Authors of The Lives We Actually Lead, Kate Bowler and Jessica Richie, share a blessing for those who are concerned about ageing.


Blessed are you who have reached a new age—

even if it doesn’t seem to fit.

It may feel too big. Too reductive.

Too limiting.

It may be marked by a life

you barely recognize.

The kids who have all moved out

or settled somewhere far away.

The work that no longer

sets the daily hum.

The life partner who is gone

and friends you’ve outlived.

The body that doesn’t allow

for the hobby you love anymore.

The monthly check that

doesn’t provide the flexibility

you’d hoped for.

Wasn’t I young just a second ago?

Will I ever recognize the person staring back in the mirror?

What’s left to do that really counts?

How do I know if I am,

or ever was … enough?

Blessed are you who have lost so much.

You whose body hurts, and you

who aren’t who you used to be.

You who no longer have

the identity markers that

once defined you so clearly.

You who attend more funerals

than weddings these days.

You who hold your new grandbabies

and have held your dying parents’ hands.

God, give us eyes to notice the ways

life can still be beautiful

and rich and full

in the midst of so much

that has been lost.

Remind us that you

are not done with us yet.

For the God who spoke us into being

calls us even now.

Not to an ideal or a role,

but to a moment. This one.

In a world that equates

age with liability,

it’s time for a reminder

that you are a gift.

You give advice.

You hold on to family recipes.

You remember that thing

that happened and, honestly,

we shouldn’t have forgotten.

You think our kids are beautiful

and our bad partners

should be soundly dumped.

You kept the photo album.

You hold our stories.

Thank you.

Even when the world isn’t paying attention,

may you get a glimmer of a reminder

that these little things add up

to something that is and always will be


Excerpted from The Lives We Actually Have by Kate Bowler and Jessica Richie. Copyright © 2023 by Kate Bowler and Jessica Richie. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.