Devotional: Growing Up~Aging Gracefully In Christ

John 15:5
“I am the Vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing.

2 Peter 3:18
But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To Him be glory both now and for ever. Amen.

When Jonathan had his 50th birthday party last year, the kids helped me do the preparations while he was preoccupied with his granddaughter. Brittney was in charge of arranging different pictures I pulled out of Jonathan, showing him at different stages of his life, stretching from his boyhood all the way to a family photo with our own grown children, son-in-law and first grandchild.

I enjoy going through photos and seeing how people have changed. It is a tad bitter-sweet because there’s a realization how fast time has gone and that the kids have really grown into adults themselves! My mom’s favorite saying was “The older you get, the faster time goes”. I am starting to see that.

Every now and then when we can catch one another at home, Courtney will Skype with us and we get a chance to “talk” to Katherine. Although sometimes we do this more than once a week, it is amazing when we actually SEE her in person, how much she has actually developed. She will be two soon and it seems like yesterday we were on a plane to Washington to see that little infant, shortly after birth.

In two weeks our oldest will turn 25! Our child, a 1/4 of a century! That baby doll was just out on the t-ball field not too long ago with a tiny little ball cap and red glove, ready for action, playing her heart out for the “RAISINS”! Now she works as an editor for her alma mater, on special projects with college bowl games and creates apps.

I can just see Courtney, now 23, dressed as a beautiful little angel for the Christmas pageant. Her sparkling blue eyes were so sweet with that white robe and halo! Now she balances being an Army sergeant, working on her degree, while she and her husband care for their (almost) two year old and another on the way.

The funniest thing (which wasn’t so much at the time) is that our son Charles was a speed crawler! Yes, it seems as though that would be a given to enter him into a CRAWLING CONTEST, wouldn’t it! ON YOUR MARK, GET SET… GO…GO.. GO!!!! That child did not MOVE from the start line! We have the photo of him just sitting there! Now he rarely wants to stay still and is studying physical therapy, a career involving movement.

Okay, hopefully I can weave this together before it sounds like a “Christmas letter”!

Certainly some of you have already been very busy out in your gardens already. I know there are some things that are not ready to plant yet, but I bet there are some flowers and vegetables already starting to grow!

The Lord plants seeds in our hearts, spirits and minds and they are nourished by fellowship with Him and studying His Word.

Like our plants, if we take care of what He sows, good bounty or beauty will be the result. As our children mature and develop right before our eyes, it may be easier for others to recognize our growth. Questioning as to whether you show signs of maturation is not a bad idea, as long as the quest is not motivated by pride and wanting to hear what a great person you are or what wonderful works you do! Ask a friend you can trust, if they can recognize evidence of a godly life in you.

Keep watering and nourishing what the Lord has planted. As long as I keep my plants healthy and act responsibly, they will grow and what they produce will make me glad. I’m not talking about missing the sentimentality of their youth, but haven’t you enjoyed watching your children grow, mature and learn? Don’t you think it pleases our Father to watch His children do likewise?

prayer

Merciful Father
Master Gardener, sowing seeds of Truth

Please accept our praise for all You do for us every day
So we can grow in grace and knowledge

You are our loving Lord
Who has shown us in Scripture
How those before us
Blossomed into beautiful believers

Please give us wisdom to use the instructions You’ve given
To care for what You’ve planted
Holy God

We want to sprout into a pleasing garden for You!
May our taste be flavorful, the sight of us be a colorful and delightful reflection of Christ and our aroma be sweet to Your nostrils

In the Name of our Glorious Lord Jesus
AMEN

Song
This Is My Father’s World

credits: God the Father, Jesus, Holy Spirit, Scripture
chapters and verses from the Word
encouraging words from the Lord, family and friends
experiences of my own, family and friends
ability and opportunity to share God’s Word
google, youtube, biblegateway, biblehub, kingjamesbibleonline

About voicevessel bwc

First, and most importantly, I love Jesus Christ and I trust in Him as my Lord and Savior. I was raised in a Christian home by a godly dad and mom (who planned and had me in July before turning 42 in August), and 5 older siblings. My father passed away when I was 7 and my mother (who went to be with the Lord in 2005 at 81) never remarried. As a child, I was bullied at school, so I did not have many friends. I didn't want to tell my mom this because I knew she had enough worry being a widow at 50. I know what it is like to be lonely. As an adult, God showed me the value of His Friendship and has blessed me, too, with rich relationships with dear friends who also love the Lord. My husband and I (married 31 years as of 2020), have three wonderful, adult children and son-in-law as well as three darling grandchildren. Along with many others, my husband lost his job, but we refuse to be fearful or angry. The Lord has provided for us and we are so thankful for the opportunity to express gratitude through personal contact and occasional memories I share through writing. I believe the Lord has given me a venue to engage with others and a means to share His Word. Thank you for checking out my page. I hope you enjoy what you read. If there is anything positive or insightful in the devotionals (NOT CALLING MY WRITING "INSPIRED" by any means!), I give all credit and glory to Jesus Christ! On the other side of that, when something makes no sense, that's all me
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