I grew up with Jimmy and Carol Owens. Well, not literally, but with Jimmy and Carol’s music. They’re pioneers of contemporary Christian music, writing songs that touched millions through the decades of the seventies and eighties.
Today, Jimmy and Carol are also fiction authors of the suspense-filled novel Sussex Cove, a finely-crafted novel I’m delighted to endorse. I’m also very excited to share a guest blog with you from Carol Owens–excellent wisdom as we kick off a new year.
Darling…I Am Growing
Guest blog by Carol Owens
Old? Yes. But also smart about some things. Things that you learn only over time and by experience. How to stay married for 60 years might be a good example, but that would take more than one blog. However, one word might be a key right here: flexibility.
My husband, Jimmy, and I, in our early 80’s, are flexing again: we’ve decided to make a move. That’s a huge project because we have not only a truck load of furniture, clothes and junk to consider, but two offices of daily-in-use-computers, files, and archives from more than fifty years of ministry.
We’re not complaining about it because we’re putting our aging selves under the close, watchful eye of our children. They are our best friends in the world, so we did one smart thing for them as well as for ourselves: we took out Long Term Care insurance. Now they won’t be responsible for constant hands-on care, should we need it. But they would do it if we needed them to. That’s the blessing of the thing.
Now they feel we should live where we are easily check-up-on-able and where they will be quickly available when we hit some emergency. Besides that, they gladly offer wise advice (along with wise-cracks) and assistance on business and personal matters. So now, while we are still up and running— well, okay, shuffling around— this is the time to go.
It’s a little surprising and humbling, sometimes even funny, to see the sort of role reversal in the family, even though we knew it would probably happen one day. But it’s true, that what goes around, comes around.
As a child, I saw my mother and her siblings watch out for my amazing widowed grandmother. Jimmy and I were ministering in Europe, Asia and other exotic places, such as Texas, during my mother’s later years. She was invited to live with us, but chose not to because of our travels, so we visited, checked-up, and helped with finances and frequent phone calls: “How do you feel? What color did you paint the bedroom? Did you win at bridge today? Did you party with your widower friend across the way? (Not kidding, Mama was a geriatric social animal.)
Role reversal is not easy, especially if you all live together. Sometimes Mama decides to move in and be the boss. Sometimes in-law kids aren’t crazy about Dad. But for Christians, it’s that time for flexibility: minimum demands from parents, maximum patience from children; real God-given love and quick forgiveness all the way around. No tantrums, no pouting, no meddling. Sometimes a few ground rules right up front help.
Flexibility! That’s the goal you strive for as you obey God: “…children or grandchildren, these should learn first of all to put their religion into practice by caring for their own family and so repaying their parents and grandparents, for this is pleasing to God.” 1 Timothy 5:4 NIV. Amen!
By Carol Owens