For everything there is a season, a time for every activity under heaven. A time to be born and a time to die. A time to plant and a time to harvest. A time to kill and a time to heal. A time to tear down and a time to build up. A time to cry and a time to laugh. A time to grieve and a time to dance. A time to scatter stones and a time to gather stones. A time to embrace and a time to turn away. A time to search and a time to quit searching. A time to keep and a time to throw away. A time to tear and a time to mend. A time to be quiet and a time to speak. A time to love and a time to hate. A time for war and a time for peace. (Ecclesiastes 3:1-8)
The fall season of my life brought many initially unwelcome changes. AARP advertisements that were immediately thrown in the trash and grey hair quickly approaching white. My daughter’s wedding would be soon and I couldn’t bare the thought of someone thinking I was her grandmother. But one day in the midst of my complaints of age, God shook me with this thought: we cannot see the final strands of life and His completed work without the years it took to get there. I myself was certain I did not want to live to be as old as my mom or grandmother, but in that moment with God, He showed me through the struggles and disappointments in my life, came the beauty of His masterpiece in my own life. I started seeing life as not dying, but living forever as I am promised.
Now in my 60’s, trying to embrace my age with joy, I can see the fun of getting older. Being a mother was a very important part of my life and now being a grandmother is off the charts! I can have fun and then send them home. Or spend a weekend with them at their home and treat it as a vacation. What fun to hear the things they say about their parents who were my little ones not that long ago. Answering questions like, “Why does that man have hair growing out of his ears?” Trying to give short appropriate answers is a challenge as I consider the strange places hair chooses to appear.
I am quickly realizing my eyes may grow dim, ears may loose hearing and my skin will continue to squish. But amongst it all, I remind myself that this fall season of life is a joyful time with change of colors and amazing smells that I didn’t take time to enjoy before. But above all I have gained a spirit that has grown closer to God through the spring and summer. Winter is coming so I must make the days count and not count the days.
About Ruth Stoltzfus
Ruth is a mother of four and a grandmother to seventeen. She spends her days wrangling toddlers and engaging in deep conversation with teenage grandkids. Her love for the Lord not only bubbles over into her family, but those all around her. Ruth has lived the majority of her life as a pastor’s wife and now enjoys a slower pace. Watching her children thrive in business and ministry is her great joy!