Every few years my husband’s family has a good old-fashioned family reunion. I absolutely love those weekends. I married into an amazing family, and they have accepted me with lots of love and kindness. During a family reunion weekend several years ago, there was a group of us sitting on the back porch talking. I am not sure how the conversation began, but someone mentioned their age. It turned out we had someone from each decade of life represented. We had someone in their teens, twenties, thirties, and at least one person all the way up into one their seventies! We had the best conversation laughing and talking that evening. It was a beautiful moment when age was an apprecaited factor instead of a dividing one.
Now in my 40’s, I find myself in the middle of life. I am close enough to the days of pregnancy, sleepless nights, and the “trying two’s” to remember the younger years. Yet, I am now old enough to feel the urgency to make my days matter, because the number of years I have left may be less than the years I’ve already lived.
Being in the mid-life years allows me to straddle both sides of the isle when it comes to friends. I now enjoy many friends both younger and older than me.
I am amazed by the younger women I know. Their road in life is full of opportunity and adventure. Those who have ventured into motherhood seem to have a harder road to navigate than mine was. The overwhelming decisions made during the first few months of motherhood are now confounded by the enormous amount of information at their fingertips. These young moms are informed and not afraid to go against tradition. They question everything and have made me aware of things I just accepted without questioning.
I am also amazed at the quiet strength and beauty I see in the women who are older than me. There is a sweet joy that comes from being around them. Many have weathered the ups and downs of life with dignity and grace. They know what is important in life, and they have a deep wisdom that comes only with experience and time.
As I think about both of these groups of women I realize a deep truth – we need each other!
I say to the older women in my life, “those of us younger than you need you!” We need your encouragement and steady hand. We need your calm perspective on life that can appreciate and value a little one (messes included). We need to know your wisdom of what you would have done differently when it comes to raising a family. We need to hear what really matters and what isn’t worth the battle. We need to see a marriage that has lasted fifty years and is still thriving. We also need your prayers! Your ability to have uninterrupted time in the morning is a dream for many of us moms! Please lift us up in prayer so that we can thrive during this season.
I say to the younger women in my life, “You are needed too!” Your fearless take on life is encrouaging! Those who aren’t yet married have been a huge blessing by helping with my own children. Your help and friendship have made the years with little ones easier and more fun! The new moms help me remember the joy of little ones and the new milestones in life. Your questions help me figure out what I believe and put it into words. You encourage me to keep striving towards the raising of children who are full of character and pointed in the right direction!
The minute we think we don’t need each other is the minute we begin to fail. Realizing we need each other also means we see things from another generations perspective. I can’t look at the younger moms in my life and think all of their decisions are wrong because they do things differently than I did. The same also goes for those who are older than me.
Even though each generation has its different struggles, there is one common factor – God. His principles don’t change and can be applied despite the generation. Just like the Bible says about Him, His truths are the same yesterday, today, and forever. He is the tie that binds us together and encourages us to learn from one another.
The next time you have the opportunity to befriend a mom in a different age group – take it! You never know what blessings you may reap and what a blessing you may be!