Friday, January 8, 2010

Aging Painfully--er, Gracefully

I go to the gym three to five times a week.

I use a total of four products on my face every night and most mornings--before I apply makeup. (Good grief! No one could have preferred me for the stage where my face is still breaking out while fine lines are popping up everywhere!)

I color my hair at home occasionally and due to the white hairs popping up a bit around my temple, hair color seems to be more of a necessity as I age. (I rue the day when I'll decide not to be a brunette anymore because being some shade of blonde better conceals my grays.)

I take one prescription and four different vitamin supplements on a daily basis.

Progesterone cream is my friend, as many an over-35 gal could attest.

I am of the age where putting on alpha-hydroxy lotion on my hands and wearing cotton gloves to bed is a good idea.

I just gave up coffee for awhile, I'm gluten-free, and the husband and I cook vegan suppers 4-5 days a week.

(You can see why the husband does not believe me when I say I am not "high-maintenance.")

None of this seems like a terribly big deal to me. Until I see it all documented. On my blog. For God and everyone to see. Then I start to wonder if I'm doing all this for the right reasons. If the caretaking I do for my body lines up with my theology. (Yes, some of it does; I feel called to be a steward of what God has given me.) If the fact that I secretly wish I looked like a movie star and spend time obsessing about which anti-aging products I should use is a waste of time that could be better spent in caring for and ministering to others. That's a no-brainer.

Maybe I should be MUCH less concerned with reading Redbook or watching celebrity interviews on morning "news" shows. Maybe I should work on my heart being at home, being at peace, because the Creator of the universe loves me as I am, calls me his daughter, knows every hair on my head, and is sovereign with "plan A" through every day he has planned for me.

Maybe I should ask Jesus how I can love my neighbor well today. Maybe I should pray that God helps me use all the gifts he has given me today, so I can be a faithful steward in his kingdom, a strong ezer-woman who offers hope, comfort, and strength through being exactly who I was created to be. Maybe you should, too.

I was reading Mary DeMuth's blog, and I came across an entry where she reflected on how she doesn't look like Jennifer Aniston. And how Jennifer Aniston, as she ages, will start to lose what society most values about her. Her stunning good looks. And that's when it hits me. We all age, but most of us do so painfully. With a good deal of resistance, sometimes projecting a "devil-may-care" attitude and purposely letting ourselves go, always wishing we were younger, seldom wishing we were in this moment, today, living out the plans God created for us.

And I would like to stop the madness, right here and right now.

I Peter 3:3-4, The Message
"What matters is not your outer appearance—the styling of your hair, the jewelry you wear, the cut of your clothes—but your inner disposition. Cultivate inner beauty, the gentle, gracious kind that God delights in." 

No comments:

Post a Comment