By Betty Boyd
When I turned 50 my life was a roller coaster, and I did not know where to start first. I was supervisor in a new job, my husband had just retired and he was very ill. I had no time for myself or friends. Just taking care of a sick spouse was very draining. On top of that I was getting my Master’s Degree. I had just gotten over cancer and I had other health issues. I had a lot on my plate, but I knew that God was at my side. After my husband died in 2009 I was left wandering. Where do I begin to pick up the pieces? By 2012, I decided to retire and start my own freelance writing business. These challenges taught me the importance of leaning on God and that there was a reason why I had to go through them.
That’s my story. Anita, Bob, Jane and Mike are all 50 or older and live, as I do, in the South. They each share a story of how God is moving in their lives --- not when they were young, or in college or in the “prime of life” whatever that is, but NOW. Getting older for each of us isn’t about fear, reservation or resignation. It is about being bold physically and spiritually to make this season of our life just the beginning.
You too have a story that can encourage others. I want your story to be the “5th story” in this feature. CONTACT US to share it. When you do, you’ll be entered into a special Born To Be Bold drawing where at least one person (from those who submit a story and are at least age 50 or older) will be randomly chosen to receive two sessions with Faith & Fitness Magazine’s new 50+ Department Editor, Dino Nowak, Founder of Renu Health and Fitness (a $500 value). Here are the details for to submit your story and win.
Getting older is more than a number, but how willing are you to live your life. According to the Social Security Administration:
· A man reaching age 65 today can expect to live, on average, until age 84.3.
· A woman turning age 65 today can expect to live, on average, until age 86.6.
James Pascala, MD, president of the American Geriatrics Society says, people should adopt a lifestyle that is not the same as their parents. Take preventative measures by being engaged as early as possible so that you can be more active in your 60’s, 70’s, 80’s and beyond. Dr. Pascala recommends a healthy diet, aerobic activity, strength training, social interaction, and brain games.
As we age, life brings trials, tribulations and problems. Sitting on the sidelines and waiting for things to get better is not a healthy attitude. Having faith in God is the foundation of how to live a full life.
Does getting older mean sitting back, or winding down? How we age is more than a positive and motivated mindset during this stage in life. It is fulfilling your God-given purpose. Check out how these people aren’t just active, but living their dreams, being fully engaged in shaping the future and leaving a legacy.
ANITA L. WEATHERS – FAITH GIVES YOU THE ABILITY TO CHOOSE TO EXPAND
Anita L. Weathers, was born in Talladega, Alabama. Now she is the Principal of Union Chapel Christian Academy (www.ucchristianacademy.org in Huntsville, Alabama. She is also a certified Integrative Nutrition Health Coach.
Anita says, “I believe there is honor involved in getting older, because growing old is normally accompanied by increased wisdom and experience. The Bible talks about how gray hair is a crown of splendor, that is attained by a righteous life. Proverbs 16:31 I just accept that it’s okay to be older, wiser and imperfect.”
She describes a pivotal point in her life was when, “I lost my mother to a major heart attack in 2012. Six months later I was diagnosed with pre-hypertension myself. I learned very quickly that in every moment you are choosing which energy will rule your life. In this moment I made the decision to follow my heart. I am so glad that God showed me that I could literally redefine my future and write a brand new script for our life.”
Anita’s faith is her focus on Jesus Christ. She explains, “I live to please Him in everything I do. I recognize that it is only because of God’s grace that I am now living a life of joy, peace and hope.”
Anita believes aging well requires intentionality. How is that done? She says, “Begin to look at the aging process as a way to expand yourself and experience personal growth. You’ll be much more content in mind, body, and soul while wearing your ‘Crown of Glory’”.
BOB ENGLISH – GETTING WISER MEANS LEADING OTHERS
Bob English is from the small farming community of Clarendon, Arkansas. Today he lives in Huntsville, Alabame. He is a John Maxwell Certified Professional Coach and Corporate Leadership Trainer. (http://www.robertenglishleadership.com/
Bob says, “Getting wiser is being able to do more with your experiences and knowledge that you gain.” In 2013 as a John Maxwell leadership coach he went to Guatemala to attend a roundtable discussion. There he was able to teach values and principles that contribute positive change and direction for those in that country.
Bob underscores that, “Once you taste significance, success will never be enough to satisfy you. Significance is all about others and helping to change people lives.”
Bob’s faith was a compass that kept him on the right path, and taught him good fundamentals. His advice is, “Everything rises and falls on leadership. Everyone can learn to be better leaders. Everything gets better with good leadership.”
JANE JENKINS HERLONG – FAMILY AND A GREATER GOOD
Jane Jenkins Herlong grew up in Johns Island, South Carolina., Now further inland, she resides in Edgefield County, South Carolina. She is a Motivational Humorist, SiriusXM Comedian, Professional Singer, and Best-Selling/Award-Winning Author.
For her getting older means being wiser, with a balance of mind and life experiences, where you move from success to significance. Jane, like many people, found that family challenges are what God used to begin a good work. She shares, “[I was] taking care of my aging mother and dealing with [the] heartache of her having to sue my sister over my father's estate being improperly probated. [I was] also dealing with my brother who was and is dealing with drug addiction.”
What has she learned with time? Jane explains, “God used me for a greater good through my many tears for many years. I have leaned on my faith ever since I was a child. I knew there had to be a better life but I needed better skills.” She realizes, “it is never too late to have a great life with all life's flip-flops.”
MIKE RABY – FAMILY BLESSINGS GIVE BIRTH TO DOING THE RIGHT THING
Mike Raby is originally from Huntsville Alabama. He now calls Tanner, Alabama home. He is an entrepreneur and owner of Roof Tech Solutions, a construction contractor.
Mike realizes that getting older, “Makes me appreciate the life that I have. I have seen many people pass who meant everything to me. So, I appreciate life so much and don't take any day for granted.”
A big turning point in his life happened when he learned he was going to be a father. Mike goes on, “After many years of struggling to have a child, I was told that I was going to be the daddy of a very special little girl. I was also blessed with a stepson that I am so very proud to call my son. Both have blessed me so much.”
Mike’s recognizes, “With everything that goes on in this world, faith is my strength and it helps me in this sometimes-hard life. Faith helps me in my relationships with God, my wife, my family, my friends and in everything that I do.”
His signature message is “Always do the right thing, always. My name is all that I have, so l want everyone to remember me as a good father, friend and just a person on whom they could always rely.”
BOLD TIPS FOR AGING WELL
Spend your time and energy in training yourself for spiritual fitness. Physical exercise has some value, but spiritual exercise is much more important for it promises a reward in both this life and the next. This is true and everyone should accept it. 1 Timothy 4:7-9 (NLT)
Being in the 50+ group can be the beginning of life renewed. Aging is an attitude. The gifts we are given, wisdom gained, the strength through the pain and suffering give us advantages as we age. These are opportunities to act and have no fear, to takes risks and to live a life under God’s plan. Anita, Bob, Jane and Mike exude those characteristics.
As we grow older, we are given a unique perspective on how to live out the rest of our remaining years. Here are some tips to consider for aging well from Cody Sipe a contributor to Faith & Fitness Magazine’s 50+ Department:
· Re-kindle an old flame - Whatever it is now is a great time to fall in love with that activity all over again. You will wonder why you ever stopped doing it in the first place.
· Re-invent yourself - You are not defined by the past but rather by your vision of yourself for the future.
· Re-imagine the possibilities - Don’t let your own stereotypes of getting older hold you back.
· Re-new your strength - Research shows that people gain confidence in their own abilities when they exercise regularly.
· Re-structure your priorities - Commit to removing these typical standard options from your life for a week or two in order to force yourself into seeking out new adventures. You will thank yourself later.
5 @ 50 - YOUR STORY IS JUST THE BEGINNING
Anita, Bob, Jane and Mike encourage us that physical fitness and strong faith make a difference in life as we get older. Their four stories show that the birth of boldness can happen at any age and that our oldest years can very well be our boldest years.
What is your story? Share it so we can add it as story #5 to this feature.
CONTACT US and submit your story.
Use as similar format and length as those above.
When you do, you’ll be entered into a special Born To Be Bold drawing where at least one person (from those who submit a story and are at least age 50 or older) will be randomly chosen to receive two sessions with Faith & Fitness Magazine’s new 50+ Department Editor, Dino Nowak, Founder of Renu Health and Fitness (a $500 value).
For additional resources on aging well please review the following links below:
God has given us the gift of life, let us live life to the fullest according to His will. We are not at the end but at beginning of the journey.