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!
I’d like to introduce you to Mary Gemmill from New Zealand.
As a retired nurse, OBSERVATION is something that was drilled into me. Observing Jesus, we learn to become like Him. It is way better to have Him as a role model than our parents, who may have been great, but will always have had human failings. When I was 13, my mother had the unenviable task of having her mother come to live in a retirement hospital near us, as none of her other 5 siblings would accept this responsibility. My grandmother was what we called a “Tartar.” We didn’t know exactly what it meant then! Used figuratively for “a savage, rough, irascible person” (1660’s). To catch a Tartar (get hold of what cannot be controlled) is recorded from the 1660’s; the original sense is not preserved, but is probably from some military story similar to the old battlefield joke.
Nan seemed to be a dictator, and Mum tried so hard to please her, but Nan was “she who will not be pleased.” I was 13 when this began, and did everything in my power to ease my mother’s load, but Mum was “she will never notice my efforts.”
A few years ago, my mother needed to go into such an aged care hospital, and she became the “Tartar.” Even the last thing she said to me indicated that I was a failure at pleasing her.
Now, I am the oldest of my siblings, and it will be my turn next to be the “oldie.”
What have I learnt, and how am I preparing myself and my children? Well, I had another role model; a spiritual mother. She is the one I wish to become like. Every time she saw me, her whole being lit up with joy. When she was in the aged care hospital, all of the staff loved her. That was NOT true of my mother in the same hospital at a different time! Even when Lois lost her memory near the end, she would welcome me adoringly, and said, “I cannot remember your name, but I know you are someone who loves me.” J
As I age, my focus is on the needs and well-being of others, and my prayer is that while I have breath, I will be a blessing to those around me, and not a ball and chain. As we age, our character traits seem to become set in concrete, so my goal is to lay down the ground-work for whom I want to become. I’ve noticed other Christian twins who continued to bless everyone into their 90’s. The traits exhibited by them and by Lois were the fruit of the spirit: Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Goodness, Kindness, Gentleness, Faithfulness and Self-control.
It’s worth making a quality decision as to what we want our “end-product” to look like! I am sure that we all are working toward the goal of becoming like Jesus, the Author and Finisher of our faith. I am learning to submit to the workings of the Holy Spirit in order that He will “finish” me off as well.
This means giving up my right to hold onto the wrongs of others. It means letting God deal with those who wrong me and letting Him have His way in me! Bringing my mind into captivity to Christ Jesus is becoming easier with practice!! Because we all know that the battlefield is in the mind.
Let’s cheer each other on as we come up the home straits on our run with perseverance…..let us valiantly hold on to what is good…..and always look to Jesus as our example of whom to emulate. “Well done, good and faithful servant” are the words we long to hear when our time on earth is done.
Mary is the oldest of 3 siblings, and mother to 3 biological kids and 39 other teens. Her life has been fraught with difficult relationships with her mother, then husband, then daughter… but by allowing God to help her to turn these trials into stepping-stones, has become a very happy ESL teacher in a High School where God continues to open doors for her to speak into the lives of young people from around the world. Her greatest JOY is to be doing what God designed her to do, and in being about His business at work, at home encouraging and interceding for people online and locally, and in her family, continuing to support adult children in prayer and with a listening ear.
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