There was something about my 55th birthday that brought on a lot of reflection about midlife.

Some days I thought, “Wow, 55 sounds pretty old. Am I at midlife or am I really on the downhill slide to retirement and old age?” Some young people reinforce that questioning voice in my head when they treat me as insignificant, set aside, and out of sync with popular culture.1Questions echo inside my head.

  • What have I accomplished compared to what I dreamed about when I was in college?
  • Where’s the guide book for an empty nest, boomerang kids, moving away from the home where we raised those darlings, and all the other endless changes?
  • What would I want other people to know about this stage of life?
  • How can I encourage others, knowing that God has been faithful to me through the years and he has not set me aside but rather set me apart — prepared me — for his purposes during my second half of life?

During the next several weeks, I plan to read a few books about this life stage. Then I’ll write about what I’m learning and how it matches up with my own experiences. These are the books that I’ve set apart for this time:

I invite you to share in my odyssey through midlife by posting comments during the series. If it’s easier, you can sign up for email delivery or add Riceford Streams to your Feedly or BlogLovin list. Let’s have fun and learn a few things together!

Now cruising at 55,


Midlife with Purpose Series

  1. Wisdom and Humility With Age
  2. I’m Available
  3. Reaching Across Generations
  4. Sacred Space
  5. Elizabeth and Mary: Unexpected Callings
  6. Mentoring: My Experiences
  7. Stay in the Game
  8. My Hope Rests in God
  9. Ruth and Naomi
  10. With Me
  11. Seemingly Unimportant and Insignificant
  12. A Life Well Lived
  13. Thy Will Be Done
  14. A Second Bloom
  15. A Secure Future
  16.  I Am an Older Woman
  17. No Greater Joy
  18. A Sincere Faith
  19. This Season
  20. A Blessing
  21. A Midlife Crisis
  22. A Necessary Suffering
  23. Can I Skip the Crisis?
  24. The Examined Life
  25. Change: Time for More, Time for Less, Time for Rest

Acknowledgement: Author Lysa TerKeurst inspired me to consider the concept of Set Apart, Not Set Aside as I read Uninvited, “Chapter 9: Why Does Rejection Hurt So Much.” Thank you, Lysa, for shedding light on even the subtle feelings of rejection I have experienced and pointing  to my identity in Christ and God’s purposes for my life as the way to living loved.

Works Cited:

1TerKeurst, Lysa. Uninvited: Living Loved When You Feel Less Than, Left Out, and Lonely Nashville: Nelson Books, 2016.

Midlife with Purpose