Navigating the 50s and 60s

Janet Aucoin September 8, 2023

The golden years. The empty nest. Retirement. The fall of life. While our culture views the 50’s and 60’s with a unique kind of anticipation and dread, Christians must be ready for the special gifts and challenges this season holds.

In this episode, Janet and Jocelyn discuss how women of God can praise and honor God throughout their 50’s and 60’s by choosing faithfulness, hope, and endurance through this unique season of life.

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Episode Transcript



⁠The Afternoon of Life - Elyse Fitzpatrick⁠


⁠Midlife, Christ Is - Jared Wilson⁠

⁠The Fruitful Empty Nest - Linda Linder⁠

⁠The Hardest Part of Mothering - Jani Ortlund⁠

⁠Quaere JBC 6:2 - John Bettler⁠


⁠Aging Biblically - Joyful Journey Podcast⁠

⁠Adult Children and Their Parents - Joyful Journey Podcast⁠

⁠Purpose: The Creation Mandate - Joyful Journey Podcast⁠

No Fear of Old Age - Tim Challies


⁠Restoration Men’s Ministry


Jocelyn: I don't just need to feel better. I need the truth. And ultimately that will make me better.

Janet: I just want to make it as totally simple as possible for ladies to see that the Bible is really applicable to their everyday life.

Jocelyn: When they understand theology, the application flows out of it quickly with joy.

Janet: It is a journey, but even the journey itself is joyful when I'm doing it, holding the hand of my savior and trusting him all along the way. This is the joyful journey podcast, a podcast to inspire and equip women to passionately pursue beautiful biblical truth on their journey as women of God. When you choose truth, you're choosing joy.

Janet: Welcome back. This is Janet here once again with Jocelyn.

Jocelyn: Hi, friends.

Janet: And today we're gonna be talking about a season of life that I am personally in, the fifties and sixties. I'm on the fifties end. Let me just clarify. Not that I should have to, but I want to. Since I'm 57, almost halfway through this afternoon season, to quote Elyse Fitzpatrick in her book. A few months ago we had Amy Baker share with us a hope-filled look at aging, and we're gonna have that linked in our show notes for sure. If you didn't hear it, I highly recommend it.

Jocelyn: Yeah, it's a great episode.

Janet: This episode, we're really gonna focus on the years leading up to a potential retirement with some of the unique challenges and opportunities that come with that. So let me just ask you, Jocelyn, as you think about the season of your fifties and sixties, I know it's not your reality yet.

Jocelyn: Not yet. I'm getting there though.

Janet: What comes to mind?

Jocelyn: Other than the obvious of getting older, I think about a lot of like cool stuff like my kids being done with high school and college. That will be so cool.

Janet: Yep.

Jocelyn: 'Cause it's occupied such a huge part of my life. They'll probably be living in their careers, which is super fun because yay,

Janet: Yes.

Jocelyn: They prepared for them.

Janet: That's the point.

Jocelyn: They'll probably both be married at some point during my two decades of fifties and sixties, maybe having grandchildren. That would be so cool. I think that I'll probably have a lot more time with Brian, or at least that same amount of time lived out differently, more like when we were first married,

Janet: Yes.

Jocelyn: Like we didn't have kids yet. But the cool thing is newlyweds with 30 or 40 years of experience. We won't make so many stupid decisions.

Janet: Now is when you need a honeymoon.

Jocelyn: Exactly. I also think about some health stuff that worries me, like my body not working in a way that I'd like or prefer, or.

Janet: Yep.

Jocelyn: Going through menopause scares me. I've heard a lot of horror stories and I'm a little freaked out by that. Maybe dealing with cancer or disease because I know sometimes that happens.

Janet: Yep.

Jocelyn: I was also thinking about the possibility of losing my parents or siblings or nieces or nephews, like my family that I really love a lot.

Janet: Yep.

Jocelyn: Every year longer that we live statistically, it's more likely that one of us is gonna die.

Janet: Yep.

Jocelyn: And I also think some cool stuff like maybe living in a smaller house that's a little bit easier to manage and maintain and keep up with.

Janet: I don't know. That's the season where you want it to be big enough they can all come back.

Jocelyn: I know.

Janet: With the grandkids.

Jocelyn: I was thinking about that, but then, I also think that one story would be nice. Maybe going back to work or at least working differently than when our kids were at home. So it's like to me it's exciting because it's a new phase of life that's gonna look a lot different, but we have a little bit of wisdom.

Janet: Yes.

Jocelyn: So it's not like we're starting over.

Janet: Good. Even the things that you mentioned, and I know for me as I thought about it, and obviously as I'm living it, the word that really stood out to me was change.

Jocelyn: I think that is accurate.

Janet: I've been struck by how many changes happen in this time period. And as I was thinking through this episode and reading and writing some, I thought about different areas where there's change relationally, physically, mentally. I didn't have an "-ally" word, so I said, "career-ally". "Job-ally", I don't know. What do you call that? And financially. I liked this, I was reading an article by Jared Wilson on Midlife, and he says this midlife brings new insecurities and awakenings to long dormant regrets. Many of us face empty nests and the prospect of, in effect, starting over with spouses, we've only related to for so long as co-parents rather than as partners or friends. Many of us face the reality of aging parents and any fears or worries or responsibilities that come with that. And of course, we daily face the reality of lost youth, waning strength, more difficult processes for maintaining health. Time moves a lot faster the older you get. That's a cliche too, but it's true. When he said that, would say this is certainly not the only time period where that happens. But I think we would do well to think about these changes.

Jocelyn: Yeah.

Janet: For a variety of reasons. If you're younger now and you're thinking. That's not really an episode for me. You have the opportunity to invest your mindset and priorities in ways that will only be enhanced as you get older.

Jocelyn: Yeah, absolutely.

Janet: If you're older now, like me, you have the opportunity to evaluate your priorities.

Jocelyn: Yeah.

Janet: And either go deeper in the right direction or make some course corrections.

Jocelyn: Yeah.

Janet: As we think through the areas of change, I do think it would be easy to be discouraged, and that was one of my prayers as I prepared this. I don't want this to sound like a bunch of, oh, this is so hard.

Jocelyn: Looking forward to that.

Janet: Yeah. Can't wait. One book that I read, I was greatly helped with, was called, The Afternoon of Life by Elyse Fitzpatrick. Listen to what she says about this season, and I loved this when my life shouts to everyone around me knowing God is the best, most sweet, most satisfying aspect of my life. Then he's being glorified and exalted by me when I face the ostensibly never-ending changes with grace and gladness becoming like my valiant sister in Proverbs 31 who smiles at the future. My family and friends know that God can be trusted, even though life is sometimes more like an uncertain rollercoaster than a predictable merry-go-round. She goes on to say this, How does the Lord create that kind of God exalting praise in my heart by teaching me that those facets of my life that I would tend to love and lean on like a good memory, good eyesight, natural strength for the tasks at hand, or restful nights of sound sleep. They can't support the weight of real life through eternity. They aren't the source of real joy, peace, or blessing. So he removes familiar temporal joys, lovingly drawing my attention up to him where I find fullness of joy and eternal pleasures.

Jocelyn: That's so cool. It's like what you get out of his removing the familiar temporal joys is something so much infinitely better, but comes through a little bit of hardness.

Janet: Yes, I think necessarily.

Jocelyn: Yeah.

Janet: And I completely agree. This can be a season of increased joy and deeper roots in eternal things in the midst of many changes. So as I look through some of these changes and challenges because I do wanna be practical. I do wanna be a little specific, but let's not lose sight of that great hope. So the first area I thought about was relationally. So as I say, relational, anything come to your mind?

Jocelyn: It's funny, as I was thinking about what is gonna change in the fifties and sixties, like almost everything I thought about included relationships.

Janet: Isn't that funny? As you look at your list, it really was.

Jocelyn: Yeah, like having more time with my husband. But also I worry about the possibility of one of us dying. You know like, the older we are, the more likely it is that will happen. I think about my parents and siblings. I love them. And it's interesting, like growing up we were just playmates and so our relationship was just hanging out, having fun, but as we get older and older, our relationship with each other is so much more like project management and task oversight. And it's also cool because it's becoming very mature.

Janet: Yeah.

Jocelyn: So we don't just hang out and have fun. We work through problems together and, deal with stuff that's really hard about our parents. I think about the girls finding husbands. That's super cool. It's serious.

Janet: Yep.

Jocelyn: But it's exciting and big kids making big decisions have big consequences like relationships with grandchildren is gonna be really fun to think about.

Janet: I'm ready.

Jocelyn: I know. I feel like I'm finally wise enough to even begin having my children of my own.

Janet: And your kids are like, yeah, we think so too.

Jocelyn: So, it's gonna be fun to be aged and wise with little ones. I'm excited about expanding some friendships that have been on the back burner, during busy family years.

Janet: Yep.

Jocelyn: A lot of things just didn't, weren't priorities and so they can be. Now, I'm excited about helping some of the younger leaders in women's ministries, so I just think it's exciting to see how all of my relationships are expanding, but the relationship I'm most excited about is my relationship with God because by then, 50 or 60, that's five or six decades of lifetime. By then, the majority of my life will have been lived in relationship with Him. And it's cool because every new year, like I'm building on the nuggets of truth that I've already learned.

Janet: Yes.

Jocelyn: And so it's not like I've never heard this before. It's like I now understand this better because I learned other things.

Janet: Yes.

Jocelyn: So I imagine that relationships are gonna just change all over the place.

Janet: It's true. It's true. I think this stage, at least for many people, they're either preparing for or they're actually starting to experience an empty nest. You know, for me, I'm in an empty nest. You're a little younger, but you've got your youngest going to college so you're preparing.

Jocelyn: We're looking at it.

Janet: Yep.

Jocelyn: Yeah.

Janet: Yep. So it's not true for everyone, and none of the things we're gonna talk about are a hundred percent.

Jocelyn: Right.

Janet: But it's pretty common. And I would say particularly for moms the structure of your life really changes.

Jocelyn: Because even if you have a really strong Godly marriage, so much of your family life revolves around your children.

Janet: Oh, yeah.

Jocelyn: And so much has to be done to care for them.

Janet: So, it's just different.

Jocelyn: Yeah.

Janet: I know for me, meal planning for a family versus meal planning for two, I find that hard.

Jocelyn: I'm glad to know that because I'm really gonna have to cut back or we're gonna be living on leftovers.

Janet: And it depends. Do you have a husband who loves them? I don't. So he will eat them, it's not his favorite thing.

Jocelyn: That's not his favorite.

Janet: Because I could cook once and eat it all week.

Jocelyn: Yeah.

Janet: It's probably not gonna be his favorite. How do I meal plan? For me, other big changes is time at home is so much quieter. Like I can remember when my daughter was at home, evenings, even if we're all sitting around in the living room, we're reading books, somebody starts talking. And we're just talking and I'm finding out about her day and we're laughing about something or we're watching something and there's somebody there. Mornings, my son coming up the stairs, I could tell you the mood he was in. Because if he came up singing, we were in a good place. If he came up quiet, something's on his mind. But I just know that he'd walk into the kitchen singing while I'm in the kitchen reading and we start laughing and talking in the morning. All of that's good and sweet and then it's all gone.

Jocelyn: Yeah.

Janet: I know for me it was prioritizing, I need time at home because I've gotta build into the children. Not anymore. That's gone. I was the scheduler of the family calendar. Coordinating who needs to be where and what do we need to get done, and suddenly, it's quiet. And that can be uncomfortable.

Jocelyn: Yeah.

Janet: Areas of my life that I've been able to ignore are more obvious. The lack of relationship with my spouse may become more evident.

Jocelyn: Yeah.

Janet: Wrong priorities begin to surface and even priorities that we had in that season, they need to change. We already did an episode on parenting adult children. We'll also have that linked in the show note, so I don't wanna say all that again, but my relationship with my children changes. Linda Linder wrote this article called, "The Fruitful Empty Nest", and she says, I never understood what it meant to let go of my children. Then someone suggested, rather than letting go of my children to float out into some kind of never land, which I'm like, yeah, who wants to do that?

Jocelyn: Yeah, that's funny.

Janet: I can deliberately place them into the strong and loving arms of God where they are protected and cared for.

Jocelyn: That's comforting.

Janet: I love that.

Jocelyn: Yeah.

Janet: But that's happening in this season. Jani Ortlund, I'm gonna quote from her in a couple different things that she wrote. One in her article on the hardest part of mothering says, I took on a new role as their chief encourager and head cheerleader. And I love that. And I will tell you, it increased my prayer life.

Jocelyn: I'm starting to understand prayer life a little bit differently as my kids get older. I was at this function a while ago and I accidentally overheard these two ladies, they were in their upper fifties or maybe like lower sixties, talking to each other.

Janet: Way older than me.

Jocelyn: Way older than me.

Janet: Yeah.

Jocelyn: But they were talking, their kids were older than mine. They were talking, catching up with each other and asking how the kids were and what they were up to, and it was so sweet. At this one point, the one said he's doing well, summarized by saying there are a lot of parent prayers right now. And I was like, parent prayers, that sounds like ominous. And she was like, she went on to say, she was like, you know how it is, some things just require parent prayers and that's the only thing you can do. And so recently a couple of things really hard things have happened in my upper forties that have involved parent prayers and I'm like, I get it now. Parent prayers. I so get it.

Janet: Yes. The Lord knew that would increase our prayer life.

Jocelyn: Yes.

Janet: When we lose whatever semblance of control we thought we had.

Jocelyn: Yes. That's the thing is parent prayers are the realization that you never had control.

Janet: Yes. Yep. And the loss is real. Yeah. Elyse Fitzpatrick in her Afternoon of Life book says this, the more deeply we involved ourselves and their lives, the more it hurt when it was time to give them up.

Jocelyn: Yeah.

Janet: Motherhood is inherently fleeting. It is planned obsolescence.

Jocelyn: That is so helpful. So hard and so helpful.

Janet: Yeah. It's like it's okay that it's hard.

Jocelyn: Yeah.

Janet: It's planned obsolescence.

Jocelyn: Working your way right out of that job.

Janet: Yes. Yes. And what I really love is thinking through the fact that God really understands that.

Jocelyn: Yeah.

Janet: Think about that. And we all know John 3:16, but it says He gave His only begotten son. He gave Him, He left being in the Godhead together and He gave Him. Romans 8:32 says, He didn't spare His own son, but delivered Him over for us. 1 John 4: 9 & 10, what is love? Not that we loved God, but that He loved us. And what did He do? He sent His son. So the Father understands because He gave His son. The son gave up all of His rights.

Jocelyn: Yeah.

Janet: We read in Philippians 2. Fitzpatrick goes on to say this, they, the godhead know what it means to love, and to give up proximate relationship for the love of another.

Jocelyn: That's very helpful.

Janet: Yeah. And that's what we're doing.

Jocelyn: Yeah.

Janet: We're giving that up out of love.

Jocelyn: Yeah.

Janet: Love for God and them.

Jocelyn: And for our kids.

Janet: Yeah. We don't want to make it hard for them to go.

Jocelyn: No, not at all.

Janet: But I do think in addition to just grieving the end of a good chapter. Many of us can experience regret.

Jocelyn: Yeah.

Janet: What do you think might be some common regrets?

Jocelyn: I may not be 50 or 60, but I've already had some regrets. So wishing I'd said, or done something differently.

Janet: Ugh.

Jocelyn: If I could just replay that I would've kept my mouth shut.

Janet: Yep.

Jocelyn: Or wishing I'd prepared them more or differently as I homeschooled my kids. I think that all the time about science. Why didn't I try harder? All the times I was a terrible mom, when they were little and I yelled at them. Ugh.

Janet: Ugh, yeah.

Jocelyn: I can remember some specific incidences that I'm just like.

Janet: It's embarrassing to remember.

Jocelyn: I'm so ashamed of.

Janet: It upsets you. Yeah.

Jocelyn: Yeah. The times I sacrificed our family for work, even though it was good work.

Janet: Yep.

Jocelyn: And this one is so dumb. But you know what I regret? I think about this regret all the time. I regret not getting on the floor and playing with them when they were little, like playing toys with them more, or not reading more books to them. Like maybe they would love reading more if I had read more to them and like already I regret this while it's still happening. The times that I literally am like it's 11 o'clock at night, I cannot have one more serious conversation right now.

Janet: Yes.

Jocelyn: And I'm like, literally, my brain is not working.

Janet: Yes.

Jocelyn: And then I find out like the next morning it was significant and serious and I should have just stayed awake.

Janet: One thing I think you're preparing for is be a grandparent. You'll be on the floor and reading books.

Jocelyn: I'm gonna be ready. That baby's getting books all the time.

Janet: But I do think we have a lot of those kind of regrets.

Jocelyn: Yeah.

Janet: And I don't think we should. Here's the temptation, stay busy, nothing you can do anyway, it's over, push on.

Jocelyn: Yeah.

Janet: I wanna encourage anybody struggling with regret, don't run from it. Face it.

Jocelyn: Yeah.

Janet: Instead of pushing it away and not dealing with it. And then we do this. We did the best we could.

Jocelyn: Which is a lie because I did not do the best I could.

Janet: Have I ever done the best I could at anything?

Jocelyn: No. But it is a comforting lie.

Janet: Yes. Yes. And if it's true that you look back and go, I wish I'd been home more, but I had to work or we couldn't eat. You really might have made the right decision, right? So great. Face it, think it through. And if that's true, you don't have to squash thoughts of regret. Now you get to look at them and know, actually that's not true. But maybe some of them are true. So why do you think it's important to face them even though the kids are gone now?

Jocelyn: Because if you're guilty, if you truly did wrong, you can confess that and God will forgive you and you can talk to other people and they'll forgive you about it. There have already been several things that I've had to go back to my kids and say, we just need to be on the same page about this. That how I handled that part of your youth was wrong.

Janet: Yeah.

Jocelyn: Yeah, it should have been different.

Janet: And while we know number one, in the good providence of God, He will use even our mistakes, flaws, and sins to help our children grow.

Jocelyn: Yeah.

Janet: Because He is that big and amazing. But we also know when we face it and I ask forgiveness wherever I truly may need to, I'm truly free. Then there's no more regret. Our God is so amazing. I don't have to be afraid to face anything. He has an answer for it. Praise God.

Jocelyn: Yeah.

Janet: And it's not, stay busy and convince yourself you did the best you could.

Jocelyn: And you know what's crazy is sometimes I still remember the things that I've had to ask forgiveness for, but there's a lot of things that used to plague me that once I took care of them, they don't bug me the same way.

Janet: Yes.

Jocelyn: I don't remember them with, tears the same way that I used to.

Janet: I can totally relate to that. Brent and I've talked about this a lot when we've had a conflict and we've truly sinned against each other, and then we've truly handled it and owned it and asked forgiveness. If you ask us a week later, we can't remember what it was about. But it's handled.

Jocelyn: I can remember conflicts that are not resolved.

Janet: Yes.

Jocelyn: For years.

Janet: Yes.

Jocelyn: Yeah.

Janet: So freedom does not come from squashing it.

Jocelyn: No.

Janet: Deal with it.

Jocelyn: Yeah.

Janet: Whatever it is. In this season, you may become more aware of those. The kids leave and the regrets are you have a lot more time.

Jocelyn: Yeah.

Janet: And a lot less ability to run from it

Jocelyn: And quietness, like it's amazing.

Janet: And there they are.

Jocelyn: You think about when.

Janet: Yeah.

Jocelyn: When you got no one else to talk to.

Janet: So that's one big relational change for many people. They're working toward or working through the empty nest. But to add to that, many in this season are now caring for elderly parents.

Jocelyn: Yeah. Yep.

Janet: Which is a new season now, Brent and I, neither one had the, and I'm gonna say it, the privilege of caring for our elderly parents because our parents died when we were...

Jocelyn: Oh, wow.

Janet: Younger than we anticipated. And we've said, wow. Like we have no parents.

Jocelyn: Wow.

Janet: And we have not had parents for many years now.

Jocelyn: Wow.

Janet: But we know that for many others.

Jocelyn: Yeah.

Janet: They thought now that I'm post child rearing, I'm free. But really, they need to take care of their parents.

Jocelyn: Yeah.

Janet: And now, we're reorienting expectations again.

Jocelyn: And like you said, it is a privilege.

Janet: Yeah.

Jocelyn: I am involved in helping care for parents who are aging and it is a privilege to be able to love them to a small degree, compared to what they poured into me.

Janet: Yes.

Jocelyn: For all of my, all of my years up to now, I've had a relationship with them and it is a privilege. But it does change your life.

Janet: It does.

Jocelyn: Yeah.

Janet: It does. And if I don't expect it, that's another change.

Jocelyn: Yep.

Janet: That I just have to work through. And then, there's that man you married. Being alone, possibly surfaces. You haven't really been investing in that relationship. You have time to do it now.

Jocelyn: You're free to.

Janet: But there may be a lot in the middle of that you gotta work through. So sad. In the book that I read, Afternoon of Life, Fitzpatrick says the highest incidence of divorce is between the ages of 40 to 54.

Jocelyn: That's shocking and eye-opening.

Janet: I was really surprised by that.

Jocelyn: Yeah. I would've thought it'd be more like in the twenties and thirties.

Janet: Yeah.

Jocelyn: But it's like your kids are finally grown up and then you don't have.

Janet: Anything.

Jocelyn: The glue that holds you together anymore.

Janet: Yep. So it makes me wonder, I think it's really sad. And I just wonder if this season of change is playing into that.

Jocelyn: Yes, I bet it does.

Janet: But there's a better way. Jani Ortlund in her article, "Empty Nest Full Life", emphasize the opportunities the empty nest gives to invest in other relationships like your spouse. And I will say for me personally, Brent and I now have a date night for the first time in probably 20 years.

Jocelyn: That's amazing.

Janet: Yeah. Honestly, probably more than that. We've been married 29. I don't think we had a date night before we had kids.

Jocelyn: Wow.

Janet: Who could afford it then? But it was like.

Jocelyn: Wow.

Janet: Once our daughter was in college, they had Friday night plans, cuz that's when college ministry met and that's when we started having a date night.

Jocelyn: That's amazing. I bet you guys have had so much fun together.

Janet: And what's really fun is I think about, oh, it's Friday. I'm not gonna have to cook, wonder what we're gonna do? And of course, it's where do I have a coupon? I get it.

Jocelyn: Yeah.

Janet: I still do all those things.

Jocelyn: You're not going to be frivolous.

Janet: But it's, I look forward to that now. And we never had that.

Jocelyn: And had this, forward looking objective observation practice as a family where we're like, okay, what's the next step coming up and how can we be ready for it? And so we started seeing how hard it was for some of our friends who were getting older and whose kids had left. And so we decided we were going to try to battle that before it happens. So we've been investing in monthly date nights.

Janet: Yes.

Jocelyn: Like we go away overnight, once a month, every month. And it is so cool to be able to enjoy your relationship. And we've seen so many cool benefits just from the last two years of doing that, where we're like, we like each other. It's fun to hang out together.

Janet: So I would say, anybody listening, it's never too late.

Jocelyn: No.

Janet: And if you're way beyond Jocelyn's age and you're like, yeah, we didn't do that. It's never too late.

Jocelyn: Never too late.

Janet: But it will be awkward at first.

Jocelyn: I was just gonna say, it was our first couple overnights away. We were like, what in the world are we doing? What do we talk about?

Janet: Yeah.

Jocelyn: Yeah.

Janet: And that's okay.

Jocelyn: It's weird. It's weird, but you'll get over it.

Janet: Right. Yeah. So instead of thinking, and this was so sad, family member I'm close to, said to me, more than once, enjoy your kids. It's the best years of your life.

Jocelyn: Oh.

Janet: And she said that as one who didn't have kids at home anymore.

Jocelyn: Oh, wow.

Janet: And those were the best years.

Jocelyn: That's too bad.

Janet: So instead of thinking the best years are over, embrace this new season while you grieve the end of a good chapter. We can do both.

Jocelyn: Right.

Janet: So some ideas put that nurturing into other people. If I have this maternal instinct and I loved nurturing my children, you may have grandchildren, that's an obvious but there's young moms around you. Help them with their kids. What a gift to a young mom.

Jocelyn: Yeah. You have experience.

Janet: Yes.

Jocelyn: And hopefully you have lots of wisdom from the Lord. Like you have what they need.

Janet: Yes. And taking care of their children isn't scary to you. Like we have somebody coming in town this weekend and they have a four month old and they were saying, we've got these plans. Do you think? And I think they're totally comfortable with us just, yeah. And if the baby screams.

Jocelyn: Yeah.

Janet: We'll figure it out.

Jocelyn: You'll be okay.

Janet: It's gonna be all right.

Jocelyn: Yeah.

Janet: But when I was in my twenties, that was scary to me.

Jocelyn: Yeah.

Janet: What do I do? What do I do? And it's I now can be a blessing to them.

Jocelyn: That's so cool.

Janet: So use that freedom to meet with other people. Use that new empty nest freedom to serve more, develop new skills. Another friend of mine, when she hit, I don't remember if it was 40 or 50, I think it might have been 50, she picked up the harp.

Jocelyn: Oh, how fun.

Janet: Because she wanted to say, I'm gonna learn a new skill. It's a new season, new skill.

Jocelyn: That's so cool.

Janet: And she will play the harp at our church. That's neat. And she started it at that point. For me personally, it's meant I can serve in more ways. I can, I don't know, host a podcast.

Jocelyn: Let's try really new things.

Janet: Yeah. Which honestly is in part because my daughter was like, yeah, we can do this. And she figured out the whole tech end for me. I can travel to speak more now. I can counsel more, I can mentor more, and I love it. It's a blast. Now I have the challenge of learning what are my limits. I had obvious boundaries when my children were home, in part because I had children at home, in part because my husband was like, we have children at home. Somebody needs to be home with them. When I would say, do you think I could go, this isn't your season. Now. I'm like, it's my season, GO!

Jocelyn: It's your season!

Janet: And that's great. I still have limits figuring that out. The temptation in this season relationally is to focus on what you've lost. But there's so much more you can do now. And I would encourage women just lean into that.

Jocelyn: Yeah.

Janet: But here's the real problem with that part, if you can get your body to do it.

Jocelyn: I know.

Janet: Because this season has physical changes as well.

Jocelyn: I think this is, these are the hard ones for me.

Janet: Yes. Yes. Things hurt that didn't used to hurt.

Jocelyn: Yeah.

Janet: This last February had our week long counseling training conference, and I was talking to someone and I'm like, oh, my word is pathetic. When I say, oh, it's been a hard week. My I, what have I been doing? Sitting, standing and talking. It's all I did for a week, and my body was like dying. I'm thinking, okay, that didn't used to be the case. I'm now that person that takes my pillow when I travel.

Jocelyn: Oh my word. You're a pillow traveler.

Janet: Yes. I never wanted to be that person. Brent even said, this is how bad it is. Brent says to me, did you get your pillow?

Jocelyn: Oh my word.

Janet: Normally, it was like, it's only a few days. It doesn't really matter.

Jocelyn: Yeah.

Janet: Now it's do you wanna move your neck the next day? Then you probably should have a pillow that's gonna help you move your neck the next day. I'm awake in the night at odd times.

Jocelyn: I'm not looking forward to that one.

Janet: I've been officially diagnosed with overactive bladder. So fun. Can I tell you? Yes. I love this one. I have bifocal contacts, bifocal glasses, reading glasses, several of them in many rooms in the house, and I have to ask my kids to read the small print with all of those things. Why would you have a prescription bottle that is mostly for old people and make it so small that with every glasses that I have, I cannot read them?

Jocelyn: It's true. We suddenly, we're suddenly having eyeglasses all over the house.

Janet: Yes.

Jocelyn: Every flat surface has bifocals on them.

Janet: And that's just what's happening to me.

Jocelyn: Yeah.

Janet: For many other people, a lot more dietary restrictions than they used to have. They suddenly can't do that.

Jocelyn: Or prescriptions or like prescription consequences, like side effects and things like that.

Janet: Yep. I'm tired a lot earlier. We are at the stage, which I always made fun of where people look at the clock and say, do you think we can go to bed yet? And I'm like, oh, probably it's probably too early. We won't be able to sleep if we, I also remember my mom telling me at one point, the only thing that made it bearable when I would come and visit with my kids, cuz she loved them and missed all of us cuz we lived far away. But it made it bearable to say goodbye cuz she was exhausted.

Jocelyn: And she would get to sleep.

Janet: And I'm like, I get it now.

Jocelyn: Yep.

Janet: I get it. And I'm looking older.

Jocelyn: Oh.

Janet: So if we've put our value in our appearance.

Jocelyn: Yeah.

Janet: What are we doing when it fads?

Jocelyn: Yeah.

Janet: So we're in a season where a lot of the physical issues are surfacing.

Jocelyn: Yeah. As I've looked around at others over the years, I've noticed that the physical problems just become, the thing to talk about.

Janet: Oh my word.

Jocelyn: And I was always like, I am not gonna be that way. I will never talk about my body. But then it's a get older and things are starting to not work or hormones or like the lack of hormones changes. I'm like totally starting to understand it. I don't wanna be consumed with my body, but it's hard when something that's happening in my body it feels scary. What? Why is this thing not working?

Janet: Yes.

Jocelyn: Or you suddenly become aware of it. I don't know. It's always just been there. I've never paid attention to it before. Now I feel it all the time. The other day, Brian and I were talking about this pain he was having in his foot just cuz we were trying to be good stewards. We were like, we weren't, what is this or something? What you, what is, why do you suddenly have a lump on the side of your foot? And we had been talking about it for a while and Shelby was like, stop you two, you have literally been talking about feet for 30 minutes. We were dying. We were like, we're becoming old people.

Janet: Yes. So there is a challenge that we don't wanna talk about it all the time. But we can also acknowledge it's just part of the reality

Jocelyn: And we have to like, he needs his feet to work. Do you have to get different shoes or ?

Janet: Then you're younger though, if you'd had that same thing, you'd have gone, huh and move on. Now you realize things don't go away. We might have to do something.

Jocelyn: That's actually one of the things I was thinking about as we were prepping for this episode is I hope the younger people do listen to this because it's helpful to know what is commonly ahead so that you can put more thought into it as a young person.

Janet: Yeah.

Jocelyn: Oh, if that's standard, I should maybe invest in doing my best to do what I can to intervene, if possible.

Janet: It's like for me, I'm doing a lot of calcium supplements right now as well. I have osteopenia, we're headed the direction of osteoporosis, doing what I can, we think part of my genetic condition, maybe what has led to it happening early. Cuz it's early for that. Again, wisdom for my daughter who has my condition.

Jocelyn: Right.

Janet: She's taking calcium. Okay, are there things that I can do? Or she was taking calcium as I look at her across the room, okay, who knows? She may be my age and

Jocelyn: She'll just have to deal with it.

Janet: In a wheelchair. We'll see. But that's all right. So physical changes are happening. It's not the end of the world, but they are happening

Jocelyn: And it's real. Sometimes it's scary.

Janet: Yep. But in addition, mentally things start happening. I'm definitely having a harder time remembering some things. Many times, names, nouns that are just, I feel ridiculous. I just, the other day I said to Brent, I don't know, whatever, and he goes, no, stop. You can think of it. And I'm like, you have no idea.

Jocelyn: But can I?

Janet: My head right now, like it's a very common word and nevermind. I didn't wanna say it anymore. And he's no, stop, think it's ridiculous. The funniest part was, I told you this book's been really helpful, The Afternoon of Life, and I'm reading through it and I'm laughing because the author Elyse Fitzpatrick is talking about her kids telling her a place they all go and telling her she's already been there, and her saying, really? Did I enjoy it?

Jocelyn: Did I like it?

Janet: Because she can't remember it. So I'm like, haha, that's really funny. I can relate to that. Then I'm reading farther in the book and I see I have marked up the entire book. I have read this book. I didn't even know I'd read this.

Jocelyn: Apparently didn't hit you the first time.

Janet: Oh my word. I was like, how ironic, I'm reading a book about how I lose my memory and I don't remember reading this book. I've also mentally dealt with things I'd never dealt with before. I feel like, I understood. I'd read about, I've helped people with panic attacks. I'd just not experienced one. I've had a lot of things, just hadn't had that. Then I got on this plane flight probably four years ago now, and I thought, I don't think I can breathe.

Jocelyn: Yeah.

Janet: Oh my word. Then we got on a roller coaster.

Jocelyn: Oh, man.

Janet: And I'm yelling to my husband, get me off. What in the world's he supposed to do at that point? But I'm like.

Jocelyn: Buckle up, lady.

Janet: I can't breathe. I can't breathe. I have to get out. And this is, I don't think until the last four years that's ever happened to me. And now it's happened to me a handful of times.

Jocelyn: Yeah.

Janet: So that's happening more. That's new to me.

Jocelyn: I think sometimes we get more fearful and panicky as we get older because we know more.

Janet: Yeah.

Jocelyn: We've experienced more. We know how weak we are, we know how fallible we are, and there's just a greater sense of our own inability that we are just oblivious to as young people.

Janet: Yes.

Jocelyn: We're fearless and bold and we just, we do things cuz we can, we don't think about consequences or long-term side effects, but after you've lived a while, especially position where you minister to people.

Janet: Yeah.

Jocelyn: You know what happens. You know what bad stuff is out there and it's just we're a lot more aware.

Janet: Yes.

Jocelyn: Which I think helps us to be a lot more fearful as we get older.

Janet: And I've noticed like people who are even way older than me that seem to fear things that I'm like, it's not that big a deal.

Jocelyn: Yeah.

Janet: And I think, wow, maybe that's what this is. I gotta deal with it.

Jocelyn: Yeah. Maybe be paying attention to it.

Janet: But yeah. So I don't know the phrase that my husband and I have been using this year is "weak and dependent". And I think that's more and more where we're consciously aware that we're living. And that's a good thing.

Jocelyn: It is good, but it's so backward from how we would like to think about ourselves.

Janet: Yeah. And so we think about all the things I've just talked about and we say, Encouraged yet? But I really think we can be.

Jocelyn: Can't wait, Janet.

Janet: Yeah. Woohoo. We can acknowledge these changes and then respond. Here's another quote I liked from, The Afternoon of Life. So I'm an afternoon woman and glad of it. It's a good thing not to trust and affirm young body. It's a good thing to know that this body will return to dust. It's a good thing to know that our days are written in His book. Yes, every one of them. It's a good thing to live with our whole hearts, to invest our gifts in the kingdom of God, and its people in God's creation. And I love that being in a place where I'm more aware that I am weak and dependent. Physically, mentally, relationships are changing. I can't count on the things that I used to. That's really good.

Jocelyn: It really does make you think about eternity.

Janet: Yeah.

Jocelyn: As you get older and older.

Janet: Yeah.

Jocelyn: You realize the end is nearer and nearer, at least for this physical body as it is now. And it just, I don't know, as I've gotten older, I have had way more passion to be involved in things that matter forever.

Janet: Yep, exactly, and so that's a good thing.

Jocelyn: Yeah.

Janet: And in our culture, old age is bad. What do I have to take? What surgeries? What pills?

Jocelyn: Yeah.

Janet: What creams? What do I have to do to not be old? But it's interesting. She says this, according to the scriptures, old age is more desirable than you.

Jocelyn: That's crazy, isn't it? I think it's really exciting too, because we as a culture, value youth.

Janet: Yes, and what you think about it, it's the most foolish people on earth.

Jocelyn: I know, they have no experience, but they're super educated so they think they know. I was watching this discussion in the news a couple, a little while ago about a presidential candidate who was being called past her prime cuz she was in her fifties. And I was like, oh, my haven't, I was like, what? She's finally wise enough to even think about leading the country, but when the Bible talks about people in their eighties, we're told to be respectful of them and to honor them because they have so much to offer.

Janet: Yes. Not in spite of their age.

Jocelyn: Yeah. Not like all those decrepit creepy people. It's so easy to think that because I'm not as active as I was when I was 30, that's bad. But there's so much more to life than just physical activity. Even that shows the inordinate amount of value we place on earthly things that God said are gonna pass away.

Janet: Yeah.

Jocelyn: Like our bodies.

Janet: Yep.

Jocelyn: So we magnify our physical body and lose sight of the eternal truths. And I think it's wonderful and encouraging to know that old age is more desirable than youth.

Janet: Listen to these verses. Let's just let them wash over us. Leviticus 19:32, "You shall rise up before the gray headed and honor the agent". Job 12:12, "Wisdom is with the aged men with long life is understanding". Proverbs 1631, "A gray head is a crown of glory. It is found in the way of righteousness". Proverbs 20:29,. "The honor of old men is their gray hair".

Jocelyn: Wow.

Janet: And then thinking about the Proverbs 31 woman Fitzpatrick says this, she's inwardly beautiful and filled with a wisdom that finds its satisfaction in loving life-giving service to others. And I think I want that.

Jocelyn: That's cool.

Janet: That's a breath of fresh air. I want that kind of beauty. So in addition to those areas that are difficult, many people in this season are facing their career disenchantment.

Jocelyn: Yeah.

Janet: Which I think is what the world calls the midlife crisis.

Jocelyn: Yeah, I agree.

Janet: Because what's happening in this season? Frequently, we're not promoting anymore. Instead of thinking about the bigger, better job that we think's coming, we're looking toward retirement. We may be thinking about how much money we have or what do we need for that season, and then we experience for some of us, this midlife crisis that John Bettler did an article on that I thought was really interesting. We'll link that as well. But he says this, a midlife crisis is a reevaluation of past ideals, goals, and overall life purposes as they no longer prove effective in dealing with current stresses.

Jocelyn: That's interesting.

Janet: Yeah. So what does that mean? When my overall life purposes have been something other than representing God, I'm now faced with either I can't ever achieve what I thought was my purpose. Which was to change the world or whatever it was, I thought I did achieve it. And it's not satisfying.

Jocelyn: Yeah.

Janet: Or I'm gonna lose it.

Jocelyn: Yeah.

Janet: Either way it's temporal.

Jocelyn: Yeah.

Janet: So if I found my value in doing something that changed the world, in the world did not change, what am I gonna do? If I found my value in being the best? What happens when I'm not anymore?

Jocelyn: Yeah.

Janet: If I made it my life's goal to have this big, huge accomplishment, and then I did it. Now what? He says this in the article, now that I've climbed the mountain, am I any different for it? Do I feel fulfilled? Have I achieved what I wanted to achieve? So sometimes what happens at that point is we're tempted to recapture our youth somehow. We're gonna go to the gym all the time. We're gonna use that extra discretionary money we might have, and we're gonna do something to our body. So that young again.

Jocelyn: Reinvent ourself. Yeah.

Janet: We're gonna dress youthfully. My kids have even told me sometimes, Mom, that looks too young. I'm like, oh, I'm allowed, or I'll pick out something for them, and they're like, no, that's something you would wear. That's not what the youth wear. I'm like, oh, thanks for clarifying. And it's okay that it, I don't need to pretend I'm 20.

Jocelyn: Because you're not 20.

Janet: But that's a temptation. To start partying, to get the sports car or depression, affairs. I have to find somebody else. Boredom, despair. We do that whole session on unfulfilled longings. This is what happens when I can't get them, anxiety, alcohol or drugs, anything to escape the reality.

Jocelyn: Yeah.

Janet: But God offers a better way. This season in your career even is an opportunity maybe to recognize what we've been treasuring isn't eternal.

Jocelyn: Yeah.

Janet: It's okay to realize that cuz now we can reorient.

Jocelyn: It's like a midlife crisis that points you to a better direction.

Janet: Yes.

Jocelyn: Yeah. Why not reorient yourself.

Janet: To something that actually matters.

Jocelyn: Yeah.

Janet: And that can't be pulled away from me.

Jocelyn: Yep.

Janet: Yeah. So in many ways, the fifties and sixties may surface areas of our lives where we've been valuing things differently than God does staking our identity and worth to very unsafe items. My abilities.

Jocelyn: Yeah.

Janet: Whether it's physical or mental.

Jocelyn: We know those are gonna change.

Janet: The person that I think about, Robin Williams. Very quick-witted. Very successful. Very funny. And even one of his wives, he had some ex-wives, said that he lived for the adrenaline of that. Do you know how he died?

Jocelyn: Yeah. He killed himself.

Janet: Yeah. Now what we found out later is he had a degenerative disease, he wasn't quick anymore. And you just have to wonder. Someone who's made their identity being quick, being funny, quick quitted being witty, and now all of a sudden he's not.

Jocelyn: Everything that he lived for was taken from him.

Janet: And he didn't handle it.

Jocelyn: No.

Janet: I don't say that in judgment. I say we need to be aware of that.

Jocelyn: It's a danger.

Janet: It is.

Jocelyn: It's a danger for all of us.

Janet: If any of our identity is in our abilities because I can physically do this, or I'm mentally sharp, or my appearance is a certain way or my relationships, that's not a safe place to put your identity. When it comes to relationships, I loved hearing Dr. Charlie Hodges spoke at our counseling conference. He's talking about a sinful way of clamoring after relationships, and his comment was, if you are clamoring like that, you don't understand, all relationships are temporary except one. Are you investing in the one that's eternal?

Jocelyn: That's interesting.

Janet: Yeah. All others are temporary. So it doesn't have to be depressing. It can be the impetus to beginning to value the right things.

Jocelyn: Yeah.

Janet: Or more valuing the right things that truly matter. And what is that? That I get to represent the God of the universe at work, with my family, everywhere I go. And when we're working for our Savior, what honors Him is our faithfulness and our character not being the fastest and the smartest.

Jocelyn: That's good.

Janet: Yeah, God's value system is very different from ours. How do you think it would impact our remaining years at work as our careers moving to an end if we were looking at life that way?

Jocelyn: I think it would not be a time to slack off, but to lean into how I'm gonna spend my remaining days. If I'm more aware that I'm not gonna live forever, then I wanna make the most of the time that I do have, and it's almost like a sense of urgency to live for Jesus rather than retiring and being unproductive and just totally self-centered.

Janet: Yep.

Jocelyn: I also think it would make me think of how I'm gonna invest my wisdom in the generation that's gonna follow me. Because especially if we're talking about career, it's possible that you've been able to do some innovative things and to accomplish a lot that is important for your field.

Janet: Yeah.

Jocelyn: And that stuff can be lost if you're not careful. And if you don't see that the young people need the wisdom that you have, then you'll be willing to just be like, I'll just watch them make mistakes.

Janet: Yep.

Jocelyn: But instead you could turn back and give that back to them.

Janet: And you think about that, the difference between, I've only got five years left, I'm just gonna wait it out.

Jocelyn: Fly under the radar. Yep.

Janet: So that I can play golf.

Jocelyn: Yep.

Janet: And then, in the end, I'm not enjoying my job. I realize what's it even matter. In five years I'll be gone. If I did it for that or I only have five years left. Before I may be at a point where I don't need an income, not where I don't need to be productive. But where I don't need an income, what do I only have five years? How do I represent Jesus today? How do I prepare the next generation? How do I? It's a very different way of looking at it. Now we're prioritizing, the eternal. Deepening our vertical focus. I once was talking to a friend who was in very tumultuous circumstances. Everything felt like it was everything mattered relationally. Things that were important were just blowing apart. But I know she was a follower of Jesus and loved Jesus, and I looked at her and said, nothing that really matters will ever change. You're gonna be with Jesus forever, no matter what else happens here. It doesn't mean we don't grieve. But it does mean I'm not standing on an earthquake that's shattering my foundation.

Jocelyn: Yes.

Janet: If my foundation is things that will never change, which is all vertical. And I think these changes help anchor us more in that reality so we can deal with all the other changes. I mentioned earlier that we might start thinking about our finances more as we get closer to retirement. And we heard Amy Baker earlier talking about preparing to think biblically in this area on her episode on aging. Again, highly recommend.

Jocelyn: That is such a good episode.

Janet: Yeah, but it can be scary to know that you're not gonna have much of an income when you stop working. You're gonna be living off your savings primarily.

Jocelyn: Yeah.

Janet: What temptations do you think might go through your mind as you prepare for that kind of change in income?

Jocelyn: I can see two different ditches that someone might fall into. If you have less expenses and you're able to plan you could say, on the one hand, I'm just gonna hoard it all.

Janet: Yeah.

Jocelyn: I'm not gonna spend any of it. I need to make sure that I keep it all in savings. Spend bare minimum cuz I'm gonna need all of it.

Janet: Yep.

Jocelyn: So don't spend it.

Janet: Yep.

Jocelyn: The other side is spend, like you have all sorts of extravagant items that you can afford now.

Janet: Yes.

Jocelyn: That you couldn't afford before and you don't think I deserve it. You don't think about the long term. Like we don't know how many years that savings will have to last.

Janet: Yep.

Jocelyn: But the thing is both of those are selfish and self-focused because the money that you never had when you were younger and pouring into your family can now be spent pouring into your greedy heart if you're not careful.

Janet: Yeah.

Jocelyn: But I've seen a lot of retired people either hoarding or spending and they don't look happier for it.

Janet: No kidding. Absolutely. Both are enslaving.

Jocelyn: Yeah.

Janet: Instead, wouldn't it be exciting to say I want to have a budget and I am a believer in budgets because they help me know I need to be a wise steward. I don't want to not plan and then go guess it'll be my kid's problem.

Jocelyn: Yeah. Yeah.

Janet: I wanna plan, and here's what my husband and I said, we want to plan so that as we get closer to retirement, we have more to give. Wouldn't it be exciting to be at a point where I don't have to put the kids through college? I'm not putting braces on. I'm not. It's only Brent and I. The house is paid for, and now we look at our budget and say, we can give more.

Jocelyn: Exactly when you, understand the biblical purpose of money, like Ephesians 4:28 specifically tells us that one of the purposes of money is that so you can give it to those who are in need. And I don't think that many people think about that purpose of money. Brian and I have worked really hard to remember as we're getting older and thinking toward retirement, we don't wanna end up with a hoard that only benefits us.

Janet: Yeah.

Jocelyn: It makes people stingy and crabby and greedy.

Janet: Yep.

Jocelyn: I wanna be able to support some things in the future that we've only ever dreamed of funding.

Janet: Yes.

Jocelyn: Relies on the gifts of godly people.

Janet: And I love that you're thinking about that when you're younger, you're preparing your mind for, okay, the whole what, how we wanna handle our budget is certainly the steward to meet our own needs, and if we wanna be able to save up and take our family on a cruise.

Jocelyn: Do that.

Janet: Enjoy it.

Jocelyn: It's not saying don't enjoy your years, but don't live for enjoyment.

Janet: It's how can I then use my money to be a blessing? I still remember the friend that told me I was approaching a season that was luxurious, when I wouldn't have children in the home. And I understand that I'm moving from seasons where my daily priorities were pretty clear. Raise my kids, manage my home. If you're working outside the home, going to work, honoring your boss, now we're moving toward a season that might give us a lot more flexibility. For some, it's cuz the children are gone. For some, it's because they're approaching retirement. For some, it's cuz they don't need to save for schooling anymore. All of those things. The question is, have we prepared ourselves spiritually so that we'll handle that increased freedom and with joy?

Jocelyn: I've really appreciated you sharing that story about when your friend shared that you're entering into a luxurious season. Because it helped me to look forward to the end of my kid's education because I found myself dreading it and being afraid, like, how will I live without having something to focus on? It has been a really exciting transition now with my youngest one heading off to college. I'm excited to fill my time with new luxurious things. It had it bent the way that I thought about it.

Janet: Oh, I love that. I love that. Jared Wilson, I just read an article that on the changes in midlife and it, he said, it was Christ is, and I loved that. Instead of a midlife crisis, it was a midlife, Christ is.

Jocelyn: I got it.

Janet: Yes, and he says, if you're on the front side of middle age, I encourage you to begin investing in your friendship with Jesus now. Don't put off communion with Christ. He'll still be there waiting for you if you do, assuming you even make it to middle age. But imagine yourself in those days of thinning, hair, stubborn paunch, creaky bones and joints, callouses of hand, and scars of heart. Having walked closely for years and years with the Savior. It will make the middle age something to savor.

Jocelyn: That's precious.

Janet: That's precious.

Jocelyn: Yeah.

Janet: As we approach this time of our lives, the world's telling us we're entitled to think about ourselves now.

Jocelyn: Yeah.

Janet: We deserve to be indulgent with ourselves and focus on leisure and entertainment, but I believe this, we were designed by God to be productive.

Jocelyn: Absolutely.

Janet: Whether we can do what we used to do or whether it looks different, whether we need to get an income from it. Whether we don't, God's plan for us to represent Him hasn't changed.

Jocelyn: Yeah.

Janet: Elyse Fitzpatrick says it this way, seek out opportunities, whether in private or public, to use the years that the Lord has allotted to you to continue to live for the benefit of others rather than looking at this time as a season of vacations and self-indulgence. Why not press yourself for new opportunities for service?

Jocelyn: I love that because in ministry in the church, what we need is seasoned veterans that can share their wisdom in all sorts of ministries.

Janet: Yes.

Jocelyn: There's so many ministries that need people that can lead.

Janet: That's right. And it's true regardless of your physical or mental ability. Jani Orland wrote this, I just was reading this week. I get the Revive Our Hearts newsletter and she said this, I want to know Him better, love Him with greater joy and passion, and feel His nearness in my day-to-day life. I'm purposefully lengthening my daily times with Him. Spending more time in His word, lingering over passages that draw me in, and choosing verses to meditate on or memorize. I'm asking God to strengthen me as I commit to expand my time with Him to a minimum of one hour each day. I've found a good spot in my home to meet with Him. I'm setting a timer in another room. Walking away from my computer and phone. Lighting a candle, fixing a cup of tea, and sitting down with my Bible and notebook to drink deeply from the river of His delights.

Jocelyn: That's beautiful.

Janet: Now that sounds luxurious.

Jocelyn: It does sound luxurious.

Janet: Part of me is oh, I feel like I shouldn't have the right to do that. That can be the beauty.

Jocelyn: Yeah.

Janet: Of this season and for many, this kind of new season affords opportunities like that. If you've always worked and you're about to retire, you could do this.

Jocelyn: Yeah.

Janet: I was challenged by that, convicted by that. Really the temptations that we face in our fifties and sixties aren't really unique. They seem to hit all in that time period because of all the changes that are happening in our lives. But I appreciated this. Butler went on to say this in his article, the struggle of moving from foolishness to wisdom, from man-centered to God-centered priorities could occur at any time at 13, 18, 21, 25, or 65. At each age, a person is faced with the choice of being a man or a childish or foolish with God's will or his selfish ambitions in view.

Jocelyn: I have met a couple childish older people.

Janet: Yes.

Jocelyn: Yep.

Janet: Yes, the middle. He says, the middle years typically present their own set of stresses, but these stresses are no more critical than those confronting a thirteen year old as he embarks on adolescence, the eighteen year old as he leaves public education and moves into the work world. The 21 year old who enters marriage or the 25 year old who leaves the shelter of college for the business world.

Jocelyn: It's just like the next transition.

Janet: Yes, and the fifties and sixties, for some of us, it may be the first time we actually tried to do it well. Intentionally.

Jocelyn: Yeah.

Janet: And so maybe you figured that out by now. No matter what your age or stage, these issues are still there.

Jocelyn: Yeah.

Janet: If you're younger, take some time to consider if you're living for things of eternal value or if you're caught up in priorities that are not gonna serve you well in the future. Have you strayed from living out the amazing purpose God has for you? Go back, listen to our episodes that are on what is your purpose? If so, correcting your course now and living for eternal values. That's the best way to prepare for this future season.

Jocelyn: Yep.

Janet: If you're in the afternoon or even the evening of life, be encouraged by this excerpt from the article in the Revive Our Hearts Newsletter by Jani Orland. I don't think she's in her fifties or sixties anymore. She's a little older, but her words were hopeful and relevant. She said she'd been to many funerals and was pondering eternity. Listen to some of her thoughts. What would my friends and family say about me if I were to die in 2023? Will a single hearted devotion to God be evident? Does my closest community feel loved and listened to, cared for, served well? Are there those outside of Christ today who will be loved into His kingdom? Because God helped me to do good and to share what I have.

Jocelyn: Wow.

Janet: Isn't that awesome?

Jocelyn: That is so cool.

Janet: This isn't an episode on preparing for death, but the fifties and sixties are tangible reminders that we're getting older.

Jocelyn: Yeah.

Janet: And I think her questions help us refocus on what really matters.

Jocelyn: Yeah.

Janet: And none of the changes we're facing can hinder us from what she just said.

Jocelyn: That's so helpful to know.

Janet: And in many ways, those changes, they're actually crowding us here. To a much better foundation.

Jocelyn: This is such an encouraging conversation for me because I tend to get really scared by change, and I'm seen in myself that one of the ways I'm choosing self-centeredness is to make sure I have my ducks in a row so that I can trust God. And aging and dealing with some sickness has really taken that away from me.

Janet: Yeah.

Jocelyn: There are just so many things in my life that I literally cannot control.

Janet: That's right.

Jocelyn: And I'm finding like shocking. I was never supposed to believe that I was controlling those anyway, but I had slipped into just not even paying attention.

Janet: That's right.

Jocelyn: Not even thinking about it, but when God took some of my health away over these last several years, He's been forcing me to trust Him in the moment.

Janet: Yeah.

Jocelyn: And to take steps of faithfulness, but only because I trust that God is actually gonna do what He promised He will not dependent on my ability. So I really appreciate this opportunity to think ahead and plan for my next decade so that I won't fear those changes.

Janet: Yep.

Jocelyn: And I can be excited about the good things.

Janet: Yes.

Jocelyn: God's gonna do in the middle of them, and I also think it's gonna help us to make some practical choices because what I do now is investing in what my fifties and sixties look like.

Janet: That's right.

Jocelyn: If I want my relationship with my husband to be solid, then I should invest in it. Now, if I want my physical health to be more likely to be healthy, there are things I could do now.

Janet: Yes.

Jocelyn: To take care of that.

Janet: Yeah.

Jocelyn: If I'm tempted right now to hoard or frivolously spend money on myself, then I'm really gonna need to guard against greed because that's only gonna be more and more impaired as I get older.

Janet: Yes.

Jocelyn: So I'm super grateful we're talking about this. I've always been grateful to be able to see people that were in the next decade of age.

Janet: Yes.

Jocelyn: That I was, and to observe them as they went forward so that I could not be. Making as stupid of choices as I could be without those observations.

Janet: No, I agree. I have people that I look ahead to and I look at this season and I think there's a lot that's hard about it, but the hard as it draws me to the Lord, it's a sweet place to be.

Jocelyn: Yeah.

Janet: So I love it. So we will have, as usual, we have a bunch of resources that I would recommend for you. Elyse Fitzpatrick's book, Afternoon of Life. Jani Orland, two of her articles, that we will link, "Empty Nest" and "The Hardest Part of Mothering". John Butler had an CCEF article. Jared Wilson, his, "Midlife Christ Is" article. That I loved all of those. It was really good for me to take some time look there. So hopefully listener, this has encouraged you as well. And if you're wanting more information, check out some of those resources.

To keep from missing any future episodes, please sign up for our newsletter on our webpage From there you can also subscribe to this podcast on Apple, Google, or Spotify. You can also visit us on our Facebook page or Instagram at Joyful Journey Podcast. If you have questions or comments for us, you can email us at Joyful Journey Podcast is a ministry of Faith Bible Seminary. All proceeds go to offset costs of this podcast and toward scholarships for women to receive their MABC through Faith Bible Seminary.

Host Janet and her husband, Brent, also speak at a variety of conferences as a way to raise money for the seminary. If you want to look at what they offer or book them for a conference, go to their website.

Janet Aucoin


Janet is the Director of Women's Ministry at Faith Church (Lafayette, IN); Host of the Joyful Journey Podcast (helping women learn that when you choose truth you choose joy); ACBC certified; teacher in Faith Community Institute; Coordinator of FBS seminary wives fellowship, retreat and conference speaker; B.S. Human Resources, University of South Florida.