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If you haven’t read Part I, click here to catch up.  Then you can read the last 5 things below.  Yes, it got long.  What else is new?

6.  You won’t be this young and full of energy forever.  Save some of it for your family now so they can remember that you spent time with them when you had the energy.  You don’t know if you will live to retire and have more leisure time.  Make time to enjoy your spouse alone.  Make time to enjoy your kids individually and your family as a whole.  That is how you show them they are valuable to you!  They will remember those times way more than they will remember the toys you gave them in place of your presence.

7.  You don’t know how long you will live or how healthy you will be in the future.  Enjoy the good health you have now while you have it to earn a living AND enjoy the family GOD gave you.

My father died suddenly at age 54 with 3 grown children and an 8 year old.  My husband’s dad died at age 47 of a heart attack after a few years of being disabled with heart disease and being unable to work!  His children at the time were in Kindergarten, 7th grade and college!  His mom had gone back to work and was finishing her degree to improve her credentials.  I don’t say this to scare you, but merely for you to have contingency plans and not to assume all will go smoothly with your life!  Trust GOD’s wisdom if He is leading you or your spouse to do some upgrading while you are both healthy.  Make use of good resources to get your financial life in order while you can.  There are so many helpful resources available now to become debt-free.  Make good use of them.

8.  You don’t know how fun it can be to be older and freed up from former responsibilities!  We may not have as much money, but often we can help out others in ways we always wanted to…or learn new skills.

It isn’t true that “you can’t teach an old dog new tricks.”  Even my 76 year old husband is learning to use facebook and advancing his computer skills despite his hatred of the computer specifically and technology in general!

We can enjoy hobbies or learn new ones, volunteer in the community, for missions or helping with our grandchildren.  There are a host of places we can assist and encourage others with our experience and time.

9.  From this perspective, I realize I have less and less neat steps for a good marriage, great parenting or even a great Christian life...and more appreciation for the grace of GOD that covered so many of my mistakes…including my self-righteous ones that were some of the worst ones!

He forgives repeatedly.  I never appreciated that to the degree I needed to.  Salvation isn’t just for us when we initially come to Christ, it is for us daily as believers.   Christ is available always for Christians to live the Christian life!  We often think we are on our own once we become believers, but that just isn’t true!  Rejoice in His forgiveness that is rich, free and lavished on you as His child.

10.  Realize that interspersed along the way, we older adults are frequently experiencing grief as we lose old friends, say “good-bye” to old ways of life, lose aspects of our health and see a darker future ahead for ourselves here on earth with health problems looming.  (No, it’s not constant, but it is present at some times more than others.)

I ended up expanding quite a bit on the grief and fear portion of this.  It’s something no one has ever sat down and talked to me about but I have come across it often.  Especially I see it in the hospital or rehab when many of the barriers are down, the niceties are done with, the family is gone and I’m there with the patient in the bathroom or helping them back to bed.  They have had a hard day working to get back to what they were before their stroke or hip surgery or whatever it was that brought them to the hospital.  Many of them are believers too.

Join us next week as we talk about the  down and dirty aspects of old age that are rarely discussed in polite company.