When I was somewhere around twenty-four years old, I was all like, "I'm just not buying into all this anti-aging stuff. I would never waste my money on that all that junk when I'm just gonna age anyway."
Oh sweet self-righteousness of youth, how thou hast betrayed me!
I don't know when it happened because mirrors in Uganda where small and foggy, but somewhere around early October I glanced in the mirror and there they were all the sudden.
Crows feet around my eyes.
Upon closer inspection I also discovered that my hair is dulling and getting frizzy and I have knee wrinkles. Knee wrinkles! For all that is good and beautiful in this world I can't understand why knee wrinkles have to happen.
So without second thought, I told my twenty-four year old self to stuff it and started looking up anti-aging products.
Turns out most of them are lotion and most of them I can't afford. Which is why I have been headed towards a full-on meltdown that I was sure would find its culmination today.
Today I turn thirty.
But I'm no fool, I know statistically, I'm not even halfway done. Fancy creams or no fancy creams this life on earth is going to continue to take its toll on me for years to come. There has to be a better way to handle this....
So I looked around at the men and women I admire most and took inventory. As I suspected, almost nothing I loved about the way they have handled the march of time has anything to do with varicose veins or slim thighs.
When I look at the people who have gone before me, the people I want to be like, these are the four things I found:
1. Take Risks
I get it. We have a house, cars, we are settled into our church and ministries by this point in life. When we are young our lives are filled with options, but with each choice made we carve out a path that becomes easy to glide down.
Faith? Fatih requires engagement, activity, a step.
"For we walk by faith not by sight." 2 Corinthians 5:7
Women who age well refuse to keep their eyes on the ground in front of them. They insist on charting their course with their eyes and hearts fixed on Heaven. They know when to take a left turn.
Whether its inviting someone new over for dinner or moving to a new country these people are willing to be shaken by an unshakeable God. They stand on the solid rock of Christ and let him rock their world.
Life can't help but be fresh and young when we are allowing Him to make us always new.
2. Be Humble
We write those dear-me-at-twenty letters for a reason. That reason being we have learned a thing or two each passing year and we want someone to know that we know better now.
"Humble yourselves, therefore, under God's mighty hand that He may lift you up in due time." 1 Peter 5:6
Women that age well know that compassion can only be served with a heaping side dish of humility. They know that any sentence that starts of with "I get it.." will be far more helpful than any sentence that starts off with "You should..." Bob Goeff says you can't hold people accountable until you hold them close. These women are willing to skin their knees to get low before the women they serve.
We may fight to get our abdominal muscles hard, but we must fight even harder to keep our hearts soft.
3. Give Generously
Maybe its a natural consequence of seeing God provide year after year, but women who age well don't live in scarcity.
A thief comes only to steal and to kill and to destroy. I have come so that they may have life and have it in abundance. John 10:10
These women pour out time, money, and resources to lift up their sisters. They equip and empower without feeling threatened because they trust that God is lavish with His gifts. When you put everything you have on the table, you leave no room for serving up mean-girl bitterness.
We need not hoard and hide when we know that a fresh revelation of His Grace is just a turn of the page away.
4. Be Wise
We already covered the fact that we know more now than we knew back then. Wisdom isn't always about that though.
"If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him." James 1:5
Women who age well know that taking big draughts from the well of wisdom beats big draughts from the fountain of youth any day. They also know where to find that well. Looking into God's Word is the only way we can see a true reflection of who we are.We all know people who have lived the same painful cycles their whole life, but wise women reflect on God and know when it is time to step-in, step-out, and step up.
The place we go to see ourselves spotted and wrinkled with sin is the only place we can be washed clean, made Holy and Beloved.
So here in a few minutes when I go to put make-up on to hide the wrinkles. When my shoulder pops from getting my big kids out of bed, and when my jeans squeeze just a little too tight I will try my hardest to rest in his grace. Instead of lamenting my soft parts I will beg Him for a soft heart. Instead of grumbling about getting old, I will praise God I am being made new. Instead of bemoaning the dullness, I will praise him for the fresh. And when I look at my reflection? I will see one Holy and Beloved.