"She is clothed with strength and dignity; she can laugh at the days to come." Proverbs 31:25 (NIV)

I was 45 when it hit me. We were on vacation and the hotel had one of those cool magnifying mirrors in the bathroom. Well, it was cool until it showed the truth. It seems my "laugh lines" were running amuck and creeping out of the sides of my eyelids.

"What in the world!" I shouted. "How long have I had these trenches in my face? And when were you going to tell me?" I yelped. My wise husband knew a death trap when he saw it, "Honey, I love your eyes," he replied.

Now that I've hit the fabulous fifties, they don't wait for a smile to show themselves; no, the crow's feet have firmly landed and are forever etched in my face. I knew it was obvious one day when a client who works for a plastic surgeon told me she could get me a good deal, then she patted my face.

No one escapes the fact that we all age. One day we wake up and realize the spring in our step has a bit of a squeak, gray hairs are sprouting in the most bizarre places (like cascading from your chin), and everything that was once perky has headed south. Of course this is the exact moment I see a twenty-something bounce across the television screen and everything in me wants to burrow beneath a blanket on the couch with a warm chocolate chip cookie and pretend this will all go away.

Then I hear my grandkids squeal and run into the room. It's time for another round of "The Gramminator!" I roll to the floor and put on my best Schwarzenegger voice and proclaim, "No one escapes the Gramminator!" and the pouncing and wrestling begins.

It's at these moments I realize how much I love being 50-something. The road to get here was not easy; in fact, those lines in my face were earned. Every gray hair represents a tough time of losing a loved one, stressing over finances or crying over a wayward child. The main lesson I've learned along the way is everything in life is temporary. Deuteronomy 31:6 says, "Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you" (NIV). Whether I'm on the mountaintop or in the valley, neither will last but He will always walk with me.

Today, I choose to laugh and let the lines dig in a little deeper because this is the only day I am guaranteed. We are but dust, here today and gone tomorrow. Besides, my grandson just gripped my face in his sweet little hands and said, "Grandma, you're beautiful." His view is better than the mirror.

Come on, let's embrace this thing called age together and laugh!

Dear Lord, thank You for every gray hair and every wrinkle for they serve as reminders. Each one represents a time of leaning into You for strength. You have provided all I've ever needed. May You always be evident in my life as I laugh at the days to come. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

Luann Prater

Executive Director and Founder of
Encouragement Café Ministries
Speaker, Author & Radio Personality