Thursday, June 25, 2009

How old are you?

Last night I was walking Emily's friend part way up the street to her house after an evening of playing. As I watched this six year old riding her scooter, wearing a helmet of course, roll down the sidewalk, I had this strange sense come over me. The sense of being 37 years old. I thought, "When did I become a grown-up? When did I become a grown-up enough to be a parent? When did I become grown-up enough to own a house on a street in a neighborhood, with a husband of 16 years on Friday, to boot?!" It was a surreal moment.

I don't necessarily know what it feels like to be 37 because in my head I don't really feel any certain age. I know I don't feel like I'm a teenager, or even early twenties, and I wouldn't want to, believe me. Not because I think I am better or smarter than those particular ages, but because on my own journey, I was a really insecure, obnoxious, envious, bragging, (did I mention insecure?) person in that season of my life. Some would probably beg to tell you I am still that, but I'd like to think my 30's have had a profound impact on my life...I suppose if I could be 'stuck' at an age it would be early childhood because from observing Em, you know all you need to know about your own world and faith and how to treat others, but nothing about the big, bad, scary world that happens outside the walls of your pink and brown bedroom.

I have not learned everything, for that I am grateful. If I ever announce that I have learned it all, shoot me...seriously. When I am with someone older than me I try to listen to their life...listen to either something they want to teach me or listen by observing. The key word there being listen. I believe the past is important and age and experience bear weight in the wisdom arena. Maybe it's from reading the book of Proverbs a lot, or maybe it's just the obvious...I don't know everything. But as I walked back home I wondered if everyone, no matter their age, has an age that they live by? For instance, my grandparents, at least in my observation, lived within their 40's and 50's well into their early 80's. Now they are in their 90's and even though they are sharp as tacks, their bodies have most certainly caught up with them, if not surpassed them.

At what age does that happen? Walking down my street at age 37, I feel invincible, able to leap over a building in a single bound. Able to at least attempt to solve the world's problems, not wars and politics, but the problems each of our hearts' contain.

Does my 93 year old gramma, who used to cut up a rug like Ginger Rogers well into her 80's but just broke her hip the night before last (not dancing but trying to walk on her own) feel like Em in her heart? Does my gramps, 92, Ginger's Fred Astaire, feel 37? He doesn't, mind you, because he's told me in no uncertain terms that getting old sucks, but at what age did he start to age? When does life start catching up with us, so to speak? I've always thought of age as simply a number, not a state of mind.

My many days laying out in the sun have caught up with me. My many years eating processed foods, and things 'fat-free' but not calorie or carb-free, are still sticking around on my thighs, unfortunately. But what about my heart? My attitude? My mind? My outlook on life?

I know I am going to die one day and I no longer fear it. Perhaps the turning point for me in living was when I no longer feared that living would one day end? No. Not 'perhaps'.

I guess it makes living one day at a time, to the fullest, that much more meaningful...


  1. dearest adrienne...
    you have such a way of putting your heart onto paper...into words. beautiful words. words that, i know, my heart, also feels. these thoughts have crossed my mind, too. i remember when i was just a little girl...and my parents were the age that i am now. i thought they were so old and that it would be a LIFETIME before their age would ever be my own. well...a LIFETIME later, here i am. and the beauty in age, for me, is looking back and see how i am GROWING not in years, but my relationship with the Lord. i can't believe that i am 32 and with a husband, two children, a home. wow. more than that...what the 32 years have brought me....closer to my God. more in love. growing more in love...with Him. more knowledge. more understanding. so, if with the numbers becomes more of that...then BRING IT ON!
    i have always been fearful of death, not where i am going, but the process of...the letting go of those i love. i am starting to let go of that. noah's story, tori's many other children who have fought illness...parents who have watched their children go Home...this is teaching me. more of Him...and WHO He IS. thank you for being part of what God has used to TEACH me! thank you for sharing noah! what a sweet little boy! and are human...but what great things...what great PURPOSE God has for you! thank you! 7 months...32 years....37 years...92 years...93's what you do with those numbers...IN those numbers of days...months...years...that matter! thanks be to God for the number of our days...for they are every way!
    much love in Him....
    shannon stinson

  2. Erin Preiser1:09 PM

    Thank you for the wonderful stroll down memory lane and the reminders... I'm 32, with four kids here and another in heaven... and I feel like it was yesterday that I was 11, riding my bike down the street without a care in the world. As I struggle with 'being a good mom' today, I needed this gentle reminder that my kids ARE in the middle of their wonderful, carefree childhood... and that I want them to have the same, great memories that I do of being young.
    I certainly don't feel like I'm old enough to be where I am, to have four kids, to worry about bills and debt and where God is leading us...

    May God continue to bless you and use you, as He already is!

    Erin Preiser

  3. Great post. I love the way you process things and share your thoughts.

    I'm 30 and I love 30. My 20s (like yours) were full of some insecurities and traits that I am happy to have left behind. Makes me wonder how I'll feel at 40! :)

  4. No words. WOW. Ok, maybe a couple. Sometimes there are moments that make my breath disappear for a bit. Reading this made it happen. Thanks.

  5. Hey Adrienne,

    What sweet pics of you and Em and your grandparents. They're DARLING! It reminded me of my grandparents who are gone now. I resonate with you on those feelings of being older and wondering how we got to this place and wondering how we're old enough to be parents and have a house and a husband...I've been thinking about those things as well. Sometimes it does feel very strange indeed. I love my family so much and I too wouldn't really want to go back to those earlier years, but I do sometimes think about them and perhaps wish I had made some different choices...but at the same time, I'm so thankful for the things that God has brought me through.

    May you have a lovely weekend with your family dear one. I am thinking of you and praying for you.


  6. Anonymous9:22 PM

    I'm 27 and wondering how I got to be getting so close to the BIG 3-0 which I am seriously dreading!!! I don't want that day to EVER come or I'll lock myself in a room and cry all day. :( I want to be 18 again!!!


  7. hey adrienne!

    girl, i know how you're feeling!! how did i get to 31 with 3 babes and my hubby and home and blah blah blah?! however, i cherish this time right now where i am with God and in a season of growing with Him and seeing and feeling the Lord's presence so strong in my life. i had a moment of revelation the other day, "what memories am i making for my kids TODAY?" and i love the age of innocence where the world is all cakes and pies for my older 2 kiddos and a great discovery for my toddler. i love being a mama and regardless of how i got 'here' i love it and i trust the Lord's leading as He walks me down this road!
    the best is yet to come...

  8. Anonymous6:31 PM

    you young ones need to simmer down! LOL...I'm 40 and it's not so bad. My mom died on my 39th that year was a complete blur.

    40 is the me age.......I feel like I'm starting to know who I really am.....don't fear aging, enjoy it.


  9. I too wonder that. I realize I am not the youngest person working at the bank anymore. I used to be but not anymore. Yet I don't feel all that much different. Yes, I cannot stay up past 12:00 at night anymore. I also feel that I think differently now. More mature and realize there is more important things in life other than what I am wearing, what car I drive, and where I live. I look at the young girls here at the bank and think, man they have a lot of growing up to do. I often wonder how many times others thought that about me. On the other hand I still feel very young. I can run and play soccer with Cooper, do cheers and dancing with Brooklyn, ride bike, run, just all in all have fun with my kids. I love to sit and listen to Grandma Arnold talk....I love to hear her stories. I love that she is around for my kids to get to know her. I look back in my life and don't wish to be a certain age anymore. I instead look back and thank God for the lessons I learned early on in life. This was a great post and thank you for posting it!

  10. your grandparents are just beautiful... how i'd love to see them dance. perhaps on the other side of eternity? i hope they'll put on a show for us. :)

    you look SO much like your grandfather... no wonder you are so beautiful! i think i'd have to flirt with him. :)

  11. Ade,

    If you and your friends are into "healthy", you all can check into the site and take their test to determine your real age. It has nothing to do with one's chronological age (CA). I turned out to be 11.3 years younger than my CA, and when you get my age that's encouraging.


  12. Love this post...I just want to keep walking closer and closer to Jesus, so that when my day comes, the fear of death will be gone because I will be ready to meet my Savior... :)