Growing up gracefully

I love the generations. I love that God designed our lives to be integrated with people of all ages, in all seasons of life. I love that there are women that have gone before me in navigating being a wife, motherhood, ministry and just general womanhood. And though I may walk things they haven’t, I can glean wisdom from the road they have journeyed.

In Titus 2, it talks about the older women training the younger. I think this ‘training’ can happen intentionally through mentorship, bible studies and small groups but possibly it’s most effective when it happens by just doing life together. On the other hand, I love it when I can be a ‘student’ from afar – learning from books women have written or just following Facebook, Twitter and Instagram posts. I have many spiritual mamas and mentors – some close and some who don’t even know I exist but I’m learning from them just the same.

I think it’s important to surround ourselves with people who span all generations. For parents, you’ve got the younger generation covered just by your kids growing up in your home. If you’re not a parent, you’ll have to be more intentional about having younger people around that you can befriend and pour into. Then, there’s finding people from a generation before you that you position yourself to receive from. Those you admire the fruit of their lives and want to learn from.

As I think about the women I learn and receive from, there’s a few things I really admire – that I want to be part of who I am as I grow older…

1. Grandma’s that adore their grandchildren. I love getting a glimpse into ‘big name’ pastor’s wives through Instagram and Twitter. Bobbie Houston, Beni Johnson, Darlene Zschech regularly plaster my feed with pics of grandbabies. It makes me happy. How amazing when kids are celebrated by this generation. I’m a few years away from the gramma season but I will thoroughly enjoy it once it’s here.  🙂

2. A voice of wisdom that’s not arrogant or judgmental. When someone can see my immaturity but speak into it, while remembering she herself was once there, makes me much more receptive to hearing something I may not want to hear. I try to keep this in mind when in conversation with my own girls or other gals in a younger stage of life.

3. A woman who doesn’t try to pretend she is 20 or 30 years younger than she is – but keeps her body healthy and her wardrobe current. Growing older doesn’t have to mean being sluggish and dressing frumpy so having models of healthy and vibrant women who are continuing to dream and go after life is so refreshing. I want to grow old gracefully – like them!

4. A heart that’s full of wisdom yet ever soft to learning and growing. We will never ‘arrive’ at full maturity this side of heaven and maintaining a teachable heart after a person has been on this pilgrimage through life for 50, 60, 80 plus years is a trait to be admired.

5. A soul unscathed by cynicism or despondence. When you’ve been around to see a few heartbreaks, a few world disasters, a few life disappointments, it’s easy to develop a shell of hardness around your soul. Those who can keep hope, celebration and excitement for life as a core value are a joy to be around.

As another summer comes and goes, another birthday goes by, or I watch my kids reach another milestone, I’m reminded that life is short and I want to fully embrace each season and stage as it comes. If I’ll surround myself with all generations, I can learn how to do this joyfully and gracefully!

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