Time for Some Respect

It’s time for some respect for our bodies as women of a certain age.

The next time you look in the mirror and mourn the changes you see, stop. Really.

I am 45. This body has carried me through all these years by God’s grace.

If I am not as thin as I once was, there’s a good reason for that. This body has given life to four other human beings. It deserves respect, not scorn.

These hands have cared for and nurtured all four of those babies and two more children God gave me from mothers who could not do so. If those hands look like they’re a little worn, they’ve been busy, you see?

If my feet are tired and sore these days and have some callouses, it’s because I’ve been running, for years, taking care of the people I love.

Those laugh lines emerging are proof that along with the tears in this life, God has given joy as well. I don’t intend to erase the evidence.

I don’t care what Hollywood freaks are doing to themselves surgically or chemically to try to retain whatever looks they have. It’s a losing battle in the end.

Youth is a wonderful thing, but the young haven’t lived yet. There are important things they haven’t learned. In their dewy freshness the kids are lovely, but they haven’t been tried or tested. Their wisdom, such as they have, is all theory. They don’t know much yet. I wouldn’t go back.

So, no, I’m not joining in the great Sigh of Middle Age. I’m grateful to be here, and I am grateful each morning for the strength to get out of bed and carry out my responsibilities. This time in our lives was intended by God to be more than one long lament for what is past. We can continue to be fruitful in our lives to His glory.

We can model gracious acceptance of whatever age we are. Our daughters need to see that life as a female is not just one long struggle to retain faded youth. They need to know that our bodies change throughout our lives, and that working within that with dignity and thankfulness is the only right and healthy response.

Thank you, Heavenly Father,
for every breath you give,
for every heartbeat you grant.
Help me to remember that while my body ages,
I am renewed inside, day by day,
As I walk with You.

9 thoughts on “Time for Some Respect

  1. Francesca says:

    Excellent thoughts and perfect timing for me. Tomorrow, the 13th, is my birthday, and I will be 74 years old! Absolutely incomprehensible. (How can I possibly be this old?) I am still teaching – ESL to college-level international students. Do I get tired? YES. However, I do believe I am contributing something in the general scheme of things. In thinking about retiring, I worry that after I rest, relax, and read, I will feel useless. I am ambivalent about the whole issue.

  2. Donna says:

    As much as I feel that the entertainment industry has contributed to the focus on appearance and “hotness,” there was an interesting letter to the editor that was being circulated over the last week. Ashley Judd, who is truly a natural beauty, has had some health and weight issues. She was so offended at people’s reactions that she wrote a piece about how destructive society’s focus on looks is and how people are so much more than that. As someone who turns 60 next year, I am grateful for my health and that I have a husband to whom I am beautiful (even if nobody else in the world would agree!) and that my friends love me. Wouldn’t change any of that for a different physical appearance.

  3. Ingrid Schlueter says:

    Happy birthday, Francesca! Keep up the good work with the ESL! I had a grandmother who first went to nursing school in her 50’s. She nursed for years after that and then studied Swedish massage. Did you know that she was giving pain relief to people with the therapeutic massage into her 70’s? That’s an inspiration to me, and so are you. Donna, I agree completely. I have read news stories in the entertainment section online and sometimes read the comments below. People are brutal about things like some celebrity’s weight gain. I’m sure the people writing the vile comments are all absolutely perfect, too! Ha.

  4. carolyn says:

    Nicely put Ingrid. And of course, God sees things differently than man:

    1 Peter 3:3 Do not let your adornment be merely outward–arranging the hair, wearing gold, or putting on fine apparel– 4 rather let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the incorruptible beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is very precious in the sight of God.

    Prov 31:30 Charm is deceitful and beauty is passing, But a woman who fears the Lord, she shall be praised.

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