One Withered Fig

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Sometimes,  a girl can get into a downright funk about her age. Can I get an amen?

I’m talkin’  a “one square of chocolate ain’t gonna cut it today, folks!” kind of funk.

I’ve been experiencing a few growing pains, lately.  As in, my age… It is growing.

Please, don’t misunderstand me here.  I knew it was an inevitability.  I just thought it wouldn’t be quite so painful.  Turning 30 was a piece of cake.  Turning 40 was an even bigger piece of cake!  And I’ve taken pride in my ability to weather each new birthday with All The Laughter.

But this year, I face 42.

And, I’m feelin’ it y’all!  I got The Nostalgia the other day when I heard  Mike & The Mechanics’, “The Living Years”.  Immediately, I started to get all “Is this what almost half a lifetime looks like?”, with a side of “Who is that old lady in the mirror?”.

In the midst of all my moaning and groaning, though, there was a Small Still Voice whispering in my ear. And this is what it brought to mind:

“Let all that I am praise the Lord;
may I never forget the good things he does for me.”

Psalm 103:2 (NLT)

That brought all my caterwauling to a skidding halt! Because, there are so many good things.  Another Bible translation reads, “and forget not all His benefits.”

Sometimes, my life oozes the benefits of God, but I’m so stinkin’ wrapped up in this world’s vision of Worth, that I can’t see them.

I see them right now. Today I choose to focus on:

His steadfast presence even when I stalk away in a huff

His strength for every stinkin’ moment that I am weak or unable or unwilling

His grace in spades for this messed up little girl of His

His mercies new every single morning that He gives me breath again

His everlasting love for me exactly as I am and where I am

His patience with me as He continues to refine me

His blood poured out for me despite my sin

Whether I’ve accomplished much in the world’s eyes, doesn’t matter one withered fig to our God.

I can’t help but imagine that I must be fairly ripe (in the very best sense, of course, because otherwise, EWW!), because I certainly feel like He’s been using me lately.

And I love that! I love being used by God. Pick me! Pick me, God!  I am yours for the picking!

I believe I’ve officially written myself out of my funk, because 42 isn’t looking so bad.

Indeed.

Do any upcoming birthdays feel like they’re looming for you?  What helps you get a fresh perspective?

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35 thoughts on “One Withered Fig

  1. Oh to be 42 again!

    I’ve got an even bigger birthday coming up a week from today. And, for me, 50 was a piece of cake. Fifty-one was good, but this year I’m turning 54 and suddenly that number looms large! My body is changing, things are settling in places I don’t want them and I’m a GRANDMOTHER!!!

    Thanks for reminding me that age is just a number and that what is really important is my relationship with God, my family, my friends and with leaving a footprint on this Earth that my grandson will be proud of!

    Thanks for sharing!

  2. I just turned 29 and I felt like darn, this means 30 is inevitable. I don’t think 30 will be as bad as 29. Birthdays and concepts of age are an odd thing some times!
    Seems like you’ve got a good perspective, with God and chocolate one can’t go wrong 🙂

  3. Whenever I start to feel those man-I-wish-I-still-had-my-27-year-old-thighs, or I feel bummed about getting older, I just think how much better getting older is than the alternative… ha! My husband has said to me, when I moan and complain about how different my body is now than it was when I was younger, that I have the privilege of bearing the marks of being a mother. I think that’s part of it for me too. My body looks so different!
    I do wish these crazy gray hairs weren’t quite so…wild. Sometimes, I have one that is sticking straight up out of my part on top of my head. But it’ll only be two inches long. So, literally? Straight up. 😛

  4. You truly crack me up! Thanks so much for your blog post. I am 39 and so dreading turning 40. Thank you for pointing out some of God’s attributes and blessings that I tend to overlook. God bless!

  5. Isn’t funny how you can write yourself out of your funk!? I totally do that! Hey, the Psalmist did that! Turning my eyes to God always helps me gain fresh perspective. Thanks for being willing to be used by God, Missy. He’s definitely using you on social media as an encourager. I’m always blessed by your words. Have a great weekend, friend!

  6. Ah, Missy…oh how you quack my up and have made my day!! I turned 52 today!!! My age has never gotten to me, but I was unable to write a blog for this week because I was feeling a little sorry for myself…my kids are 8 hours east and 10 hours west, my mom’s been gone 10 years, I’ve allowed myself to get too fat, I’m starting too look old, yadda, yadda, yadda. Where have the years gone?

    Then this morning I started to think of ALL the things I have to be thankful for: God’s grace and His love, Jesus, a Christian husband, my first grandchild, a job where I can serve, a godly church, a home, a reliable automobile to visit my children, gifts to serve Him, talents, and on and on. My brief moment of “sorrow” turned to joy as I counted my thanksgivings. I, too, am also thankful for His patience as He continues to refine me!!

    • Your comment made me smile a mile wide! I’m so stinkin thankful for His infinite patience as I work out this “being human” thing, here on earth, too. There are so many things to be thankful for. I read the book “1,000 Gifts” a few years back, and it would seem, that I’ve already forgotten the countless blessings to be thankful for. Thank YOU for the reminder of just how very many can be found in the daily, friend!

  7. This post made me SMILE and I needed it at the exact moment I received it! How neat! I will be 39 this July and to be totally honest, I’m not real fond of it. Lol. I do remind myself quite often that even if I could, I wouldn’t be any other age….with my age, I’m gaining wisdom and that’s GOD GIVEN! AMEN! 🙂

    • Ha!!! “Not real fond of it!” Indeed! But, gaining wisdom is a gift and one that I’ll gladly take. (Along with a few extra laugh lines, right?) 😉

  8. As I began reading your blog entry a huge smile crossed my face. 2013 will bring the big 5-0 for me. As a middle school teacher, that number looms in the distance like a flashing “Warning” sign. My students already think I am old and there are some days when I feel VERY OLD. Several months ago I began my own blog journey, documenting my thoughts during this last year of my 40s. It hasn’t been easy so far, and the remainder of it is likely to have more rough spots, but I have undertaken an endeavor to help me find little bright spots along the way. I set out to perform 50 random acts of kindness throughout the calendar year, in honor of my milestone birthday. As I have watched for the perfect opportunities to brighten someone else’s life, it has helped me to pay more attention to my own blessings.

    • Oh, Stella, I’m absolutely eating up your “endeavor” for this year! What a testament to God’s goodness in our own lives to focus on making others’ better in some way. I’m so thankful for your encouragement to focus on the blessings.

  9. Visiting from the Melissa Taylor OBS study. 30 wasn’t an obstacle for me either. But, I am feeling my age now that I quite a bit past 30. Thanks for a good post on refocusing us past our age.

  10. Thank you, Missy for this post. Thank you for taking us through your thought process. I’ll be 67 in a few months. I guess I’ve always considered each birthday a blessing. Over the years I’ve discovered that I’m not normal. Most people dread some of their “mile-stone” birthdays, so you are normal!
    Barbara Prince, OBS Small Group Leader

    • Normal is not a word that is usually used to describe me, but, in this instance, I’ll gladly take it! 🙂 Thank you, though, Barbara. for your encouragement to see each birthday as the blessing that it is!

  11. I never thought I would have an issue with age, but then I faced infertility. Turns out really young ages (like 27, which was the age my mother was when her last child was born) sent me into a tailspin.

    Love this post.

    • Aw, thank you so much Natasha. Being “young”ish and not feeling like you’ve accomplished what you’d hoped/dreamed/expected makes turning any age almost devastating. I hear that about the tailspin. Sometimes pouring it all out just improves my outlook tremendously. 🙂

  12. I hear ya! I’m inching to 40 and I can tell! But I loved how you said God doesn’t give a fig by what the world says we’ve done!! Btw your looking fabulous!! Happy birthday!!

  13. Well Happy Birthday! I totally understand about the age thing. I entered my 30’s all excited! Turning 40 wasn’t bad, and 45 wasn’t even bad. However, this year I will turn 47 in July and well, I’m not looking forward to it. Perhaps it’s because my husband just turned 50. I am seriously feeling my age these days. I just know God still has things for me to do. I wish I wasn’t so tired all the time. 🙂

    • Barbie, you’ll get to wish me that in the late Fall, but I so appreciate the commiseration. I’m trying to enjoy each season. Some years take more chocolate than others. 😉

  14. Ok, I have an issue with the title of this post. I don’t think you are able to be compared to a withered fig, maybe a better comparison would be a bottle of fine wine which only improves with age 🙂

  15. Awww…when’s your birthday? Did I miss it already??

    Happy Birthday!!!! If you were closer, I’d bake you a whole batch of cupcakes (chocolate or vanilla?) and then sit and eat them with you. Ya, I make the big sacrifices for friends. 😉

    This weekend I was at a dinner and I ended up sitting with a whole bunch of teenage girls who immediately began telling me all the reason why I look like a photographer. Then they told me that I should be taking their school pictures, and for some reason, that made me feel old. Like really, really old. I feel your pain.
    ~FringeGirl

    • Not till November. But, I SO feel your pain right back. Letting your hubs crack jokes about us being young “when the dinosaurs roamed the earth”… Sigh… 😉 I’ll take a chocolate cupcake come Fall, though!

    • Oh, thank you – but that won’t be for another 6 months. You see, I’m a plotter and a planner. Even when I’m fretting over some pending “thing”. 😉 God’s workin’ on me about it.

  16. I really needed to hear this post this morning. I have a busy day and really shouldn’t be on the computer, but boy am I glad I did. Thanks for the reminders about who our great God is!

  17. I missed like two of your blog posts and feel like I haven’t heard from you in FOREVER!(It’s my fault, i didn’t ‘Call’.LOL!) I need to go catch up! your writing style/voice is so transfixing, I feel like I am sitting at your feet while you tell me a story… your personality OOZES with every word and I am just SO PROUD to be a reader of this blog, because YOU are so talented, I just can’t even from all these feels right now!

    ok, now to the post.
    I got the aging blues at 22(p.s. I’m 22.lol), and I got myself out of my funk my forcing an attitude of gratitude, not ideal! I Love what you have to say because it is so REAL and TRUE and applicable… I am gonna keep this in mind each november, so that I man never forget what Jesus did thru you, missy!

    “Whether I’ve accomplished much in the world’s eyes, doesn’t matter one withered fig to our God.I can’t help but imagine that I must be fairly ripe (in the very best sense, of course, because otherwise, EWW!), because I certainly feel like He’s been using me lately”

    My sentiments exactly, Thank you for this!!

    P.s.: You are FAB! 42 isn’t gonna know what hit it;)

    xoxo,

    Jesi Rae

    • Good gravy, girl! You know I love you to pieces, right? 22? 22!!?!??!?!? That makes me almost 2 decades older than you and yet… sometimes, I feel like I’m right there with ya. ❤

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