It can be hard to embrace your age, can’t it? Especially as we discover new signs of aging like gray hairs and wrinkles. But we can choose our response.
A Surprising Discovery.
At 7 months pregnant with our third child, the belly began getting in the way of leaning over the counter to put on mascara. Pregnant problems are serious.Pregnant problems are serious. #thisgratefulmama #embraceyourage #pregnancy Click To Tweet
The solution? A small, powder blue framed stand mirror. For ten bucks, it was just a bonus that it had both 1x and 3x magnification.
Well, maybe not.
I’m not sure how many years have passed since I looked at my face under 3x magnification, but lets just say it looks a
little, ok, a whole lot different.
AND, under that 3x magnification, I noticed something extra shiny in my hair.
Curiosity got the best of me and soon I held my very first, 4 inch long, white-gray hair. And a second. A week later, my sister noticed a plethora of gray hairs when she was coloring and cutting my hair.
Higher magnification sure does open our eyes to reality.
In addition to the wrinkles and gray hairs, last month marked another birthday.
So, this is where I confess my sadness about aging, right?
The truth is, the overnight increase from 33 to 34 doesn’t feel any different. Neither does the discovery of gray hair or wrinkles, although they certainly did surprise me. I guess I’m either very unobservant, or they came out of nowhere!
Thankfully, God wisely created time go slow enough that we don’t feel age changes overnight.
Time Is Weird.
Indeed, I am older. I even have gray hair and laugh lines prove it. The increased aches and pains, blood sugar issues and fluctuating weight with this third pregnancy surely points to increased age.
Oh, and all those gray hairs? I’m fairly sure they are the direct result of pregnancy hormones since they are all exactly the same length.
But is all this evidence of aging such a bad thing?
It may be taboo to ask a woman’s age, but some women don’t tell the truth anyway. Instead, many pick an age and claim it in perpetuity. What age do you want to be? Forever 21, 29 or 39?
Stock In Numbers
Ladies, by refusing to acknowledge and gracefully accept our age, we put way too much stock into those age numbers.
We allow a number to offend us while we wonder what others will think.Ladies, by refusing to acknowledge and gracefully accept our age, we put way too much stock into those age numbers. We allow a number to offend us while we wonder what others will think. #thisgratefulmama #age #growingup Click To Tweet
Our reaction is to cover up outward aging signs with expensive skin creams to reduce and slow wrinkles, and inject toxins into our faces to prevent them. Or, we dye our hair. My sister was adding highlights while discovering those grays, so I’m not judging!
Don’t get me wrong here. I don’t think any of these physical age-defying remedies are necessarily bad. It’s about our reasons for doing it.
If our hearts are in the right place, there’s no harm.
Have we considered our reasons? If doing it because these things make us feel good and frankly, we just like our hair color, then great! I sometimes dye my hair because the short gray hairs look weird sticking out all over! But sometimes I dye it because I want a change and a little blonde in there sounds fun. But if we’re doing it because everyone else is, or because of fear, we may want to check our hearts.
Do we love our faces, hair and body without these interventions? Are we doing it because everyone else is? Or because we are comparing ourselves to others? Our motivations matter. If not doing them for ourselves, they probably won’t make us feel good anyway.
The reality is, we all age differently. Some of us look older than we are. And some of us look younger than we are.
Yet, ALL of us are exactly the age we ARE.The reality is, we all age differently. Some of us look older than we are. And some younger. Yet ALL of us are the exact age we are. #ageisanumber #thisgratefulmama #growingupishard Click To Tweet
Still, so often, we want to ignore it. Pretend it isn’t happening.
The accumulation of days and years lived on this earth is unavoidable. Instead of avoiding the issue, or putting too much stock in it, we can choose to embrace it.
It doesn’t mean it will always be easy. Some days, we’ll attempt something and our bodies will scream for air and rest. Our bodies will remind us of our increased age. We can’t stop it. Or, maybe we’ll accidentally expose ourselves to increased magnification and be surprised, and a little disappointed by what we discover.
We still have a choice.
We can embrace our age, and look forward to what is to come.We can embrace our age, and look forward to what is to come. #embraceyourage #ageisanumber #loveyourage #thisgratefulmama Click To Tweet
I am enjoying my 30’s. I plan to love my 40’s too.
Do you love your age?
Thirty shmirty. Wrinkle shmrinkle.
10 Reasons To Love Your Age
These little people did not even exist in my 20’s. I love how they fill my days with new challenges and joy. They give me a greater understanding of how God loves me, our children and others. These years are busy, but I am in no rush to get past them.
Having babies has forever changed my perspective on body-image. This body has carried and fed 3 babies.This work does leave a mark. My body is different and won’t ever be the same again. But I am grateful God equipped my body to do such rewarding and beautiful things.
I spent much of my 20’s unsure of myself and uncomfortable in social situations. Social anxiety left me nervous in groups, especially groups of women. I would second-guess every word, if I was brave enough to speak up. Many (not all) of my relational insecurities have faded as I’ve begun to better understand how God sees me and how to humbly view myself.
30 is the new 20, right? I hope not – I was pretty dumb when I was 20. I was poor at managing friendships, wasteful with my time, had a narrow world-view and a much-too-small and low understanding of God and His character. The lessons learned in my 20’s are invaluable. I’m still making mistakes but I’m learning more now that I can take into my 40s.
Gone are the days of trying to be someone I am not. And with less free time for friends and meaningful conversations, friendships have become very real. We don’t waste time with small talk. Conversations express what we’re struggling with, celebrating, and hoping for. And some of my deepest friendships are with family, which was not true in my 20’s. With age, friendships continue to become deeper, more authentic, and thankful.
With increased responsibility comes the need for prioritization. I’ve had to become more and more intentional with my time and energy. Our time is spent on what we need and want to do, and with the people we want to spend it with.
How I love looking back on what God has done in our marriage over the past 11 years. We are not the same and neither is our marriage – we’ve both grown up a lot. We know each other better and have acknowledged many of our own weaknesses. We’ve let go of most of those petty things that used to drive us crazy when we were first married. Disagreements and conflicts still happen but are resolved quicker, with fewer tears, and with more respect. We enjoy greater commitment, deeper love, sweeter moments, quick forgiveness, and the depth of trust and respect that can only develop over time. He’s still my favorite – more so each day.
Much of my 20s was spent worrying – finances, work, relationships, current events…you name it. God has taught me some very important lessons about fear in my 30s, especially when it comes to our children. Although fear still rises sometimes, I am better equipped to turn it over to God and to rest and trust in His peace.
I’ve focused more in recent years on gratitude. With each passing year, I am more grateful for the people in my life. I am much more aware of just how sinful I am and how much God has saved me from through Jesus’ work on the cross – gratitude is the natural response! There is less sense of entitlement, and less frustration with what I do not have. We have so much to be grateful for and I am hoping to only grow in the practice of gratitude.
All our days and years tell our unique story – challenges, sadness, joy, pain, lessons learned, successes and failures. Combined, they make us who we are today. God has used our circumstances to refine us – sometimes by fire. I have found Him to be trustworthy and faithful. He has walked through each year with me and isn’t about to stop. He is the good, good Father. I see how His Spirit and the study of His word have changed me over the years and cling to the promise that He is not done with me yet. I’m not the same as I once was. And I don’t want to go back. Even if I could.