The Wonder Years: 40 Women over 40 on Aging, Faith, Beauty, and Strength

The Wonder Years: 40 Women over 40 on Aging, Faith, Beauty, and Strength

by Leslie Leyland Fields

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780825474927
Publisher: Kregel Publications
Publication date: 04/24/2018
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Sales rank: 166,890
File size: 1 MB

About the Author

Leslie Leyland Fields is the author of eleven books, including Crossing the Waters, Forgiving Our Fathers and Mothers, and The Spirit of Food. She teaches English at Seattle Pacific University, serves on the editorial board of Christianity Today, and is founder of the Harvester Island Wilderness Workshop. Leslie lives in Kodiak, Alaska.

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The Wonder Years: 40 Women over 40 on Aging, Faith, Beauty, and Strength 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
michelemorin More than 1 year ago
Some mornings, crawling out of bed feels more like crawling out of a car wreck. Arthritic feet and ankles protest against the floor, and I straighten a stiff back mumbling, “I’m too young to feel this terrible.” Two summers ago, when the gang landed here on Memorial Day I broke my toe playing kick ball. (Let it be known that I DID make it to first base.) All summer, whenever I tried to put my foot into a dress shoe, I was reminded that maybe I should have been more careful. Could I be getting too old to play kickball with abandon? Leslie Leyland Fields has hung a glorious and fitting banner over these years past the mid-point: The Wonder Years! These are the years in which we may hear (or tell ourselves!) that we are both “too young” and “too old.” However, with gathered wisdom,The Wonder Years: 40 Women over 40 on Aging, Faith, Beauty, and Strength shares insight from warrior-women who have lived and loved past the mid-point, offering both a resource and a tribute to women over forty. Firsts Crossing the threshold into middle age often frees women to embark upon new, first-time adventures, to explore career options, to pursue possibilities, and to take a few risks. Of course this will look wildly different in every life. Luci Shaw writes beautifully about her heroic 120 mile rowing expedition at the age of 71, while Brené Brown settled into a tamer understanding of creativity and found herself painting gourds. As Fields explains in her editorial notes: “There’s no one single party line. You’ll find convincing support to slow down, to speed up, to launch out into new places, ministries, relationships, and ideas. Prepare to be inspired!” Lasts Naturally, in the process of moving forward in The Wonder Years, there are burdens and obligations, stages and seasons that are left behind. Shelly Wilder waves the pom poms for menopause, and Michelle Van Loon recalls the moment she cast off the weight of regret she had been carrying over a past decision. Irrational obsession with appearance and youthfulness, perfectionism, and over-commitment all find their way to the discard pile as one by one, wise women share in their essays how they discovered that “even the releases we think look like losses can actually be occasions for greater grace.” Always In this fifth decade of life, I know there are some things that will be with me forever: family, ministry, writing, gardening, gathering people around a table on this country hill. These have all become convictions–activities and responsibilities that have been engraved on my DNA. Several essays in The Wonder Years urge readers to continue this very thing, to lean into whatever brings light and holy joy into the room. Because loss and pain are also part of the terrain we’re traveling, we can take strength from the experiences of others: Anne Voskamp shares a story about going forward in spite of a friend’s cruel diagnosis, and Elisabeth Elliot discovered that when pain was all she had, it became the offering she surrendered in thanksgiving to God. Madeleine L’Engle and Jen Pollock Michel offer compelling thoughts about time and mortality, for part of moving into the second half of life is the challenge to flourish as we hold life’s goodness close, all the while preparing to release it with grace. And so, The Wonder Years are aptly named for, as we tackle aging head-on, we will certainly find plenty to “wonder” about, while also finding an abundance ... continue reading at Living Our Days.
LisaPClement More than 1 year ago
I love the whole idea of this book. Being in my late 50's sometimes I start thinking about all the life that is behind me and what is ahead for me. My perception of what is ahead can sometimes bring me down but since reading these stories complied in this book I am looking at things a bit different. 40 women, all over 40 with 40 different views that all make me say "lets do this life and do finish well" Every woman ought to pick this book up and read it and get ready for the time of their lives as they begin to see the age of 40+ from a whole new perspective. I was given an advanced copy of this book and I recommend every women take the time to read it Must Read!!
KatieAndraski More than 1 year ago
Since I’ve coasted past the 60 year mark, I wanted to read The Wonder Years: 40 Women Over Forty to find out how other women in my age group have lived their lives. Have they stayed active or has disability stopped them? What about community? Do they have friends or have they all died off? Has age stopped them from exploring the world? These essays came alongside to reassure me that I’m not the only one who experienced the challenges and joys of the downhill run toward mortality. The diverse voices and subjects of The Wonder Years made it a fast and entertaining read. There are stories of women whose lives didn’t turn out the way they thought and stories of women who pushed back against the idea of their age. Heather MacLaren Johnson writes about how she learned to ride horses in her forties. Charity Singleton Craig marries for the first time at 42. She writes about the unique challenges of friendships with men in church before she meets her husband. Laura Lynn Brown returns home to care for her great aunt and finds the rewards and humor in watching over an elderly relative. Shelly Wildman celebrates the arrival of menopause. Luci Shaw writes about rowing around the South Gulf Islands of British Columbia. She says, “I wanted to test my resolve and claim my genetic identity, proving to myself that I could keep up and forge ahead even in my eighth decade.” The Wonder Years is a great read for women of any age because if offers a hopeful vision of the backside of life. For younger and older women it proves how vital and alive these years can be. If life seems unbearable in a woman’s twenties and thirties, this book offers hope that it gets better not worse as we age. I highly recommend it. I received an advanced copy from the publisher and am offering my honest opinion.