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Some of my stories are published in:
A Cup of Comfort Devotional for Mothers and Daughters (Adams Media, 2009)
Chicken Soup: What I Learned from the Dog (2009)
Love is a Flame (Bethany House, 2010)
Extraordinary answers to Prayer (Guideposts, 2010)
Love is a Verb (Bethany House, 2011)
Big Dreams from Small Spaces (Group Publishing, 2012)

Monday, August 30, 2010

Losing is Gaining?

When Bruce and I were first married, we drove the smallest U-Haul trailer from the University of Michigan to Crystal Lake, Illinois to begin our new life. We had a second-hand rocking chair, a second-hand kitchen table, an old mattress and dresser and a few kitchen and bath wedding gifts.
It was the end of the seventies, and that's just the way lots of couples started out.
A few years later we got our first microwave. I didn't know what to do with it at first. Now I don't know what I'd do without the thing.
Couple of years later we got our first new car. It was equipped with cruise control. At first, I balked about using the cruise. But then we took a cross-country trip and I became a believer.
We bought a house with an automatic garage door opener. Such luxury.
As we have accumulated wealth over the thirty-one years of our marriage, we wonder how we functioned so well without the next newest "thing" that makes our lives run easier.

Aging seems to be exactly the opposite.
Over time --instead of accumulating -- we gradually give up things: good hearing, good vision, quick reflexes, good digestion,
good joints, strong muscles.
When my skin was young I couldn't imagine what it would be like not to have a smooth, unlined face. Now I slather night cream.
I can still take my daily five mile walk, but now my feet get sore.
I wish I could sleep better.
At first the changes were subtle. But now, like a ball rolling down the hill, gaining momentum, the decline is obvious.

Accumulating things, jobs, houses, or experiences doesn't seem to have done much to force Christian maturity on me.

But aging gives me daily opportunities to look toward Christ and His Kingdom.

Now that I cannot sing so well, I give more energy to encouraging other, younger singers.
Now that my children are grown and my house is empty of their energy and youthful voices, I spend more time helping and praying for younger mothers.
Now that I am no longer beautiful, I understand and have compassion for those who are plain and ignored.
Now that time has passed and God has redirected my energies, I can spend more time at the computer, tapping out what He is teaching me.
It takes faith --His gift --to adapt to "losing."
It takes grace --from Him -- to expend new energies in an outward direction.
It takes eyes --lifted upward --to see beyond the temporal.

Losing is gaining, if you let it be so.


  1. Dena, you speak the truth.
    I read that the soul/spirit does not age. I can believe that because what is in me is full of energy and youth but what is wrapped around that, my body, is wearing down and it frustrates me. So I have to change my focus to what my body allows and do all that the Lord puts in front of me to do.
    I am learning to allow the younger ones to do the more physical things and that is okay.

  2. Diane, it's just like Paul said: "Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day." (Cor.4:16)
    How wonderful that God has assigned seasons for us to achieve certain kinds of services.I couldn't be writing today what I had not learned yesterday as a younger woman.

  3. Dena,

    You are "spot on" with this one, except that you are still beautiful!