Tuesday, July 22, 2008

My days have been fashioned by God!

Your eyes saw my substance, being yet unformed. And in Your book they all were written, the days fashioned for me, when as yet there were none of them.
Psalm 139:16

Today I am seventy six!!

Yikes, that means I am pushing eighty! How in the world did I get here?? You know, I'm not quite sure! But here I am, enjoying this phase of life as much as any other phase of my life. Everything is a little harder than it used to be, my step has slowed, my energy comes and goes, but I am so blessed with a busy, full life. There are days that there are not enough hours in the day to do all the things that I want to do. I am happy!!

A friend sent me the following. I took the liberty of doing a little editing, but basically it is pretty true!

"I am now, probably for the first time in my life, the person I have always wanted to be. Oh, not my body! I sometime despair over my body, the wrinkles, the baggy eyes, and everything sagging!. And often I am taken aback by that old person that lives in my mirror (who looks like my mother!), but I don't agonize over those things for long.

I would never trade my amazing friends, my wonderful life, and my marvelous, loving family for less white hair or a flatter stomach. As I've aged, I've become kinder to myself, and less critical of myself. I've become my own friend, sort of. I don't chide myself for eating that extra cookie, or for not making my bed, or for buying all the stamping supplies I don't really need.....but looked so enticing on the websites that sell them! I am entitled to a treat, to be messy, to be extravagant. I have seen too many dear friends leave this world too soon; before they understood the great freedom that comes with aging. Whose business is it if I choose to read or play on the computer until 4 AM and sleep until noon? Well, I know that isn't such a good idea, but I have been known to make cards all night!

I know I am sometimes forgetful. But there again, some of life is just as well forgotten. And I eventually remember the important things..(like what in the world I went out to the garage for) Sure, over the years my heart has been broken. How can your heart not break when you lose a loved one, or when a child suffers, or even when we face heartbreaking disappointments! Broken hearts are what give us strength and understanding and compassion. A heart never broken is pristine and sterile and will never know the joy of being imperfect. I am so blessed to have lived long enough to have my hair turn white, and to have my youthful laughs be forever etched into deep grooves on my face. So many have never laughed, and so many have died before their hair could turn silver. As you get older, it is easier to be positive. You care less about what other people think. I don't question myself anymore. I've even earned the right to be wrong. So, to be honest, I like being old. It has set me free. I like the person I have become. most of the time. I am not going to live forever here on earth, but while I am still here, I will not waste time lamenting what could have been, or worrying about what will be. I shall live each day at a time, with thanksgiving in my heart.

And I shall eat dessert every single day. (If I feel like it)

a portland granny--1932--

Because He Lives

God sent His son, they called Him Jesus
He came to love, heal, and forgive.
He lived and died to buy my pardon,
An empty grave is there to prove my Savior lives.

Because He lives, I can face tomorrow.
Because He lives, All fear is gone.
Because I know He holds the future,
And life is worth the living just because He lives.

How sweet to hold a newborn baby,
And feel the pride and joy he gives.
But greater still the calm assurance,
This child can face uncertain days because He lives.

Because He lives, I can face tomorrow.
Because He lives, All fear is gone.
Because I know He holds the future,
And life is worth the living just because He lives.

And then one day I'll cross the river,
I'll fight life's final war with pain.
And then as death gives way to victory,
I'll see the lights of glory and I'll know He lives.

Because He lives, I can face tomorrow.
Because He lives, All fear is gone!
Because I know He holds the future
And life is worth the living just because He lives!

~ William and Gloria Gaither ~


Jose said...

Happy Birthday Joan, and I hope you have many more, age is only a number, you are as young as you feel, and from your lovely picture you look nothing like 76.

KInd regards Jose

Kim said...

How funny, today is my birthday too! I hope you have a wonderful day, and may the Lord continue to bless you. Happy Birthday!

Ruthie said...

Oh, I love that article about aging - it is so true! And HAPPY BIRTHDAY to you, my dear cyber friend!
Blessings to you for more happy and fruitful years!

mamacita said...

Happy Birthday Aunt Joan! That is a great picture of you. You look almost as sweet as Grandma did. I like your hair and lipstick! 76 - wow, you are an old thing!
Sooo fun to see the boys too! They will always be boys to me and are all very cute! Keep on blogging!
Love, Melinda

sister sheri said...

Happy Birthday, Joan! Maybe I can finally take you out to lunch when Christopher gets back to school. God Bless You!

Anonymous said...

Happy belated birthday, Joan!

That is a beautiful picture of you. I am sorry I missed the day..

Blessings, Patty

The FarmHouse Triplets said...

Happy Birthday Joan! I missed the actual day ... sorry!

I love the poem and it is good to see the woman in the blog. It's a very good picture of you. Now I know who I am writing too!


Anonymous said...

Happy Belated Birthday! I hope it was wonderful. Sounds like July is a fun month for your family! I love the song Because He Lives too. It's always been one of my favorites. It makes me think of Bert and Colleen as well...I remember them singing that one in Spanish. :)
Many Blessings to you!!!!!
P.S. The gardens are BEAUTIFUL!