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Christie Brinkley I am not. But you knew that.

And even though she still looks great at 60, she’s not what she was thirty, forty years ago.

What woman’s body looks the same after carrying babies next to her heart and across her hips for years and years?

From decades of a prior century, in photos of parents and grandparents, aunts and uncles, in their courting days, on their wedding day, the familiar features are there, but they hardly look the same as they did then.

And which mom doesn’t look in her grown son’s eyes without remembering the cherub he was, all those years past? Cradled in these arms… sprawled and sleeping among the menagerie of stuffed toys in his crib… cuddling on the couch after a popcorn party while reading stacks of his favorite picture books… pedaling fast as he can to catch up and race past the neighbors’ kids…

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New stars are birthed, old stars burn out. Children grow up, and youth gives way to age.

What makes me think I can lasso time to brand it mine and hold it close beside me? Moments spent are forever gone. And decisions made, words released, actions done or not done, friendships sealed or relationships severed—all define the moments, create the changes that shape our lives.

An old oak stood on the hill behind our house, across the creek. In time decay set in and branches fell. The rancher came with his chain saw. Where cows once found shade, dew-dropped fodder, tall grasses now wave in the empty space.

Trees, grasses, flowers, pushing through the soil, dropping seeds, changing colors, letting go of nature’s adornments when weather turns chilled… contours of the landscape, pathways of rushing water, rocky hillsides giving way during winter rains, under snowpack, altering what used to be, becoming what’s never been.

With changing seasons our narrow view of the night sky takes in only part of a sliver of one galaxy within a complex universe, whose bounds have yet to be discovered, of orbits and galaxies light years away, ever swirling, ever changing.

Life moves, flows, multiplies, in buds and bursts, microscopic, telescopic, in cells dividing, atoms splitting, and the positions of continental shelves shifting, shaking our world.

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The union of one plus one increases a family, then builds its own, with baby’s arrival adding to those families and more.

Schools, churches, businesses, public services, modern cities, rural communities… work to meet the fixed and changing needs of a society as technology and culture bring change to each generation.

Every living, earthy being changes. Unless it’s dead. Period. (But even dead things decompose.)

Accept it.

Embrace. Enjoy. Allow the changes to change me, for good.

Having no influx or outflow, water stagnates. And breeding too closely causes deformity.

Moral values based on truth remain secure, but methods and styles and applications and expressions vary. And it’s okay.

Of old You laid the foundation of the earth, and the heavens are the work of Your hands. They will perish, but You will endure… they will all grow old like a garment; like a cloak You will change them, and they will be changed. But You are the same, and Your years will have no end.  –  Psalm 102:25-27

Knowing what to change, to let go of, what to preserve from the past for building on in the future requires wisdom.

Some needs rarely change, others change continually.

I can choose what to hold onto, what to release, discerning what matters in the long run and what won’t. It’s part of why older parents are more lenient with younger offspring.

Only God is change-less, constant, always the same. Eternal.

Change, growth, death—none are within God’s character. But in the character and nature of men, women, all of creation, change is unavoidable. Because God allows it, God will use it—if we let Him.

To refuse to change is to hinder growth. And to stop growing means to cease living.

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