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All the Pretty Young Things - I Do Every Day - October 30, 2019

All the pretty young things

By Sabrina McDonald

I dieted for six weeks before visiting the beach this year. I managed to lose seven pounds. (Too bad I was going for 20.) 

My clothes were looser, my confidence was up. But seeing the beach beauties shoved me hard back into “poor me, I’m 40” mode. All the pretty young things with their smooth, tight (exposed) bodies—no wrinkles, no stretch marks, no rolls.

My husband (not knowing my thoughts) reached over and patted me. I saw my thigh jiggle. I felt sorry for him, not just for the jiggle, but also for the parade of half-naked women—especially the half that made his wife look like a stretched out, flaking, pleather bag.

As one blonde bombshell strolled by, stopping to take a selfie, I realized her youth and beauty simply testify to a short-lived life. She waspretty! But she was lacking in experience. 

My wrinkles and gray hairs are hard-earned rewards. Like battle scars, each of them tells a story. 

My wrinkles come from hours of laughter and sometimes tears. Like when Robbie and I wept while our little schnauzer, cradled in our arms, succumbed to cancer. 

My baggy eyes attest to nights we stayed up too late to watch a “grown-up” movie (date night can be hard to come by with kids), and I woke up too early so he could sleep longer. 

These stretch marks come from the fruit of love—two 10-pound babies. I’m totally proud I survived that! 

And each gray hair represents a lesson learned in my marriage about compassion, kindness, and mercy. I call them my “silver linings.” 

And 2 Corinthians 4:16 says the soul of a Christian never grows old: “Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day.”

As I watched the blonde bombshell take another selfie, I thanked God that my days of inexperience, as well as my youthful body, were gone. This body may not be the kind that magazines put in the centerfold, but it tells a story that’s worth the sacrifice.

It’s a story I love.

Marriages can age well, too. Read “Growing Old Together.”

The good stuff: Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised. Give her of the fruit of her hands, and let her works praise her in the gates. (Proverbs 31:30-31)

Action points: Identify areas of your body you don’t like. What story do they tell?

Make a list of some ways you have benefited from the wisdom you have gained with age. Consider the ways you alter your body to look younger. Now compare that to the ways you work to prepare your soul for eternity. What do you learn about your priorities?

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