Every so often I look in the mirror and am surprised… since I’ve reached sixty, there are certain changes I don’t always embrace. Sometimes it seems my mother is looking back at me, and I see the resemblance!
I remember mom well at age 65 mourning her wrinkles, and I was sad with her. I remember my own determination that I would ease into that stage… but I think, especially for women in our culture, it is a stage we avoid as long as we can. And we are fed all sorts of hopeful information to help us with that. 
Last week we came across this old window shutter and it spoke to me. 
Isn’t it beautiful?  Full of character. 
It sat in the middle of a historical site, and I wondered… if window frames could talk… what had this one seen?  Who had framed it; strong arms, wielding primitive-to-us tools to create this window covering, practical and protective. What family stories lie within these walls… and outside?  
It reminded me that we have all have stories to tell… and a life rich with story and memories and tales is a beautiful thing. 
This week we are celebrating the birthday of a dear relative, and it strikes me in the richness of his life, both difficulties and adventures , yes, and life-long physical challenges, yet there is this overcoming and joy that bubbles to the surface.  There is a focus on family and gratefulness and faith that God has seen him through. 
This morning as we listened to Pray as You Go (a lovely devotional site with daily prayers), the prayer of St Theresa of Avila was sung, one of my favorite Prayers. 
I like this translation of it:
“Let nothing disturb you
nothing alarm you
While all things fade away
God is unchanging
Be patient,
and you will gain everything.  
For with God in your heart
Nothing is lacking
God is enough.”

Yes, all things fade away. For those of us whose lives are long our bodies will tell the stories. 
And yes, our bodies will bear witness to our choices of living peacefully, and accepting our path with grace, or responding with bitterness. 
It reminds me of this encouraging verse from the book of Romans 5:3-4 which says 

“We also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope.”  

This brings me hope!  

May the lives we lead produce character and beauty that comes from within. 

Our lives will tell the story. 

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