The Wise Woman’s Stone
A wise woman who was traveling in the mountains found a precious stone in a stream. The next day she met another traveler who was hungry and the wise woman opened her bag to share her food. The hungry traveler saw the precious stone and asked the woman to give it to him. She did so without hesitation.
The Traveler left rejoicing in his good fortune. He knew the stone was worth enough to give him security for a lifetime.
But, a few days later, he came back to return the stone to the wise woman. “I’ve been thinking,” he said. “I know how valuable this stone is, but I give it back in the hope that you can give me something even more precious. Give me what you have within you that enabled you to give me this stone.”
from The Best of Bits and Pieces
There are a number of especially wise women in my life. One raised me. A couple are long time friends. One is a couple of decades older, a few are a decade or two younger. I know this is a gift – to have more than one wise woman who will speak into your life.
Alice is one woman of wisdom who shares what I have to look forward to, prior too each decade birthday. On the eve of this 50th decade, I would like to pass along the wisdom of the decades I’ve received.
Prior to turning 30 I fought, kicked, bit, pushed, pulled, and attempted to ignore the fact I would not be 20something anymore. Into this somewhat….ok completely immature and ridiculous behavior Alice the wise woman spoke.
“Laura, the 30’s are the age of wisdom and beauty.”
Well that put a different spin on things. And so the decade went, where I realized some of the beauty she spoke of was inner, not just outer.
Prior to turning 40, there were no tantrums. Yet, I wasn’t anticipating what sounded like an older-ish decade with any enthusiasm. I called Alice.
“Hi Alice, I was wondering if you had thoughts on what I have to look forward to in my 40’s? You told me the 30’s would be the age of wisdom and beauty, what are the 40’s the age of?”
Her reply: “Ugh, aging. And denial…about aging.”
“Really?!” I said with a look on my face that appropriately reflected her answer. “You are telling me that I am going from wisdom and beauty to Aging and Denial? Forget it. I’m tapping out.”
After some thought she said something wonderful that I have found to come true…slowly… over the last 10 years. “Freedom. You find the Freedom to know and be who you are.”
This week, finishing up being “still in my 40’s” (and saying that A LOT), I contacted the wise woman. Before I share what she said, there are two things you need to know.
- My physician, Dr. David Thayer in Boulder CO, has been my MD for 30 years. The last few annual appointments he said: “My job is to get you to 100 and then you are on your own.” I take him seriously. The whole ‘over-the-hill’ thing I am rejecting. I think this is the half-way-there mark.
- This wise and wonderful friend has spent this year getting to know Cancer, Chemo, Surgery, Needles, Drains, Drugs, Discouragement, Doubt, Pain, Nausea, Help, Healing, Hope, very personally. I won’t lie, I hesitated calling. Yet, I’ve known Alice long enough to push hesitation aside. You see, her wisdom & truth come from a heart and mind tuned into the Holy Spirit; from life experience and lessons learned through rough patches. I knew I wanted what she had to give.
Here is the actual dialogue:
Me – still in my 40’s:
That time has come again. Alice, what do I have to look forward to in the decade of the 50’s?
Can’t wait to hear what you have to say!
It’s so good to hear from you! ❤️
What to look forward to in the 50’s?
Grandchildren! 😀 But that element is outside our control and determination. However it is an effervescent gift beyond words!
By God’s grace my marriage survived the 30’s and 40’s, and I can say the 50’s is the most rewarding decade of all with my husband. Our love has deepened through trial and longevity. We enjoy hanging out together!
This is a quieter decade. Our nest is empty. And that’s okay.
Finally having the guts in this decade (where maybe I’ve grown a little bolder) to pursue God’s call to write full-time. And having the new maturity to cast everything aside that hinders the call (even the very good stuff) as I pursue His will and way.
Finally understanding His choice is the best possible one for me, designed for me — to bless others in His name — as I run the race He’s set before me. (And I fought tooth and nail to avoid his initial call! I was so afraid! 😩)
I think there’s less fear in this decade.
Greatest 50’s gift — God is gifting me with a significant life purpose as scribe. I don’t need to live vicariously and bug my grown kids to create my life. I get to live through my own life! 😀
Hope that helps as you step into a new decade sister! 🎉🎉🎉🎉
Alice again – a follow-up reflection:
One more thing —
In my fifties I learned I’m vulnerable to disease. 😥
So now in recovery I try to view each new day as a gift and to be thankful for it.
Based on this wisdom, I think tomorrow may be the beginning of the Best Decade Yet! I decided I’m going to strap on my Great Anticipation Cape and leap forward with feet flying, arms flailing, and shouting: “HERE’S TO BEING HALF WAY THERE!”