Faith Spilling Over… Into Everyday Life

Celebrating 50: Still Learning and Laughing


turning 50My family is celebrating a milestone that makes me want to laugh and cry at the same time: I’m turning 50! I want to cry because well, it’s FIFTY, for heaven’s sake, and when I look in the mirror, I can see I’m not a spring chicken anymore. I want to laugh because my 40’s were my best decade yet, and I hope life continues getting better.

When I was 20, 50 year old women looked mature, established, and OLD! Surely by fifty a woman would have her act together. However, I now realize that unless something drastic changes, I’m not going to be able to get myself together by May 8th. But I’m happier now than when I was thirty. I’m still learning and growing. That’s progress, isn’t it?

The Bible has some positive things to say about aging (and hopefully maturing):

“Gray hair is a crown of glory…” Proverbs 16:31

“Wisdom belongs to the aged,
  and understanding to the old…” Job 12:12

I’m sorry to say that thanks to L’Oreal, I’ve spurned the gray hair God meant to be a crown of glory, but I have learned some things about myself, God, life, and relationships. Here’s what I’m still learning after 50 years:

How to View Yourself

1.  Remember that you are an amazing masterpiece crafted by God with unique gifts and talents.

2.  Receive God’s forgiveness and grace when you mess up. If God forgives you, don’t withhold forgiveness from yourself.

3.  Don’t be afraid to be yourself. Step out and take risks to be the person God created you to be.

4.  You can make a difference in someone’s life today, even by making a phone call.

Relationship with God

5.  Remember God’s amazing love for you. Receive it. Remain in it.

6.  Fifteen minutes a day with God will change your life.

7.  Change your focus from your problems to his power. Turn up the music and worship.

8.  Don’t be afraid to pray for miracles. God will surprise and amaze you.

9.  Give thanks for 5 things every day.

10.  Ask God to forgive you for 5 things every day.

Relationships with People

11.  Say “I love you” often.

12.  Focus on listening.

13.  Don’t wait for people to call you because “it’s their turn.”

14.  Deal with conflicts as they come up. Remember you don’t have to have the last word.

15.  Don’t forget the power of touch. Love on your people with hugs, pats, and kisses.

Handling Stress

16.  Breathe deep and count to 10. Keep calm and carry on.

17.  When life is too much, take a walk around the block.

18.  Don’t be afraid to say “no.”

19.  Listen to relaxing music while you work.

20.  Never underestimate the power of a good night’s sleep. Go to bed early. Tomorrow will be better.

So given the choice between laughing and crying as I celebrate my 50th, I’ll choose laughing any day, and my family decided to celebrate it up. Join me on Thursday for what I’ve learned about enjoying life, maintaining perspective, marriage, self-care, and real life hacks.

I’d love to hear from YOU. How old are you –if you don’t mind sharing– and what’s something you’ve learned?


Author: betsydecruz

I want to enjoy the everyday life God is giving me as best I can, even when the road gets bumpy. I love having fun with my teenagers, learning almost anything, and drinking dark roast coffee with my friends.

21 thoughts on “Celebrating 50: Still Learning and Laughing

  1. I’m 43 and learning to be proud of my gray! When my former students see me and my gray hair they ask, “Did we give you those??” LOL

    • Good for you, Kristine!!! I didn’t dye mine until age 47, and I think I’ll embrace gray one day, but I’m just not quite ready yet! I keep telling myself I’ll be ready when I lose 10 lbs! ha ha ha

  2. Happy Birthday, Betsy! I hit 55 this year. That one was harder for me than 50. But I’m learning that my best years for the Lord are now…TODAY. I’m learning to embrace this place He has me and see the wonder of His work in my life. I love this post. What a great list! (And, yes, I too color my hair. I keep upping the age I say I’ll go natural.)

    • Sabra, I need to look at that picture more closely, ’cause you sure don’t LOOK 55. I totally get it that some birthdays are harder than others. For me it was 48… And yes, I’m thinking that for sure I’ll need to go natural at some point! Bless you friend. May this year be your best yet.

  3. Betsy, you seem very young to me.
    I will hit 75 on the 26th. I can hardly remember 50!
    God has been good to both of us and I rejoice!
    I love this saying and have chosen it as my motto for many years: Age is a matter of the mind. If you don’t mind, it doesn’t matter!

    Love you and Happy Birthday, dear friend!

    • Sandy, oh what a joy to read your comment this morning! Perspective makes a huge difference, doesn’t it! Love your motto!

      • You would love her to death too, if you knew her. She’s a miracle woman, blesses everyone who comes in 25 feet of her and through facebook too!

    • Oh Sandy, I can’t believe you’re going to be 75! You’re living proof that people can stay young at heart. (and mind too!)

  4. I’ll be fifty next January, 2015. I can’t thank you enough for going first! 😉 What a helpful post this is, too! Lately, the Lord has been reminding me that troubles come to everyone, and the secret to overcoming is just as you describe: Attitude! Bless you, Betsy; I always am so uplifted by your blog!

  5. I’m 53, and although I hate “getting old,” I have to say this is the happiest I’ve ever been.
    You know the adage, Youth is wasted on the young? I heartily agree! If I could have a do-over, I’d love to study and learn more, waste less time, pray more, work harder, start more projects at a younger age, and have been less selfish. I feel like I’m only now learning how to take charge of my life to make it better and happier.

  6. Happy, happy birthday, Betsy!!! May it be the best year, the best DECADE yet!! ♥

  7. Happy Birthday Betsy!!! I wouldn’t have EVER guessed you died your hair. And Sabra… you BOTH had me fooled!! I look forward to meeting you soon! Cheers to the best years to come!!

  8. Happy Birthday Betsy, my 50’s have been the best time yet. I finally learned to love myself and who I am in God. I turned 57 this year. May this year for you be the VERY BEST yet. God Bless you.

    • Thank you, Sylvia! I’m looking forward to 50’s being the best. Learning to love yourself and who you are in Christ is a wonderful thing to learn indeed. I think that takes about 50 years to learn, don’t you?

  9. Hi, Betsy! I was tickled pink to get your invitation to Twitter!

    I tried Twitter for a few months for my blog, but it felt like such a burden for me on top of all my other commitments that I ended up cancelling my account.

    If I change my mind in the future, I hope we can still be Twitter-friends then.

    Love and prayers,


  10. A little late, but I turned 50 in October 2013. This year is the big 5-1. 🙂

  11. Betsy,

    I’ll be 58…tomorrow! And L O V I N G life, our GREAT GOD, friends, family and my incredible husband. Love your lists. Susan

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