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 to introduce you to my friend, Sandra King:
Whoever decided small critters were good for older people?
When I bent down to pick up the littlest dog during the morning rush, something in my left lower back went awry.
After I’d deposited the oldest grand-girl at the school curb and returned home, I cranked the shower up hotter than hot and let the water pound on that spot right above my left hip while I hung upper body down, slightly tilted to the right, and arched my back like a cat.
Don’t try to picture that.
When the water ran cold and the fog hung heavy, I felt my way out of the bathroom into the kitchen where I rifled through the drawer for ibuprofen. I tipped three pills into my palm, dropped one, and then crawled around on the floor to find it before a pup beat me to it. I dusted it off and swallowed all three with a gulp of cold coffee.
Back in front of the mirror, I saw my mother looking at me. There was a bruise on my shoulder. I don’t know where that came from. And the black warty thing on my neck, the one my doctor blasted with nitrogen a couple years back, is back. I touch it with my index finger (what if it turns out to be cancer?) and notice the web of wrinkles on the back of my hand. I squeeze four fingers together with the other five and decide the tenting rises like a couple bird’s feet.
Fact: I’m not a spring chicken any more.
I’m feeling my age, and time hums by, and I’m growing old(er).
In April, I snaked through Calvin’s campus bookstore during the Festival of Faith and Writing with Adventure of Ascent: Field Notes from a Lifelong Journey tucked in my arm’s crook. “I came to writing late though it came to me early,” I told Luci as she autographed my book. “I’m twenty years younger than you, and I’ve wasted so much time.”
You still have plenty of time, Luci assured me. She was born just three days before my mother who died from brain cancer almost three years ago. At 85, Luci is still sailing and tent camping and traveling and speaking. So maybe there’s hope for me. But still, if only . . .
Luci Shaw’s latest book is about aging, her ponderings reflected as a mountain-climbing expedition. I love that she talks about growing older as an incline and not as a decline. She writes about osteopenia and painful joints and flabby arms and diverticulitis and scars, including one from a cat scratch—all like me. I wish I could just sit and talk with her like a daughter to her mother.
Luci quotes Emerson, who said, “People do not grow old. When they cease to grow they become old.”
I want to keep growing. I want to shed the weight of regrets and what-ifs and if-onlys and face the summit with a lighter pack and a spring to my step. And I want to believe I am who I am where I am in this season—though I’m as busy and tired as a young mom–because it fits into God’s plan for me at the moment.
I’ve been re-reading Kay Arthur’s book, As Silver Refined. She reminds me that if God is sovereign–and I believe He is–my what-ifs never happened. If His plans for me can’t be thwarted, and if they include writing books or poetry or visiting Africa or the Holy Land or whatever I think I’ve missed, I can’t mess anything up, and it’ll happen in His timing. So I resolve to rest in that.
“In a poem** in Image, Christian Wiman writes about ‘feasting on distances, gazing / dead into the sun.’ That sounds absolutely right—to look ahead to a far horizon with confidence, without flinching or fear; to let myself be gloriously blinded with possibility. I would like to infect my contemporaries, both young and old, with an openness that frees us to talk about unknowns, muscled by faith, with joy as fluid in me as the blood in my veins. Feasting on distances. Yes.”
I want to be blinded with possibilities no matter my age, to forget what lies behind and press onward and upward.
But right now I think I’ll feast on some oatmeal and then take another shower.
**The Mole by Christian Wiman
Sandra Heska King (AKA Snady AKA SHK) carries a Medicare card and is not happy about it. She lives in Michigan and writes from a 150-plus-year-old family farmhouse set on 60-something acres surrounded by corn or soybeans or sometimes wheat. She’s a camera-toting, recovering doer who’s learning to just. be. still.
Sandra blogs at sandraheskaking.com and sometimes spills words in other places across the Internet. You can catch up with her on Facebook and Twitter.
Latest posts by Diane W. Bailey (see all)
- What God Can Do with A Shattered Heart - September 5, 2022
- When It Is Time to Bring Your Ship Ashore - January 2, 2018
- Art Of Hospitality – How to Love Others As Ourselves - November 27, 2017
Subscribe for updates!
Join our mailing list and be the first to receive the latest news.
Look for blog posts, podcasts and and an occasional newsletter, and all of it is fashioned for wise women.
Such beautiful thoughts, written so eloquently. “I want to be blinded with possibilities no matter my age, to forget what lies behind and press onward and upward.” I want this too. To continue to serve God and grow in my faith and service to Him.
Let’s link arms and press on together, Debbie. 🙂
“People do not grow old. When they cease to grow they become old.”
I could feel your aches and pains, but I am so glad that you are writing. (And I can relate to the feeling of wasting so much time.)
As I told my high-school aged daughter when she commented that she didn’t want to get old — “The only alternative is to die young.”
I’m sure God has a reason for the body wearing down–it reminds me of my dependence on HIM!
When we’re young, we think we have all the time in the world to get this temple of ours in order. There’s always tomorrow. When you get to be our (my) age, you suddenly realize tomorrow is here. I’d like to die very old in years but very young at heart–and I’d like to be as healthy as possible. 🙂
The thought of wearing down to lean harder on Him gives me hope. 🙂
SO much here that resonates with my soul, Sandra. “People do not grow old. When they cease to grow they become old.” Wise woman, this Luci.
Also think this: “And I want to believe I am who I am where I am in this season” should be a quote on a picture…. Thank you for your words today.
I love Luci!
And thanks for the image idea. I think I’ll do just that. I’m glad you came by, Rhonda.
Oh my gosh, this is just beautiful! And wise! Know why? I am sitting here with a heat bag on my back as I pulled it out this morning lifting my granddaughter 🙂 This post was like a massage for more than my back. And you carry a medicare card? No way would I have ever suspected. You are beautiful! And so are your words. Thankful for you.
Oh, Joanne, I hope your back feels better soon! Mine does since I wrote this, that goodness.
And yes, sigh… I turned 65 in January. I fought that Medicare card. I refused to do whatever I had to do to get it. My husband did it all for me. Color me not happy about it. 😉
You’ve made me smile big today.
Yes… Yes… I love when we meet people like Luci… people ahead of us finishing strong… they are like road signs… pointing us in the right direction… aging isn’t for wimps… we have to turn all of our
selves right into the aging process and walk against the tide. I have a few people that have inspired me to finish strong… spiritually, physically and emotionally… we are body soul and spirit and we must tend to each part of us so we can don’t just grow old!!!
“Aging isn’t for wimps.” I think that belongs on an image, Ro.
I like to remind myself how God used people who were in all ages and stages of life to carry out His purposes. Following Him isn’t for wimps, either.
I so love your writing… it is a sobering fact when we realize we are growing ‘older’ sometimes I see my grand mothers hands when I see mine, or my mom’s. When my daughter or daughter in law says to me, be careful, don’t fall. I feel beyond my years. It is good. I tell myself God used older people all throughout the old testament so it is hopeful he can use you and I too.
God uses you in my life, Sharon. You are always such a wonderful encouragement to me. And I needed to hear your words today as I’ve had a particularly challenging couple of weeks.
i needed this reminder to pursue my purpose in God, my dreams, my goals, no matter my age or how much Advil and Icy-Hot it takes to keep me going!
Thanks, Diane, for giving me some space to share under your magnolia tree. I love the fading and the fresh blooms on the same tree. 🙂
I’m so glad that you shared this, Sandy. First, I love anything you share so eloquently and wisely. Second, I LOVE Luci Shaw. She’s such a gifted author and poet. She was very kind to me when I was writing one of my books. She’s influenced me greatly (not primarily through this remote contact, but through the legacy of her work). If you don’t have her books Horizons and LifePath, they’re must-reads, among others of course. I am unfamiliar with Adventures of Ascent, so thank you very much for this recommendation. And thanks for the reminder to re-read As Silver Refined by our mutually loved author, Kay Arthur. I need some hope at this stage to know that my missed opportunities are not reasons to surrender to hopelessness. Though in my case many are of my doing, they don’t need to be my undoing. And certainly God promises to make up for locust years, and He can use even my mistakes and missteps in His sovereign design for my good. You’ve breathed life and hope into me today, Sandy, and I’m grateful–perhaps (and I hope!) eternally so.
And I just want you to know that I will be first in line to read your book. I know you will write it, and God will use your later-in-life start in a most powerful way to engender hope in other later-in-life bloomers. I’m *convinced* of it!
Our doing doesn’t need to be our undoing. That’s an image phrase, too! I’ve got to get to work on these. 😉
You bless me so, Lynn. I’m grateful for you, you know? And I love that we have both been deeply influenced by the same women who are a tad further down the path than we are.
Oh, Adventures is Luci’s newest book.
Thank you for sharing the journey, Sandy. So grateful! And next time I see you at an event from afar (I saw you at JT), I’m going to remedy that, ok?!
Not if I remedy it first! 😀
sandra, i don’t often identify with so much a person writes but as i read, i tho’t “how can i meet this woman?” i’d like to sit down and visit for a few hours” 🙂
that book by luci shaw sounds awesome. i didn’t realize she was still plugging on!
the mole? great poem:)
it’s great to read someone who is going into old age kicking and screaming but still has a fairly positive attitude. haha! you are very close to my age. (a year older than my younger brother it think.)
thanks so much for a wonderful post. i loved it:)
I’d love to sit down and visit, Martha! How fun would that be?
I’m the oldest in my family… 6 years older than my brother and 10 older than my sister. My sister’s the wise one. 😉
I enjoyed your writing on this cool rainy day in NC. Sunday my youngest grandchild was baptized in the Presbyterian Church. I thought wow I am 65 her mom is 33 and she is only starting her life. How long will I be here to support and nurture this precious girl. I felt sad and then I remembered that God had a plan for her since this world began. So I will enjoy her while I can and know when I am gone that God will lead her life and I can rest in peace. Thanks for your inspiring words. Lynn
We were older when we adopted our kids. My daughter will be 30 in February. She’s the single mom of two girls. I sometimes think about how old I’ll be when they graduate, marry, etc. I can’t let myself think about it. I can only live this moment and remember that, yes, God had a plan for all of them as well as me before the world began.
FAB.U.LOUS, Sandy. I’m a Kay Arthur fan, so I can see I need to hurry and load As Silver Refined onto my Kindle.
… if God is sovereign my what-ifs never happened.
May have just set me free.
Virginia hugs to you 🙂
Oh, Susan. FAN.TAS.TIC.
I love connecting with other fans. 🙂
Michigan hugs coming right back at you.
This is beautiful, Sandra – and so encouraging – to see this time in life as an incline rather than a decline. So grateful for you, Diane, and this community. Love you big, my friend.
Thanks so much, dear friend. And I’m so thankful that God saw fit to fit us together in this huge big Internet world. Love you bigger! xoxo
I laughed at your reference of “no spring chicken” because when I get slap-silly with my Hubby, he’ll look me dead in the eye with a “You betta watch yourself, you ain’t no spring chicken!” And we laugh so hard! Because we are growing older, but we have vowed to not grow old. My own Grandmother traveled and hung out with her best friends, well into her 80’s. If she could do it, so can I.
Too funny. My grandmother was always 39 years old, just like Jack Benny. She refused to be a senior citizen. She was taxi service for the others–though my sister said that riding with her could be a little scary.
She was in her 80s when she died after complications from a broken hip. Everyone’s sure she overheard the doctor say she couldn’t live alone any more. And boom… she was gone.
“I want to be blinded with possibilities no matter my age, to forget what lies behind and press onward and upward.”
Sandy, that is precisely what God wishes for us to do. Reflections in the mirror do not mirror the youth of the heart and soul. The Lord sees us for what we are within, not what we are without. Aches and pains, oh, yes, but they can never define us in His eyes. He reminds us daily that He is the cure for all which ails us.
That’s so true. The mirror only reveals the ripples in the skin… and the bumps and sags, etc. But it can’t see within. Thank you for reminding us, Martha. There are days I feel my age… and days I can’t believe I’m over half a century in years.
Wonderfully insightful words for us women that want to continue growing as the years add up.
Thank you, Julie. This growing up as the years add up is easier when we have others to help hold us up. 😉
oh, you inspire me …as does Luci…thanks for being you 🙂
You took the words right out of my mouth, dear Dolly. I feel the same about you.
Always appreciating a safe yet challenging place for those of us who are thriving and celebrating in this 50+ season of life.
No one’s on the shelf in this neck of the woods …
Those shelves are too dusty anyway. 😉
Thank You I have had one of those overwhelming weeks with helping aging parents and my heart keeps screaming at me as I am approaching my 59th very soon you are also aging and not taking care of yourself.
Blessings to you Sister in Christ for sharing a real life moment!