Mirrors can make or spoil a beautiful day for us. When we look into a mirror, we may see more grey hair, more wrinkles or that we are growing older and getting fatter. Many times, that last look in the mirror before leaving home left my sprit really low. I have been through all of that.

Now, when I look into the mirror, I see that I look just like my Mother when she was 77 years old. I look old and weary. One day as I looked in the mirror, the strangest thought came to me. My Mother never saw herself looking like that. She dressed every day as if she had great plans for that day. My Mother actually strutted because at a time in her life she found an age that she liked and she stayed there for the rest of her life.

My Mama hated the thought of getting old so her age was never discussed - to the face, that is. My Mama rebuked old age. Her spirit was always young. I have found out that we have a choice. As long as we keep our spirits young, years don't count. Young at heart we can always be. One day, I decided that if my Mother could choose and age and stay there, so could I.

I saw a cartoon where a lady was shopping and, as she was going from rack to rack, she kept thinking, "I'm successful; I'm sensitive; I'm caring." The next picture showed her in a dressing room at a department store. There, she saw a short, fat person. She screamed! She decided that the clothes she first chose made her look fat so she chose a different outfit. Now, she was again feeling so great knowing it was the clothes that made her look fat. Her thoughts again were, "I'm talented; I'm thoughtful; I'm kind." She took another outfit into the dressing room. Again, all she saw was a short, fat person when she looked into the mirror.

We all like to look nice and that's great but we must be careful not to let our appearances be in control. It is more pleasing for you to wear a smile than for you to be wearing the most expensive outfit and have the trimmest figure.

I know how the short, fat lady felt because a few years ago, I became a short, fat lady. My clothes were no longer size 14. I had to start buying my clothes in the "fat ladies department." I reached the point that comfort meant more to me than how I looked.

I had really lost count of my age for the years fly by so fast. It seems that my kids are always planning a birthday party for me. I remembered that Jack Benny always said that he was 39. I decided that, I too, would choose 39, for 40 made me start feeling old. As long as I can keep my spirit young, years don't count. Young at heart, I will always be. The great miracle is that when you are young at heart, mirrors can't hurt you.

One day, I was sitting in the mall and, as I looked around, it was almost like it was "fat ladies day." I have never seen so many big ladies but, also, I have never seen so many beautiful smiles! They were all dressed so stylishly and they all walked with pride. Then and there, I decided to change my attitude. No matter how I felt about the way I look, I would try to hold my head up high so that people could see my smile, not my size.

You may be wearing an expensive outfit ~ one that many people cannot afford; one that many people will notice! People will look at your outfit, then your face. An unfriendly face can turn even he smartest, most expensive outfit into your clothes that look as if they were purchased at a discount store. So, make sure you always wear a smile, not just to impress your boss or others that want to impress just for profit. Leave that beautiful smile on for all people. Don't turn it off and on like a traffic light. People can tell if it's sincere.

Mirrors show us that we are growing older but my Mother really taught me an important lesson: "Rebuke old age!" It saddens me when I hear people blame their aches and pains, or any illness, on "old age." If old age means nothing but illness, body wearing out, then maybe we should pray to die young. If we believe that of old age then there is not much of a future to look forward to.

I have always heard that God always honors our prayers, or faith. If your faith is that old age brings sickness, with our bodies wearing out like a pair of shoes or our cars, then God will honor your faith. I'm glad that I don't plan to act my age!!! You, too, have the power to choose. The only "old age" trait that I have is that I'm forgetful. Everybody says that comes with getting old. I praise the Lord every day fro my memory lapses, for I cannot remember giving to people or doing nice things for others until they remind me of it later. I do not give to receive, so I don't remember. I just obey the Lord when He tells me to do something. I receive my joy when I am doing whatever He tells me to do.

I am still learning and praying every day that I will not fail to follow God's instructions to me. The greatest joy I receive in life is when I know that I am doing His will.

Etheleen Hall©

He Keeps Me Singing
Sequenced by Wanda Fischer
Wanda's Music