oldies but goodies”. Thank you for these thoughts today. From an “older” friend!

    Reply
    • dukeslee

      Pamela … I’m with you! Let’s never grow up. 🙂

      Reply
  9. Mike Franey

    That is hillarious. You are as old as you think you are. Great perspective!

    Reply
    • dukeslee

      We had a laughter-filled evening, Mike. Thanks for stopping by.

      Reply
  10. Martha

    Jennifer, I am at the threshold of being an old lady and your words are perfect and reflect some of the feelings that I am feeling. I also think of my mom who will be 88 next month and these words fit her to a tee. I want to grow old like her! I have forwarded your blog to her as she is still always learning, she told me about a new app yesterday! She will enjoy your humor as do I. May God shower you with uncountable blessings today.

    Reply
    • dukeslee

      Your mom! With her app suggestions! Love it! Thank you so much for popping in today and having a good laugh with us. Not AT us, right Martha? 😉

      Reply
  11. Lynn Morrissey

    Well, Jennifer, not that I would ever recognize you from BEHIND (!), but (butt?!), I will always recognize your expressiveness *and* your impishness in what you write. You realy are one deep and one funny lady! Great post. Oh my! And I laughed aloud, thinking, well if she is lying flat on her back gazing at the stars, she may be lying there for a long time! =] But hopefully, between you and Scott, you will be able to get back up on your wobbly feet! And then I had this sobering thought: Have I already arrived at “old” the way that Jennifer outlines it, because, after all, I do sing loudly from my pew, and in fact, I sing “at” my daughter in public, embarrassing her beyond belief. But, my dear, just a little word to the wise: Age is a matter of perspective. And when you arrive where I am, “old” looks like twenty years from wherever you are, and young at heart is eternal! I think you will always have a young heart!
    Love you, Jennifer!
    Lynn
    (With my luck, my husband will bury me face down, just in case there is a possiblity I’ll be singing in the grave. It really is hard to keep me quiet around here).

    Reply
    • dukeslee

      You crack me up, Lynn. …

      You know, I used to think 30 was “old,” and when I was 30, I thought to myself, “I’m only 30!” So I thought that 40 was old. Now that I’m 41, I say, “I’m only 41.” … 🙂 Yes, age is a matter of perspective.

      Reply
  12. Mary Bonner (@TheMaryBonner)

    Oh, Jennifer…there is so much about this story that I love. Love. LOVE. Seriously. And I am like Sheri, I had heard of you before JT, but hadn’t “heard” you and I, too, am hooked. You speak truth and m ways that make me smile. Thank you. Very much!

    Reply
    • dukeslee

      I’m so glad our paths have crossed.Grateful that we can laugh together, and go deep together … wherever God leads. Grateful for ((you.))

      Reply
  13. Nancy Ruegg

    When I was thirty, someone in their 60s was getting old. Now that I’ve reached that decade myself, “old” has moved ahead a few decades. Except, I know some energetic, sharp-minded, FUN eighty-somethings! They’re my role models, as they stay active, continue learning, and keep on serving Jesus.

    Reply
    • dukeslee

      Oh yes, Nancy. This exactly.

      Reply
  14. Shelly Miller

    Oh my gosh Jennifer, these photos are too awesome. Love it! You are so brave and funny and wise, yes wise. I need to heed your words as I enter the reality of aging. And did I mention generous? You promoting Kris on your blog . . .I”m so touched. Really.

    Reply
    • dukeslee

      So excited for Kris! Her blog is gorgeous … and that amazing retreat? Wowsers! Thanks for dropping by, Shelly. How was your trip?

      Reply
  15. Jillie

    Miss Jennifer–These photos are hilarious! But your words? They so speak to my ageing body and heart! I can only hope and pray I have such a fantastic outlook when I get ‘really old’. Afterall, I’m ‘only’ 56. That’s still young…isn’t it? (And ‘Jillie’ means ‘youthful’ or ‘young-at-heart’.) I can relate to Lynn’s comment about embarrassing her daughter in public by singing aloud–I do that too! Maybe that’s why my daughter often hesitates when I ask her if she’d like to go shopping. :]

    Reply
  16. Kelly Greer

    Love it Jennifer! You and your girls are having so much fun! Now that’s the way to celebrate 50!!!!!
    Love watching you enjoy your life so much! You are such a blessing!

    Reply
  17. Being Woven

    “When I am old….” I am already! and I love this, just love it! Thanks for giving me smiles tonight! ~ linda

    Reply
  18. jan

    I don’t know about “when I am an old Lady”…does being 70 make you an old lady? The body certainly gives credence to being older but in you mind you are still young! Your time will come. I hope you savour every minute of it!

    Reply

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