Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Teach Us To Make The Most Of Our Time

The beautiful Elizabeth Stewart and I are teaming up to kick off our session at (in)courage.  -- (in) life over 50. 

She took the photograph (imagine me, -standing and cheering….) and I am going to share a little of what is on my heart. 

I am currently reading the book ‘Pursue the Intentional Life’ by Jean Fleming

The Bloom Book Club is featuring this book right now and I am thrilled they are also selling the book for $10.99 at Dayspring. I know we all have a stack of books we want to get to, but this just moved up the priority list. 

Jean is 70-ish years old, from Colorado. She said this book came out of a season when she turned fifty and realized that most likely half of her life was over. So she prayed, "what kind of woman she would become in her remaining years."

She started an “Old Woman File.”  (I realize this name may not excite some of us.) She says, “It started a groove of thought that I can profitably build on, refine and live. “ She built on that file for twenty years.

As a group of women over 50, “wanting to make the rest of our lives the best of our lives,” I feel that we could draw from Jean’s writing in this session.

In the introduction of her book, she writes about her concern “of living her remaining years vaguely, merely drifting in the wake of those living unconsidered lives.” She feared becoming "a pinched and grouchy old person." She states that the truth is, "all things unchanged, the woman we will be at seventy, eighty, and ninety is the women we are at forty and fifty – only distilled. Our flaws and weaknesses of a forty-year-old consecrate with age? A complainer at forty will, with much practice, engrave the response in her bones by seventy. Self-centeredness will intensify. Bitterness … will engulf and consume in advanced age.“

I could add a few to that list. A controlling person, will become more frustrated and fearful as things continue to happen that they cannot control. Poor eating habits and lack of discipline in basic areas of our lives will cause us to lose health and vitality and suffer the effects of those decisions. Financial struggles, anger, insecurities, all have negative effects on our walks with the Lord.

But this author writes that there is hope. “It’s not too late to grow and change and that it is never too soon to begin.”

No matter what age we are, we are setting patterns for the shape our lives are taking. 

Jean points out that all of us have an expiration date.

I love how Jean states this: “I long to see Christ’s life formed in me. I want to become the person God had in mind when He created me. I yearn to touch the world for God’s glory and advance His kingdom.”

I long….I want… I yearn…

You too? -I know I do.

So she poses two questions:

What kind of old woman am I becoming?

How will I live the rest of my life?

No matter what age or season of life we find ourselves in, the choices we are making are setting us up for where we are heading.  These are the things we can control. 

There are many things that we can not control.  For all of those we have the Bible and the Lord to guide us.


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© Rhonda Quaney