Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Community and Being Over 50

My youngest granddaughter just turned two. She is a beautiful, precocious, little red head. A few days ago, when I entered her home, she immediately, exclaimed in her most darling little girl voice, "My friends are coming over!" I asked her, if cousin Lexi was coming too. As quick as a whip she nodded her little curly head, "yes" and said, "..but she's my sister.."

As natural as can be, a little girl displayed her excitement for the gift of friendship and sisterhood.

The God of the Universe designed us to desire Him and to be part of community.

Ladies. It's not just for little girls.

Aren't we all just little girls in a big girl body?

As the body of Christ the picture takes on one more dimension.

We are God's little girls in the Body of Christ.

In this fallen world we live in, youth, fame, tan bodies, money, power, and beauty are all glorified.

It doesn't help that our society teaches that we work and live to retire, so we can check out of the community in our retirement,  to enjoy our "golden years."

Even in the Christian community I often feel that if you are 'over the hill' you may as well pull over to the side of the road and park. I hear this often too. "... I served my time, it's someone elses turn now..."

It can leave a girl wondering what our part is today.

In this season of life.

In this body and this church.

The. #1. thing. the enemy wants is for us to disconnect. To go off and do our own thing. To not be accountable to anyone more than we have to be. He doesn't care what that looks like as long as we become ineffective.

The picture in the Bible is the one sheep that strays from the flock. The visual is that when one goes away from the protection of the herd, it is the obvious vulnerable one for attack.  It's one of the oldest tricks in the enemies book.

We also have to carefully filter what we read, watch and believe. The enemy is forever a big fat liar. Always. 

And I think we need to hit the refresh button on our thinking.

Caleb took the hill country in his eighties.

Read that again.

Caleb took the hill country in his eighties!

It was a season of battles and great victory for Caleb. A season where he realized much fruit from his faithful labor. A season when God made good on some long time promises.

What if Caleb had been stuck in his thinking? What if he had decided to retire, relax, disconnect...?

It would have effected his legacy with the Lord ladies.

It was a day not so long ago I asked the Lord straight out, "Lord, it seems like all your God girls are beautiful, young and from the south.." (Yes. I really said this.) It seemed like every blogger, Bible Study leader, and ministry head fit into one of those categories. 

I went on to ask Him, "What about me Lord? Where do I fit in to your Kingdom work?" 

As much as I would like to say that the answer came clearly and quickly,  - - well it didn't. But God has been faithfully showing me more about what this journey looks like.

One of the first things He did was match Tracy and I up together. I just had to laugh out loud literally when her sweet-as-southern-tea voice was on the other end of the phone saying she was my new (in)courager partner. 

I've began to be a student of the season I'm currently in. Something I've learned  is that we are called "Boomer Women." And that  women over fifty control more than three quarters of the wealth in the world. In addition to those facts we are the fastest growing demographic on the internet. 

These secular facts alone make us a force to be dealt with.

As Gods women we should bring those things plus, wisdom, life experiences and seasoned maturity that comes from walking with God.

My older-than-me lady friends have one thing in common.

They are young minded.

They don't whine about the weather, bunions, latest surgeries, or the music at church. They are engaged in life and relationships. They are over themselves and don't play the matriarch role of control in their family.

And most important.

They pray.

When we were developing this (in)courage.me blog, Tracy and I labored over what our group focus should be. It took some time for us to see that this season we are currently in, matters. That being over 50 has a huge numbers base and specific needs, joys and frustrations.

Somehow life isn't what we may have imagined when we were young and dreamy. Things perhaps didn't turn out like we expected. Our children probably aren't doing what we had hoped for them. Our husbands perhaps haven't led the family or grown like we deeply desired for them. People have let us down. We have let ourselves down.

But this is what God uses.

Raw messy material and willing hearts.

This season you are in is important. This being over fifty season. And being in community is oxygen to what God has for you. Love can only be comprehended and expressed in community. We need imperfect people in our life to perfect our practice of love. There are no solitary saints, because all sanctification is forged in community.

The chance to live in imperfect bodies, loving imperfect people is another chance to perfect His love in us.

All the believers are belongers.

Would you take the challenge to ask God to search your heart? 
Where are you currently stuck? 
What would it look like if you weren't?

When was the last time you did something for the first time?


  1. Yes! Yes! Yes! Beautifully written. We are, indeed, at an age of getting over ourselves. Letting go of failed expectations of ourselves and others. And by God's grace and with his strength we will keep on producing fruit and connecting, even if it's in relative obscurity. It's all good, after all.

  2. Thanks for the additional thoughts! Yes. Producing fruit. His grace. Yes. Yes.