In the Changing Room

Photo by Samuel Zeller on Unsplash

I see the soft capes draped over the models. They look perfect for our mild winter temps in South Florida. But I know what they’ll look like on me. Or, rather, what I’ll look like with them draped over my 5’4” frame. 

The same can be said for some cuts of jeans or the trendy untucked shirts. I’m not the 111 pounds I was at 18 and 20 extra pounds make a huge difference on the hips of a borderline petite person. I will look squatty and feel dumpy. 

Sometimes I will buy the shirt anyway. I will convince myself it’s only my eyes that see this, and that may be so. But one day, I’ll put it on and what looked good in the dressing room looks bulky and frumpy now. 

Up and down I go, trying to hold on to things no longer there: youth.

When I fit into the demographic called young, I knew my purpose and felt sure of it. I was confident in mothering. I was sure of my place in the church as a respected and valued leader. I considered it a privilege to be counted on to shuttle our kids classes on field trips and to sports games. 

I knew what was ahead. Most of the time. There was a certainty to life.

And then I blinked.

I wonder if this is how Rip Van Winkle felt when he woke from his years of sleeping. I’ve wakened to a time of unknowing and uncertainty. Mothering has changed and become more difficult as I’m not always certain when, or how, I’m needed. (The double edge of raising good, able, smart adults.)

Retirement is coming is now weeks away and what started as a fun thought is fraught with fear and uncertainty.

My youth is gone but not my life. There is more, much more to come.  But I’m not the same size and I’m not sure what fits?

I’m back in the dressing room realizing the low rise jeans aren’t working anymore nor is the size 6. Do I really HAVE to shop in the women’s department? Am I relegated to Ann Taylor or Chico’s? No offense but they aren’t my style.

That’s how life feels these days. I appreciate today’s technology and not having to worry about long distance charges to talk to friends and family on the phone. I try to stay current with culture and trends. I’m just not sure I fit into any of it.

Perhaps the best thing this part of life offers is there isn’t a one-size-fits-all pattern. It’s going to be custom made, one of a kind, for me.

“You know me inside and out, you know every bone in my body; You know exactly how I was made, bit by bit, how I was sculpted from nothing into something.” Psalm 139:13-16 Message

Mother’s Day 2019 The baby is grown up with her own “baby”

Christmas at My Age

In recent years many of my doctors have started conversations with these words: “At your age….” At your age I want you to take a baby aspirin (even though I have no family history of heart issues)At your age your teeth start to shift. At your age your eyes, your skin, your sleep…..

There is one childhood Christmas that sticks in my mind. It’s the year I asked Santa for an Easy-bake Oven.  I was 8 or 9 and the anticipation filled me with such excitement that I woke up in the middle of the night to peek into our living room to see if Santa had come. 

There is another year where I remember hearing the reports of where Santa and his sleigh were at that moment. I was a year or two younger and don’t remember the desired present but it was the excitement and anticipation of the event.

At my age, I’ve seen a lot of Christmases. Not all were happy or filled with excitement. We shift from the fables and presents and getting and think more about preparing and giving. We try to figure out ways to balance all the things without losing the reason we celebrate.

At my age I want the kind of Christmases where I still experience the wonder of the season. I want to be filled with the glory the angels sang about and know the joy of giving. 

At my age I want to hold dearly in my heart the memories of those we’ve lost while I hold the joy of their eternal peace and wholeness. 

I want to deck the halls and smile at the twinkling lights, to line our shelves with the Santa’s collected over the years, to celebrate the remnants of our past and the hope of our future.

At my age, I want to remember that Christ is being born every day, over and over in our life when we cling to his hope and peace and share his joy and love. 

Merry Christmas


Always at a beach somewhere :)

Always at a beach somewhere 🙂

It’s not what we do in our family….blowing our own horn or patting ourselves on the back. Mama embodied the word humble but I think she might get a smile out of this.

Last year I celebrated my birthday with you on the blog so I don’t need to go into all of that again. The curious ones who like old pictures (and I mean old!) can find it here.

Most days I look at myself in the mirror and thank God I have good hair. It helps distract, momentarily, from the wide hips, blotchy complexion and this belly that wasn’t there a few years ago.

With one quick look I can tear myself apart. But I’m getting better. Really, I am. Better with age.

It seemed to me mama wasn’t keen on getting older. But aunt Juanita, daddy’s sister, she revels in the crown of her age. She laughs at her forgetfulness and isn’t embarrassed to grab the walker to help steady herself. She wears age like a crown and she glows in its beauty.

She is clothed in laughter and love and these are the true beauty marks.


“You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body and knit them together in my mother’s womb. 14 Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex! It is amazing to think about. Your workmanship is marvelous—and how well I know it.” Psalm 139:13-14

It’s taken me well into my 50’s to start accepting who I am, inside and out. Or maybe I’m too comfortable or too tired or plain old lazy. Today it doesn’t matter the reason. I am healthy and well blessed. I am wonderfully complex!

It is amazing!

His workmanship is marvelous!

“How precious it is, Lord, to realize that you are thinking about me constantly! I can’t even count how many times a day your thoughts turn toward me. And when I waken in the morning, you are still thinking of me!” vs. 17-18

My eternal gift, every day, is God thinking of me.

And it’s totally okay with me that we have the same gift; that He is thinking of you every day too.

Old or New?

His sister calls him Boy. Still. Now in their 30’s she calls out Boy and the Boy has to have sound playing. Something, always, in the background. In the car he quickly commandeered the radio, asking, “mom, what are the good stations?” I tell him there aren’t any, I listen to my iPod. After one night in town he tells me there are good stations, just not my kind.

His words stuck as we have similar taste in music and have always found common ground there. Songs he was singing along to, band names, not familiar. I wanted to defend myself. Tell him I listen to more than old rock and start mentally compiling a list of newish bands I like. I come up with The Lone Bellow quickly and he doesn’t know them and we sit with that gap.



I watch my aunt, 81 or 82 now, and I’ve never seen her fret over age. She has always accepted who she is. Embraced the mantle of age.  That is a certain kind of grace, one I’m not wearing well.

aunt juanita

Jacob aunt Juanita

The old is new again and we’re buying pillows made of feed sacks and record players and the label vintage sells many things. Next to our iPads are stacks of records and the hand-powered chopper from the antique mall has replaced our food processor. The old looks good next to the new and their worlds seem to be merging more and more.

Last Sunday we sang old hymns. Our little threesome who have taught themselves to play guitar got a break while our volunteer pianist, herself in her 80’s, plunked out ‘To God Be the Glory‘ and ‘What a Friend We Have in Jesus‘. It’s not as lively when we sing the old songs because few of these men know them. Church music of any kind is new to many of them but the old hymns, they are fading more. A friend once wrote we learn our theology from the old hymns and there is truth to that.

Most Sundays, the old and new are side by side in worship service. ‘Mighty to Save‘ next to ‘Power in the Blood’ because we honor the offering of music not paying allegiance to a style, thankful we don’t have to choose between old and new, one over the other.



birthday party weekend

birthday party weekend



I try a little too hard to cling to the youth that has faded. The external youth, when I need to be concerned with keeping the heart fresh. Embracing the truths that are eternal and ageless.

At my age….

The first time it was said I don’t think I got it. Surely it was denial. But when the young doctor said it, the woman who probably wasn’t much older than my daughter, when she said, “at your age…..” it wakened something in me and I realized she wasn’t the only doctor who’d said that lately. That was five years ago. Since then, it seems every check-up includes those words: AT YOUR AGE

At your age, you should have a bone density test, colonoscopy, multifocal lenses, take calcium. Do you have trouble sleeping? Are you pre or post? (I always thought that question referred to rapture theology) You need to monitor your blood pressure. Take Melatonin to help you sleep. (I’m looking for the right temperature as it seems to be too hot more than too cold these days)

Who would have thought that list would include a retainer for my bottom teeth because at my age teeth begin to shift. A 55-year-old woman in a orthodontist office full of middle-schooler’s. Didn’t see that coming!

I decided some time ago that rather than age gracefully I was going to dig in and hold on until my nails wouldn’t hold any longer. Joking aside, I think I’ve spent a fair amount of time mourning my youth.

While aging has its aches, pains, extra pounds and lines around the eyes, it has its benefits too.

At my age, I’ve learned getting messy with 4-year olds is more important than staying neat and tidy.

At my age there’s little you can say to hurt me because I know who I am and whose I am.

….Friendships are more important than schedules, laundry and Pinterest.

…Send thank you notes. Hand written ones.

the grand with her friends

….the Beatles were right: all you need is love.

At my age I know the value of a good hair cut and well made clothes and believe I’m worth both.

…I’ve learned you never stop being a mother and sometimes that includes being a mother to your own mom.

…Family is to be held close. At all cost.

Hudson women (2 by marriage)

At my age, I know it’s worth the risk to care. About your family, your health, your friends and people different from me.

At my age, I’ve learned I don’t have to catch the ball just because someone throws it to me.

That grace is better than judgment; mercy better than vengeance; love better than fear

At my age, I savor life. Not because it’s getting shorter or I fear I’ll lose it but because I know it’s a gift and gifts are meant to be savored. To hold in an open hand, gaze upon with thankfulness, breathed in and lived.

What about you? Are you at that age?