God has recently been telling me, “Give it away” and that is just what I am doing! I’ve invited some beautiful souls from my favorite Facebook community for women in the 50+ season of life, The Consilium:a Gathering of Wisdom and Grace. Enjoy the words from their hearts and, if you don’t mind, would you leave a comment to encourage them? Feel free to join us over at The Consilium  – we would love to see you there!

Today, I’d like for you to meet Elizabeth Stewart:

This is your season...

The orchid was in full bloom when it was given to me. After the blossoms had withered up it sat on the

windowsill and, for the longest time, appeared doomed to never blossom again. I finally decided to give

up on it and throw it away. When I went to get it and toss it in the trash, I was shocked to find a beautiful

blossom on the plant I had given up on.

 It was the summer I turned 50. I wasn’t excited at all about this season, about turning fifty, about passing

middle age and sliding down the slippery slope to senior citizenship. I wasn’t excited about my place

either. I felt stuck and I was angry and bitter about being stuck. As a wife and as a mother, as a

grandmother and as a pastor’s wife, if felt like my whole world was affected by others and their decisions

and choices. I felt tired, hopeless, used up and dried up. I was consumed with resentment over people

and circumstances that I couldn’t change, and I was convinced that because of my circumstances there

was no hope for a vibrant future for me.

 When my husband asked me what I wanted for my fiftieth birthday, I think I surprised myself as well as

him by blurting out that I wanted a night away at the beach by myself. I’m so thankful that he was

understanding and willing to grant my birthday request. (I’m not sure I would have been as gracious if he

had told me that what he wanted for his birthday was, in essence, a night away from me!)

 It was a hot, sunny August morning when I got in our car and headed to the Oregon coast. I cranked up

the air conditioning and also the worship music and sang along as loud as I wanted to. I don’t think I was

halfway through the two hour drive before I started to feel a crack in the wall around my heart.

 I was sitting on a rock on a bluff overlooking the sea, my Bible and journal on my lap, when I heard God

speak these words to my heart. “Build your life.” He helped me to recognize that I had developed a victim

mentality. I had convinced myself that other people and outward circumstances were in control of my life

and destiny. He was directing me to turn my focus away from circumstances I could not change and had

no control over, and to turn those things and the other people involved over to Him and trust Him with

them. Then He told me to start focusing on what I could change, to build the life I wanted to live, the life I

felt like He had purposed and promised for me long ago.

 The next afternoon, I came drove back home with a lot less emotional and spiritual baggage, but a lot

more hope. My life didn’t change drastically overnight, but choice by choice, I began to build the life I

believed God wanted me to live instead of the miserable life of a victim of circumstances. I began to say

no to things I didn’t feel I needed to take responsibility for any longer, and I began to say yes to pursuing

some of the dreams that God had placed in my heart decades before. I began to believe and to act upon

the truth that I could choose to make the rest of my life the best of my life.

 I am 57 years old now and I can tell you without exaggeration, life is great! I discovered that when I

focused on making good and godly choices for my own life, when I began to pursue the dreams that God

had put in my heart, when I quit focusing on how I wanted to change others and circumstances that were

out of my control, that not only did I find myself blossoming, but God’s hands were free to take care of

those other things once my hands were off of them!

 “This is my season and my place of blossom.” I read those words written by Kimberly Daniels and my

heart jumped and my spirit said a loud amen. I am smack dab in the middle of God’s will, God’s season

and God’s place of blessing and blossoming. I am going to finish strong.


blog photo TElizabeth Stewart is a 57 year old woman who is passionate about making the rest of her life the

best of her life and encouraging others to do the same. She is a whole hearted Jesus follower who has

been married to her pastor husband for 38 years. She has three wonderful daughters, two great sons-inlaw,

and five of the best grandchildren in the whole world. She is active in teaching God’s Word and

mentoring others in her local church. She blogs at justfollowingjesus.com and is pursuing her writing

dreams, her love of photography, and her passion for all things beautiful.

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Diane W. Bailey is the founder of The Consilium – an online community of wisdom and purpose for women over 45 years of age. She is a published author. Her books include String of Pearls – From Tears to Treasure, and 30 Days To A Better Stepfamily. She creates her own line of precious metals bracelets. Diane lives in the Deep South with her husband Doc. Together they have created a stepfamily, each having two stepchildren and two birth children, and share three grandchildren, one black lab named Charlie and one long haired tabby cat named Lil Girl. Diane’s passion is to encourage women to be all God has created them to be by pressing past fear and daring to live life as an adventure. Some of her life adventures include traveling to Israel, speaking, entrepreneurship and backyard farming with Doc. She loves Gumbo, fried shrimp and seeing all sunsets across water.

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