I was asked this question last week, a few days before my birthday.

Are you old enough for the senior’s discount?

This was the second time in two weeks this question has come up. Must be the gray, boring sweater I’ve been wearing!! Or the wispy white hairs starting to appear…okay, they’ve been there a while!! I’ve been surprised by the questions but not disheartened because I finally decided what I want to be when I grow up…

I want to be an “old” person.

I often find myself in the company of senior citizens. And some day soon I will be wearing that label.

I have fond memories of drinking buttermilk and eating sliced apples with Grandpa & Grandma Lynk, although it was Grandpa Lynk who gave me and my sisters the buttermilk. Now that I think about it, Grandma was no where to be found when the carton of buttermilk was pulled out of the frig. Probably watching the gameshow Concentration or playing the piano. With salt sprinkled on the frothy top of the thick, sour ice-cold milk , it went down smooth. I”m sure the only reason I endured this white sludge was I wanted to be with Grandpa…the only time I use it today is for baking. Blecch!!!

Many Sunday nights we visited Grandpa and Grandma Nicholson, eating ice cream with saltines crunched on top. Grandma  was brave to let little girls eat ice cream in china bowls, which I inherited.

Throughout highschool and college I would rather eat Zeno’s pizza with my parents and their friends. Could be there weren’t many my age who knew how to have fun. Hanging out with the “old” people was where the action was. Rob and I got married with our first pastorate full of wonderful people old enough to be our parents and grandparents. Yes,we were quite young when we married. We gained much encouragement from retired pastors and their wives in three churches we pastored.

Today I look up to those who have chosen to not waste their life and continue to serve the Lord.  I have many white haired relatives and friends who don’t sit still very long spending countless hours serving the Lord they love at church, in soup kitchens, working with kids in AWANA or keeping a full schedule speaking about Jesus and marriage. My parents were and are examples of how to live daily reaching out to others. My mom keeps a busier schedule than I do and if you know my age, you can guess hers, cuz I’m not telling!!  Day in and day out  I see many keeping up with those who are 20 years younger. I struggle to find a word that honors them, but they certainly are my role model.

Recently I asked Jani Ortlund how to navigate living far away from loved ones, especially adult children and grandchildren. She was gracious to respond with ways to keep in touch, ways to spend time and especially how to pray for our far-flung families. What struck me the most was the fact she and her pastor/husband will retire in four years from the pastorate and work full-time with Renewal Ministries at 70 years old.

This is the birthday I made a decision of who I want to be when I grow up.