Monday, August 26, 2013

WANTED: 50 and older because you ARE that important...

If you are 50 and older, I have to tell you how important you are to me...to the world. To those of us currently without our grandparents or mothers (me) or we have a very strained relationship with our dad (me, again).

Perhaps, you don't desire to be a mother, grandparent, etc. to non-family around you, but before you hang up your hat on that, let me tell you how valuable you really are (not including how God sees you which you gotta ask him about that).

There are those of us that need, no-crave your wisdom, insight, affection, heck, even your attention. You possess a stability. Deep down, we know you didn't live the first 50 years without trials! Your strength from having made it through needs to be told. We need those stories of triumph and heartache to inspire and encourage us to keep going.

Most of you are parents and although we don't likely desire unsolicited advice on parenting, we still need your support, we desperately seek your understanding and yes, your free babysitting availability!

Some of us really love that you make getting older seem charming and less scary. When I look at how you handle gray hairs, a few extra pounds or pesky wrinkles-an awe escapes my lips and I breathe a bit easier. Getting old is not the end of life...
I've heard on more than one occasion from you, 
"I loved turning 50. I felt like my life was truly beginning."

I don't know what that means so I need you to explain it. And if your life is truly beginning-does that mean you stop being engaged or involved with youth? With young adults or a 39 year old like me?

Please tell me the answer is no! We need you! We need you...to listen without judgement. To not talk down to us because we aren't where you are at and please don't dismiss us! Okay, some don't show you the respect you so deserve, but don't give up on us. We need your love.

Let me tell you how you impact the world with examples from my experiences...

1. She isn't my grandmother, but my Mamaw was her best friend. She is 80 something, her health is declining and yet, she still  traveled out of state to come meet my children! The gesture alone...as I type this, tears are hanging in my eyes. (Love. Sacrifice).

2. She sees me differently than I thought. She has taught for 25+ years. An amazing, wise, now retired teacher. She told me, "You taught me so much." Huh? How could I teach her? She showed me ways to improve my teaching...surely not the other way around? (Encouragement. Humility).

3. They treated me like their grandchild. They paid for my college bill so I could get a Masters in Education. THEY loved me and even when they had cancer...they asked about me! She stroked my head and hand despite suffering. In pain, she wasn't just thinking about herself.
(Love, truly selfless love. Mercy. Generosity).

4. When my mother died, they swooped in with hugs, open ears and they came to her funeral. They barely knew her. They let me cry even if it made them uncomfortable. They have prayed over me and for me. She has spoken scripture to me more than once. They are there for birthdays and just because moments too. They are amazing in-laws and wonderful grandparents to my children.
 (Hope, kindness, love, compassion, inspiration. Examples of godliness).

5. She is my best friend's mom, but she treats me like I am one of hers. She writes me letters. She tells me I am a good mom. She makes me laugh and she has seen me grow from an awkward middle- schooler to a woman. She loves me. (Acceptance, forgiveness, love and understanding).

6. My home wasn't always safe. Her home was. She offered it. She didn't ask for details or something in return...she just opened her door and heart. (Safety. Comfort. Refuge.).

 Did you catch how prevalent love was in my experiences? 
It is hard to put into words how much these people's actions both verbal or not have meant to me.

If you are 50 and older and reading this-get and stay involved. Know that what you are doing matters. Please serve. Whether that means doing something like vacation Bible school, or Sunday school, watching our kids for a day or more, caring for kids at MOPS, offering your home as a place of safety and refuge for those whose homes aren't safe and or simply just listening.

We need you...really we do! 
And...thank you!


Sharing this post over at Jen's wonderful blog,  Soli De Gloria

18 comments:

  1. As a younger than 40 gal... I agree! I have a few friends above 50 and I appreciate their viewpoint because of their extra years of experience... As long as love is the biggest part as opposed to condescension. :) Great post!

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    1. Yes, no condescension. Oh, but their viewpoint!

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  2. Thank you. I'm 55. Wonderful to know we're needed. Made my day.

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    1. I was hoping this post would be encouraging.

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  3. I have a dear friend in her 50's. We met on my very first blog over at Xanga. She has gone through a lot of the same parenting and family trials I have gone through and still am. it is SO nice to have someone to talk to and see how they came out the other side of things. The best part is. We met online when I lived in Arizona and she lives up here in Washington.(about 2 hours from where we live now.) The moment I moved back home to Washington she was at my doorstep! We talk almost daily and I'm so thankful for her!

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    1. What a blessing to have her as a friend!

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  4. Thank you! I'm 51, in a world that often looks for everything younger. God is good and faithful at any age! Stopping by from SDG, Blessings!

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  5. Hey Dionne ~ Did you write this just for me? For I'm celebrating my 58th today, and I'm loving life! I work as a pastoral counselor, blog my heart out, and have plenty of energy left over for grandkids, husband, daughters, friends. No foot in the grave around here!

    ;-}

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  6. WOW! This is so encouraging to a 65 year old, one who has never been a parent, but a teacher and librarian of children, a mentor to a few younger Christian women at church. Love is the way to and through our hearts. Some of us older ones need to know this as well. Thanks so much for your open heart flowing with love.
    Caring through Christ, ~ linda

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  7. I have loved the relationships with older women that I have had through my church. We were too small to be segregated by age and that has been such a blessing to be mentored by so many. I am so thankful.

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    1. Sounds wonderful! I love the octogenarians because they just have a spirit about them that is contagious and a delight to be around.

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  8. Hi Dionne! Ok, you can be my daughter!!

    I have never read a blog post that has held up us old bats as being useful. I love it! Not that I think I am worthless, I don't at all. It's just nice to hear that someone else thinks good things about us!

    Your story about your friend, and the love and help there was so beautiful! What a reflection of God's love in your life...like a beacon. Thank you for sharing that!

    Your new Mom, LOL!
    Ceil

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    1. You can adopt me! No arguing here!

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  9. I love that you wrote this -- I'm sharing it with our SDG group because I know that some older women really do feel like they have little to give. I know this isn't true and you know this isn't true, but let's spread the word so THEY know they are valuable, needed, and loved.

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  10. I can't imagine ANYONE feeling they don't have something to give; if we're a Christian, we have the only thing to give that matters - Christ.
    The other side of this coin is, invite an older person for lunch, take them to the grocery store, give them a pack of cards with stamps affixed.
    This next part is going to sound mean but I've pulled back from helping people...I'm helped out. I need someone to help me and the only time I hear from someone is when they need something. As they say in Appalachian, that dog don't hunt.

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    1. Oh...it is too bad you missed the true point of my blog...one to encourage you...not to delegate assignments or guilt trips.

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  11. The title of this post caught my eye as I visit via Five Minute Friday. I am 57 turning 58 in February. I loved turning 50. I felt as if I were a 'real grown-up' then, LOL. My grandmother used to say (when we fussed at her about some very frank comment she might have made), 'Baby, I'm grown. I can say anything I want." That's how I felt turning 50.

    I wholeheartedly agree with the nature of your post. Earlier this spring a younger woman broke down at church and wept as myself and one of the other older sisters held her. "I need you," she wept. "I miss my mother so much and I have no one to comfort me. I need you." The raw loneliness in her cry was almost unbearable and it broke our hearts. We knew she was not the only one.

    You are so right. We are needed out there. Bless you for calling us back again.

    ~ Cassandra @ Renaissance Women

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  12. Dionne, you came over to my blog today and offered lovely encouragement. So I hopped over to yours and couldn't resist reading this first! It caught my eye as an 'over 50' years young woman who has just become a grandma for the first time.
    I always squirm in disbelief whenever anyone says I've imparted wisdom to them, in a "What, me?" kind of way. But there must be some lessons learnt and wisdom gained from walking with the Lord all these years and going through much testing and frequent trials.
    Your words here help to affirm the rewards of getting grey, lined and wrinkled ~ we are here to pass on any knowledge gleaned along the way, support and encourage those coming up behind us and be there for the next generation.
    Thank you! This has made my day. Blessings, new friend. :) x

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