When you have entered your 40s and you have a kid that tells you she’s getting married and another kid who tells you they are most likely going to Indonesia for an internship after graduating this Senior year, you sort of have an internal meltdown when with the realization that the nest is about to empty itself all at once.
A few things come to mind at the onset of this meltdown:
-Do I have any hobbies that don’t include my kids?
-My husband and I need to start dating. Right now. We have to remember how to be boyfriend and girlfriend again before they leave.
-Should I go back to school?… I’m still not even sure I know what I want to be when I grow up.
-What am I going to do with the empty rooms? (Lots of ideas. Not gonna lie.)
When you enter your 40s and start to reflect on the difference between who you were 20 years ago and who you are today, you realize these are 2 different women. God uses two decades worth of experiences, good and bad, to cultivate and bring change, turning you into something amazing if you let Him. (I have also found resistance to allowing Him to do this work in me just prolongs the process, making it much more uncomfortable.)
Here’s what the last couple of decades have tought me:
-I’m an outgoing introvert (INFJ if you are a Myers Briggs junkie)
-My spiritual gifts include: Teaching, Administration, Encouragement
-My favorite way to spend time with God is in nature, preferably alone with my Bible and my current favorite book. Studying is my jam.
-If failure were not an option and money were no concern, I would love to write books
-When I find something I’m passionate about, I’m all in
-I love to hear people’s stories, and I love directing someone’s thoughts/gaze to their Creator and the potential He’s placed in them
When you are entering your 40s, you wish you had listened to everyone that told you to develop certain habits while you’re young, before it’s too late (eating right, exercising, moisturizing, not holding it when you have to pee, etc). When your Doctor tells you you’re now in a stage of life where you’re losing muscle and you reallllly need to start some kind of strength training, you think “I’m officially getting old”. My inner self does not feel old. But the fact that I can barely ride a bike uphill, and gain 10 pounds eating a microscopic carb would suggest otherwise.
So, to recap:
-I need a hobby
-I need to get in shape
-I am an introvert with a gift for teaching who enjoys writing.
-I love being with God in His creation.
-People and their purpose matter to me.
-When I find something I’m passionate about, I’m all in.
-My children are leaving me…
Enter Yoga. Not just any yoga. Yoga that incorporates time alone with the Lord. Where you meet Jesus on your mat, inhale His goodness and exhale everything that is not of Him. Where, in the silence, you create space to listen, confess, be grateful and worship in various postures of prayer… And? You can even do this outside by a lake, on the beach, in a vineyard…
“In Him we live and move and have our being…” Acts 17:28
This fits all my bills. It’s a quiet, introspective exercise. I can do this alone-with-people, or just alone. It encourages my focus to be on Him and “hear” from Him. I’m suddenly passionate about it, aware of my need for it, and want others to know about what it can do for them. So, I’m all in. As in, regardless of how out of shape I am, I’ve begun the journey with YogaFaith to become a certified Yoga Instructor. I have no idea what this will look like down the road, and occasionally wonder what in the world I’ve gotten myself into, but I’m excited to see what God will do with this next Season in my life and I’m enjoying thinking about the possibilities. Even if it is simply for myself.
This is what me in my 40s is excited about. Me in my 20s never would have guessed, or had the experiences, or developed the gifts and talents to back it up just yet.
When you enter your 40s, you get to the part where you start to know now, what you didn’t know then. It’s kinda great. And I’m happy to have found my own personal way to create space for a “Mary Heart” in a “Martha world”.