Saved from the Drafts

This morning I noticed that our blog dashboard said we had 500 posts. 500 posts? A lot has been said on this here blog, y’all! I felt that we needed to celebrate this momentous occasion, but then I realized that the number included a bunch drafts that were never published. So we’re really on post 479. I started going through the drafts and deleting them when I found a few that were almost finished but were never used for whatever reason. Here’s one I wrote in October of 2007. We got to go back and visit our old church last weekend, so it’s only fitting for me to post this today in honor of our friends at First Baptist Church of Irving.

Twenty-eight. Twenty years past 8. Ten years past 18. Two years before 30. This Sunday I will turn 28. It’s a nice number. I like round ones. It’s nicely divisible by 7, which is the Lord’s number. I can deal with that.

I’m very aware that this body of mine is also turning 28. Maybe it’s all in my head, but it seems like things are suddenly not working as well as they should. I’m having to take my workouts up a notch. Last week I had a bad crick in my neck. And this week I have my first toothache. I will be sitting in a dentist’s chair in about two hours. Dern. Happy birthday, 28-year-old self!

The thing is, I’m trying real hard not to say and think, “I’m getting so old!” “Old” is relative. I know I’m still young. If I see myself as old now, then I will always feel old! It’s sort of like how most of us wish we could go back and tell our teenage selves to quit thinking they’re fat. Because now we would be thrilled to have those bodies back!

Last weekend I joined the ladies of my church at our women’s retreat. Our theme for the weekend was renewal. We were incredibly blessed to have our pastor’s mother, V. Beth Durham, speak to us. I was blown away by her wisdom, her knowledge of the Word, and her inner and outer beauty. She is a jewel. During one of the sessions I sat a few rows behind a wonderful senior lady in our church, Mrs. Shirley Brady. I could write a whole post on how much Curt and I love her and look up to her in Christ. With both of these precious saints in sight, I was deeply moved by their beauty. By their lifetime of faith and perseverance. Oh, to be found in Christ in my seasoned years! To have walked with Him for a lifetime. To have been changed from glory to glory. To have journeyed with Him through sixty, seventy, or eighty years of refining. To know Christ that much more intimately. Lord, I want to be that beautiful to You! I want to keep growing.

You know what? I have to walk forward to get there. I can’t stay in my twenties. Obviously, I don’t know how long God has given me to live on this earth. But as long as I’m here, I want to walk forward with joy.

I got a glimpse of how beautiful my older sisters are to Christ, and I want Him to find that in me, too. What if, instead of desperately wanting to figure out how I can make Katie Holmes’ haircut work on my hair (which is like a horse’s mane), I eagerly asked God to develop in me the gentle spirit and wisdom of V. Beth Durham, and the joy and kindness of Mrs. Shirley Brady? Forget about Katie Holmes. When those sisters come walking down the hall, they make Jesus’ head turn!

“Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as braided hair and the wearing of gold jewelry and fine clothes. Instead, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight. For this is the way the holy women of the past who put their hope in God used to make themselves beautiful” (1 Peter 3:3-5a).

This was our verse for the weekend: “Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day” (2 Corinthians 4:16).

(Here you can see why that post sat in the drafts folder so long. It didn’t have a good ending!)

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109 Responses to “Saved from the Drafts”

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Comments:

  1. 1
    Transparent Mama says:

    You are so funny. I remember being 29 and thinking the same thing- I’m getting old. I am now 36 and I still keep thinking- I am getting old. But, getting old is good. One of my favorite commercials right now is this one for Kaiser where all of these truly old ladies are dancing around and the song playing says, “When I grow up, I want to be an old woman.” Yes, I want to grow up to be a wise old woman.

  2. 2
    Anonymous says:

    Darlin, just Darlin is what this post is, all of us 28 or 48 need to feel this way. Someone said give Susan Boyles a makeover, and another sister said maybe she does not want one, then a wise sister spoke up, who does not want a make over!! May the make over we seek be those meek and quiet spirits that nourish and hold up the whole body of Christ. I have often heard it said the one to sit on His right hand might very well be a little old lady who prayed. Shalom

  3. 3
    ocean mommy says:

    I have that verse jotted to share with my girls in the morning before school starts. ๐Ÿ™‚ So I think it was timed perfectly for today.

    Praying for you all as you prepare to send Melissa off this week!

    Stephanie

  4. 4
    Karen L. says:

    you need a better ending than those verses??? i think it was just fine. especially in today’s vain society.

  5. 5
    Andrea R says:

    Amanda
    Thank you for the great post. There are so many of us in our late twenties and early thirties that feel/felt the same as you. It’s this weird kind of limbo. And I totally get what your saying about the senior ladies of the church. We have a few of those too and it’s because of them that I now lead our ladies Bible study. They are a true blessing and Jesus does shine through them.
    Thanks
    Andrea

  6. 6
    Patty says:

    I loved it Amanda! I think the verse was the perfect ending and this is coming from someone turning 45 this year. lol
    Love you,
    Patty

  7. 7
    TN Girl says:

    I have to disagree Amanda, I think 2 Corinthians 4:16 was a great ending. What an excellent post, it’s so easy to get caught up by the things of this world.

    I for one can definitely be transformed by the idea of “turning Jesus’ head”.

    This one definitely needed to be saved from the drafts!

  8. 8
    Leelee says:

    How encouraging… I’m so thankful for the Ms. Durhams and Ms. Bradys in my life. My mentor called me this morning… and I’ve been savoring the salt she poured while working on my house all the live long day.

    Thank you God for these women and help me to love and serve you and others with all of my heart.

  9. 9
    Kelley says:

    That was a beautiful post and perfect for me today. I have been struggling with losing weight and trying to again be my 21 year old self – I am about to be 26 (eek!). It is crazy to watch ourselves turn from young girls, to teens, to women. As much as I long to look as good as I used to, I don’t long to go back to the person that I was. I have a lifetime to get used to get older, but an eternity to be forever young.
    http://www.chadkelley.blogspot.com

  10. 10
    Tracy says:

    Amanda,
    Loved that message and feel certain in God’s perfect timing, it was intended for this very day!

    Couldn’t agree more with your observations (your wisdom is beyond your years!) As a 43 year old, I’m appreciating anew the urgency of staying in close fellowship with the Lord, and the importance of examples like Shirley Brady. More than ever, I’ve become aware of those younger who now look to me. Like you, I want to be found growing and faithful, my whole life through. May it be so.

    Thank you for closing with those two beautiful passages…I believe a fitting ending, indeed.

    Walking forward with joy…
    Tracy

  11. 11
    mrsbeaz says:

    Amanda, Will you ask your Mom if she got the book about Manley Beasley at the Pastor’s Wives conference in Nashville? I gave it to one of the Lifeway ladies. I will send her another one if they did not get it to her. Thanks! elisabeth beasley ([email protected])

  12. 12
    Linnae says:

    I’m so excited to be the first one to post on this one! Us women here at Going Beyond Ministries are looking forward to following your blog! Bless you and your family. Thank you for your words of encouragement. Today it is so good to be reminded of what we are here for and where our hope should be.. not in outward adornment, but inner beauty! Bless you sister

  13. 13
    Jan says:

    YOU bring us all much joy out here in Siestaville Blogland.

    Really.

    And I would KILL for your horse mane anyday of the week and twice on Sunday–bless my heart.

    Jan

  14. 14
    Tawny says:

    This was a good one, I am glad you saved & shared it. ๐Ÿ™‚

  15. 15
    The Farmer's Wife says:

    I can’t wait to be an old woman, who wears coveralls and heels, to the great embarrassment of her offspring, who can take 2 hours in prayer on her porch swing, who looks at her hands and sees her mother’s mother’s hands. I look forward to eating pie for breakfast, growing more tomatos than I can eat in order to share them with whippersnappers, holding my grandchildren and telling them dreadful stories about when I was a child. I’ll be getting closer to going home to my Father.

    I love aged believers! Couldn’t you just soak up their experience and learning, listen to their relationship with the Lord?

    I love this! And congratulations on nearly having 500 posts! Zowie!

  16. 16
    Courtney says:

    I’m so glad you posted this! It’s just what I needed to be reminded of! If I keep feeling “old” at 33 – then I’m going to be feeling “old” the rest of my life – it’s all in our perspective!

    Also, in our culture we mistakenly chase after beauty rather than virtue – we need to flip flop that a bit – but it’s hard!

  17. 17
    wannagrowwannago says:

    i so much wish, as our hairs turn grey and things change in and on our bodies that we could truelly grasp the truth of our beauty from God’s eyes and pass that truth on to our youth. not to be negative, i sometimes worry that we strive, and cause our young women to strive for those things that cannot and will not last. i don’t promote a “i don’t care what i look like” attitude, but i too have been humbled when i grieve inwardly about growing old and what it looks like on me, and then turn and behold a more aged woman of faith, who looks old and maybe not beautiful according to worldly standards, but she absolutely SHINES beauty. Which of us, in gazing into the face of an elderly saint would ever think anything other than “Lord let me look like that someday” in the past two years as our econony continues to fail and work and $ are harder to hold onto, we are awakened to the truth that we have been distracted from…… the $ money spent on maintaining our youthful appearance could be put to such a better use which is of greater beauty to our Lord Jesus Christ.
    i agree with you 100%….what we look upon in the aged that we find beautiful has nothing to do with physical beauty and everything to do with faithfulness, obedience, trust.love and relationship with Jesus, Christ in us–the hope of glory!!

  18. 18
    Joan says:

    Amanda,
    There is nothing wrong with that post! Outer beauty is something I have struggled with as far back as I can remember. I don’t think many of us women haven’t struggled with this issue at one time or another. A few years ago I did a class with a woman who could really be the closest thing to the Proverbs 31 woman I have ever met. It seemed like there wasn’t anything this woman couldn’t do. I made her kind of angry when I emailed to ask if because I would never be gorgeous on the outside, if it would be okay if I worked more on my inner beauty. She didn’t like that idea too well. I came to the same conclusion that you did in your post. Working on our inner beauty is more important to God. We may not be considered beautiful by the world’s standards(and as I get older that becomes less important), but we will be beautiful in God’s eyes, and that’s Who’s opinion I really care about. Sometimes the devil gets me going again about my looks, but it doesn’t work as long or as often anymore.Praise God for that one! I think you, your sister and your mom are great examples of both inner and outer beauty. You are all gorgeous, and you have the light of God’s love shining out of you! God bless!
    Joan

  19. 19
    Little Lamb says:

    What a wonderful word for my day. Today I turn 35…..THIRTY-FIVE…that’s how old my Mom is….How can I be the same age?
    (Age truly is relative.)

    May we strive to focus our lives living well for Him and seeking to become beautiful in ways that REALLY matter.

  20. 20
    Leslie Lauren says:

    I’m “lol”ing at the line about telling our teenage selves that we’re not fat. I just had that conversation not too long ago with someone…about how it doesn’t matter what stage we’re at in life, we never seem to be good enough. And for what?!?!

    I’m pleased you sent the draft~ it was awesome and relevant and an important reminder for all of us girls. God bless flab! It’s an outward indication of how blessed we are…that most of us don’t have to worry about when we will see our next meal. Great post ๐Ÿ™‚

  21. 21
    Gena says:

    Beautiful ending.

  22. 22
    tandtsmom says:

    Wow! And to think we almost lost that wonderful post! Oh, and ummm, I think the ending was just fab.
    32 YO Rachel in Columbus, MS

  23. 23
    [email protected] in the Parking Lot says:

    I love this. Especially since I am closing in on 30. Annalee and I were just talking this morning how we feel like pretend adults, this post made me think how much fun being a real adult will be!

  24. 24
    tracy l. says:

    I am an extremely sarcastic person. My loving husband credits my sarcasm as a spiritual talent and refers to it as WIT. See why I love him! No one ever thinks my “wit” is as funny as I do. Keep this in mind…

    When I started reading your post, I wanted to ask you…”well, how does your body feel now after birthing #2?!?!? I bet you wished you felt 28 again!”

    Hopefully you just laughed out loud and rolled your eyes at me!

    Hugs!
    Tracy
    Richlands, NC

  25. 25
    Siesta OC says:

    I think it ended quite well, and oh I am with you and the hair thing – Thick hair is great, just not able to make every style work.
    I loved what you said about moving forward – age is a mind set, my mom has always been “younger” than me. I still feel old and I just turned 30 4-4-09.
    But my mind set is always “old,” I’d like it to be onward and upward (thanks siesta truth sharer)

    Blessings in Him,

    Siesta OC

    PS: Your mama is one I just wish I was, at any age!!!

  26. 26
    Sheryl says:

    We all want to stay fit and beautiful. I just want my mind to stay pure and positive. I turn 49 this year *49* aaaaagggghhhh! But I feel 25. I know my almost 25 year old daughter things I’m crazy, but your post just reinforced that there is no need for our mind-set to be old. Our bodies can be older, but we need to protect and renew our minds. I’m so glad my Jesus made that possible. No ornery, cantankerous old woman here!

  27. 27
    Anonymous says:

    Oh my gosh …….28 is a mere baby!! I am 62 and Mom said these would be my golden years….they aren’t, they are bronze and mine are tarnished!!! Mom managed to pass her arthritis on to me and I managed to get fibromyalgia. But I’ll be danged if I will give into either one…..I’m going to keep on moving. My God keeps me alert and will not let me be to still.
    ENJOY ENJOY ENJOY Amanda…I know you will. Love those children with lots of hugs and kisses….they will keep you young.
    Blessings,
    Bible Bunny in NO MI

  28. 28
    Corrie's Blog says:

    What could you end better with than scripture? I loved it! ๐Ÿ™‚ And how timely of you to share as I embark on 30 in a few months! I will remember this post when that day comes! Thank you! ๐Ÿ™‚

  29. 29
    Nichole's Mom says:

    I think it was perfect, especially since I just turned 46 and lots of stuff isn’t working properly! Thanks for sharing!

    Judy

  30. 30
    Cindy - Lake City, FL says:

    You have a perfect ending, Amanda. You are so blessed to have such wonderful ladies to look up to. We need more Mrs. Durhams and Mrs. Bradys in our society. May we all become more aware of them and embrace their elegant grace.
    Thank you for sharing.

  31. 31
    JustJess says:

    Just finished the last video for Esther last night. How appropriate! We will BE so beautiful someday soon. Thanks for the post!

  32. 32
    AbbyLane says:

    seems like everything the Lord is teaching me lately is coming out of 1 Peter…..i think it is my theme book for 2009. ๐Ÿ™‚ so thanks for adding to my journal notes….the Lord is funny about His timing like that ๐Ÿ™‚

    thanks for being a V. Beth Durham/Shirley Brady to us slightly younger siestas…even when you don’t feel like you are. that same beauty and wisdom is seen in your heart and we appreciate you and how you spur us on to seek His face first, and love Him better. thank you for being you!!

  33. 33
    Anonymous says:

    So, Amanda, if I did my math right, then you must be 29. Oh, please do this slightly older (slighty saggier) siesta a favor and relish being 29 today!

    Warm in Alaska.

  34. 34
    Amanda says:

    Tracy, I had the same thought!

  35. 35
    Sheri says:

    Love it…even if it is an “old” post…it’s very timely. I just turned 40 a couple of weeks ago and felt OLD on the day of my birthday. Then, I realized the next day, I didn’t really feel any different than when I was 39 or 29, or 25 for that matter. I’m just another year wiser. : )

  36. 36
    Heather Self says:

    This “draft” will never leave my heart or mind. Thank you for sharing such an awesome perspective. I pray our generation of ladies will desire to turn Christ’s head with our inner beauty and wisdom that will only come with seeking Him. Thank you so very much for digging this one out!

  37. 37
    Vicki says:

    Old?!? I’m 52 and I am in better shape than when I was 25. I didn’t start exercising until a few years ago (47) and I thought I needed to do something everyday. Fortunately, I received God’s nudge that I needed to work on the inside as well as the outside. And Wednesdays became Bible study nights. Those studies (of course all with your mom) have taught me so much. I’m now healthier in my relationship with God than ever before as well!

    Since turning 50, I’ve still had moments of feeling old (my husband is 9 years younger, cute as pie and wonderful) but God has remained faithful in encouraging me. Most recently for my Siesta Scripture Memory verse He gave me Ecclesiastes 3:11 He has made everything beautiful in its time…

    I also thought I was too old to blog…….

    Thanks for sharing your “old” post. It too has encouraged me.

    Vicki Knott
    Greenwood, SC

  38. 38
    Kim says:

    What a beautiful post! Oh how I desire to turn the head of Jesus someday. You said it so eloquently. If we all spent more time wondering how we looked in His eyes, I reckon our inner beauty would outshine all the flaws we focus on.

    I loved this and am printing off a copy to remind myself from time to time.

    Blessings,
    Kim . . . who is
    Grafted by Grace

  39. 39
    screamofcontinuousness says:

    There is no ending…or at least not one that YOU can write. We walk on and on in Christ till He comes to take us home.

    you have such a beautiful heart.

  40. 40
    Farmgirl Paints says:

    I liked that post. We all feel that way. Even though I am almost 10 years older than you and have alot more to complain about I’m sure;) It’s all relative. Hope you have a wonderful 28th birthday. Live it up, you’re only 28 once right?

  41. 41
    Anonymous says:

    I don’t think it had a weak ending at all — in fact I think either scripture passage you ended with would be great ones for the Siesta Scrips Memory Team!

    ps I loved Katie Holmes ’07 hairdo too and was dismayed when my hair stylist said, “I don’t really think that would work for you.” ๐Ÿ˜‰

  42. 42
    Karla says:

    This is the day! This very day, I have turned 50, and I’m lovin’it. But my knees do hurt from the exercise routine I did last night (ahh well). I am rejoicing in the Lord. Thank you for posting this today.

  43. 43
    Anonymous says:

    Interesting you should bring this up…I have been thinking about how beautifully your mother is aging. She radiates Christ…and truly there is nothing more beautiful than that!

  44. 44
    Lynn in AB says:

    There is no beauty like the beauty of a woman who has walked with the Lord for many years. She is full of wisdom and Jesus shines in her face.

  45. 45
    miranda says:

    I have only been reading your blog for a couple of weeks and already I feel as if I have learned so much from you all. I have never met any of you in person but I have seen your mom now 2 times live (I live in Colorado Springs), and I am in my 3rd Bible Study at my church from her. I feel my faith has been challenged and I am being renewed every day. I am not the best at staying on task, but I feel even on my hard days of not being able to concentrate I still learn so much and God has more to say. I just wanted to thank you for your posts, new and old. Thank you for sharing wisdom (even if you feel undeserving of that gift) with us. I’ll be 28 in about a year and the only thing I had thought of was the “old” part…. I am pretty small so I often get mistaken for a high schooler… I’m hoping after my 3rd baby arrives in Nov. I might start feeling like I am a grown up and feel worthy to pass on my own bit’s of wisdom. Thanks again.
    -miranda

  46. 46
    Living day by day for Jesus says:

    It was a perfect ending…God’s word is perfect! I definitely needed the reminder too! Thanks girl!

  47. 47
    Anonymous says:

    Sweet Amanda – it had a perfect ending. What a sweet message. It’s so true, we do turn Jesus’ head and I just love that!
    Happy happy birthday and your hair is very beautiful!
    One of your big siestas,
    Dana
    Clarksville, TN

  48. 48
    Sandy M. says:

    Amanda:

    I have a prayer request. Seriously one of the weirdest you have received I bet! A few days ago I set down my spiral set of verses for 2009 and now I can’t find it anywhere. The way things have been going around here, I think maybe a demon actually moved it! I’ve asked my kids, hubby and retraced my steps and have come up empty handed. I would love it if the Siestas would pray that I would find it. I think they are the ones who would best understand my loss! Thanks all!

    Sandy M.
    Plano, TX
    [email protected]

  49. 49
    Brandy says:

    Those were good words. Makes me think about growing older and not wishing I was still twenty something. I hope to be like your ladies too! To grow,and grow in the Lord. To make His head turn. Great post…
    Certainly gets you thinking…
    No matter how old I am the one thing I wish is that I will SHINE for Jesus.

  50. 50
    Dana N says:

    I can’t imagine wanting anything more than to turn Jesus’ head and to be of great worth to God. I’m not sure my spirit has ever been described as “gentle and quiet” but I’m going to keep on walking, praying and striving to get there!

    I’m so glad you pulled this from “the drafts”!

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