Fresh Baked Designs

Adventures in jewelry making

Three Little Words… July 15, 2015

Filed under: Archives — Fresh Baked Designs @ 11:29 am

Another birthday approaches…this one is kind of a hallmark in several ways. Pretty sure I will officially qualify for any senior discount, no matter what the minimum age is. And I’m now a card carrying member of Medicare and glad for it.

If you haven’t figured it out, I will be 65 next week. I apologize in advance if this gets a bit philosophical, but I also believe that life’s experiences inform and effect your artistic pursuits. They have to. And because I am the proprietor of this blog space and it’s my birthday, I would like to share a few thoughts rumbling around in my head lately. First, it’s a bit of an eye-opener when I think that I’m probably entering the last quarter of my life (Lord willing!).  And here’s my question…

                                      How can I not only age with grace, but age in grace?

I should like to do both because I also feel they are connected. And perhaps I have the question the wrong way round. If I wish to age with grace, must I first work on aging in grace?…Meaning using my time and attention to the things of God. As the external body diminishes, can the internal/eternal be cultivated and grow with better attention? Our Bible study is currently tackling this question and it is challenging and producing more questions. All, except one, are retired and of a similar age. There are many gifts in retirement and one of the most obvious is more free time…time to choose how you want to spend it. I have found that requires no small efforts in discipline from me. It is too easy for me to think that if it doesn’t get done today, there’s always tomorrow…or the next day. I will admit that I struggle off and on with this. So different from knowing that if I don’t get up at 5:45 AM and get my butt to work, I won’t have a job tomorrow.  It’s enough to say that for now, I am connected with several group Bible studies because I need the accountability in my life for my spiritual growth. And that I do find my awareness of how God is working around me growing as never before. Aging in grace so that I may age with grace will continue to be a focus for a long time, I think…maybe the rest of of my time.

                                          And now those Three Little Words…I have enough.

Please know that I do have an understanding that as an American, this could and should more accurately be stated, I have MORE THAN enough… and we must all work to balance this inequity.  But it is also my belief that greed is part of the human condition and is alway waiting at the door to steal your joy no matter how little or much you may have. A huge part of this is being grateful for the gifts you have been given and give thanks to the One who gave. And pass it on to others who need it. Gratitude keeps this thief of joy at bay and needs to be continually practiced. So many voices in our culture seem to tell us not to be satisfied with what we have. And not just in possessions or money…but also in love, beauty, recognition, admiration, power. Others shouldn’t just like us, they should envy us.

So, I want to practice this until it is my habit of thought and action. I do find myself making moves to divest myself of things…books, nicknacks, clothes, furniture. Beady friends, I will confess that reduction in my jewelry making inventory is not on the list yet.

A tiny example, jewelry-wise. Several companies have approached me lately, offering goodies, in exchange for banners or side bar buttons on this blog. Flattered, for sure. But, I’m just not interested in more, not interested in growing my business at my age. No thank you to company entanglements. I am grateful for the many readers who encourage me, and give me some great advice or kick in the pants when I need it. Just between us. (And put up with my birthday musings.) It is enough for me.

I would love to replace excess material things with more. More love, more grace, more forgiveness, more mercy…the things of heaven.

Oh, and please, Lord, a really good sense of humor! Pretty sure that’s going to come in handy, too.

This is the blog post by Ann Voskamp that got me thinking about these three little words.

She writes a lot on living with gratitude… Eucharisteo.


12 Responses to “Three Little Words…”

  1. Pam B Says:

    Beautiful post! Thanks so much for sharing.

  2. debra freeland Says:

    Hi Lynda
    Love this post! I have a friend that is close to us in age and because of her husbands illness has lost all her material posessions, Home, that they paid on for the last 25 years, 1 car,etc.. She still has her faith, which she jokes that the bank cannot take. She just sent me the loveliest few words and the last sentence was” Be the answer to someone’s prayers”. This is now my new mantra. It is difficult to feel that you have a purpose after children are grown and you are retired. I volunteer a lot and sometimes feel discouraged because human selfishness even gets in the way of non-profit organizations. Good luck in always “living in Grace”

    • Always a great reminder to be mindful of the need of others, Deb. It’s great to find opportunities continue to mentor the next generation, even when our own kids are grown.
      Best wishes in your life journey!

  3. Sandy Says:

    I too find myself not needing as much. Trust me over the years we have downsized so much. Now I also know my treasures will not interest my daughters. My two friends Vikkie and Michelle will probably wat more of my things. I am hoping my grandchildren will keep some things
    I am grateful every day. People don’t understand why but my heart is so open with love for everything. I love tress, plants, everything with life
    I will not ever be able to retire. I am 67 and I love doing what I do ..I help people who need people I their lives to care about them. They are family to me.. I spent the morning but all the furniture back for a lady who is 89 because she had her rugs done . Then I went to a lady’s house who is 90 and I took her shopping who is in the early stages of Alzheimer’s . We went to Walmart and when it came time for her to pay she had cut up her charge card because she didn’t want to use it anymore . Geez, she has to warn me. I did pay for her
    I have three beautiful daughters who can’t be in the same room but someday I hope
    I am so grateful for all the things and friends God has given me.

    • Being satisfied less is a wonderful lesson no matter when we learn it in life. I celebrate your spirit of giving to those who are our seniors, even when they do the unexpected!
      This will be us some day, right? Gratitude is an attitude… And you have it!

  4. Wishing you a very happy birthday Lynda! I’m 10 years behind you (just celebrated my 55th) and your words really resonate with me. I too have been trying to get rid of excess physical possessions and concentrate on increasing and focusing on relationships and experiences. Each day is truly a gift and we are not guaranteed of the next one. I want you to know what a gift and inspiration your blog has been to me these last few years. I celebrate you and all you give to the world! Love, Cebette

  5. Judy Stallings Says:

    Amen. Love you for sharing your faith! Judy Stallings

  6. I meant to wish you a happy birthday, Lynda — on the day you posted this, but I was too busy… so here comes a belated hug!!

    Gratefulness is one of the most beautiful traits a person can have. My grandmother, who died 20 years ago this August, is still remembered with warmth by all of us; she was the most grateful person I’ve known: always happy when we came to visit, very seldom complaining about anything. (Very seldom = about twice, ever.) You always went out of your way to be able to visit her as often as possible, and help her, she was so nice. Not even when she became forgetful during her last two years did she complain that no-one ever visited her, as most people in that situation do (since they don’t remember the visit previously that day). I’m not sure if that trait was innate or acquired, but wonderful anyway, and certainly worth striving towards!

    • Thanks for the birthday wishes, Monica! Love hearing about how you treasure these memories of your grandmother…I’m not sure if gratitude is a trait or not, but really hoping that it can be increased with practice, no matter where we start!

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