Aging Gracefully: Revisited.

[Special thanks to this video for teaching me how to embed video. Finally!]

Women. Aging. Beauty. Security.

I was really touched by all the feedback that came in from ya`ll on these subjects.

Thanks to Elizabeth Savino Nye for featuring me on her gorgeous blog. And also for getting me a feature with Momaroo. I appreciate it so much.

A few of you said, “I`d like to talk more on this subject”. I agree.

(It`s a metaphor. ;))

I want to too. I also want to say, I am not, hahaha, a teacher, or trying to be one. I just like to share what`s on my heart and what I like to think about. You never have to agree with me. I feel privileged just to be heard.

So now I will randomly share what things have brought me to think on this in the way I have.

Raising little girls. I have 2 girls. If I, the mother, don`t know who I *am* in life, and am unsure of what image I want to portray, I think it`s going to be pretty hard for me to teach my growing girls: (gruff voice) to stand up for what they believe, and BE A CONFIDENT, HEALTHY TEENAGER.

The things all mother`s want for their girls.

This was illustrated to me the other day. It happened as I was standing at my “readying myself” dresser in my room.

I`m not a huge make-up wearer, but I go to quite a few MK parties, and since MK make-up lasts a good year for me, I do have a pretty vast spread of “pretties/make-up/ lotions/what-not”.

Well, my gear was just a mess spread out all over the top of my dresser and Elle was there, watching me get ready. She LOVES this kind of thing and she gets a little magical eyed when either of us get ready and she can in any way touch any of my things.

She had her palm spread out like a bat, waved it slowly over the top of my “spread” and said,

“MOM. Why do you need ALL of this things?”

(Yeah, her grammar is funny)

And I, feeling witty, said,

“Because mommy is old, and she needs ALL OF THIS THINGS to make herself pretty!”.

I said that!

It took 1 second to go from feeling witty, to feeling like a very bad example. So then, to cover my tracks, I hugged her and said,

“You know only Jesus can make us pretty, right? What really matters is how pretty mommy and Elle are on the inside!”

Pretty generic teaching we crank out over here.

She kind of ignored me, because I don`t really think she knows what it means, plus I say it too much. Then I realized, I have to stop saying it so much, and just live it to her. When she is 16, she`ll KNOW if her mom really believes all that cliche with her whole heart.

so yeah, that.

Who wins? And then, just thoughts like: Ok, so why every time when you hear of a sweet old couple (think waitressing days customer) that tells you PROUDLY, ”

“We`ve been married 65 year today!”

The wife never looks like a Barbie or a silicone trophy wife. I mean never. The couple usually looks very much like this: (Is it me or do most old couples have that same “look”?)

I`m not trying to profile or anything. I just really love to use visuals to give a better idea of what I mean.

Isn`t there just so much to love about this old couple? The way their shoulders are pressed together. They aren`t crawling all over eachother with PDA, but they still want to touch, to feel the presence of the other one. The way she has her hair in that pretty up-do and took the time to add a white (not sure what it is). She is OLDER, but she obviously still feels/desires lovely. Also, the way the gent`s hair is longer and wavy in the back. Back when, he was probably a strong, handsome man with a thatch of ravenous, curly hair, it was one of her favorite things about him. But now, most of the hair is gone, but he keeps that lower acre hardy– in memory of the rest.

But my point it– maybe we shouldn`t assume our husbands truly pine for a trophy wife after all. Barbie isn`t the real winner. The woman above is. Something about her… lasts.

Men are visual. Speaking of men. We have come to my next point. We say, “Men are visual” and they are! But I think when women hear that they hear,

“As a man, I truly desire a supermodel, or a Barbie would work as well, for a wife.”

When I think they really might mean, they want a secure and happy wife, that cares for her own soul/mind/body. She showers and smells nice. Even though it`s costly, sometimes her underwear is new and it doesn`t always scream, “I`m a mom!”. She has quiet time with God, so she isn`t yelling at her kids all day. She thinks about what she puts in her mouth, because she wants to feel healthy– not to stave off insecurity. She keeps her nails nice and her hair shiny. She embraces her curves, and is comfy with who she is. She embraces her thin frame, and embraces who she is. She shaves her legs. And sometimes, if her butt is too big– she starts working on it. I once heard a friend say,

“My husband doesn`t even care if my butt never gets smaller. He just likes to see that I care and am trying.”

But I could be way off. And in case you want to know, I`m sitting here on a week night: the hair so isn`t shiny and I need a shower. The reminders above, are for me.

Sometimes, I don`t know why we are so hard on the guys. I mean, none of us ladies want a greasy, lazy, couch potato husband– but neither are we asking for, (or wanting), a ripped Fabio or a casually dressed A-lister named George Clooney. We just want a guy that cares and tries. Same, same.

I don`t know what your husband`s dynamics are either. I once heard a girl I knew say,

“I know my husband loves my body, but I`m not sure he loves me.”

or another one,

“When I walk into a room of women, I always look first to be sure I`m not the fattest woman in the room. I can`t help it!”

Insecurities. You know, so, the pain in all this, is so real for a LOT of women. I know our “weak” areas… or areas of pain… or insecurity… vary from woman to woman, but we all have them. Insecurities. (Repeat that 20 times.) That one thing that screams at me when I look in the mirr0r.

I have no answers, but I just want to get you thinking– (and teaching me in the comments.)

And I guess, I just think if we struggle with these things now, how do they manifest themselves as we grow older, and we have little women modeling after us?

Visual role models. One last thing I wanted to comment on was: I have really come to believe in the power of a mature, visual, role model. I know we do this for Godly character traits, so why don`t we do it with outward appearance too? It does to some extent tie together, I realize, but for real, pick a lovely older women that looks like what you desire, and follow her “look”. I love looking at fashion, and the occasional People magazine, and that`s definitely shaping the way I view what I think looks good, so why not send in some healthy vibes to mind file: Beauty 101?

Oddness. You might find it odd, but when I got ready for a breakfast brunch this morning I THOUGHT OF the 2 women in my last post (2nd picture), and I got a wide, thin, grey scarf  and tied it in the way they both have theirs tied. I felt the way they looked a little. And right then, when I wore that scarf, BOOM, they were outward appearance role models to me. It`s funny how fast that happens…

My points don`t go together and I don`t have answers, only thoughts, but I did want to leave you with a comment from Gloria, that was so precious. She said,

“I’m a firm believer in beauty shifting…..not fading.

While I have a long way to go, when I think of who I was at 20 something, I feel certain I’m a more beautiful person today than I was back then!”

Isn`t that JUST AWESOME!

And this:

Titus 2: 3-5…

Likewise, teach the older women to be reverent in the way they live, not to be slanderers or addicted to much wine, but to teach what is good.

Then they can train the younger women to love their husbands and children,

To be self-controlled and pure, to be busy at home, to be kind, and to be subject to their husbands, so that no one will malign the word of God.

~~~

Getting off my writing butt, and going to take my girls on a walk! I don`t want to but… 😉

YOUR THOUGHTS! Jenny

(2061 Galen and Jenny)

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16 Comments

  1. momto9 says:

    What a beautiful beautiful post with such healing in its words! Thank you for posting this!

  2. Amber says:

    I needed this today, Jenny. Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts. I have alot swirling in my head, I’ll have to think a while and come back. 🙂

  3. Cindy Fox says:

    jenny, i loved it all!!! THANK you for taking the time to share your thoughts, again! good stuff! -cindy

  4. drusilla says:

    I just love your writing on this subject…I think its sad how the guys get hammered about their sexuality when its really the WAY God made them,True it can be a good or bad thing, the same way we as women are more emotional, that also can be a good or bad thing..But I feel if we can grasp what it is that our men really desire it can be so freeing(is that a word?:) Its something we are going through in our girls youth Bible study and I’m trying to portray a healthy view of this very subject, not the twisted view that alot of people think/teach…anyways thanks for putting your thoughts out there…:)

  5. Bevy says:

    Wow! I love all of your thoughts, here. I would agree with so much of what you said. And I loved what you wrote about the first couple (photo) the gentleman and his hair. that’s great.

    One book (part of my thoughts) I would reccomend to any single lady readers, out there who are reading here…. is this… (one I LOVED and learned so much from as a single myself – back in the day)

    Lady in Waiting by Jackie Kendall (and I can’t remember if there is a second author). I had a copy of it (obviously) and loaned it out and never got it back and that was years ago. But the book made a profound impact on me as I was a “lady in waiting”…

    It’s an excellent easy read.

  6. Heidi says:

    Loved this post! A few things you said really hit home…

    And I especially loved the verses you put at the end. Verse 5 just resounded with me, it’s something that has been so heavy on my heart the last year or so and it just so hits home. Again, LOVE it!

  7. Andrea Esh says:

    Ok, so this topic is very confusing to me. I don’t really know what I think about beauty. I really react to the thought that I “have” to be beautiful for my husband. I know that I feel more pressure with clothes and outword stuff from other ladies than from Gene.
    And what you said to Elle, about her inside being pretty, I repeat that to Elena all the time, especially when she prances and shimmies in front of the mirror (often).
    It’s interesting to me that when the Bible mentions beauty, it often comes with a warning.
    Lots of good thought you had–I read it about two seconds after you posted it this morning, but thought it would be a little eager beaver to write a response right away, PLUS I wanted to let it stew awhile.

    • Jenny says:

      yessssss. i wrote something controversial!
      i actually agree with you. i react a little to it as well. really, you have no idea how awful i look some days when i greet G at the door…
      i actually didnt post this for over a week because i was a little concerned i was being a hypocrite.
      i
      ok screaming kid at my elbow…

  8. Ruth says:

    When I read the part about Elle & your makeup, I remembered something I read somewhere. It was something like this. To a little girl, her mother is the most beautiful woman in the world. When she sees her mother moaning over a muffin top(not the baked kind) or laugh lines, she starts to think that what she believes is beautiful might not be beautiful. I don’t have daughters, but I do have nieces and I try really hard not to complain about my body in front of them. I don’t want them to grow up thinking that it is ok and even normal for a woman to hate her body. I also want them to be able to see beauty as diverse in shape, color, and age without the world (and me) telling them that you have to be thin and perfect to be pretty.

  9. Melody says:

    Jenny, I have to laugh/cry so much at some of things you say. You are so honest and true to life. I have loved reading your thoughts of these last 2 posts and I think its some good quality stuff to keep in mind. Any *good* man would rather have a beautiful-on-the inside woman who works on/cares about the outside than a beautiful-on-the outside woman who doesn’t care about the inside. Thanks for your insights! Love it!

  10. alyssa w says:

    Really enjoyed these last 2 posts…. we as females judge ourselves/our bodies way to much….. at least i do!! loved all your thoughts here.

  11. Jessica says:

    Love it, good for me after a day of cleaning out my closet. Trying to decide whether to keep those skirts that are a sz too small, embrace the softer me, or knuckle down and do something about it…..such a battle. How I want to grow into that secure, happy, confident woman that makes others feel at peace because I know who I am. Thanks for the thoughts that challenge me.

  12. carmen says:

    Good stuff Jenny! I love this subject. As I grow older, I find it a challenge to accept what goes along with it. But, I so badly want to do it gracefully and not be the “wanna be in my 20’s or 30’s look, when in actually nearing 50”. I really despise seeing this! But, I can see why it can happen.

    Here’s the tension I find myself in. God created beauty, and it’s not wrong to do what we can to create beauty if it doesn’t distract from the Creator. I wear some makeup and cover my gray, and I feel like it helps me feel better as a person (outwardly) and actually I think it also does something for me inwardly. I feel more confident and at rest. I pray to God it’s not in a vain way. I’m not looking for glamour, but for a naturally feminine and God honoring beauty….even as I enter my 40’s. Also for my husband too! =) So, I really don’t want to look like a “wanna be”, but allow my age marks to show and embrace this time of my life with joy. I don’t think I have to let it all “hang out” to show that I’m okay with my age, but do what I can and leave the rest. I love Gloria’s comment…. beauty shifting not fading! YAY!

    We’ll have to talk more about this tomorrow. Is it gonna rain?

  13. lisa says:

    i think the answer is in finding the way to gracefully aging in your heart and soul. then the softness, the dignity, the joy, the passion, the experiences, the enjoyment for life will show on the outside…in the way we take care and pride in our appearance. out of respect for ourselves. for God. for our husband. for our children and what we want to show them.
    and just like each of us has a unique and beautiful soul, what the outside looks like and what we do about how it looks will vary hugely. but there will be true beauty.
    so, maybe i should go brush my teeth before i wax tooooo philosophical tho???

  14. Marie Mullet says:

    Enjoyed your thoughts. Oh to have a lady’s tea!! I enjoyed the old couple pictures since it seems I am a bit more on the “golden” side of life than the dark haired beauty. Would love to meet sometime. If you need an inside scoop of me you can talk to Joann. 🙂

  15. Lynnelle says:

    love to hear your (and everyone else’s) thoughts on this topic. It’s been a good read!

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