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Sunday, October 28, 2012

Taking My First Step...


“The human body is wonderfully crafted, but gravity and the inevitable effects of aging weigh it down. …Do not be anxious about the weakness of your body. Instead, view it as the prelude to My infusing energy into your being. …Though the process of aging continues, inwardly you grow stronger with the passing years.  Those who live close to Me develop an inner aliveness that makes them seem youthful in spite of their years… 
Jesus Calling Oct. 20th.

I love reading this promise the day before I turned 55…a sweet gift from God…
and how this dovetails with what  He was already speaking to my heart.

So many times the Lord takes me from the physical to the spiritual…
 to teach me His ways.
So last week, I turned 55 years young.
I can now eat at I-HOP with a senior citizen discountJ
Turning 50 did not rattle me…but 55…yes…
 maybe because it is my first step…
 into the population known as senior citizens…
a group not too long ago I viewed as old.

Reaching this passage in life…
I can more clearly see there are two paths to travel toward aging.
One path leads down a narrow way…a way that constricts and tightens its grip…

A way that funnels us smaller and smaller…
restricting us tighter and tighter…physically and spiritually.
The second path leads to wide open spaces…

one that calls us to stretch…to grow…to continue to mature
…to move with more freedom.

As we physically age…our muscles and joints lose their natural flexibility…
as we lose our flexibility… we lose our range of motion…
our necks become stiff.
(funny…“stiff-necked”…that’s what God called rebellious Israel)…
Our muscles become tight… keeping our movements small…
and if we don’t stretch…
our muscles grow tighter and any sudden movement can snap a muscle.
 To remain physically strong and flexible…stretching must become a way of life.

Stretching spiritually must also become a way of life. 
Without stretching… our necks will become stiff…
restricting our ability to see around us.
Our spiritual muscles become tight 
our movements become small…
and the pressures of this world will snap us. 
So just as we need to daily stretch our physical bodies…
so it is for us spiritually....
daily we must allow the slow but steady stretching…
this stretching will keep us spiritually flexible…
more pliable and bendable to the will of God…
like soft clay in the potter’s hands...
our spiritual muscles will be loose…so we can run hard after God.

 So no matter our age…let’s allow God’s loving hands to stretch us…
keeping us flexible…so we can move whenever and wherever He leads…
Today and each day of our lives.


I continue to count with words and pictures...all His gifts...all His grace...

Sweet gift from a dear friend...the first person I met in Nashville about 35 yrs ago!

I love cool days with the beautiful Fall blue skies.

~4386~4403~

~empty to be filled
~87yr. parents who don’t fear death
~bringing a meal to friends who just brought 2 boys home from Ghana
~the difference on day can make
~my dad calling me his friendJ
~grace and hope that accompanies conviction
~God who gives vision to the blind
~continued birthday celebrations…lunch with a dear friend
~3 great- nephews born this week
~good night sleep
~son bringing roommate home for dinner
~Saturday morning breakfast with hubby…11yr tradition and counting
~watching son play in his first college scrimmage…where does the time go?
~hubby and I drinking coffee as we watch Ann’s keynote speech…such a giftJ
~sweatshirt weather
~feeling freedom bubbling up from deep within
~God’s love 

    Join me here.... @Ann's,  Playdates, and Soli Deo GloriaGraceful,

52 comments:

  1. Happy Birthday friend!!! I'm glad you're growing in Him! We never finish that kind of growing up, do we?

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    1. Kd..no it is a life long adventure...nice to see ya...blessings~

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  2. Dear Ro,

    Happy belated birthday...I can so relate to your stretching analogy...so much wisdom in your words; Thank you!...what a great tradition with your hubby and what joy to feel the freedom bubbling up...hugs to you, friend :)

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    1. Dolly...no matter the age...stretching is necessary:) oh our breakfast “date” has enriched our marriage through the years...a treasured time...hugs right back to you friend~

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  3. Happy Belated Birthday from me to. I'm 50 and I so relate to the stretching. Have to do it every morning before getting out of bed, during the day, before bed:( But I'm still kicking. . .sort of:)

    May you have MANY, more Happy Birthday's ahead!
    Keep stretching, in all ways:)

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    1. kristin...oh yes...stretching all the way...thanks for stopping in~blessings~

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  4. Happy Belated Birthday to you! Your words and pictures are just beautiful. Yes, all is His gifts. Counting what He has blessed me with, has made me see things in a better light. His love and mercy are so wonderful. Love your sunflowers up top. Thank you for stopping by. I am looking forward to visiting you again.

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    1. Joy...I do love sunflowers too..and yes...His love and mercy are so wonderful...glad you dropped in~blessings~

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  5. Happy belated birthday, sweet friend! Isn't it amazing how God speaks to us in each season? This is a lovely reflection and I so enjoyed it.

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    1. Laura...Yes...He is the God who created the seasons...so glad He makes beauty in each season of the year...and also in our lives...thanks for dropping in~blessings~

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  6. I always enjoy your posts Ro. You have a beautiful way of putting thoughts into words.
    It's funny the way some birthdays shake us just a bit. For me it was turning 60. I'll be 66 soon and have found I'm getting more comfortable in this wrinkled skin. After all, my heart hasn't aged a bit!

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    1. Linda...in many ways...numbers don’t matter at all...let’s stay young in heart...no matter how many wrinkles we get. I must say...I like having some other women who are “more mature”...this is a very young blog world:) blessings~

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  7. Hope you had a great birthday! Such good timing for me to read this...I turn 50 in a few weeks. Numbers have never bothered me before, and I didn't think I'd care about 50 either, but I admit it is making me feel a little old. :-( I'm inspired by how you're handling 55 though, so thank you, friend!

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    1. Yes..numbers haven’t bothered me either...I don’t mind getting older...I just think it was a time to stop and reflect and see where I want to go...Oh...glad to have another woman who will be considered “over the hill” :) blessings to you friend~

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  8. Happy birthday, RO!! I love this-- I can so relate to being stiff, especially after running -- allowing God to soften those muscles that have become tense after so much working, making me realize that work for Him is more like worship.

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    1. Jen...soft muscles...yes...living worship to Him...thanks for stopping in~blessings~

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  9. You say it so well. Great advice on stretching both physically and spiritually. What is next? Can we do something about the wrinkles? 55 is fast approaching.

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    1. V...ummm wrinkles...I don’t know if there is a spiritual correlation to having wrinkles..I will have to ponder that one:) glad to you coming along side on this “aging” journey. We sure are in the minority here in this bloggy world:) glad you stopped by...blessings~

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  10. Your thoughts on growing and stretching comfort me in a season of great demand and change. Even though I'm not close to 55, some days I feel like it -- thyroid swings and all.
    But thinking about these things, like you said, as a chance to be moldable clay in the Potter's hand . . . . wow. really helpful perspective, Ro. Thanks for this.

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    1. Kelli...Yes...no matter what our age...we need to stay pliable in the potter’s hand. Sorry to hear of thryroid problems...peace and grace to you through this season of change~

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  11. Ro, Happy Birthday. You speak wisdom into the journey on the road down this wonderful life. You inspire, friend. Loving that you are travelling with me.

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    1. Thanks for you kind words...glad to be traveling alongside you my friend...blessings~

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  12. Happy birthday, Ro/Lollli! I'd love to hear the story behind your two nicknames too someday.

    Re your comment on my post "Sugar Cubes, Graveyards and Secret Smiles," you said, "If one does all the talking, it is an out of balance relationship" -- amen. Thanks, Ro.

    Have a great week,
    Jennifer Dougan
    www.jenniferdougan.com

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    1. Hey Jennifer...well ro is short for Roseann...when I moved down south my name just got shortened...and Lolli...a friend gave the idea to my daugther...I am Lolli and my husband is pop...so we are lollipop:) thanks for stopping by...blessings~

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  13. Thank you for this encouragement and honesty.

    God bless you this year.

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    1. kaysie...thanks and glad you stopped by~blessings~

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  14. Happy Birthday, dear Ro! I think you call this FLOURISHING! I just read Ps. 92 today, and yep, it's called flourishing. Here you go: "The righteous will flourish like a palm tree,
    they will grow like a cedar of Lebanon;
    13 planted in the house of the Lord,
    they will flourish in the courts of our God.
    14 They will still bear fruit in old age,
    they will stay fresh and green,
    15 proclaiming, “The Lord is upright;
    he is my Rock."
    I think I like Flouisher better than Senior. Frankly, until you said that, I had never EVER thought of myself as a senior citizen. Sounds very strange, indeed. But I think we should wear each year like a cape of courage and ask God to give us the bearing of dignity. We can certainly thank Him for another year to serve Him with joy. I think you do that--serve with great joy.....and courage. And frankly, you don't look a day over 40!

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    1. I love Flourisher...that is my hearts desire...to wear that cape of courage...no matter what my age may be...thanks for these rich words my friend...blessings to you, Lynn~

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  15. thanks, Ro. I've been thinking a lot about that word as I seek to pinpoint the women to whom I will be teaching journaling. I thnk this is a perfect fit, because the women who journal want to flourish and grow in the Lord and to go/grow deeper. I think you do that!

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  16. Giving thanks along with you! Your fellow sister in the double fives. :)

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    1. Elizabeth...yeah for double 5’s...thanks for stopping by!blessings~

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  17. Hello, Neighbor! What a wonderful, wisdom-filled post! Thanks for passing on the message (my birthday will be next week!), such a blessing. "Inner aliveness" is a huge gift. Happy Belated Birthday to you! Abundant blessings!

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    1. Mari-Anna...happy early birthday...so glad you stopped by...blessings~

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  18. Hi friend. Thankful we are neighbors today over at Mary Beth's!

    Ah...stretching...yes. I have so many thoughts about this, but you covered it so well! loved this post, Ro...

    (my heart skipped a beat when I read "God who gives vision to the blind" -- AMEN!)

    Hugs to you, friend. I'll be back for a visit soon.

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    1. Nikki...yes...are you so thankful for his vision healing power:) I will be over soon to visit you my neighobr:)

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  19. Ro--we are 'neighbors' at GDWJ today. I so smiled at your post. I turned 60 this summer and God gave me Psalm 92 as a promise. (which Lynn Morrissey cited above :-). YOur parallels are powerful--flexing, stretching, yes, in every way. Father, keep us bending!

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    1. Jody..so glad we are linky neighbors...oh Lynn...she always adds to much when she comments:) Glad to see a few more “older” ladies around this seemingly very young blog world. blessings to you~

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  20. Ro - A belated Happy Birthday to you! Yes, your spirit is young indeed, my friend. I love your insight to how when we age outside, our inside (spirit) becomes yet even more alive. I have never thought of that before and will cling to it as each year passes. Praying your birthday was blessed and your year ahead is filled with joy and His beauty & youth of Spirit. ~ jen

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    1. Jen...THanks for dropping in...always a blessing to see your face and hear your words...blessings to you~

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  21. Hi Ro,
    Happy belated birthday! I turned 50 in August and I hear you about the stiffness. I love your illustration about allowing God's loving hands to stretch us. Reminds me of a funny saying:
    Blessed are the flexible, for they will never be bent out of shape.

    As we say in my neck of the woods (southwest VA), "That'll preach!"
    Blessings on your week,
    Susan

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    1. Oh my...that quote was supposed to be at the bottom of the post...I need to go back and add it:) Where in southwest VA do you live? I lived on the TN/Va border in jr/high school. (kingsport,tn) thanks for dropping in...blessings~

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    2. I'm not too far -- Roanoke! I've had so much fun connecting with people who have VA ties. Did you know that Elizabeth (wynnegraceappears) is a Hollins grad? That would explain her beautiful prose :)

      Hope you have a great weekend!

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    3. my husband played minor league baseball when we first got married...we lived in lynchburg va...oh i loved living there...it was so beautiful. Elizabeth...yes...i need to ask her if she knows a friend of mine who went there too:) Funny this blog world...a girl I went to high school with knows Elizabeth...she saw the connection on FB...six degrees for sure:)

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  22. I am on your heals by just a few years. You know I am already a Dandy ( my grandmother name) and so often I feel a little further around the curve because none of my good friends are there yet.
    I needed these words of encouragement as I step out in faith to make some changes in my life. There have been some days when I wanted to run from what I am not totally sure I am "fit" for...let's just say it's going to be a stretch for me. I am trying to live with expectancy and not expectations as I enter the "senior" years. I loved being a senior in high school and college but it's not quite the same now as back then. :)

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    1. Dea..thanks for sharing...oh grace to you as God gently stretches you...and we always need to remember...all this stretching is for our good not our harm. blessings and grace as you go with Him~

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  23. Thanks for your encouraging comment on my guest post at Imperfect Prose. I really appreciated it. I was afraid of the topic being misunderstood, but I got so much great feedback.

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    1. Elizabeth...yes it was risky...but you did a great job with the subject...and I am so glad people’s feedback was good...maybe we learned a little something last week in the blog world:)

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  24. I just left The High Calling where Sam had me thinking about what it means to age, too. You can find his post here, if you're interested: http://www.thehighcalling.org/culture/time-be-born-and-time-die

    A friend of mine often says, "I'm not getting older; I'm getting better." I like that.

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    1. Jennifer...thanks...checking it out...I love getting older in may ways...walking in way more freedom...it’s easier to let those things go that really don’t matter...thanks friend..blessings~

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  25. i'm behind in my reading....happy birthday! and thank you for writing honestly about your life. i'm not too far behind you, and reading your posts serves as encouragement as i prepare to send my first away to college next year and my last to high school and take care of aging parents....i love that this blog world affords us the place to guide each other through our seasons.

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