Was There An Expiration Date on That?

I’ve had some thoughts mulling around in my heart for awhile.   The Lord has been whispering some truths to me and to ignore them would be wrong.   They’re not necessarily easy to read {please skip if you’re not in the mood}, but they are, none the less, truths from Him and His word.

I share another one with you, my bloggy friends,
because I want you to walk with me in His complete joy.

A few weeks back I received an email from a man named Tim.   My eyes filled with tears as I read it.

Tim shared he and his wife’s story…

Their 25 year old daughter {along with her sisters} had been urging he and his wife to expand their family through adoption.  Tim had not been very into the plan.  He kinda’ felt he had “done his time” and nearing 50, felt they were “too old” and, no, he was not really interested.

Until God intersected their plans and 
they resigned their plan to His perfect plan….

and the rest is history and now there will be two less little treasured orphans in the world….
and friends, their decision will have

ripple effects for Eternity.

My heart has been cheering as I have thought many times about T’s email.

So let’s set the record straight, here and now.

Since many of you who stop by our Place Called Simplicity are young, this is the perfect opportunity to change your mindset today before you become all silver-haired like me!

Here’s the bare truth:

When we surrendered our lives to serve Almighty God
 did our surrender have an expiration date? 

Think about it.

Of course it didn’t.  

But sometimes we live like it did, don’t we?

Here’s the definition of ‘surrender’:
~~~Cease resistance to an enemy or opponent
and submit to their authority~~~

Our flesh fights and is in resistance to God’s plan
But when we truly surrender, we submit.



For the rest of our lives, 
with no expiration date…

When we really say, “I surrender all”…..
“all” means ALL. 

Those familiar with the old song will remember 
the beautiful lyrics:

I Surrender All

  1. All to Jesus I surrender;
    All to Him I freely give;
    I will ever love and trust Him,
    In His presence daily live.
    • Refrain:
      I surrender all,
      I surrender all;
      All to Thee, my blessed Savior,
      I surrender all.
  2. All to Jesus I surrender;
    Humbly at His feet I bow,
    Worldly pleasures all forsaken;
    Take me, Jesus, take me now.

  1. But the church today {for the most part} has rewritten 
their own version of 
I Surrender All
{and it sounds something like this}

I surrender all to Jesus, 
until I reach about fifty-five.
Then it’s my plan, not into your plan,
Cause yours and my plan no longer jive. 

Everyone our age is takin’ to
cruising all around the big ol’ globe
Tee times, Pampering and Kicking back,
The love of fun we’ll never lack…

I surrender all,
I surrender all,
All to Jesus, I surrender
Till I reach about fifty-five. 

The Western world models, “have the kids, two to be exact
{if you’re really out-there-crazy-ridiculous have a third}
grow ’em up as quick ya’ can and scoot them out of the nest so ‘real life’ can start!”

Friends, I just don’t see that anywhere in scripture.

{And the Bible must be our final authority!}

So we have to stop….
back up…and completely over-haul our thinking…

Do we really believe we were created by a loving God
 {who has our best interests in store}
 to spend the last {almost} half of our lives 


God’s word has to be our standard:

I appeal to you therefore, brothers, 
by the mercies of God, 
to present your bodies as a living sacrifice
holy and acceptable to God, 
which is your spiritual worship.   
Romans 12:1

So what exactly should we spend our latter years doing?
James 1:27 says it all:
“Pure religion is this: to care for the orphans and widows in their distress
and to keep one self unstained from the world.”
Investing in the orphan, the vulnerable, the poor, the widow,
You mean, Linny, even adopting 
{at our age}?

Yup, just like Tim and his wife.
Just like Janet and Kevin {our China connection at 
International Voice of the Orphan} who are about my age
and have been bringing home China treasures…
Or like our friends
Deidre & Bill, who in their 60’s, are about to start their first homestudy
Did you catch that?

Deidre and Bill are in their 60’s and just beginning 
their homestudy…
How stinkin’ amazing is that?
These and others, spending their retirement 
investing in treasures!
How many times have I heard people say,
“I wish I could do my kids over again, I would be such a better parent now!”
Guess what – you can, friends! 
You can!
When we surrender, 
we surrender
There is no expiration date.
If we meant what we said,
and we said what we meant,
then the only thing that matters
is complete surrender
with no expiration date.

PS If  you’ve been living your life with an expiration date,
time to get back in the game….
it’s never too late…

63 thoughts on “Was There An Expiration Date on That?

  1. Hi Linny! I love your blog…you are my BFF I have not yet met! We are also "older"…I am 51 and my husband is 57 and we are busy bringing home adopted child number 5. My husband once thought he would give up having children at 30. God sure had a different plan! I wrote a book about older child adoption, http://www.fastenyoursweetbelt.com. BUT, what I really need to do is write a book about OLDER PARENT ADOPTING! LOL!!! It's all so much sweeter to me at 50 than at 30…we love it. My husband, Jerry, says he finally figured out there is nothing about retirement or empty nest in the Bible! Finally, we get it! We love you guys and hope to meet you IN PERSON one day. Jodi Jackson Tucker

    1. Well I am so glad to 'meet'my new BFF!! Seriously, thank you for introducing yourself and to know someone else who feels like we feel, "Parenting at this age is just so much sweeter". Hope to meet you one day as well!

  2. Oh my goodness – YES!! We just had couple in there 50's (?) adopt 2 RH treasures and guess what? Their bio daughter is LIVING at RH holding down the fort while Kathy gets some much needed rest. How cool is that?

    After watching this couple, I would ask another older couple to consider older children. I mean if you have all those parenting tools, why not dust them off again for a treasure or 2 or 3…. 🙂

    Thank YOU Linny and DW for being an example of what it looks like to run hard allllll the way!

  3. My wife and I (53 and 52) just returned from China with two 13yo Chinese princesses. We were empty nesters for 12 years. Adoption has always been on our minds, but only feeble attempts made at pursuit. One year ago we were convinced that whatever days we had left on this earth we would to trust God, move forward and adopt. One child.

    As we went through the process Providence would step in and change one child to two children. Two precious young ladies who would've aged out this year are now no longer orphans. We have a long way to go with them, but we are not ruling out a return trip for another aging out child. Or two.

    Don't waiver. It's worth it. Pour yourself out. Open your home and heart to the orphan. They are God's heart. Easy? No. Neither was the cross.

    Pour yourself out.

  4. This is AMAZING!
    My story really isn't about us being "to old" but I love reading your blog and wanted to share but of my story. About 16 months ago God laid it on my heart to adopt. My children thought it was a great idea; of course we should care for God's children, of course we should give a child a parent who has no one, of course, of course, of course. Well, My husband was having none of it. He would completely shut down any time any of us would talk about it. If anyone else asked him about it he'd ask them why they weren't doing it. Just a big huge bucket full of no's!!!! My kids and I prayed daily for God to soften his heart. I prayed that if it wasn't God's will for us to adopt then please to match my husbands heart and mine to what we were supposed to be doing. About 3 weeks ago my husband came home from work with the news that he said yes to God. That God's been pulling on his heart for a few months and he's just been trying to ignore it hoping it would go away. He informed me that it's not going to go away and we need to adopt. We need to bring a little girl home who has no one without us. I just still can't even believe it. We've just sent in our application and are about to start our home study and dossier process. Please be in prayer with us that God will be glorified throughout this process. I enjoy your blog so much and it keeps me so excited and inspired. Thank you for sharing with "the world" what God does in your lives and how He uses you.

  5. Your post had me thinking about a statement we are declaring now that we are of retirement age~~~We would rather wear out for God than rust out in our recliners!

  6. Linny, We *only* have 6 kids…5 bio and 1 adopted from China. I'm 44 and my hubby will be 50 this year. We are in the process of adopting 2 more treasures!We are hoping to travel this fall to bring them home! Can I add..my experience if your spouse is not totally on board, don't nag them to death. That will only turn them away. Instead, pray and give it to God! …So I agree with you Linny, all you young folks listen up!

  7. This made me shiver. Hubs and I adopted our sweet one exactly a year ago. He's been nothing but a blessing to our family. I'm eager to try again, Hubs says he's "just too old". I can't wait to have him read this!

  8. Thanks, Linny for sharing this. As far as I know, I am not near my expiration date (but only God holds and knows my future!) but I NEEDED this. We know that God has placed adoption on our hearts but still (even after 8 years of fostering and more recently orphan hosting) don't have a "yes". We wonder if our '2nd batch' will be joining us after our biological children are older. The world makes us feel rushed to complete our family when, in fact, our family might not even all be born yet! 🙂

    Again, thank you for sharing.

  9. Linny, I agree. My friends all think I'm crazy. I turn 50 on Saturday and I am a single mom to a beautiful 15 year old from China, a handsome 10 year old from the Marshall Islands and a darling (if wild) 5 year old from India. I wouldn't trade them for a retirement of luxury ever. I will say, that adopting a 3 year old at 47 was not as easy as a 6 month old at 39 or a 1 year old at 35, but she is a treasure none the less, and I have learned so much by becoming her mother!

  10. Great post, Linny! I am living in China loving on special needs orphans and in China they don't print the expiration date, just the "production date." The date that the item was made. As I was reading your post it made me think of that way with God. Like you said, He doesn't have an expiration date, just a production date, the day in which we surrender all to Him.

    Thank you for sharing!

    1. Thank you Anneli, for serving the orphans of China…for being their voice and for loving them! May Almighty God bless you exponentially with all His resources, His grace, His love and His strength…You rock!

  11. I love the post. As a single person I adopted a sibling group of six at the age of 50 and adopted another sibling group of four at the age of 55. Why God waited all those years to open these doors…only he knows. I use to remind him that I wasn't getting any younger…like he didn't know…smile! I still think that there is another sibling group or two out there that may be joining our family but the timing is his.

  12. Great post!! Marie and I completed our most recent adoption in our 50's – and it's easier being a parent in your 50's than it was in your 20's!

    As an aside – on expiration dates – 2 of our adopted kids are lactose (milk sugar) intolerant. There is such a thing as lactose free milk today too – and that's pretty much exclusivly what we buy. It has – of course – and expiration date on the carton. We buy a lot – and the kids don't always "rotate the stock" in the fridge, and some time ago I found a carton that was weeks past its expired date. I opened it anyway – and found it as good as a new carton. That got me to researching, and waiting, and wondering…some 8 weeks past the "expired date" – that milk was fine. Since the only real difference in that milk against "regular milk" is the lactose – the "safe assumption" is that it is the "sugar" that allows it to spoil (OK the "forensic guy" in me compels me to say that actually the sugar allows bacteria to feed and grow in the regular milk).

    Is it the "sweetness" that we seek that maybe holds us back?


    hugs – aus and co.

    1. Aus,
      I always love your comments…they uplift and build. It reminds me of the verse we have been memorizing "Words kill. Words give life. They are either poison or fruit. You choose." Prov. 18:21 Thanks for speaking life…you are so right, parenting in our 50's is so much easier. Bless you friend.

  13. Yes Amen!
    Roger is 56 and I am 47…. 2 big ones out of the nest, twin 14 yr.old boys!,2 grand daughters, 1 adopted and home…. leaving in 2 weeks to meet our twin boys for the first time in EE.!!! I want to share this with all of those who ask "why would you do that now!!??"
    thank you for this post!


  14. I wish I lived in a country that encouraged overseas adoption although at 70, a widow and living on a pension, I don't think I would pass anyone's criteria. I guess as a widow I fall into the "care for" category. I still surrender to God and try to do all that He would ask of me, where I am and with all that I have.

  15. Linny, thank you for the intriguing post. I loved the pictures of the expiration dates on the food. Be sure to let us know if you ever write a devotional!

    You often write about how God calls us to watch out for the poor, the widow, the oppressed and the orphan. Could I add another group to this list? The immigrant. Sadly, there is so much anti-immigrant sentiment in the USA today. Totally not a Christian concept.

    Leviticus 19:10
    Do not go over your vineyard a second time or pick up the grapes that have fallen. Leave them for the poor and the foreigner. I am the Lord your God.

    Deuteronomy 10:18
    He defends the cause of the fatherless and the widow, and loves the foreigner residing among you, giving them food and clothing.

    Zechariah 7:9-10 "This is what the LORD Almighty says: 'Administer true justice; show mercy and compassion to one another. Do not oppress the widow or the fatherless, the alien or the poor. In your hearts do not think evil of each other.'"

    Deuteronomy 10:19
    And you are to love those who are foreigners, for you yourselves were foreigners in Egypt.

    1. That is absolutely crazy – I have been feeling particularly burdened for the "alien" after God highlighted that to me the other day in my "confiding time"…and we live in Phoenix where there are tons of immigrants – I will be doing a post about them one day…because is it part of God's command! Thanks for bringing it to the forefront – a total confirmation!

    2. That is so neat you were thinking the same thing. There is so much injustice done to immigrants in America today. How neat that God put immigrants on both our hearts. Thanks for sharing!

  16. Dear Linny, I love you so much and your heart! I am still praying for Todd to give up his idea of being an empty-nester in the future. Until then we keep working with homeless and at risk teens and making them our kids unofficially. If you count up all the people who call me mom, it's about 20, and for right now, that's about as close to adoption as I can get.

  17. I have four older children and thought I was done but God had different plans and we adopted two little ones last year and are raising my step nieces twins that we have had since they were 3 1/2 months old. I am in my late 40's and my husband is 60. No we don't have an expiration date. God will use us no matter how old we are if we let him.

  18. Good reminder Linn – thank you for courageously, tenderly sharing your (and God's) heart.

    Missing the Saunders & hope you're all well! I so enjoy the photos you post – a recent favorite is the shot you got of your resident spy sneakin' down the stairs 🙂

  19. I have two bio kiddos and just started the process to adopt! The calling has been on my heart since I was in elementary school. I am beyond excited….trusting finances will all work out. He has brought me to it, He will provide!!

  20. My dear aunt, who is a single mom in her sixties, and raised five kids to adulthood and now has four precious girls from China, two sweet ones from DRC, and a wonderful treasure from Lesotho (her youngest is 6 and just came home less than a year ago!) was the biggest champion for us adopting even though we are very young. My husband was 26 and I was 22 when we started our adoption for our boys from Uganda and we had finished a domestic kinship adoption just a year prior. She believed that God calls us regardless of age. And He equips us not by mans standards but by HIS. So if He was telling us to go get our sons, who was she to tell us we were too young?

    Now we're 26 and 31 and have eight little ones in our home – two little girls adopted domestically, two little boys from Uganda, and four little ones that we're fostering. God opened the doors. We just keep walking on through them.

  21. Our pastor did a message similar to this just recently. While not focused specifically on adoption, it was about using the most out of every moment of our life. How the 'American Dream' would lead us to live our lives in selfish retirement, only caring about tee time or playing bridge. While the Bible calls us to live our life to God until the very end, serving Him with everything we have. Thank you for confirming that message. =)

  22. First of all, I want to see a picture of Deidre and Bill. Also, they need a blog. 🙂

    Second I want to tell you, Linny, you gave me chills. You know how much this 55 yo (married to a 62yo) wants to adopt. Please, keep praying that G-d would move my husband's heart to this!! (Since I've sneaked on to his co9mputer, I can actually post here for once.)

    And Deidre and Bill, I'm counting on you….just sayin'….

    1. Penny – you are my FB friend…peek at her there…she is the mom of my prayer partner…Chelsea and I have been praying together for years and years… {some seasons not as frequently because of circumstances like when I was in Africa, Ruby's surgeries, etc.} But Bill and Deidre are real people who want to make a difference! I will keep praying for your husbands heart. Bless you my sweet friend!

  23. Am I the only 67 year old in the process of adopting? I love the statement above about "wearing out for God rather than rusting out in our recliners." Im ALL IN!

    1. Girlfriend, you know you just *might* be the only 67 year old in the process of adopting? I am so proud of you! I would have totally used you as an example, I just completely forgot and I have never known how old you are…after all, your picture looks like you are perhaps late =50's?!! I love you and am so proud of you!! xo

  24. This is a great post, Linny! I will be 56 in July and being a Mama is my Hearts Desire. It is always, always, always on my mind. All day. All night. And, then I dream about it! Yesterday as I was washing dishes, I felt the Holy Spirit urging me to get a passport. Huh? I've never had one. Never needed one. But, I "need to be ready"! And, so I will be getting a passport. Now there are obvious reasons for why I can't adopt an active little person (although I AM the fastest wheelchair user ever). ; ) But, I could care for a child with physical disabilities. I often get this image of my wheelchair, with a smaller one next to it. I am physically very strong, so I really have no limitations. My heart is so open to adopting through a rehoming or even doing respite care. I have a lot of empathy and experience (on many levels), with children with RAD/other emotional issues. Would you pray about all of this? That "my child", whether permanently or for a time of respite, will be brought before me? And, of course, that this is what He has for my life. My heart and home are ready and willing. Thanks for sharing this important issue. Love You!

    1. I got teary as I read your comment. Yes, sweet friend, every time the Lord brings you to mind, I *will* pray and I love, love, love that your heart is not just willing, but preparing. God is faithful and He *will* give you the desires of your heart! His promise and He always keeps them. Always.

  25. Linny. When we announced we were adopting the reactions and comments ranged from horrific to wonderful. We found our Christian family members were by far the worst. Some of the easier comments have been about age.We are only 45 and 47. We are just a few month from travel to China for our 6 year old special needs peanut. We are very excited but I can honestly say I have sobbed over wanting some sign of support from my mother in law and sister in laws. I don't want their money(although that support would be welcome). I just don't want to continue to be the family freak. And all those folks who said they would help financially…it feels like a mistake to have believed that…ugh ..sorry to be such a downer…..because all that really counts is my peanut and she is worth it ALL!!!

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