While reading the second chapter of Lisa Mladinich’s beautiful book, True Radiance, Finding Grace in the Second Half of Life I had several head nodding, aha moments. It was as if she had traveled my journey slightly ahead of me (giving her time to write it all down) and drawn the conclusion that in the end it was all going to be good. I was very happy about that because lately I’ve had my doubt. It only took getting to chapter two to heave this sigh of relief and let the joy of this book and it’s treatment of our middle (and beyond) years seep into my consciousness.
I’m at that time of life where I am am often much warmer than other people in the room, my weight has, not crept up, but barreled forth (resulting in something of a barrel shape) for no reason that I can figure and no matter how little I eat or how much I move it has firmly entrenched itself there on me refusing to move one ounce. It has been indicated by the dear people I live with that I am a tad moody and a good night’s sleep seems to be an unattainable fantasy. And did I mention the forgetfulness or did I forget to because it’s really possible that did since I forget a lot of things, like glasses, keys and where the children are.
Feeling no older in and of myself than I did when I was twenty-five but feeling my body betray me at every turn has had a defeating effect on my attitude and led to this all consuming pre-occupation with myself. This is not good, cause I’m here to tell ya’ a little of me goes a long way.
Enter, True Radiance. Lisa takes her experience of this time of life and makes clear that God’s plan for us and our bodies is one of loving care that will end with our sanctification and eternal glory. Hot flashes and night sweats are part of that process. Lisa writes:
“It was quiet in the church at that particular moment when I began to ask him about it, once again. The heat blazing up through the core was intense and a film of sweat broke out all over my face and upper body. I opened my jacket and flapped the sides to cool myself, still prayerfully wondering. As I gazed up at the huge crucifix over the altar, it hit me: heart, burning, fire…God’s fiery love!”
She makes it so clear that this is not the end of our lives, our beauty, our usefulness or even our sanity but only the beginning of a new path, a new life of soul and a purification of sorts that we need to continue to do God’s work here, to bless our families and friends. I had honestly never thought that the, often traumatic, physical symptoms could be God’s way of loving me and preparing me for the next chapter of my life. How much easier to bear this is when we approach this time, as Lisa has, sacramentally.
So you need to read this book. Toward that end if you click on the link and enter the give-a-way and on 10/27 if you win I will send you a copy. Winner will be announced on the 28th.
Follow along this week on the blog tour for True Radiance, as some well known Catholic women writers discuss each chapter. I was was so happy and honored to be part of this group by talking about chapter two. The schedule for the rest of the blog tour is:
- 10/21/2015 – Brain Health and Changing Spirituality: Cause of Our Joy
- 10/26/2015 – How Our Spiritual Lives Bless Others: CatholicMom
- 10/27/2015 – Friendships: Snoring Scholar
- 10/28/2015 – Maturing Vocations: Sticking the Corners
- 10/29/2015 – Pitfalls to Avoid in the Second Half of Life: Donna-Marie Cooper O’Boyle
- 10/30/2015 – Roadblocks to Peace:A Blog by Maria Johnson