Old Ladies I Won’t Know

I couldn’t sleep last night. I tossed & turned for hours. Every time I tried to force my brain to stop with the thinking of all the useless crazy thoughts, some other wild could’a, would’a, should’a would pop up and the wind down to sleep would start all over again. I’m blaming it on a new vitamin I took yesterday but the truth is when you get older….sleep is tricky. Don’t laugh but I had this long reflection about my girls. They are young mama’s now and both deep in the trenches of taking care of fast growing babies. They’re busy, tired and way over-worked & under paid. But, they’re also relatively young. Heck, I’m still kind of young…56 isn’t nearly as old as it feels some days. Still, I had a serious realization about me vs them.

I’ll never know them as old ladies.

I say that not to be weird or morbid just realistic. I have a sweet BFF that’s in her 70’s and her mother is 99! So, technically….it can happen. I could be around to see my girls puttering around with their other old lady friends too. What a gift that would be. My mom died when I was 46, she was only 64 and a lot has happened in the last 10 years of her being in heaven. She would love what my family has grown into, but I bet she would really enjoy seeing where I am at this stage of my life.

Growing into an old lady is a privilege.

I went to lunch yesterday with my own little old lady clan. They have young hearts with wise age ranges and they speak a lot of things into my life that I miss from my own mother. Isn’t God clever? I soak up what they pour out onto me and I trust that I will use all they (unknowingly) give to me to share with my own girls. I’m learning to never waste what I learn as I grow older. All of it has a purpose. Which is why I want to go ahead and say what I think I might say to my daughter’s as old ladies.

Dear Daughters (Ally & Gates)

What a gift you were to me in my life. From the moment I met both of you, I was completely mesmerized by you. Not only were you beautiful to look at but you were incredibly fun. I didn’t know mom’s could find their kids so entertaining. There were testy times —> leaving Target and making you pay for my gas (you should’ve behaved), a fight in the band room (just wear the Spanx) & even a stolen car on Prom night (it was stressful, Gates). But never in all my times as a mom did I feel anything but the greatest love for my children. Maybe that time I kicked that exercise ball in that Pentecostal denim dress. Whew, crazy. I’ve been in the deepest love with you all of your lives. So, thank you for being mine and growing up with me. You may have never noticed but I was growing older alongside you too.

Now that you are old ladies, here are some of the hopes I have for you now:

I hope you are fulfilled.
Life is rocky at times, satan tries every trick in the book to make you feel miserable and unhappy. I pray that’s not how it works out for you. My wish for you is that you figure out the things of this world are fleeting and fulfillment doesn’t come from any of that. Trusting God with everything and tapping into the joy He offers will save you a lot of heartache.

I hope you are forgiving.
People are going to do you dirty. Relationships are not always holy or healthy. Don’t let that blind you to the freedom that forgiveness offers. Letting go of dumb stuff and even deep painful stuff will save you wrinkles, sleepless nights and from becoming an old curmudgeon! Who wants to look like an old lady? Keep your heart clear of bitterness!

I hope you have people that you love in your life.
I didn’t know just how special it would be (I imagined it a million times) to share life with you as adults with your own children. For you, I pray that you have sweet relationships with the people in your life. I feel my greatest blessings have been my family and I cannot imagine my life without any of you. I am so honored to love and be loved by you. Cherish the ones you love.

I hope you did all the things and went all the places your dreams begged of you.
Take the trips, go to the places you are wishing to go. Your body will betray you and that can be a huge spot of disappointment in your life. Do the things you always wished to have the courage to do. Keep your body moving too. No one wants to be broken down and unable to have fun when they’re old.

I hope you care about others.
Open your heart to people and love them even if they’re not like you. I am a living example of finding friends in the strangest of circumstances. God has incredible people for you to meet and he is always looking to use you & me to influence or be influenced by those we meet. Invite people into your world.

I hope you know how important you are on this earth.
If you are still here….God is not finished with you. Somebody needs you to be just who you are in some way or another. Be useful to God and to others. Never squander the life you’ve been given. Growing older can get a little lonely, don’t let yourself think you have nothing to offer someone else. Start something and watch it grow.

I hope you like yourself.
This is so important and it starts with being honest with yourself and God. Sin will do a number on you if you allow it to fester in your life unconfessed. Clear that junk up as soon as possible. The human heart needs it, nothing on this earth will ever satisfy us like the freedom of asking for forgiveness and moving on with a clear conscience. Liking ourselves is a weird balancing act oftentimes. God really likes you and he is a fantastic judge of character. Figure out how to like you, it will help with so many other things. Trust me.

I hope you laugh when you think of me.
I laugh about my mom too. Mom’s are crazy. I have so many funny memories of my mom (sad ones too, I’m sorry for the ones you will feel) but I trust that by now you will understand life isn’t always perfect. It’s complicated….there’s mental issues, bills, illnesses (freaking PMS) and sin. All of those jokers are the little red hot pokers of life. They come at ya and really try to steal joy. Remember that and find the funny stuff to cling to. Besides, laughing helps with aging/wrinkles.

I hope you trust Jesus.
You’re old, I’ve given you what I know about him. It’s totally up to you what you do with that knowledge. I have learned in my own life that I need Jesus for everything. He is truly my rock! I have tried to do things on my own, it never works. I can say with certainty….he is always there for me when I come running back. With age comes wisdom and trusting Christ is the greatest gift I could ever hand to you. I’m like a banging gong on my own, my words are futile. Allowing him to work through me….that’s my only hope. Trust him, he is worthy.

I hope you smile.
I’ve lived apart from each of you for 5-7 years now and one of my favorite things to do is look at pictures of you smiling. Your smiles are so beautiful to me. Perhaps all mama’s feel this…but I think my kids have the most incredible BIG smiles. As Elf would say, I like smiling! It’s my favorite! Smiles are actually the window to your heart. If you’re not smiling, search out your heart as to why. Something might be broken or hurting, don’t leave it that way. The world needs your smiles.

I’ll stop because I’ve been tossing this stuff at you both most of your lives. If I live to be 99 and still have my wits about me, you can count on me to cheer you on as old ladies! Getting old is fun! You learn to not give a rip about all sorts of stupid stuff that bogged you down when you were younger. It’s a true honor to live a long life-don’t miss any of it!

PS. I thank God that he made me your mom!

I love you,

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