Guest blog by Denise McLoughlin tips and hints for facing the inevitable journey into older age.
When one is going into a new phase of life… Crossing another bridge – maybe the slightly fearful bridge to old age and all it entails- then it could be time to take stock of where you stand in relation to your spirit, mind and body!
Sunday – my day of rest and the time to meditate or look inwards -I thought I would share this wisdom I have encountered in various of my Quiet time books, one of which is “Streams in the Desert” by a lady called L B Cowman. Over the years I have found real treasures in this little book to guide me on my daily path. For example: ” Everything is possible for him who believes ” Mark 9:23
The “everything “mentioned here does not always come simply by asking, because God is always seeking to teach you the way of faith. Your training for a life of faith requires many areas of learning, including the trial of faith, the discipline of faith, the patience of faith, and the courage of faith. Often you will pass through many phases of faith before you finally realize the result of faith- namely, the victory of faith.
When you have made your request to God, and the answer still has not come, what are you to do? Keep on believing His word. Do not be swayed by what you feel or see. Then as you stand firm, your power and experience are being developed, strengthened and deepened. God will often purposely delay in giving you the answer, and in fact the delay is just as much the answer to your prayer as is the fulfilment when it comes. (ref. Streams in the Desert, L Cowman, 12th May pg 191)
SOUL OR MIND
About the soul or mind side of life there is so much to say… I think the most important thing for me is to take control of thoughts because as you think, so you are! It is so easy to fall into a negative pattern of thinking, especially in today’s world.
I like to turn my thoughts to the positive and part of this is to embrace your life! I try to make my life a celebration because being alive is so special and time is short…. I make my days as pleasant and festive as possible! As we get older there is a tendency to get stuck in a rut and stagnating and not having an open mind …. We should counteract that by doing new things…learn something new- whether it is mastering your smartphone or learning a language or taking up dancing …in all its wonderful forms… or setting up your Bucket List… things you still want to do…. if you don’t think about it and plan for it.. you might never do it!!!
I made a Power Point presentation of my list and have actually achieved some of my dreams like my road trips with the conversion of my car into a campercar… enabling me to travel on a budget.
When I had to face my ageing body, there is a lot to be said. What comes to my mind is that it is the only body we ‘ve got and as we are “fearfully and wonderfully made” we should look after our bodies… we all know we need exercise but if you are naturally a bit lazy like I am, this could be a schlep… I have, however, discovered how good one feels after a nice fairly brisk walk, out in nature …or even up and down the streets of your suburb, as I have recently started doing. Now if one has kept up with the part that technology plays in today’s life, then may I suggest that on your smartphone you download a little app called Runkeeper which works with GPS and tells you how far, and how fast you have walked… nice encouragement I find. Just think how impressed your children and friends will be when you show them the visual map tracked on your App! You can also compete against yourself and improve your fitness.
Then of course there is the whole boring thing of eating right or your diet. I once went on the Banting lifestyle for three months and felt wonderfully energetic, lost some weight and it worked.
Then there is the matter of sleep or rest … I find that if I read until the wee hours of the night, I battle to fall asleep, likewise if I am on my cell phone busy with Facebook or whatever, my brain won’t switch off. I read about digital burnout and how technology in the forms of cell phone, computers email etc can affect your sleeping pattern – something to take into consideration.
I now made a rule to switch off everything around 9.30 …to then start with a quiet routine eg a warm bath, a book( not too a stimulating one ) and low light (candlelight in these load shedding days * South African phenomenon due to inadequate electrical provision* ) is perfect. They say you should try and go to bed more or less at the same time every night…it seems to work!
I am coping with the transition of getting older by adapting my lifestyle and trying to stick to good habits. In this way I care for my body, soul and perhaps most importantly my spiritual life!