tending through the older seasons

Welcome to Tending through the Seasons series, where writers from various seasons of life share how they are tending their soul by the Word of God through their current season.

Meet Susan Chamberlain Shipe. She’s been a writer since the age of eight when she and her neighborhood friend wrote, edited, published, and distributed The Manor News. Things have changed since publishing with the five and dime stamp lettering set! Today, Susan enjoys blogging, writing short devotions and short stories from the tiny house in Upstate South Carolina, which she shares with her husband of thirty plus years, Lowell. Susan can be found musing several times a week at hopehearthome.com

Susan writes…

On Getting Old

I was standing at the double sink of our 1950’s farmhouse in the Blue Ridge Mountain Range of the Appalachian Mountains. My gaze set on the eight blueberry bushes and the long row of heirloom white grapes – elbow deep in dish soap bubbles and my 17-year old son, my “baby,” came in the mudroom door and stopped at the sink in the kitchen.

“Hey Mom can I do such and such this weekend?”

“Is that certain someone going to be there?” 

“I’m not sure. I can’t control my friends being there or not.”

“I know – but he is trouble. And, you know what I’m talking about.”

“Mom……………..com’on…”

“You know Michael, you don’t have to like my rules but you have to honor them.”

” I do honor you – and I’m going to live longer than anyone I know.”

Children, Obey Your Parents

Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right.  Honor your father and mother (this is the first commandment with a promise), that it may go well with you and that you may live long in the land. Ephesians 6.1-3

That youngest son of mine? Always honored his stepdad and me. I mean, always. Yes, we had our moments. And, yes, we had to patch a fist-punched hole in his bedroom wall when he flew the nest, BUT, honor us, he did.

That young’un is going to be 44 this year! I expect him to live a long life because our good, good Father is a promise-keeper.

So, what’s All the To-Do About Growing Old?

Rest assured, it’s not what it’s cracked up to be, and, it is definitely NOT for the faint of heart! My mom, God rest her soul, went to heaven at almost-87 years old. My sister and I both can still hear her saying, “I hate getting old.” We now say it to each other!

Priorities Change

I am no Elisabeth Elliot – growing old with grace and remaining a diligent Bible student. My days of sitting with the open Word, with notebook, pen, and coffee for hours are gone.

I love The Word and I refer to it daily – my personal Bible will (probably) be my daughter’s or my granddaughter’s treasure trove.

The notes. Highlights. Memories. Grace gifts. Tears. Triumphs. All recorded within its margins – most are dated.

Like I said, a treasure trove.

These mornings find me with my favorite little book, Daily Light. A very old book that was updated to NKJV by Anne Graham Lotz in the nineties. There is a morning entry and an evening entry – Scriptures around one theme on each. I love it – it really isn’t appropriate to call it a devotional because it has nothing in it but Scripture.

My prayer life is simple. NEVER SAY AMEN!

Legacy Is My Focus

Ask my two grands, I have poured Biblical Truth into them since they were in diapers. Now, they are 24 and 18. Hannah will begin teaching Second Grade this school year and Simon? He is still figuring out what to do from his 6’5″ focal point! But, man, do they know truth!

I’m not saying they always do the right thing but they sure know Truth! My sis and I come from a line of faithful Jesus followers – we have a strong heritage and we are diligent about passing that down to our grands and our great-grands.

In 2019, we wrote our Memoir – it is filled with stories, funnies, photos, and secrets! It was a project wrought with humility, happiness, and a bit of anger and sadness. Sounds like family, eh?

What Does Today Look Like? Well, I’ve read today’s entries in Daily Light. I’ve written in my day planner/diary. I’ve talked to The Father since waking up. I’m at my work-from-home customer service job answering queries, posting orders, answering the phone and live chat – it’s a day, a Thursday in my life as a 70-year old wife, mother, Mimz, sister, Aunt, Cousin, and friend.

Each day comes with its own angst and burdens – and there are a lot of them. The enemy of our souls is busy stalking this earth for those he can harm, bring illness, hurt, and harassment.

The prayer requests are at an all-time high. We must be on high alert!

To Sum It All Up

In all my years there is one Scripture that expresses my heart more than any.

I have been young, and now am old, yet I have not seen the righteous forsaken or his [her] children begging for bread.  He is ever lending generously, and his [her] children become a blessing. Psalm 37.25-26

My brother David said that over two-thousand years ago and I could not agree more today in 2021. xo

Connect with Susan:

On her website

On Facebook

On Instagram

Pick up her books:

(her memoir) Family Secrets & Sacraments: Black & White Version

John 17: the Real Lord’s Prayer & John 17: the Real Lord’s Prayer Guy’s Edition


Drop your email below to keep tending your soul by the Word of God with TEND: How to Hear the Gardener’s Voice journal in your inbox.

6 thoughts on “tending through the older seasons

  1. Mariel, thank you for sharing this lovely post by dear Susan. I so appreciated the reminder that while priorities change as we grow older, one priority remains – staying in the Word. I am so grateful for the lifeline we have been given for every single one of our days!

    1. Amen! So grateful for her faithfulness and wisdom and for a faithful God who continues to draw us near through His Word for all the days He gives us!

  2. Thanks for all this, Susan. As a “sister” soon to be 8 years older than you in October, I can echo some of the thoughts about what the privilege of age hands us along with many memories. Well said!!💕

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