“Age is an issue of mind over matter. If you don’t mind, it doesn’t matter.” (Mark Twain)
Today is my birthday. Now, now… really…. you don’t have to get me a gift. Oh, and seriously… the second box of candles is not necessary (we do not need that many candles on one cake). It is a celebration, none-the-less. Today I begin my…. (drum roll, please…) “40th” year!!! No, I did not say I was turning “40”, so no “over the hill” comments or jokes are allowed; but I am starting my 40th year. Wow!
I have to admit, there are some things about growing older that are not so pleasant. I get up each morning and my ankles ache; probably from walking the baby the night before, but I definitely did not feel these pains with my first three children… over thirteen years ago. Then, there is the changing of the hair. No, I am not referencing the many different changes in my hair styles over the years, but rather, the many colors! I have tried to teach my children that there are three things you never ask a woman: her age, her weight and…. (pause)… her natural hair color. Thanks to a good box of hair dye now and then, we may never know the truth. I think the most difficult part of aging, especially for women, would be the wrinkles. Maybe I am just too vain, but it seems each day there is another one. There are times I just miss my smooth, wrinkle-free, youthful face.
“Beautiful young people are accidents of nature, but beautiful old people are works of art.” (Eleanor Roosevelt)
However, there is something to be said about aging… even about the wrinkles that so beautifully grace the canvas of our beings. Several years ago, the Dove brand had an advertisement campaign that filled many popular magazines. It pictured just the face of an older, mature woman, which enabled you to see each and every wrinkle; showing her natural beauty with very little, if any, makeup on her skin. There were lines drawn from many of the wrinkles to the margins where a description was given as to what “caused” that particular wrinkle on her face. Hmmmm…. very interesting and thought provoking.
On this day of my birth, 39 years ago, I am looking back at the “wrinkles” in my life. They not only show my age… they show a life lived! My wrinkles tell a story… my story. Parents’ divorce. My insecure childhood. My fears and life uncertainties. Marriage separation. House mortgage. Job loss. House foreclosure. Unpaid bills. Car accident. Miscarriage. Brother’s death. Grandparents’ deaths. Family struggles. The “terrible twos” and the “trying teens”. Saying goodbye to what was. Medical issues. Pain. Anger. Frustration…
There is one particular wrinkle on my face that has really bothered me for several years. Just to the left of my lips is a very, deep-set, curved line that does not seem to go away with any of the anti-aging creams or gels I have tried. It seems to stand out with a bright flashing light as if to say to the world, “Yes, she is getting older”. But recently I have noticed something… it is the wrinkle that is made when I smile…. and that changes everything! Despite all the pain and trying moments in my life, there have been so many smiles… so much laughter! Many fond memories of my childhood! The day I married the love of my life! The birth of each one of my wonderful children and every joyous moment I have experienced with them as they have grown! Hearing the words “I love you”! All the great times with my family and friends! Hugs and kisses! Memorable vacations! Beautifully painted sunrises and sunsets! The wonderful memories I have of those I have lost! Forgiveness! Freedom! Knowing how much I am loved by the God of the universe! Answered prayers! Oh… how thankful I now am for that wrinkle! Yes, there are times when I miss my youthful skin, but I am so grateful to have “lived”! I am so grateful to have been loved… to have laughed… to have had the opportunity to experience… to feel both the pain and the joy of life! Wrinkles are beautiful!
“Aging is not lost youth but a new stage of opportunity and strength.” (Betty Friedan)
I pray that we will all truly celebrate our birthdays with sincere appreciation to God for the life He has allowed us to live. May we no longer look to the number ahead with dread, but rather look forward to the gift we are being given… another year! Many people are taken from this earth too early in life… May we cherish all of our years and may they be full of wrinkles to mark our beautiful journeys.
Looking forward to my “40th” year of life!
(Of course, this is “metaphorically speaking”, right? A little anti-aging cream won’t hurt. After all, I must smooth out the lines a bit so I can keep on adding “life” to my years!!! haha)
“Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day.” (2 Corinthians 4:16 NIV)
May you find the beauty in today,
“He has made everything beautiful in its time” (Ecclesiastes 3:11)
~ Leave me a comment, I would love to read YOUR thoughts~♥