Faith Spilling Over… Into Everyday Life

Who Do You Want to Be 20 Years From Now?

17 Comments

Salvadoran Mother CollageTucked away in between the tree covered volcanos of El Salvador are some of God’s most precious girls. Mind you, with their crinkled faces and brown eyes that light up into smiles, they don’t look like girls any more. Well into their 70’s, they’re the generation of women that mothered me when I came to this land as a bride 20 years ago.

These mothers of mine amazed me during my visit in June. They’re a testament to faithfulness; many have served Jesus in the same ministries for over 30 years.

  • They rock babies in their soft laps and change diapers in the church nursery, year after year.
  • They teach Sunday school month in and month out.
  • They take prayer and encouragement to the sick in hospitals and homes.
  • Wednesday nights they go knocking on doors to share God’s love.
  • A retired doctor, Martha offers free care to the underprivileged.
  • Sweet sister Dorita still prepares snacks for Sunday school kids.

When I turned 50 in May, I thought about what I want my life to look like down the road. My Salvadoran mothers give me an answer.  Their faces wrinkled from smiling and hands wrinkled from serving teach me about finishing strong.

Paul describes finishing strong like this: “Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 3:13b, 14)

I want to press on and stay in the race until the end. More years and more experience should mean more fruitfulness, right? I want to touch lives and share love. I want to keep reaching out and growing. I want to finish strong.

How do I press on today, so that I’ll look like my sweet Salvadoran mothers in 20 years? What are daily disciplines for going the distance?

Choosing God First

Our daily choices now determine who we’ll be in 20 years, and I want to choose God first. I choose a few minutes with Him to start each day. I want to treasure God’s word and do what it says. And when I don’t get it right, I choose repentance rather than my own way. Like when I have to apologize because I shot off my mouth at the poor woman working at McDonalds. I want to love and obey God as best I can each day.

Loving People

Choosing God would be easy on a deserted island. It gets nitty gritty when people get in your face. Your toddler wants a drink. Your teen wants to talk. Your husband wonders if you’ve seen his day timer, and your friend says the wrong thing. These are the people God puts on your path for you to love. And sometimes it’s the small things that speak love: a smile or a listening ear even though you have a million things to do.

So I want to press on towards the goal. I want to embrace daily disciplines of choosing God first and loving people, in hopes that my choices today will make me a softer, gentler woman 20 years from now.

What do you want your life to look like in 20 years? Do you have any role models?

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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.

17 thoughts on “Who Do You Want to Be 20 Years From Now?

  1. I think cultivating a spirit of thankfulness. What a blessing to have these ladies in your life to look up to and be there for you.

  2. Dear Betsy, I loved reading this. It really puts things in the right perspective. It was really thoughtfully written.

    Sent from my iPhone

    >

  3. Betsy, since it’s unlikely that I’ll
    be here in 20 years those are my goals for now—loving God and others. I’m where you will be in 25 years. Hard to believe that I am 75. You’ll look back one day too and wonder where those years have gone.
    I want to stay strong in Him until I finish my race. Love you

    • Yes, Sandy. You are such a great role model for me, a treasure! I hope to be like you for sure in 25 years. And I’m pretty sure you’ll finish strong. (You might still be around in 20 years. You NEVER know!)

  4. I love this! Like you, Lord willing, I’ll be 70 in 20 years. I desire to age gracefully and grow to be a godly, content older lady.

  5. So a call to adopt has been on my heart for over 8 years. We have 2 biological children….. I put it behind us for the past 6 years since God blessed us with our children whom keep us busy !! Nudging the past 6months again to adopt big time !! We are in our early 40’s ! BUT God knows my heart and who I want to be in 20 years from now. A family that is complete with another child from another country. Thank you for your post!

    • Wow, adopting a child now would certainly be a ministry that would mold you. I pray that right doors open for you if that’s the future God has for your family.

  6. In 20 years I hope to be a healthy, active lady in my 70’s. I hope to be independent and strong. I want to be a source for helping others with the ability both physically and financially to do so. In 20 years, I want to be a cheerful, positive and calming force in the lives of my family and friends.

    • Yes! I love what you say about being cheerful and positive. I think that is so key in the lives of older people that impact me and that I enjoy being around.

  7. An interesting question. I’ll be 75. I want to be more like Christ–loving, full of grace, and totally devoted to God. The Lord can do a lot with us in 20 years, if we just allow Him to. Thanks, Betsy, for a thought-provoking post.

  8. This post really got me thinking, Betsy. In 20 years my husband and I will be 70 and my daughter and son will be 35 and 31 years old. Both my kids have special needs but I hope my daughter will be working and in a relationship if not married. My son will likely still be living with us. I don’t quite know how to process all that. It’s overwhelming when looked at from such a distance, but God promises His compassions are new every morning, so I just pray for health & strength for each day as it comes.

    • Jeannie, I’m praying for you now that God will give you grace for the day by day. And that you won’t be overwhelmed as you look just at the step ahead of you. Contemplating your son living with you will in 20 years cannot be easy. I imagine how I would feel in your place. His mercies are new every morning, as you say.

  9. In twenty years, I’ll be your age, Betsy. And I’d be satisfied if I was still straining forward to know Jesus better, to have my life more changed by him, to be asking good questions and be characterized by love. Thanks for this reminder! We’re stateside for a few months now, too…fun to be in the same country as you!

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