A Gift to Christmas Future


There’s a funny thing about hanging out in a retirement community- you over hear a lot of funny conversations! There’s a common denominator in them all. Something is missing. Effort. The effort they spent so many years using up. Some have a little more left than others, but still it is slowly disappearing. Their effort has run out.

I marveled over and over again at the things you hear people say! Really? Did that really just come out of your mouth? You actually said that outloud? But if we are honest, we know it has always been there. There was just this little thing covering it up, making it polite. A little thing called effort.

“For out of the overflow of the heart, the mouth speaks”

I sat there, with my Nana, wondering the same question over and over. How do I NOT end up here? For someday I too will be 91 and what will overflow out of my heart through my mouth. What will I not have the energy left to effort in covering, repackageing, ignoring, moving on from, or spinning my wheels for? When I am 91 will I be grateful for that which overflows from me– or when I look in the mirror…..what then?

If we were all 91 right now. If our insides were suddenly spewing out of our mouths. What would come out?
Would it be edifying?
Would it be full of love and Truth?
Would it be full of grace and mercy?

Maybe- just maybe- 91 year olds have it 1/2 right. It is NOT worth the effort to cover up, move on, repackage, or spin our weels toward being “without a flaw”. BUT here’s the difference. There is effort that is worth it- effort placed elsewhere. The effort it takes to go deep within, searching honestly. A little like prepping a garden and digging out out the weeds and rocks. That is a LOT more effort now, but totally worth it.

It is worth the effort, because you will be free. Free from burried things to live cleanly and honestly, standing with integrity. Not worrying or wondering if it will ever leak out. There will be nothing to leak!

“For it is for freedom that you have been set free!”

And then, when we are 91, it will look different because what is filled up and overflowing from our hearts will be Truth. And those that follow us will have no doubts at all, because even then, our lives will be an honest and trustworthy testimony to the Truth.

“My integrity and uprightness protect me, because my hope is in You.”

My Nana kept joking with us, “Are you going to wish me Happy Birthday 91 times?” “What if I had 91 candles on my little cake?!!?”

Well, here’s to being 91. Here’s to my future. Here’s to my children and my children’s children.

91 days of one thing- EFFORT. Everyday. Efforting to empty out, remove, restore, and repair. CLEAN HOUSE. So that everything left inside is honest and trustworthy. Because someday i will be 91 and it will spew out! And because God already knows! He sees it all already. So why try to hide it? For the sake of others or the sake of self? That is futile effort!

God knows all that’s in there and He still loves us! THAT is WHY he sent Jesus (Merry Christmas!) If we were perfect in our insides (and out) then what would be the point? Seriously, that is WHY we have Christmas–because we desperatly NEED it! And God knew that.

91 days start NOW.
13 weeks until March 16th.
Journey with me–someday you might be 91 too!

7 Responses to “A Gift to Christmas Future”

  1. Sean says on :

    Hi Jill,
    What a funny and thought provoking story! It is great that you were able to spend time with your Nana on her 91st birthday. When I read your story I kept thinking of the “Circle of Life”…as Children we tend to say whatever is on our minds and slowly as we go through life we temper these thoughts and “hold” back on how or what we say…then when we get older the “child” comes back and again we say whatever is on out minds. I agree with your thoughts that perhaps they have it 1/2 right. Thanks for the great articles and I wish you and your family a wonderful Holiday.

    Best Regards,

    Sean,(stuck in Chicago),Evans

  2. Jill Maritn says on :

    Sean (stuck in Chicago) Evans!

    Well Hello there! Hope you made it home safe. THe ice cleared in Chicago quickly but the organizing of flights was another story!

    Have a WONDERFUL Holiday with your family. Happy Letter passsing out!


  3. The Wilkes Team says on :


    What a joy it has been to get to know you all this year! May the Lord richly bless you all as you pursue Christ in the New Year.

    With Love,
    The Wilkes Team

  4. Sean says on :

    Hi Jill,
    I am glad your family had such a nice Holiday! I am passing out the letters thanks to you and have reached out to my brother to help with his heroin addiction. Thanks again.

    Best Regards,


  5. Sean says on :


    I will be praying for you and your family. Stand strong on God’s word above all else as you continue to love your family thru challenging issues. You are setting a BEAUTIFUL example for your little girls!!


  6. The Wilkes Team » Blog Archive » In Route to Washington Reagan! says on :

    […] together as a family. Some friends up in Connecticut have recognized the brevity of life and so are encouraging others to invest time and energy into those things so many wished to have accomplished earlier in life – like the building of […]

  7. Sean says on :

    Hi Jill,
    Well I have contacted all of my family members and will see them all this weekend at my Nephews wedding in Simsbury,(Riversedge)…I should hear or feel any fallout. My Mother is very proud of me,(that is all that counts). I have encouraged my Brother to seek treatment…again. Let’s pray it is the last. Thanks again for the support and I love the website!


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