My thirties are winding down. I have one more year in this significant decade, and, in many ways, I don’t want it to end. This is the decade where I’ve woken up to God, where my beliefs have been stretched, where parenting has challenged. This is the decade where I’ve reacquainted myself with who I’ve always been, gently giving myself permission to be this person. I look in the mirror now and see creases forming around my eyes. I notice the deepening lines around my mouth. As aging emerges, I’m in observance of the many creams on the market to stop the progression of wrinkles. I’m also aware of the growing fad to go to a swank little office and have needles poked in delicate crevices to deny the reality of aging. But, I have to be honest. I like my wrinkles.
When I smile, the skin near my eyes show the landing of crow’s feet. My heart twinkles at the thought that these slight crinkles represent my life. These lines hold the myriad of pain and joy I’ve experienced. A front row seat to watch throbbing joints chip away at the mobility of mom, yet her homemade cookies churned out regularly, a routine mini-celebration of life. An intense focus for straight A’s and the humbling realization that straight A’s isn’t what life is about. Rejection from my first real job out of college and acceptance by the blue collar newspaper that gave me a chance. The heartache of broken relationships and gratitude for friends who’ve remained true blue. Arguing with my guy over long hours at work followed by open, honest communication wrapped in laughter. Mean people’s crass words and raising kids who love me anyways. Grieving over loss and dancing at weddings. Losing myself in the dreams of others and finding myself in creating. Wanting to do it “right” and the blessed relief of grace. Squinting to read by the itty bitty book light in a cozy bed. Straining to read by the heat of the sun near ocean waves. Yes, these emerging lines come from the deep pain of a fragmented world and stories with good friends over a shared glass of wine.
My wrinkles remind me I’m growing and changing and aging. When I’m open to receiving, with every new line comes a bit of wisdom about life, love and God. At age twenty, I didn’t want wrinkles. Now that I’m nearing forty, I’m grateful for the arising lines. They are a reminder of Christ’s presence through all of life’s messiness and triumph. A glimpse that God is with me, helping me to thrive, loving me as I am, wrinkles and all.
The righteous flourish like the palm tree,
and grow like a cedar in Lebanon.
They are planted in the house of the Lord;
they flourish in the courts of our God.
In old age they still produce fruit;
they are always green and full of sap,
showing that the Lord is upright;
he is my rock, and there is no unrighteousness in him.
Consider how staying connected to God helps you to thrive as you age.
What are you more secure in now than you were ten years ago?
With a Child:
What is something you know now that you didn’t know last year?
A poem around acceptance of self, over here!