11.16.2010

sometimes it seems backwards...

Its a thought that occurred to me last night. I was having a conversation with my Mother-in-Law and was telling her how I'm in a weird stage in life right now, where I'm no longer the youngest in most groups of people I'm around. In our Bible study group, I'm one of the oldest women {aside from one or two much older ladies} and sometimes at MOMS club outings, I'm either much older than other ladies or have more kids than anyone else there. When I hang out with my sister, she's 8 years younger than me and unmarried. 
 I'm finding this change in life to be weird. Good for me, sure... but weird nonetheless. 

Its good for me, because I'm being challenged more. I'm being asked for advice {scary!} I'm being looked up to, as a wife and Mommy. I'm not that newly married girl anymore, I'm the one who's been married almost 7 years and has 3 kids. And while I'm so thankful that I'm still able to look up to older women and learn from them, it has been a weird transition of life for me. I find the responsibility to be a bit frightening. I want to share encouraging things with these young women, but I want to be real at the same time. Let them know where I failed, where I still fail, teach them what taught me, remind them to listen to the women who are even further along in their journey - like the ones who's kids are grown and gone. Don't take those ladies for granted. They have gems to share with us and it does us well to listen. 
And then I found this to be the funniest thing of all! Why does it seem like life is backwards this way.... when a girl is young and newly married, no kids and little experience with grown-up life {like me, just a few years ago} why is it so easy for us to think we know it all and be so ready to spout off opinions and ideas?! 
Then I find that the older I get, the quieter I get. The less inclined I am to be the one who raises my hand to give off advice, or to want to do the devotion at a wedding shower or baby shower, or to get all excited when someone says my blog inspires them or encourages them. Ha! ME?! No way. 
I was wondering why some older women I know seem to shy away from being super vocal. Sometimes I think a lot of it is because this younger generation of ours seems to think we have the block on marriage and child raising. With all this new technology, baby gadgets and gismos, those poor, more experienced ladies probably feel like they have very little to offer. 


Oh, but they do! They have God's word to offer. They've had more years to spend with God than we have. They've leaned on Him and relied on Him in ways we've not been challenged to yet. 
They know the pitfalls we haven't fallen into yet. 
They see us and remember themselves in what feels like "just yesterday" moments. 
They understand marriage beyond its early years and fun stages. 
They {like some young moms do} understand the pain of losing a parent, spouse or a child, or more. 
It would do us young ladies well to stop and listen more. 
To ask more questions. 
To remember that even though technology has changed drastically, Satan's ways haven't changed at all and neither have God's. Satan still tempts and pries and creeps like he always did and God is still all powerful, understanding, all knowing, giver of fleeing temptation, outsource of grace and mercy that He's always been. 


So while I'm learning to embrace this new role I so often find myself in these days... I'm so thankful that we never hit a certain age and have no one else to look up to and learn from. God is good to provide those in every different stage of life. So we can encourage one another and build each other up, while offering advice, a shoulder to lean on, an understanding ear, etc... and while you older ladies might not know the newest baby gadget, or the latest version of the Dr's ever changing "to sleep on their backs or tummies" rule, or the most hot looking sling that's available out there... none of that stuff really matters. None of it will help our marriages when they need it the most, none of it will show Christ and His gospel to our kids as they're learning on their way. 


I just want to say thank-you, genuinely, from the bottom of my heart, to those of you older {not old} ladies. I'm so glad some of you keep blogs, teach in studies, write books, make yourselves readily available, by being just a phone call away. And I'm most thankful for the women in my life, who daily live out a good and godly example. Because when all is said and done, that's what is going to be most important - not, did you say all the right things and give a lot of good advice, but did you live out the things you spoke. Did you live out Christ and His gospel and did you put into practice what you preached. 


I was going to proof read this and do some editing, but I've decided to leave it in raw form, from my heart. 

11 {comments}:

Nicola S. said...

Thanks Stef for sharing this. I love talking with moms & wives that have much more experience then I do and gain any and all gems they have to offer. So thanks for being a gem to me.

Erin said...

So true, Stef!
(Can you believe you are getting to be "older"?!)

Carrie said...

I wonder if we speak out less as we age because we have a few hard fought battles under our belts by then. Things that let you know that life is just plain hard and we don't have all the anwsers. Anyway, that's how I feel.

Gina said...

Love this post--so good & very real. I think the young & full of advice thing goes with being young & dumb & feeling invincible. There is much to be said about gaining maturity, which does not always come with age.

Stef said...

Thanks Cola - I feel the same way about you! I often tell Jason how blogs have taken on a new meaning for me over the past 5 years. They've gone from being strictly for my "entertainment" to a great source of encouragement.

Erin, feels like we were 15 years old, trying to act grown up, just yesterday! Can't believe our 31st year is just around the corner, but so it is :)

Erin said...

I'll be 31 in a few weeks. Ah!!!

Jessica said...

Stef, what an awesome post! Thank you for sharing this!!

I so love this fact about women in our church...living out proverbs 31 and teaching younger women the way that they should go. It's definitely a MUST to have those older women in our lives! God's design is amazing in that.

And thank you for being one of them! For being so encouraging, understanding, graceful, and full of wisdom. We all are a work in progress, just some have had more of God's refining at that certain point. ;)

Love you!!

Liz said...

I totally agree! I was just discussing this with another "older" friend. I've always been the youngest in homeschool circles because I had Jake in my early 20's. So most of my close friends are about 5 years older than me ;) I'm finding now that we've moved, I'm the older lady. I'm also going to be 31 in a few days. The older I get, the quieter I get as well. The longer I've been a wife and mom, the more I realize that I have to learn. The longer I walk with God, the more I see my need for my Savior and evidence of His grace in my life.

Stef said...

Amen Liz! Its exactly how I feel :) So glad God brought the two of us to the same church and same Community Group!

Liz said...

Me too Stef :) Hopefully one day my family will all be healthy enough to attend group and church regularly! We've missed so much lately due to illness, bed-rest, snow...

Erin said...

So true, Stef!
(Can you believe you are getting to be "older"?!)

 

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