So, final thoughts for 2016.
At 47, I have an incredible sense of my place in the world. I’m on the eve of becoming a grandmother and ushering in a new generation of Jesus-loving, world-changing little peeps. I have a good understanding of what I’m able to ‘bring to the table’ – still growing and refining, but defined and confident. I’m excited by the frontiers that are yet to be discovered. I’m surrounded by incredible friends and family and learning to enjoy them even more. And many of the insecurities and fears that bound me as a young woman have left me, or have become very tiny voices I can ignore. The view from here is pretty good. And I’m keen to pass on the lessons learned and Godly wisdom gained from my years.
Titus 2:3-5 tells us:
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 behaviour. (MSG)
Paul’s instructions to Titus were to champion the older women to show the younger women how to do life beautifully, reflecting the deeper work of Jesus and how our everyday ‘normal’ can become transformed by a relationship with the Holy Spirit. That is my hope for our Sisterhood – that each generation begins to chart a map to help the next generation navigate life in strength and dignity.
I’ve had the extreme pleasure of being huddled (or mentored) by the lovely Jo Saxton this year. It has stirred my faith and imagination as she encouraged me to ‘fill the space of my calling’ more effectively. She gave me the courage to begin this blog. She challenged me to dream of greater frontiers. And she reminded me of the power that women can give each other to do good and faithfully stay the path.
To that end, I remembered that a few years ago, I asked our collective Sisterhood to share the wisdom gained in their decade of life, and to pass it on to the decade below. So, as a parting thought and encouragement to you for 2016, below is a compilation of that wisdom. May it help you chart a course into the new year. And maybe have a giggle. Much love to you and Merry Christmas! x
You have a wonderful life ahead!
Boys aren’t everything!
You will leave your family all too soon so try to treasure being a daughter and make these years a memory worth visiting in your old age!
The pimples will go eventually- the periods stick around for a while!
You don’t have to have all the answers yet.
Mistakes are inevitable – learn to forgive yourself, and others, and keep moving forward!
It’s ok to have a few false starts with careers and relationships as long as you learn something.
Learn to hear the voice of God and be willing to step out in faith.
There is a cost in serving God in the years to come, but it’s worth it!
Life is a journey – enjoy every moment!
Take care of yourself – there is only one you!
Don’t take on too much – you can do it and have it all but just not all at once.
Nurture your relationships – they will need to carry you through the seasons of your life.
Cherish your grandparents – they get whisked away before you know it! Learn what you can from them before it’s too late.
Always remain teachable.
Stay close to God – learn to pray through all your decisions.
Think carefully before you speak.
Your life is a witness so be positive and caring always.
Learn to respect and support the men in your world – you’ll need their support in the seasons yet to unfold.
Embrace change – there’s going to be a lot more to come!
Control your money before it controls you!
Lose that 10 kgs now before it becomes 30 kgs in the next decade!
Have that next baby – the regret of rushing to finish your child-bearing years stays with you a long time. Hold off on sending your husband for the snip even if you think you’re done.
Challenges and curve balls may have come your way, but don’t forget how to dream.
Have fun! Enjoy this season!
Don’t fall into the survival rut!
Take time out for yourself – guilt free!
You are not a victim of circumstance but a victor with a second chance!
It’s ok to say no! Just not to God. Yes to Him is always amazing.
Relax about your dreams yet unfulfilled! You’re not even halfway on this journey!
Believe in yourself – you’ve got more in you to give than you realise!
Look after your health – it’s not too late!
Get yourself fitted for a decent bra!
Take some time to make sure your life is reflecting your values and be brave enough to change something.
Don’t get trapped by the deceitfulness of stuff!
Enjoy your parents – you don’t know how long you have with them. Make a plan for how you will care for them well in their later stage of life that stands as a testimony to God and family.
Enjoy your kids – you don’t know how long you have with them either! Hold your teenagers closely – never presume their salvation is secure. Be vigilant and prayerful as you watch over them.
Really invest in your girlfriends – they are the only ones who will understand what you’re going through with menopause!
Be kind to your husband – make sure his emotional bank account is full so you can draw on it during your hot flushes!
Keep listening to and trusting the voice of the Holy Spirit. He alone knows what’s ahead.
Now you’re halfway!
It’s not too late to learn something new.
The best years are not behind you – there are still golden opportunities to embrace and doors to walk through!
Letting go means you have free hands to embrace something new.
God still is, and has always been, in control of your life and your Destiny. Don’t stop responding to him! He is bigger than you think!
Build close connections with your grandkids. It pays off!
Time does not heal all wounds so be brave enough to face your wounds, to forgive and to love and you will enable the Holy Spirit to heal your heart. A good counselling session with the right person is absolute gold!
If you haven’t learned it yet, stop trying to please everyone! Live with Godly conviction and He’ll help you work out what is important.
Your role may have begun to change in your children’s lives but it doesn’t mean the relationships aren’t just as rich and rewarding!
Pay attention to your body – you are its expert, not the doctor! If in doubt, get it checked out!
The outpouring of the Holy Spirit does not care how old you are! He’ll use anyone who is available!
Perspective is a beautiful thing – just don’t reserve it for the past but keep your eyes on the future.
People are watching you do this journey of life – they need your love and wisdom. Make yourself available to nurture and mentor younger women in some way. Let them teach you something too.
Now is the time to be honest about your mistakes and help your children avoid making them.
Live in the natural like you have decades ahead but in the supernatural like there’s no tomorrow!
Keep your world big because it needs your influence!
You can learn how to use new technology – honestly!
Take some time to enjoy the rewards of your years of work! Make your dreams to see the Eiffel Tower, or Ularu, or the African Savanah come true before your body refuses to co-operate!
You might be wise but don’t stop listening to the Holy Spirit!
Change is getting harder but is still a reality. Flex with it as much as you can and it won’t break you.
Being independent is great but don’t refuse offers of help!
God will never leave you alone even if others have.
You may be experiencing some physical challenges but you still have so much to offer – it just might have to look a little different.
Think about the legacy you want to leave. Write your life story, tell your grandparents’ stories to your grandchildren, put names and dates on the back of photos, teach your grand-daughter how to knit or how to bake your mother’s Christmas pudding – you are living history so preserve your pages for the generations to come!
If your health begins to affect you, make the decision to be a good patient, always cheerful and grateful for the efforts of your carers.
This is the season for such amazing communion with God! It just gets better!
God bless you!
You can do what whatever you want! You’ve earned it!
You are still being watched. The younger generations are being blessed by your devotion to the things of God, by your graciousness to the seasons of life, by the richness of your family tree, by your trust in the Holy Spirit and by your accumulated wisdom.
Scripture promises you that although your body may be wearing away, you are being renewed inwardly every day! God is still bringing increase to your life!
How you face death becomes the greatest testimony of your life. The reality of the eternal is never more real than in this precious season. Rest in Him and allow this season to give glory to your Jesus. He will carry you through yet another remarkable season and you