AGING WITH A PLAN – PART V – 90 & UP

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Nonagenarians now represent 4.7 percent of the 65-and-older US population, compared to 2.8 percent in 1980.  The U.S. Census Bureau has estimated that by 2050, the number of those living beyond 90 years will quadruple.

By the time we reach that age, we may have lost our spouse, other family members and most of our friends.  We most like will have some disability which takes away much of our freedom.  Driving a car is usually out of the question, although I know several folks who continue to drive at this age.  They are less likely to be texting or drinking while driving, but their reflexes aren’t what they used to be.

When you live until 90 and beyond, the body no longer produces new cells to replace the old ones, so at this age you are slowly dying.  There are options for those with need of memory care.  Many facilities are now offering activities that challenge the memory and often those who love music will be stimulated by the sound of a piano playing.  Those who have forgotten members of their family can be reminded through old photographs, stories from the past and more contact with family members.  Anything that keeps the mind active is critical at this point in life.  Our bodies may be falling apart, but if our minds are sound, we can live for a long time.

When we’re without a spouse or friends to rely on, many in this age bracket realize the need for moving out of the supposed comfort of their homes into a community of people with similar needs.  I believe that most people thrive on other people.  When we isolate ourselves, we lose interest in life.  If we were socially active in our younger years, chances our we’ll want that in our aging years.

Many people do very well in nursing homes or assisted living facilities for that very reason.  Activity directors are constantly looking for new things for their residents to be involved in.  My mother in law spent almost the last twenty years of her life in a care facility and loved it.  There are those who simply think this is the end of their lives and give up.  You will see them lined up in their wheel chairs with no desire to go on.

My sister had a great idea for senior living places.  She thought it would be fun to have a wine and cheese bar during the cocktail hour.  I’d take it a step further and provide entertainment from among the residents. I think there are many hidden actors lurking behind those dear, aging bodies.

Since we are living longer in the United States, we need to make the most of those years.  God still can use us, no matter what our age.  It’s up to us to find a way to continue sharing our talents and wisdom for His glory, until we take our last breath.

“Old age is when the liver spots show through your gloves.” Phyllis Diller

 

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COLOR BLIND

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ART & POETRY BY PAUL & KATHY BOECHER©

Deer are color blind,

All they can see is  black or white?

When the hunting season begins and hunters don their bright, blaze orange,

They become just a mass of white, woven into the landscape,

Wouldn’t it be grand if humanity could take off the blinders,

Throw away their bias and indifference towards one another,

To become blind to the variety of colors in the races,

To see each other as part of a huge tapestry,

Of interwoven threads,

Each an integral part of the greater picture,

The one which unfolds each day,

With people unconcerned about skin tones,

Simply working together to create a beautiful piece of art called life,

Wouldn’t it be grand if we were color blind,

When we look at others.

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UNITED IN CHRIST

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There’s been division of races, ethnicity, social class, political views and even in our religious beliefs throughout history.  Looking back before our founding, the Native American was looked upon as a savage by the early explorers.  These foreigners may have said they were there to convert them to Christianity, but more likely their greed overtook them and they plundered and ravaged this noble race until they had nothing.

The slave trade was well underway in the 1400s and we all know the horrors of the abuse and humiliation this race suffered. They helped build a strong industrial nation for their white counterparts and fought alongside them in war after war to preserve the rights of the constitution.

After Pearl Harbor, nearly 120,000 Japanese Americans were sent to internment camps simply because of their race and heritage.  Nearly 60% were already United States citizens who had built thriving businesses.

These are all ugly reminders of the disgrace faced by every American.  The sins of the fathers seem to continue well beyond the third and fourth generations.  Wouldn’t it be great if we could just wash away all that prejudice and hate? Our consciences could finally feel free from blame – even though we were not personally responsible for the injustice.

God doesn’t look at individuals in this way.  Each life that He creates is important – whether they are black, red, yellow, white – He made us and knew what we would be long before we were a glint in our father’s eye.  He loves each one of us the same.

When we become part of His family, through Jesus, we are set free from the bondage of this world.  Those ugly sins of the past have been washed away and we’re forgiven.  Therefore we have become a new creation.  We are united not only in our beliefs, but in our love for one another.

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LAID LOW

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ORIGINAL ART & POETRY BY PAUL & KATHY BOECHER©

Your hand reaches down and touches the vastness of creation,

Within your hand is the power to carve into mountains and establish flowage for the water,

In your voice is majesty and steadfastness,

With one word from you, all the angels bow in humility,

Your breath inspires us to speak your words,

Your eyes watch over all within your omnipotent sight,

Not a word or action goes unnoticed,

Not a prayer goes unheard,

Your ever presence comforts and protects us,

The mountains lay low at the sound of your voice,

You command water to spring from barren land and it heeds,

You say the word and your will is done, in spite of us,

Where can we hide from you?

Why would we try?

You created this place for us, but we have c0rrupted it,

You placed the sun, moon and stars in the heaven to bring us light,

We have polluted it with our sin,

Still you love us,

Still you will do anything for us,

Still you are a loving Father,

A sanctuary, a prince of peace and Lord of Lords,

Let me run to you instead of away,

Lead my steps to you instead of the world’s path,

Give me confidence that your way is the only one.

Let me rest in your unfailing love.

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AGING WITH A PLAN – PART IV – OCTOGENARIAN – 80-90

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You are now part of an elite group of survivors.  The ages between 80 and 90 are reserved for those who still have much to give the world or those who have been filled with new parts that won’t give up.  Anyone who lives this long deserves a medal. By most standards, I have a good chance of making it.

All of us are told to live clean and healthy lives – limited alcohol, no smoking, don’t do drugs, staying in shape, don’t overeat or indulge in excess.  Everyone of us has strayed from the rules over time, yet if we manage to stay alive through our 80s, we also have modern science to thank.  Be honest folks.  If you haven’t sown of few wild oats in your life by this time, you aren’t part of the human race.  Even if our lives have been stained by years of abuse, there’s hope for each one of us.

Eventually our stamina gives out.  We may have new hips, restored knees, a replaced heart, but we’re not dead yet. I love that famous line of Monty Python’s.  We may look like we’re ready for the grave, but if we breathe and have a heart beat, we’re still alive.

If you’ve planned for your retirement years, you can maintain your health, eat right, join a health club, continue to be an asset to society.  Oneta Hayes over at Sweet Aroma keeps her mind sharp and fills Word Press with words of encouragement. She continues going strong in her 80s.

Sagging is common to every Octogenarian.  Skin has lost its elasticity.  We bruise easily.  Our bones have become fragile, due to Osteoporosis.  Many have survived life draining diseases. We fill our bodies with supplements, prescription drugs and the object of every cure for whatever ails us.  We are easily scammed.  We aren’t used to technology and still use the written word, even though our handwriting has become undecipherable.  We try to make it through the day without a nap, but like our infant counterparts, we need more sleep. It isn’t unusual to fall asleep in mid-sentence.

On the other hand, if our minds are still sharp, we can overcome great odds  We can still do crossword puzzles or outdo anyone on Wheel of Fortune.  We have a plethora of stories to tell from an abundance of time spent on earth.  If the Holy Spirit has nourished us through the study of the Bible, we can do amazing things.  You also have an eternity to look forward to which will far outshine this one.  You are ready for heaven now more than ever,  but you may have something more to offer this world.

It’s all part of a greater plan, designed by God Himself.  Each of us is part of that master plan and God’s work is being done through us.  No matter what our age, if God is at the center of it, we can’t lose.

“Life is like a ten speed bicycle. Most of us have gears we never use.” 

Charles M. Schultz

 

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THE ROAD HOME

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ORIGINAL ART & INSPIRATION FROM PAUL & KATHY BOECHER©

These last years of aging swell into an endless swirl of emotions,

We can’t seem to pull ourselves out of sadness, depression or anxiety,

There is only one way to eliminate those destructive feelings,

But how do you harness the sun and capture the magnificence of its light?

God is the source,

Some have tried to manage the physical light that encompasses them,

Some struggle to bring illumination back into their lives by setting goals & dreaming dreams,

Some never find it,

Some are filled to the brim with it,

Some will continue to spend their lives searching for it,

God is the source,

He created light from darkness – it was His first creation,

Separating the night from day – setting time into place,

He controls the sun, the moon and stars,

He lights the world with His radiance,

He is the source,

When the world seems so ugly and dark,

When it seems that nothing will ever be bright again,

When the darkness of sin has penetrated every aspect of our daily living,

Turn to the Creator,

His light shines brightly through His Word,

When we let Him, He shines through us,

Leading others to the flame of His truth,

He is the source,

Which allows your light to continue to shine.

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AGING WITH A PLAN – PART III ADDENDUM

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HOW TO STAY ACTIVE DURING THE SEVENTH DECADE IN LIFE

  • Get out of bed each morning with a prayer of thanksgiving that you made it through another night.
  • Exercise – If you’re my age, exercise consists of the act of getting out of bed – but you can take it a step further.  The real challenge is reaching for things that are too high, or thinking of more than one thing to do while you’re down on the floor.  These can be your stretches.  As you go through the day, keep track of your steps with one of those fancy new contraptions.  You’d be surprised how quickly those three or four steps add up. Lay on your back for half an hour.  This is called planking.  The truth is, your body is going to resist any kind of physical activity at this age.  You have to push through that resistance and give it a shot at least.
  • Eat right – My philosophy on dieting at this age is not to bother.  I’ve spent most of my life on diets and none of them seem to work.  I firmly believe that if you don’t have diabetes or heart problems, you should eat what you like.  You don’t have many years left to enjoy life so you might as well make the most of it.  I love food, therefore I eat.
  • Stay positive – It’s easy for us to sit around and feel sorry for ourselves.  If we let this happen we are dooming ourselves to a non-existent existence.  Most folks our age feel they have the right to be grumpy.  After all the world owes them, right?  Actually the world owes us nothing.  We owe those we come into contact with a pleasant experience.  If we want to be treated with respect and honor, we need to treat others in the same way.
  • Find a hobby or get a job –  Quitting your job isn’t easy.  Especially if you enjoyed the work you did while in the work force.  When you retire you don’t have to give up completely.  If you do, you are cutting a piece of your life out of the picture and you work is what defined you as you passed through your middle years.  You can consider being a free land consultant, assist as a volunteer in your field, continue working as long as you’re physically able, or share your wisdom with the younger generation.  If you don’t want to work anymore, think of places to travel.  It can be a one hour drive in the country and a picnic with your spouse or a trip to Europe, depending on your budget.
  • Stop thinking so much about death – During this time of life our friends are dropping like flies.  It’s hard to avoid the subject, but if you’re constantly thinking about dying, you don’t have time to enjoy the rest of your living.  God still has a purpose for us even as we approach the age of 80.
  • Stay involved in the community.  People are always looking for volunteers.  Being with others is critical to your well being.  Isolation is not an option.
  • Slow down and smell the roses – You’ve worked hard all your life  You’ve seen success and you’ve endured failure. Our bodies naturally slow down at this age, so let the aging process happen and embrace the fact that you’ve made it this far.

A lot of what I’ve listed above is a bit tongue in cheek, but I feel humor plays an important role in the aging process.  My maternal grandmother lived through the death of five of her children as well as her husband.  She died at age 76, because she felt her purpose in life was over.  She died of heart failure.  Until her death, she still maintained her sense of humor.  We never lose our purpose.  God has wonderful things in store for us beyond the grave, but we also have the rest of our lives to make the most of.

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WRESTLING WITH GOD

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We can learn so much from the Old Testament stories taught in Sunday school. I always had trouble with the one about Jacob wrestling with God. It seemed hard to understand why anyone would want to fight with God when you know that He’s always going to win.

A few years ago I was watching a PBS show about Helen of Troy and they talked about the history of the sport of wrestling and things finally came together for me. The Greeks wrestled, not to hurt one another, but so that one of the two would submit to the other and finally give in.

Maybe this is what the story of Jacob and his battle with God is all about. We go about our daily lives, trying to plan our futures and control all that life throws at us. It isn’t an easy road all the time. Still we try to stand on our own two feet and stay on top.

God invited Jacob to wrestle with Him when He appeared to Jacob as a man. The struggle continued all night, but in the end, God was the victor. The wrestling was an opportunity for Jacob to submit to God’s will for his life, so he was a winner too. By sustaining the injury to his hip, Jacob was also reminded that his earthly struggles would be painful at times.

The fight can go on for a long time too and we may never understand why we have to go through it. When life seems hopeless by our standards, it’s good to know that by submitting (allowing Him to do what is best for us) to God’s will, we will gain the victory.

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GRAPES

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PAINTING “GRAPES ON A WIRE,” By Paul Boecher ©

“And another angel came out from the altar, the angel who has authority over the fire, and he called with a loud voice to the one who had the sharp sickle, “Put in your sickle and gather the clusters from the vine of the earth, for its grapes are ripe.” So the angel swung his sickle across the earth and gathered the grape harvest of the earth and threw it into the great winepress of the wrath of God. And the winepress was trodden outside the city, and blood flowed from the winepress, as high as a horse’s bridle, for 1,600 stadia.” 

Revelation 14:18-20  ESV

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Watercolor painting – ‘LUSCIOUS FRUIT,” by Kathy Boecher

 

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AGING WITH A PLAN – PART III – 70 to 80

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A commercial came out recently showing people in their 70s and 80s still in the workplace.  There’s the fireman who weighs about 80 pounds, trying to handle a gigantic fire hose.  We see an elder woman as a DJ while another entertains as a lounge singer. A fairly fit man runs alongside Baywatch types as a lifeguard on the beach.  The thought of oldsters still working at this time is astonishing to the younger generation.  Soon they’ll be walking in our shoes.

Since turning 70, we’ve attended more funerals than I care to think about. Our friends are all beginning to look si old. The mail we get now has to do with cemetery plots, will preparation and opting for cremation. Death is the final chapter of life on this earth and most of us resist it with all our hearts. Those of us who still have our memories, want to share our story with others. We feel we have something important yet to say or do. Somehow, the elderly have been pigeon holed into their own category – “over the hill,” close to “pushing up daisies” and not useful anymore.

We require more sleep. We may need help getting around. Some lose their ability to live alone and require constant attention. When the aged are moved to nursing homes it’s like the end of living for many. They’re now confined to one room. They can’t cook their own meals or tie their own shoes. They’re encouraged to participate in games and other activities, but they don’t find real joy in any of those things. They give up, but it doesn’t have to be that way.

I believe exercising  our minds, just like we exercise our bodies is essential during this decade. Any kind of activity that challenges brain work, requires memory focus, makes one think spontaneously is really important. As a senior approaching the next decade in a few years, I hope to start a drama program for folks 60 and up. In my opinion this activity covers all those things. You have to be prepared, memorize, be ready to improvise, learn about your character and many other things which is like doing push ups with your brain. It also gets you on your feet and moving.

Blending the older generation with the young can also beneficial to both. The wisdom of the elderly can help the youngsters understand things going on in their lives. The youngsters can help their elders understand the new technology and share some of the things they love to do.  It’s  a different kind of heart condition that many in this age group concern themselves with.  It allows you to give the best of yourself. If we’re going through serious illness or disability, we can’t be involved as we’d like to be, but we can still keep other in our prayers.

I sort of dread turning 80, because it used to seem like the age of endings. I wonder how much longer I have on this planet. I wonder how much worse the state of the world can get. I don’t understand how things have turned upside down in just my lifetime. Then I realize how eager I am to finish this journey and start a new one.   It’s just the prologue to a new beginning – one that will last to eternity.

“My comfort is that old age, that ill layer of beauty can do no more spoil upon my face.”  William Shakespeare – HENRY V

COMING NEXT – How do you stay involved in life during the seventh decade?

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WHERE LIFE LEADS

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ART & POETRY BY PAUL & KATHY BOECHER©

originally posted on January 16, 2015

Childish memories drift through the valleys and crevices of my brain,

Stored treasures from my youth come forth with such a loud refrain,

I sometimes think no mountain is too tall,

and then I stumble and I fall,

The bumps along the road will not deter me,

I will not cave to age and feeble fears,

I may not have the strength or hope to save me,

But I have someone drying all my tears,

Though life may quickly run its fitful race,

The Lord is right there in my place,

He lifts me up when I grow weary – carries me when I grow weak,

He clears the way though dark and dreary – even when it seems too bleak,

Life can last until a hundred, but minds revert to things long passed,

Childish thoughts and empty wishes, stay with us until our last,

On  my heart the words are written. I will speak them with my tongue,

Jesus lives and I’ll remain – after death – forever young.

 

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AGING WITH A PLAN PART TWO ADDENDUM

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The actual retirement process is here – as in applying for Social Security benefits.  It’s funny how this has been slowly re-labeled over time.  It used to be referred to as a retirement plan – a required amount of money taken out of your paycheck each week and matched by your employer.  If the plan had been well managed, this would’ve lasted well into the twenty third century and then some.  Now it’s called an entitlement program – right alongside welfare.  Actually if you live to retirement age and depend entirely on Social Security, you could well be considered at poverty level, but I digress.

There are some steps you can take before you get to that point.  Either start when you’re in your forties to set up a plan for those retirement years.  A savings account or some type of investment is a great idea.  Even if you save a few dollars a week, it will add up to a nice nest egg when the time comes.  You can also find a job that you love, which will carry you beyond the retirement years.  As long as you’re healthy and fit, you can work right up to the day you die.

Notice I said find a job that you love.  If you aren’t happy with your current occupation, you never will be.  Think of the things that you do like about your job and try to come up with something that fits.  Work is called work for a reason.  It isn’t always easy, but it can be enjoyable.  If you have to work for the rest of your life, you might as well get some satisfaction from it.

Decide what you need and what you can let go of.  Having collected two households from both sets of parents and accumulating our own clutter, made it quite a chore to downsize.  Don’t count on your children having the same feelings about your things as you do.  Chances are they won’t want grandma’s China or Grandpa’s old set of handmade tools.  Plan to donate these things, sell them to antique dealers or pickers.  Having garage sales is hard work at this age, so opt for an estate sale.  Before you do, choose the things that you simply can’t part with, but remember that none of it is going with you when you die – so how much value does it really have?  This can be a cathartic process.  By letting go, you’re making room for a much easier life.  Plus your kids won’t have to have that to deal with.

Plan on getting to know your spouse again.  You’ll be seeing a lot of each other.  At first you’ll get on each other’s nerves – bump into each other’s space – notice all their faults and mention them.  You’ll soon discover you don’t have the energy to have an all out argument anymore, so your disagreements aren’t as frequent.  Find time for yourself.  Don’t give up the things you like to do.  Learn to enjoy life together as you did when you first fell in love.  These years don’t have to be filled with the passion of youth, but there can still be romance.

Don’t compare yourself to others.  Your friends may be going through health issues or  dying, but you are still the same vibrant person you always were.  Don’t let their problems get you down, but also remember to be compassionate, because you may someday walk in their shoes.

During this decade it’s imperative to stay positive and turn to God in prayer.  Our voices may crack a bit.  Our bodies don’t have the bounce they once did, but God still hears our voice.  He tells us to depend on Him.  Now more than ever, we need that confidence.

 

 

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AGING WITH A PLAN – PART II, 60-70

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“When grace is joined with wrinkles, it is adorable.  There is an unspeakable dawn in happy old age.”  Victor Hugo

When you turn sixty, you’re entering the golden years of life.  That’s what they tell you – who are they anyway and what do they know?  Unlike most women, I wasn’t upset or depressed about this milestone.  I’d begun my own business.  I was busier than ever and felt I had purpose.

When we turned fifty, our life came crumbling down on us. My husband lost his successful advertising agency and we lost everything when we had to file for bankruptcy – our house went into foreclosure – our vehicles were seized.  For a year or so, life was pretty dreary.

Our children were leaving the nest – or abandoning ship, depending how you look at it.  In other words, our time of middle age could be construed as grounds for divorce or at least the loony bin.   Still the pledge we made to each other 25 years prior meant something to us.  So we pushed on.

At sixty another business or two was started.  My husband discovered his love for wood sculpture and began creating works of art for some of the resorts and luxury homes.  I, with all my years of volunteering in drama productions, focused my attention on building a children’s theatre company.  When God closes a door, he also opens another.  We continue to bump into closed doors, but have never failed with God at our side.

We were looking ahead to retirement, but the expenses incurred through average spending, were more than our income, so we had to downsize.  De-cluttering is necessary for a number of reasons.  Leaving that job to your children after your demise is just another thing for them to deal with.  Also the longer you put it off, the harder the job becomes.  The house was sold and we moved into a smaller one.  Our expenses were cut in half, but our only source of income was Social Security. This  meant we had to continue working to make ends meet.

During this decade doctors ask if you feel safe at home? – How many times have you fallen?  You’re being prepared for old age whether you like it or not.  You start holding on to things to help you stay upright.  You ask friends how they are and the proceed with a litany of ailments that you can relate to.  Prepare for a long answer.

During this time, we took my aging mother into our home.  We had an extra bedroom and she needed constant attention because of her dependence on prescription drugs.  It’s not easy taking over the role of parent to your parents, but again we muddled through.  She lived with us for a year.  The whole experience gave me another few years to enjoy her company.

While in this age group, we can easily fall into a trap.  We sit in our chair, watch game shows on TV, look out the window, read a book or three and wait to die. Another much better option is to find a part time job, volunteer, join an exercise class, get involved in something you love to do and do it.  I prefer the second option.  I’d like to be around when the clock turns eighty.  How about you?

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JULIE’S FRIDAY FUNNY

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AGING WITH A PLAN – PART I – 50 TO 60

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“Life is but a walking shadow, a poor player that struts and frets his hour upon the stage and then is heard no more.”  William Shakespeare – “Macbeth”

OK, so you’ve turned 50.  This is supposed to be the pinnacle of your existence.  You have life pretty much figured out by now.  You’ve established a career.  You may have raised a family, stayed married for about 25 years and have a good retirement plan in place.  Your children are slowly moving out of the nest – hopefully.  You’re living the good life.

You start receiving solicitations from AARP.  You’re often asked if you qualify for the senior discount.  You’re making changes to your hairstyle, your makeup and possibly even opting for surgical alterations.  You work out as much as possible, knowing that this fabulous body isn’t going to last forever.  You start to dream of your retirement years as work becomes more and more burdensome.

When we reach this age, we’re over half way to heaven – if we believe in God.  Still you have a lot of living to do and you want to make the most of every minute you have been allotted.  You look for ways to express yourself – through hobbies, special interests, volunteering.  You might take up painting or write a memoir.

The ages between 50 and 60 are filled with many life changing events.  For women it’s menopause.  Men go through changes too.  You may become ill and have to go through difficult medical treatment.  Your friends are starting to look older than you.  You wonder how that happened, until you look in the mirror and see you’re not what you thought you were.  You may need a body part replaced or your pipes cleaned out.  You may lose your job and find it hard to get a new one, because you’re over qualified.  Hey, I thought this was supposed to be the prime of life.

No matter what stage of life you’re in, it will be whatever you choose to make it, but don’t forget that God has the master plan already prepared.  We’re still blessed with God’s freedom to plan – to look forward – to make the right choices.  Middle age is the age of unfolding.  Time drifts away faster than we’d hoped.  We try to squeeze as much into our lives as we can before the bottom falls out or we die.

Yet knowing that God has His hand on our future will give us confidence and assurance.  He never changes no matter how much our lives change.  He is consistent, He never lies and we know we can count on His involvement in our journey.

“So then, banish anxiety from your heart and cast off the troubles of your body for youth and rigor are meaningless.”  Ecclesiastes 11:10

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WE ARE THE BRANCHES

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ART & POETRY BY PAUL & KATHY BOECHER©

Clumps of luscious fruit abounding, sweetness surging through each orb,

Gaining life from vines astounding, sending lifeblood to absorb,

Grounded in strong roots from heaven, ripened by the morning sun,

Pure refreshment from God given, poured through His own precious Son,

We in turn should share that blessing, with those needing hope and love,

Those who long for God’s caressing, when their push has turned to shove,

He will give them life eternal, as the vine gives to the fruit,

Wash away their sins internal, perfect judgment execute,

Heaven awaits with open doors, death no more will hurt or sting,

Forever God’s mercy endures, Salvation for all He brings.

 

 

 

 

 

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EGG DROP CHALLENGE

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Almost everyone has heard of the “egg drop experiment. This simple test allows the student to construct a container that protects a raw egg from cracking as it’s dropped from a certain height.  What is the actual purpose of this? I guess it’s to get students thinking about creativity through engineering.

The obvious effect from dropping an egg from any height would be for it to break. Figuring out how to protect it is the engineering process that takes place. If you were that egg how would you feel about the experiment? Would you have total trust in the one who was conducting it? Most likely you wouldn’t.

We are often like those eggs, forgetting that we have someone we can count on for protection on a daily basis. There are times when we think we can control our own destiny and don’t need anyone’s help, but being part of God’s family gives more protection than a few soft cotton balls or plastic bubble wrap. His love, power and wisdom wrap us in a much stronger armor. We also have the support of others like us, who have gone through similar breaks along the way. 

Lord, never let me forget the suit of armor you’ve made for me.  It protects me from the arrows of Satan and his minions.  It covers me with your love and safety.  I am confident knowing that you will always hold me in your loving arms. Amen!

A MIGHTY FORTRESS IS OUR GOD!

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SIMPLICITY

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ART & POETRY BY PAUL & KATHY BOECHER©

Hidden in the darkness, as shadows slowly fall,

Far away from others, enjoying nature’s call,

Their one essential goal, to find a peace sublime,

Far from the maddening crowd, alone to spend some time,

We all have days like that, when fears can overtake,

When predators and foes know what steps they will take,

To overcome our vision, to satisfy their needs,

They go to any length, insuring our heart bleeds,

They hunt us and attack, they claw and tear our flesh,

Holding in their talons the core of what is fresh,

But still we will press forward, in search of an escape,

Our enemies surround, yet we are not alone,

The King of grace stands by, to take us safely home,

We must trust in Jesus and His abundant love,

He’s come to pay the price, from heaven’s home above,

A friend He’ll always be, protection in His wings,

Our hearts are filled with joy, as words of peace He sings.

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AGING WITH A PLAN

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“Memory in youth is active and easily impressible; in old age it is comparatively callous to new impressions, but still retains vividly those of earlier years.” Charlotte Bronte

I’ve written about aging several times.  I do so because I’ve reached old age.  I try to resist the fact that my body is limited when it comes to certain tasks.  On the other hand there are times when I fall asleep in mid-sentence, which makes me realize there’s not much I can do about this process other than accept it and move on .

Statistics point to the fact that we’re living longer lives these days.  By the year 2050 the aging population of the world will have doubled, which means more than a billion people will still be hanging on to life. Millennials will be footing the bill for Social Security.  Many of them will be supporting their parents in their old age. The truth is, most people passing the age of sixty are still very vital people, with tons of knowledge and wisdom.  We may no longer have the stamina we did at 21.  Our thinking process is a little slower and so is our ability to move.

There are lots of ways the elderly can alter their bodies and faces – if they have a fortune to waste.  Plastic surgery and cold body sculpting are at an all time high – and it’s not just the women who are making that investment.  We’re being rebuilt piece by piece with replacement parts.  Health care has extended the average life span remarkably.  Health clubs offer special deals to keep senior citizens active.  There are many community programs to keep the mind and body active.

I am one of those who is living entirely on social security.  Occasionally I will do some freelancing, or sell some of my writing, but basically our fixed income is simply that which we put into what was supposed to be a trust fund for people my age.  Even that is being depleted by people who are going beyond the average life expectancy.

So in the next few posts, I’m going to be addressing various options for people in my age bracket.  These posts are meant to keep us thinking about our final years and how we will use them.  We can fall into a trap of complacency.  We can give up, because our minds and bodies just don’t respond the way they used to.  We can hide in a bubble of our own making – hoping that eternity comes soon.  We can dwell on our problems or we can make a positive impact on the world around us with our experience and wisdom.

My journey growing old has given me some new insight on what I used to think about the process.  Just like any stage of life, it’s another step closer to heaven.  If I had known what aging involved when I was young, I never would’ve been so eager to grow up.  Growing old today has so much to offer.  We just need to look at the positive side of it and trust that God has a reason for us to still be on this planet.  There is work yet to be done and He will stay with us if we trust in Him.

 

 

 

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MAKE A DIFFERENCE

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ART & POETRY BY PAUL & KATHY BOECHER©

You can almost imagine the sound of a babbling brook,

Trickling rapidly over rocks,

winding over obstacles, but still persisting,

Each turn in that flowage, touches something along the way,

We can be like that force,

As we tumble through life, we touch others,

Our presence has some impact on those we meet,

Either good or bad,

Wouldn’t it be grand if we made a huge difference,

If we could change another’s circumstances,

Lend a hand,

Be a friend,

We can reach beyond our wildest imaginations,

We can inspire, encourage, support, care,

With those tools,

We are making a difference,

Not only in someone else’s life,

But in our own.

 

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