So, it happened. I turned 40. I've always looked at the old, old age of 40 and thought that it is a milestone age. It's like turning 1, 10 and 16.....it's a big one! Then, I realized that God has placed so many Godly women in my life that I want to glean from. I wondered, if they could go back to when they turned 40, what would they tell their self? What would they want her to know as she turns this very important age. So, I wrote to those women. The responses I received were beautiful, convicting, and exactly what I needed to hear. I compiled all their thoughts together and wrote a letter. This letter is to me, my 40 year old self.
Dear 40-Year Old Self,
40. You know, you are really not that old. 40 is a great age to be! In fact, some people (so what if they are older) even say that you are in your prime! You’ve learned a few things. You’ve had some experiences. You’ve lived a beautiful 40 years.
But, with turning this “milestone” there is still much to think about and to learn as you seek to live your life fully for the Lord and to please to Him. So, just a few things to think about and strive for.
The 40s will bring many changes to your family. One by one, all 6 of your precious kiddos will leave home. It will be hard. It will hurt. But, it is necessary. Let go. Let them live their lives without the guilt from you missing them too much. Enjoy this stage of your life and try to enjoy the changes. Look for the good in them. I hear grandchildren are great! I know you’ll enjoy them.
As your babies are growing up, keep your marriage strong and alive. Keep Patrick first. He comes before them. He will love you for it and so will they. It’s what he needs and what they need as well. Enjoy growing older together. Gray hair is so attractive on that man of yours!
You’ve chosen to start eating healthier, eating for fuel, not for only pleasure. That’s a great choice. Pat yourself on the back and keep it up! You’ll benefit from having more energy, better skin, brighter eyes, and I could go on and go. But, what about those sweet kiddos? Are you teaching them healthy eating habits? Are you teaching them to truly enjoy the flavor of real food? Or are they hooked on the flavor of chemicals and processed fake foods. Don’t do that to them. That’s not training them to take care of their bodies, and it surely isn’t giving them the best foot forward as they quickly plunge into adulthood. Let them eat good right along with you.
Slow down some. Now, I don’t mean the natural “slowing down” that someone with many more years than you actually experience, I’m talking about slowing down and enjoying this life. It’s easy to stay busy with your “to-do” list and get so busy trying to cross off the next thing that you forget to actually live. Take time to breathe in the fresh air. Then, enjoy hearing the sounds of birds chirping and the wind blowing in the trees. Take time to really look at that drawing that has been hand crafted just for you! Then, find a special place to put it so that special artist will know you care and are proud and thankful. Look your family in the eye. Stop and really listen. Try not to say too often, “Not right now” “Maybe later” and “We’ll see.” Say “Yes” more and jump right in and have the time of your life. Take time to make memories, act silly and have plenty of laughter.
Enjoy this beautiful life that God has given you. Do things that you would like to do. Put others first, especially your family. But, it’s okay to do things that you would like to do as well. Remember how you want to do more hiking? Do more hiking and explore this beautiful area God has called you to! Still want that funny looking 3 wheeled bike? Save up and buy one! Want to plan a trip to the coast and explore the beaches in your area? Do it! Don’t put off what you would like to do now. Watch more sunsets. Smell more flowers. Take more walks. Do! Have fun! Enjoy!
Strive to be saturated with God’s Word. Completely saturated until the Word of God oozes out of you should be your goal. You haven’t arrived, so keep working to get closer to Him!
So, Hello 40s! Here we are. Let’s make the most of it.