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A Sincere Faith

As Sophie Hudson opened part three of her book, Giddy Up, Eunice, she pointed out what may be obvious: “Lois and Eunice are mentioned in Scripture for, like, a minute.”

I am reminded of your sincere faith, a faith that dwelt first in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice and now, I am sure, dwells in you as well (2 Timothy 1:5).

She made two interesting points:. 

  • We need to embrace the idea of being an older woman (about 40 years old and up).
  • The legacy of these women is their sincere faith.

I Am an Older Woman

When my husband and I toured colleges with our daughter, I was so excited to be back on a college campus. I was caught up in the excitement shared by the tour guides, when suddenly the realization hit me: I am the mother of a young woman going off to college. 

Many of you are thinking, “Duh? You hadn’t thought of that before?”

Yes, I had, but it didn’t seem real until the whippersnappers on campus looked at me as “obviously a mom.” There was no confusing me as a potential student or even a slightly older student. I was clearly of a different generation. 

Instead of feeling excited about reaching yet another age milestone  — “I’m finally a teenager!” Or, “Yay, I’m legally an adult!” — I felt like a helium ballon a few weeks after the birthday party.

By the time my daughter’s freshman year move-in day arrived, I was ready to wear the college sweatshirt that proudly proclaimed me as a Northwestern College Mom. 

Are you embracing your stage in life? Are you taking opportunities to have conversations with not only your peers but also the younger generation?

Our own kids, nieces and nephews, neighborhood kids, and younger people at work and church will benefit from us initiating conversations and entering into their lives. 

My husband and I have learned to ask questions. “That’s an interesting tattoo. Will you tell me about it?” “What music is on your playlist?” “What was the last movie you watched?”

For me, this is an easy way to learn more about popular culture. And I’m learning to resist the urge to compare it to my own preferences and pass judgement about which one is superior to the another. 

Leaving a Legacy

My husband and I have a will that directs what to do with our “stuff” after we die. Clearly that stuff is not our legacy. 

I hope it will be the legacy of Lois and Eunice: a sincere faith.

What is a sincere faith? It’s the faith we show in how we live our lives — our willingness to love “others” — celebrating their joys and walking beside them during hardships. 

Who are those “others”? Foremost, it’s our children. Parenting adult children turns into a “walking beside” instead of always leading — more being than teaching. 

The “others” also include people in our normal daily circles of neighborhood, friends, work, church, etc. 

For some of those relationships, we’ll invest a significant amount of time. For others it may simply be a divinely appointed conversation. 

Sophie shared how she met an older woman at a conference who began to talk about caring for her elderly mother with dementia. Because Sophie’s mother had recently received the same diagnosis, Sophie hung on to every word this woman shared, asked questions, and then told about her own experience as a daughter navigating new territory. As Sophie said, they had “church” right there for 45 minutes. 

One conversation can breathe life into another person, or shine light into a dark space. 

That’s part of God’s plan for us. Our past experiences and time with the Lord can help us shine his light of truth and love into the lives of people around us.

So, giddy up! Engage! You’re set apart — prepared for this time, these people.

{This post is Day 18 in a series, Midlife with Purpose: Set Apart, Not Set Aside.)

No Greater Joy

“I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth” (3 John 1:4 | ESV).

I Am an Older Woman

Four Generations of Jesus Followers

“Guide older women into lives of reverence so they end up as neither gossips nor drunks, but models of goodness. By looking at them, the younger women will know how to love their husbands and children, be virtuous and pure, keep a good house, be good wives. We don’t want anyone looking down on God’s Message because of their behavior” (Titus 2:3-5 | MSG).

A Secure Future

The gossamer fibers of a milkweed pod represent an end to one growing season and hint at the beginning of a new one.

On days when I feel anxious about my future, I go to God’s word. Two passages that author Lysa TerKeurst highlighted in Uninvited have been especially helpful reminders to me of how God loves his children. 

The LORD your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save; he will rejoice over you with gladness; he will quiet you by his love; he will exult over you with loud singing (Zephaniah 3:17 ESV).

… God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved … (Colossians 3:12 NIV).

When I “live loved,” my worry or fear is replaced with assurance and confidence in God and the sufficientcy of his grace for each moment. 

I also like singing along to Casting Crowns’ song.

Already There

From where I’m standing, Lord, it’s so hard for me to see where this is going and where you’re leading me. I wish I knew how all my fears and all my questions are going to play out in a world I can’t control. In a world I can’t control.

When I’m lost in the mystery, to you my future is a memory. 

‘Cause you’re already there. You’re already there — standing at the end of my life, waiting on the other side. And you’re already there. You’re already there.

From where you’re standing, Lord, you see a grand design that you imagined when you breathed me into life. And all the chaos comes together in your hands like a masterpiece of your picture-perfect plan. 

When I’m lost in the mystery, to you my future is a memory. 

One day I’ll stand before you and look back on the life I’ve lived. I can’t wait to enjoy the view and see how all the pieces fit. 

One day I’ll stand before you and look back on the life I’ve lived. ‘Cause you’re already there. You’re already there.

When I’m lost in the mystery, to you my future is a memory. ‘Cause you’re already there. You’re already there — standing at the end of my life, waiting on the other side. And you’re already there. You’re already there.

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future”  (Jeremiah 29:11 NIV).

Midlife: A Second Bloom

Reblooming Iris

I came upon this glorious yellow iris while walking in my neighborhood park. What a treat to see a spring flower blooming during October!

This reblooming flower variety made me think that midlife feels a bit like this iris; we can experience a second — different  — growth before winter. 

I spent the early part of my life preparing for and then growing into a career, family, community, and faith. I saw much of that grow and bloom.

Now I’m in a new phase of growth that’s beginning to blossom.

  • A deepening faith because of witnessing God’s faithfulness through hardships.
  • A new sort of family with grown up children and more time for my husband.
  • A new community — a new neighborhood and church family to grow into while celebrating the joy of sustained friendships through the years. 
  • A renewal of vocation, returning to writing and editing after setting it aside to homeschool my children. 

This listing of opportunities for change and growth makes this season of life sound so easy. 

It hasn’t been. 

Hardships include watching my dad’s life and health change dramatically, and then being with him when he passed away. I felt like I had the wind kicked out of me and couldn’t suck in air for nearly five years. 

Releasing my children to make their way in the world has been difficult: I sobbed when they moved off to college. I prayed for them. Worried over them. And hovered over them too much. 

Selling my favorite house where we raised our children brought many tears. 

And there have been a few twists in the road after returning to work. 

I see my friends navigating their own changes, too. Each story is unique. 

And I look forward to the beautiful bouquet we will all be when we bloom again. 

Thy Will Be Done


Jean-Francois Millet's "The Angelus"

“The Angelus” by Jean-Francois Millet, 1859, oil on canvas, location: Musée d’Orsay, Paris, France

I have always loved two of Jean-Francois Millet’s paintings: The Angelus (above) and The Gleaners (shared here). Perhaps my rural roots draw me to these portraits of people working the land. Also, I have always associated these paintings with the story of Ruth — she worked as a gleaner and later Boaz noticed her working in his field.

The Angelus depicts a couple pausing to pray during their potato harvest as the church bells ring from the steeple painted in the background.

This scene reminded me of author Lysa TerKeurst’s advice in chapter fifteen of Uninvited: When we pray “Thy will be done,” we trust God to redeem the pain and guide us to the help we need.

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A Life Well Lived


Today I listened to a rebroadcast of journalist David Brooks addressing the Aspen Ideas Festival. His thoughts fit so well into what I’m reading, so I thought you might enjoy listening to him as well.

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Seemingly Unimportant and Insignificant

Pressed but not crushed, bearing the fruit of a useful heart. Lysa TerKeurst

In her book Giddy Up, Eunice, author Sophie Hudson describes the story of two widows, Naomi and Ruth, as an account of seemingly unimportant people during insignificant times.1 Yet, these women’s lives were a necessary part of God’s plan for a savior: Ruth is an ancestor of King David (Ruth 4:22) and counted in the genealogy of Jesus (Matthew 1:1-17).

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With Me

Choose to walk the rough road together.

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Ruth and Naomi

The Gleaners by Jean Francois Millet

“The Gleaners” by Jean-Francois Millet, 1857, oil on canvas, location: Musée d’Orsay, Paris

Are you familiar with the Bible story of Ruth and Naomi? If you’d like a refresher, you can read it here on Bible Gateway.

In my next blog post, I’ll share what Sophie Hudson observed about the relationship of these two women and what we can learn from them.

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