When did she grow old?
She traces the lines along her neck that once were not part of her body and she frowns.
She looks in the mirror to face the deep creases around her eyes and her mouth and wishes with some magic wand she could make them all disappear. And if for just one day she could walk without that crazy catch in her hip. Or remove the veins that have found their way to the surface of her once smooth legs... If only then.. she thinks she would feel happy.
She knew what it felt like to be pretty. She knew a smaller waistline and arms that didn't have extra skin beneath them. And then babies came and although she would never wish them away she knows that as each one grew inside her body her figure changed and marks were added to her frame. And forces of gravity have made its way all over her until she hardly knows the woman staring back in the mirror.
She feels even older as she watches the next generation in their prime enjoying youth and bodies that function as they were designed. She realizes the contrast and that her day in the sun with dancing children and extra energy is over.
She worries that her husband may not look at her the way he once did.
She mourns the changing season.
And truly if this is all there is to life then it would be her dimmest hour.
Beauty is fleeting. Charm is deceitful.
When we have known it and come to depend on it..It will be our master, we its slave.
And when it is gone we will indeed be the saddest of all.
But some have found the key to the fountain of youth..
It's a secret that many never search deep enough to find. They think they will find it in products they buy. They try to find it in the gym or in hanging out with younger friends.
But they will not find it here.
For I have observed and been witness to many who are well into their 80's who still are viberent and resilient and gracious in their speech. They are the loveliest on earth.
And I believe their secret to be this.
They have been fighting enemies of their heart for years.
Those enemies which include Jealousy, Anger, Guilt, Greed, and Unforgiveness.
Jealous women never end up beautiful in the end. Their negativity will build walls and keep people away.
And Angry women never end up gracious... They just look... Angry. And Speak with ...Anger.
Guilty women never make the final turn in life as peaceful... They just always feel.. Guilty
And Greedy women will never be content with the blessings they have... They will always be wanting more.
Lack of forgiveness will eat a woman up and make her go places she never thought she would.
It's harder to work these heart muscles than it is to work out 7 days a week.
But remember the fountain of youth is found in the end if we don't give up.
They are subtle and if we aren't careful those little seeds that start in our hearts become big and the roots get harder and harder to pull out.
My Mother turned 73 this year. I am thankful for her spirit of love and graciousness she has showered on her children. I am thankful she was willing to sacrifice her body to give me life. She is a sweet spirit. I am thankful for the gift of hospitality she has used to bless others for many years. She is a gift to our family. She is beautiful to me.
I attend church with ladies who are well into their latter days, one who just buried her last sibling over the weekend, Many of them inspire me. They seek me out and if they don't see me for several weeks they may call me to make sure I'm okay. They tell me they love me and visit with me as if I were one of them. I never feel judged or snubbed. They touch me in ways I cannot fully express.
These ladies give me hope that I can battle these enemies and win. That my final days will not need to be focused only on this outer shell that houses my heart but on the one who has poured out his blessings over the worn hands that still search for the deeper wisdom he wants to give.
3 1-4 The same goes for you wives: Be good wives to your husbands, responsive to their needs. There are husbands who, indifferent as they are to any words about God, will be captivated by your life of holy beauty. What matters is not your outer appearance—the styling of your hair, the jewelry you wear, the cut of your clothes—but your inner disposition.
4-6 Cultivate inner beauty, the gentle, gracious kind that God delights in. The holy women of old were beautiful before God that way, and were good, loyal wives to their husbands. Sarah, for instance, taking care of Abraham, would address him as “my dear husband.” You’ll be true daughters of Sarah if you do the same, unanxious and unintimidated.
(This blog post was inspired by my thoughts after our Pastor preached a sermon on this passage Sunday. He said... "You can be more beautiful at the end of your life than you were at the start"...)
Go with that Thought today... You have the capacity to grow more beautiful with each passing day.