“Sometimes you wake up and think to yourself, ‘There’s no reason for me to get out of bed.’ You have no motivation, no anticipation. Each day feels just like the last. Remember that you are called to be a disciple, and discipleship carries no expiration date. Your work on earth is not done. Get up, serve, stretch, and grow!”
Bible reference: “If any want to be my followers, let them deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me.” Luke 9:23
From Missy Buchanan’s Spirit Boosters
By DAVID CRUMM
“Spirit Boosters is my eighth project with Upper Room Books and it comes from all the traveling I’ve done over the years, speaking at conferences and churches and senior-care communities,” Missy Buchanan said in an interview this week. “I keep meeting people who continue to do so much good, whatever their age may be. But they also talk about how easy it is, as we age and we lose some of our abilities, to become bitter about life. We may wake up each day facing aches and pains. And, there are other reasons we can become bitter. Finally, one day, a friend suggested to me: ‘What we need is a daily attitude adjuster.’ ”
That’s how Missy Buchanan—who has had amazing success over the past decade with books designed to inspire aging readers—decided to roll up her sleeves and create a spiral-bound, 365-day calendar of bite-sized inspirational messages, coupled with passages from the Bible.
If you haven’t read our earlier ReadTheSpirit columns about her work, then we are sharing links below to some of our past coverage. Here are the basic details you need to know: Since 2008, Missy Buchanan has had a meteoric career in writing very popular books for Christian men and women who are wrestling with the sometimes harsh demands of age. Many of her readers are 80 or older. Many of them live in senior communities. She also scored a big success in helping the mother of Robin Roberts, the Good Morning America co-host, write her 2012 memoir.
Like her other projects, her spiral-bound calendar is aimed at Christian readers, drawing on verses from the Hebrew Bible out of Psalms and Proverbs as well many passages from the Christian New Testament, including the words of Jesus.
But the real reason to order one of these calendars—perfect for someone wanting to start a deeper spiritual reflection during the Christian season of Lent—is the daily advice written by Buchanan herself, based on the scripture passages. She brings her trademark honesty to nearly every page.
“Every now and then, I find a critic who describes something in one of my books as ‘harsh,’ and I think Baby Boomers in particular may be uncomfortable about my level of honesty about the challenges of aging,” Buchanan said. “But from the very start of my first book, I had this group of older adults who I would visit regularly. These friends formed my core group of advisors. I’ll never forget the advice I got from one of them. She said: ‘Missy, whatever you do, don’t put on rose-colored glasses and try to convince us that aging is easy. It’s not! If you try to write like it’s all roses—we’re not going to believe you!’
“And over the years, that’s been my constant goal: honesty. So, part of that honesty is in the way I name what people are facing. I talk about the aches and pains. Those are real and trying to cover that up isn’t helpful to anyone. But there’s another part of my honesty and it involves telling readers that they need to get up each day and do some good in the world. Whatever your age or condition in life, you can do that, even if it’s only in the way you behave toward your caregiver.”
And, in recommending this inexpensive gift for yourself—or someone you love—here is another honest-to-Missy sample from the February section of the calendar:
“As an older adult, you have a responsibility to younger people. They are watching and learning about aging from you. Think of what you are teaching them about God’s faithfulness. Reflect on your responsibility to younger generations and the lessons you are passing on. Are you teaching them well?”
Bible reference: “We will tell to the coming generations the glorious deeds of the Lord.”
CARE TO READ MORE?
ReadTheSpirit has recommended the work of Missy Buchanan over the past decade. If you missed these past columns about her work, you may enjoy reading:
- ABOUT ‘VOICES OF AGING‘—Our column headlined ‘Missy Buchanan Helps Us Talk Across the Generations.’
- ABOUT ‘MY STORY, MY SONG’—Our column headlined ‘Matriarch Inspires GMA’s Robin Roberts.’
ALSO, look for Missy Buchanan’s upcoming appearances via her website. In June, she will appear twice at the nation’s largest United Methodist congregation: Church of the Resurrection in Kansas.