“Papa, your toes are old.”

Those are fight’n words from our eight year old grandsons inciting a wrestling match on the floor with their Papa.

“I’M NOT OLD you pterodactyls!”, screams Papa as he takes his grandson-foes down and gives them what they’ve been begging for, some friendly fire and laughter between three kids on the floor; well two kids with one big kid at heart.

While it’s true that every day we add another twenty-four hours to our age, on the inside, you’re younger than you look,
2018 ethan 100 years old 1

“If wrinkles must be written upon our brows, let them not be written upon the heart. The spirit should never grow old.” – James A. Garfield

The biggest kid of all time said it best,

“Laughter is timeless.  Imagination has no age.  And dreams are forever.” – Walt Disney

With ten grandchildren full of energy, giggles, laughter and smiles for days, I can’t tell you the gift of “fun” in my husband who stirs up the inner “party” of these children to play and enjoy the simplest of moments where the only requirement on the playground is an imagination.

Being grandparents for the last ten years and regardless of his day at work, Papa’s imagination and willingness to pour into our grandchildren’s lives and memories are endless.

Papa always says yes for a trip to the park.

Papa is always willing to splash with all his little ducks in the pool.

Papa always has a hidden bag of marshmallows for a campfire and an overnight sleep in the tent.

Papa’s legs are never too tired for a bike ride around the block.

The fish are always biting according to Papa.


Papa is never too cold for the snow.

There’s always enough room on Papa’s lap.

Papa loves to be together with all his babies.

But Papa loves his one-on-one time with his babies too.

But more than ever, Papa has the greatest sense of humor.
papa funnyWhich is the “much deserved reason” why whenever the grandchildren call or stop by, the very first words they say are,
“Where’s Papa?”

While the reality of a grandparent’s age shows in their aches and pains after a bike ride around the block or trip to the park with grandchildren of boundless energy, the “little kid” on the inside who keeps a child’s party going is the real reason why,

You’ll always be younger than you look.
2018 ethan 100 years old
Sadly, you begin to look your age when,

“We don’t stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing.”― George Bernard Shaw

In our culture that celebrates being flawless, skinny and young, the “gray hairs” of society have been known to become the forgotten; the unnoticed; the wallpaper in the room.

All their experience, their gifting, their knowledge can be taken for granted and discounted as “outdated” or “out of touch.”

But oh how God our Creator celebrates the “gray hairs” of our lives and has new purpose for them in their latter days.

17 ‘This is what I will do in the last days—I will pour out my Spirit on everybody and cause your sons and daughters to prophesy, and your young men will see visions, and your old men will experience dreams from God.
Acts 2:17 TPT

God honors long life when He reminds us:

Gray hair is a crown of splendor; it is attained in the way of righteousness.
Proverbs 16:31 NIV

The glory of young men is their strength, gray hair the splendor of the old.
Proverbs 20:29 NIV

 C.S. Lewis tells us, “You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream.”

My Pastor’s mother recently widowed and just celebrating her eightieth birthday is leaving for a mission’s trip overseas in a month.  What a gift to herself in embracing a new lease in her continued walk with God.

New beginnings, new dreams, new purposes are not limited by age.

These blank pages of our journey are God’s reminder that He’s not finished with us yet.  The finish line of our calling is miles and a marathon away and we must keep running and pursuing the dreams God has dreamed for our life.

We will never be “too old” or have reason to retire from God’s ultimate plan.  We won’t give out.  Our earthly bodies can withstand all that is required to reach the end because it is written:

Even to your old age and gray hairs I am he, I am he who will sustain you. I have made you and I will carry you; I will sustain you and I will rescue you.
Isaiah 46:4 NIV

 We must be found faithful to the end.

Our “gray hairs” must not excuse us from completing our race.

For when our last day on earth becomes our first day in Heaven, may we all long to hear from the Father,

“Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!”
Matthew 25:21 NIV


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Author Lori A Alicea and her beloved husband David of 29 years thank you for sharing a moment of your day with them at Apples of Gold Encouragement. It is their desire you experience their heart for family, love, encouragement and God through the words God has put on Lori’s heart to write. They are hopeful you discover a few treasures of encouragement, realizing we all share common threads in our lives. Be blessed in your day.

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