(even one year later, this is true)
Do I like it that I have reached the ripe ole age of seventy – you bet!!! Perhaps an unusual statement from the seniors in our society, but at this very moment I am on the planet by the grace and goodness of God and delighted for the very special life He has chosen for me. It feels comfortable, it feels satisfying and I intend to continue to enjoy each of the years that God gives to me. Aging is God’s plan for all of us. There is no reason that we shouldn’t live purposefully and well in the years He gives to us. Until He chooses otherwise, I am indestructible, and know that my time on earth is extended for a reason, perhaps many. A wonderful prayer and promise I often turn to is this one from Moses in the Psalms
Psalm 90: 12 - 17 “Teach us to number our days aright that we may gain a heart of wisdom. Relent, O Lord, how long will it be? Have compassion on your servants. Satisfy us in the morning with your unfailing love that we may sing for joy and be glad all our days. Make us glad for as many days as you have afflicted us, for as many years as we have seen trouble. Make your deeds be shown to your servants, your splendor to their children. May the favor or the Lord our God rest upon us; establish the work of our hands for us yes, establish the work of our hands.”
I am thankful and much blessed for the many relationships in my life which have given me great joy, even pain and caused me to grow. So many people have influenced me, encouraged me, tolerated me, loved me, and have put their arms around me in time of need that it would take volumes to list them all. What a privilege to be so rich in family and friends. When I began to consider what in my life I am thankful for, it boils right to God first and foremost. He said to me: “You shall be My own special treasure among all of the peoples...” Ex. 19:5b. , and then to all of the very special and wonderful people He gave me these seventy years.
My parents gave me a “God connection” and sense of family loyalty. My greatest lesson was that of self worth and confidence in who I am. Who am I? I am God’s precious child --- “He rejoices over me with singing,” and it makes me glad . . . and my precious husband, Don. I am much blessed by his love for me and how I have always felt special and cared for. As a dad he has showered our three children (and now their families) with the same gentleness and love as he has given to me. I am blessed to have a life partner that is imperfect (like myself) but perfect for me.
When I was young, a day seemed to last forever. I thought that my birthday took a hundred years to come around again – just like Christmas did. As I’ve matured, a year seems to pass so quickly, and especially now I know there are fewer and fewer Spring times I will experience. One day, I’ll be in His presence and enjoy eternity with Him. Some of you will be there too, but others of who I love so dearly have not yet decided to accept the gift of salvation through what Jesus Christ has done for us. As long as I live, I will continue to pray for each of you who do not have a personal relationship with Jesus – I want so much for you to be in heaven too.
As I age, there are times when my mind takes me into the past -- back to the “good old days.” Than I was stronger. Then, I was faster. Then I was better looking, not so fluffy (that means fat), not so tired, not so content. Then all things seemed possible. I still love living each new day. There are times when unhealthy nostalgia or the challenges of age tries to smother and extinguish my spirit and zest for today --- and tomorrow. I choose to win the battle, to enjoy and to even embrace the autumn of my life. A promise I am claiming comes from the Psalms again:
He will not let your foot slip-- he who watches over you will not slumber... The LORD watches over you-- the LORD is your shade at your right hand; the sun will not harm you by day, nor the moon by night. The LORD will keep you from all harm-- he will watch over your life; the LORD will watch over your coming and going both now and forevermore. Psalms 121:3,5-8
Has my life been without challenges? Of course not, there have been many bumps a bruises, heartaches and pain along with the wonderful, happy times, and if history serves me well, I can expect more of the same. Nothing in life happens that does not go through the hands of my loving heavenly Father first – there are no surprises with Him. When we love Him, He uses all things to work together for good, and as I look back on 70 years, I see it. He is faithful, He is sufficient, He is good no matter what and He is my precious Heavenly Father who continues to provide for me and to give me joy here and now. – at seventy – I can hard wait to see what He has for me in the future..
HAPPY BIRTHDAY ARNETTE, OLE GAL!!!!