I turned 40 this week! On the 16th December to be precise. I spent a lot of time pondering the milestone as it approached over the last few weeks, and the significance of the event.
I was also very blessed this week to touch base with my friend, Heidi, and some of her family, who I've known since kindergarten, and we've kept touch over the years. It's incredible to realize in this transient world that we've been friends for 36 years, despite me being a homebody and she a world traveller. We all caught up together on the 12th- her 40th- so it was lovely to share such a major milestone together... I celebrated last Sunday after church with my extended family, sharing a birthday celebration with my eldest daughter, who was 6 (Is she 6 already?) on the 11th December. My Mum bought a huge passionfruit sponge cake iced in white chocolate icing- Mmmmmm!!!!
I don't "feel" 40... Maybe being a wife and Mama to a relatively young family keeps me young at heart. And while it "sounds" old, I'm reminded that my maternal grandmother looked stunning at 40 and had her 4th child soon after.
I'm also reminded that one of my favourite actresses, Greer Garson (Yes, I'm into old movies!) made her best known films in her 40's including Goodbye, Mr Chips, Random Harvest, and Mrs Miniver where she was the epitomy not only of style, but noble womanhood.
In the Bible 40 has also had a special significance, it denotes testing, a training period, and preparation. During Noah's flood it rained for 40 days and 40 nights. The Israelites wandered in the wilderness for 40 years. Moses was in the deserts of Midian for 40 years, and also spent 40 days on the mountain with the Lord. Jesus was tempted by Satan for 40 days in the wilderness.
In the Bible, 40 years also represents a generation. There was a 40 year span between Christ's crucifixion and the destruction of Jerusalem. So in my life, I see 40 as very significant. I hope to age gracefully, as my husband and I raise our children in the fear and admonition of the Lord.
For us, as women, the Bible is clear on our roles:
1 TIM 2:9-15 In like manner also, that women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with shamefacedness and sobriety; not with broided hair, or gold, or pearls or costly array;
But (which becometh women professing godliness) with good works.
Let the woman learn in silence with all subjection.
But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence.
For Adam was first formed , then Eve.
And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the transgression.
Notwithstanding she shall be saved in childbearing, if they continue in faith and charity and holiness with sobriety.
1 TIM 3:11 Even so must their wives be grave, not slanderers, sober, faithful in all things.
1 TIM 5:9-10, 14 Let not a widow be taken into the number under threescore years old, having been the wife of one man,
Well reported of for good works; if she have brought up children, if she have lodged strangers, if she have washed the saint's feet, if she have relieved the afflicted, if she have diligently followed every good work.
I will therefore that the younger women marry, bear children, guide the house, give none occasion to the adversary to speak reproachfully.
And of course the mentoring role of a Titus 2 woman:
TITUS 2 :3-5 The aged women likewise, that they be in behaviour as becometh holiness, not false accusers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things;
That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children,
To be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed.
I feel I've reached a personal Renaissance in my own life, as the Lord continues to mold me into His Image. I see a time ahead of renewed learning, as I homeschool our 6 year old in the coming year, and a time of greater creativity, as I begin to dust off my very dormant sewing skills to make things for our family. There are so many books to read, hymns to learn, people to touch as the Lord brings them across my path. I pray that I'll be able to continue to live life to the full, living each day to the glory of God, serving Christ the King.
Here is a photo of Heidi and I in front of our Christmas tree, taken on her birthday, when our families caught up together. (I'm the brunette in the headband!)
Labels: Christian Fellowship, Milestones