From my journal early last summer: “God is nudging me to alter the focus of My Monday Moments…” Then August 4 on the blog: “This is just a note to encourage you to keep checking this post for a new title and focus! Can’t let you in on the secret just yet…”
Some of you–the faithful few!–have been checking. Others have given up. Although God continued to nudge, recovery was slow after busy, beautiful summer weeks, frustrating technical difficulties, plus the decision to downsize to a smaller condo. All my best laid plans were delayed. (When was the last time you cleaned out all the closet corners? Sorted through desk and kitchen drawers? Discarded or donated all those extra pillow cases, kitchen towels, ball point pens from Holiday Inn?!)
But now, after a frenzied few weeks, we’re settled and thoroughly enjoying these smaller digs. And definitely not missing those pillow cases or pens. It’s time to finally respond to God’s persistent nudges. My Monday Moments will remain the blog address but the title and purpose is changing to: God’s Perennial Woman: Exploring God’s Work and Will in Women. I was tempted to add …Women of a Certain Age, but decided that readership would take a tumble. (You can also “Google” God’s Perennial Woman: Exploring God’s Work and Will in Women to find the site.)
Why the change? As I work with and observe Christian women in what could be called the “third third of life,” several scenarios come into view. Some women, in varying conditions of health or life circumstances carry on or even increase the pursuit of personal spiritual growth, actively encourage younger Christians, and feed inquiring minds through challenging reading and discussion. Others seem stalled and/or satisfied, filling in the blanks in yet another Bible study, never missing a Sunday service, writing out that weekly tithe check, but most often have lost their I’m-following-Jesus enthusiasm.
However, a third category troubles me (these women probably aren’t reading My Monday Moments!), ones like the man described in a recent newspaper article who bemoaned, “I want the old Colorado back!” I hear these women say, “I want the old preaching/music/Sunday clothes/study/prayers/teenagers/missions/pews/Jesus(!?) back.” Or “I’ve done my part. Let someone else do the work.” Or “Rock babies in the nursery? No thanks!” Or “Invite my gay neighbors for coffee? Too uncomfortable.”
Perennial seems to be one of the new “in” words. I’d like to think it was original with me, but when I began searching on the internet for a new blog focus, I discovered I was at the back of the line. “Awakening the perennial feminine…Perennial women are your new market…You don’t have to be middle aged. You can be a perennial instead!” (I like that last one!)
Although for merchandising purposes, perennial women are largely defined as those in their 40s and 50s, from my vantage point and for purposes of this blog, perennial women are twenty or more years or older than that accepted definition. Careers, whether chosen or imposed, are over. Nests are empty. Some live alone after death or divorce of a mate. Addresses change as downsizing becomes attractive or necessary. Now what? Cruises beckon. Pinterest and Hobby Lobby promise diversion from loneliness.
But as Peggy Lee sang, “Is that all there is?”
If you’ve read this far, let me encourage you to tune in again some time soon. What’s happening in women who decide that this “third third” has more to offer? Does anyone (even God?) find value in us? What’s next for one who chooses to be a perennial woman of God?