Thursday, June 30, 2011

On Turning For...For...Forty

Gray hair.  Crow's feet. Laugh lines.  Picky stomach.  Joint pain.  Slower metabolism.  Yep!  I've got 'em all!  You see, there's a big birthday coming up here...and it ain't 30.  I wish.  I loved turning 30.  I finally felt like a grown-up--that maybe I had some wisdom attained.  Yet, I was still young.  This year...well...I'm not exactly going to be old, I guess.  I just can't figure out how I got to 40 so fast.  Forty times around the sun--it makes my head spin.  And they say time goes by faster as you get older?!  Oh bu-oy...I think I'm in trouble.

For the past several days, I've been pensive--introspective to the point of self-absorbtion, possibly.  (It can't be good to think about one's self so much.)  But, I can't seem to help it.  I've been sort of taking stock.  Assuming I'll have an average life span, though I realize there are no guarantees, I'm about half done.  The term "Mid-life Crisis" comes to mind.  I haven't gone out and bought a red convertible...yet.  However, in the past month I've: colored my hair, bought a face cream with AHA's, exercised more, gave up pop (more or less), and considered buying a teeth whitening system ($$).  It's the middle-class woman's mid-life crisis. 

All of that only addresses the physical aspect of my life being half over--and not very well at that.  The bigger question looming in my mind is, "Have I been a good steward of these 40 years?"  Gulp.  God has given me so much to oversee!  There's my marriage, our kids, ministry, friendships, finances, my home, gifts & talents, His Word, my relationship with Him, and time.  Have I been a faithful steward of all of that?!  I doubt it.

And then there's a deeper struggle, regarding my innermost hopes and dreams.  I had all of these aspirations when I was younger.  Some of them have come true: marriage and motherhood, to name a couple.  But I really wanted to do something BIG.  Something special.  And I know, I know...marriage and motherhood are noble things.  But I wanted to make my mark on the world!  I don't know.  Is that a little silly?  A little selfish?  I've simply been feeling so normal.  So average.  So blah.

So, count your blessings, Jenny.  Right?  Yes.  Good point.  I do have many blessings.  Lots of people would covet a "normal" life like mine.  And I don't mean to sound ungrateful.  I truly have nothing to complain about.  So why do I feel a bit...restless?

Is this yearning a device to keep me from resting on my laurels?  Does the Lord have a new adventure for me?  Is this something to urge me out a state of complacency?  Or is this a purely selfish craving meant to distract me and make me discontent?  Complacency and contentment: so close in meaning, yet so far.

Stupid birthdays....

There is a bright spot in all of this.  Because I have trusted in Christ's atoning death on the cross to pay for my sins, I have eternal life.  And what's the middle of that?  What's half of eternity?  It's still...eternity.  To that, I cling.


  1. Now that I'm also friends with Dave on FB I just looked through some of his pics. (He needs more.) I literally shook my head seeing how little both of you have changed. You do NOT look anything close to 40. That said, nothing wrong with being 40; I'd love to go back there!

  2. Thanks, Craig. (Maybe the hair color and moisturizer weren't such bad investments after all....)

    I think I'll like 40, once I get used to it. I *am* gonna work on my Carpe Diem though! = )

  3. I don't remember giving 40 a second thought. I'm 65 now and looking at retirement -- wow, does that raise a lot of questions! I don't know exactly what's next, but I do know I am getting tired of this life of constant travel and work. I guess I just enjoy each stage of life as it comes along. Watching the grandkids grow up is GREAT. (I never got my red convertible either.)

  4. Dennis, I wonder if the perception on aging is a little different for women. For example, salt & pepper looks quite distinguished on a man, but on a woman? Not-so-much. Ye Olde Double Standarde.

    And you're right. Each stage has much to enjoy. I'll concentrate on that. Thanks. = )

  5. I think you have the wiggles cause you need to take a ride on Hwy 40 that leads to ME! Yeah, that is it! You might need a full body cleanse..that would help you with the introspection...or, a 40 day fast.....nah. I still think it is the first one. HUgs you young thing. Go deeper. Go higher. Aunt Pati

  6. Thanks for posting, Jenny. I may be a few years behind you, but these have been my thoughts for some time. Especially the "something BIG" part. I thought maybe it would be easier with the marriage and family, but I guess in the end, we're really all the same. Very aware that all flesh is as grass...

    Been doing the hair color for some time. If you try teeth whitening, let me know what you find out. Coffee takes its toll. =)

  7. Yes Rebecca, "all flesh is grass". So true.

    I turned 40 a few days ago. Of course, I don't feel any different, nor do I look it. *wink* I may be in denial still. Since my b-day is over now, I haven't thought of my age as much. But when I do, I shake my head a little and say to myself, "Hmmmm...that can't be right...."

    I got some cash for my birthday. I think I'm going to buy some Crest Whitestrips. I'll keep you posted. (Coffee AND iced tea for me.) ; )