Have you ever been happily reading an enjoyable book when suddenly a sentence hits you right between the eyes? In The Furious Longing of God,1 Brennan Manning writes:
God knows everything about us as individuals. He knows our frame. He knows what we’re capable of. He knows our gifts, talents, weaknesses, and strengths. And despite whatever we might think of ourselves or our lacks, He picked us for His team!1 He is certain that, with His power, we have what it takes to fulfill the role that He wants us to play.
Inspiration infuses you with renewed zest for life. It influences, moves, or guides you to action. But we all have times when we hit the inspiration skids; when we not only lack inspiration but might even doubt that we’ll ever feel inspired again.
G. K. Chesterton once said, “The object of a New Year is not that we should have a new year. It is that we should have a new soul and a new nose, new feet, a new backbone, new ears, and new eyes.”1
Each passing year opens the door for the new, for the things that are to come. Every year brings with it new gifts and treasures, things that you won’t be able to hold in your hands or gain unless you exit through one door and step into the next one.
Our future isn’t limited by our past. No matter what point we’re at now, the future is still as bright as God’s promises.
If you’re not where you want to be, there’s time to change that. It’s human nature to look back and have regrets about some of the things you did, or to wish you’d done things differently. God understands that and sympathizes. But don’t overlook the good that also came from those experiences—the wisdom, maturity, and lessons learned, which have helped to shape your character and prepare you for better things to come.
December is by far my busiest month of the year. The days are filled with organizing events, recycling toys to give to needy kids, buying gifts, decorating the house, and planning Christmas get-togethers and Christmas Eve dinner. Then there’s New Year’s celebration to ring out the old and ring in the new.
I recently saw this quote and loved its description of a family: “Families are the compass that guides us. They are the inspiration to reach great heights, and our comfort when we occasionally falter.”
But families aren’t static. In fact, in our lives, one of the main things that changes as we go through the seasons of life is our relationships with family. As my three-year-old son recently said, “First, you are a boy, then you turn into a dad, then you turn into a grandpa.” Oh, for the simplicity of a child.
Since turning 70, I’ve been thinking more about the benefits of aging. Even though many of us who are getting older have already felt some of the disadvantages or difficulties, there are also many good things to be found in this stage of our lives. I want to explore a few of these with you by sharing some of my own thoughts and experiences. Of course, you may not be at the stage in life where these things apply to you personally, but you may be interested for the sake of elderly family members or friends.
My husband and I recently found ourselves on our own again. After raising ten children over 40 years, I didn’t see this coming!
We’ve always been a close-knit family, but of course, as the children have grown up, one by one they’ve been moving on. I cried each time, as it felt like a piece of my heart was being torn away.