My Birthday & How I Don’t Intend to Age Gracefully

Today’s my birthday, and I have been pondering how I would like my life to feel in the coming year. Inevitably my thoughts turn to desire. What do I want to know, become, give, and receive?

Michele of Hello Lovely in pale pink tutu in serene bedroom.

My Birthday & Thoughts on Grace

In past years I was interested in ideas about aging gracefully.

Putting it into practice was exhausting.

Today, the gift of aging WITH GRACE charms me more.

Snowy trees in my winter yard in Northern Illinois - Hello Lovely Studio.

It’s an important shift from performance to awareness. Must aging be another performance or journey where I need to make sure I’m getting it right or modeling it well?

Snowy exterior of our cozy home in winter - Hello Lovely Studio.
Hello Lovely Studio

Or can aging be an invitation to notice Grace sustaining me and you as all things pass away?

Snowy trees in my winter yard in Northern Illinois - Hello Lovely Studio.

Grace covering, befriending, flowing, growing, renewing, strengthening, comforting, lifting, and feeding me as I mature and physically slow down.

Entrance with stone steps to our home in the woods in winter - Hello Lovely Studio. #hellolovelystudio #cottageexterior

Aging gracefully implies there’s a way to get it wrong. Are ungraceful journeys less sacred? Are chapters with stumbling and doubt “ungraceful aging fails?”

Snowy trees in my winter yard in Northern Illinois - Hello Lovely Studio.

Because I’m all for dropping out of that competition.

My vintage white piano decorated for Christmas and snow outside the arched window in the music room - Hello Lovely Studio.

Times are hard, and new cares spring up all the time. GRACE remains.

Belgian linen sofa in our living room at the Georgian. Walls painted SW Repose Gray. Abstract on wood by Michele, Hello Lovely Studio.

Something beyond me, within me, swirling around and holding me as the years pass. Maybe you name it Emmanuel. A radiant gaze. Or maybe you know it as a benevolent universe.

Michele & Luna - Hello Lovely Studio.

For me, Grace feels like unconditional favor from “Father” or “Mama.”

Barn cat with wounded eye at Creekside Trading in Leiper's Fork, TN - Hello Lovely Studio.
Hello Lovely Studio

Is such an idea of aging with Grace simply a coping mechanism to endure loss? I don’t think so.

Pet portrait of Stella by Michele of Hello Lovely Studio. #petportrait

In times of deep need or suffering, it is indeed moving despite my wavering: faith, willpower, obedience, and coping skills.

My sweet grand kitty asleep in white sheets - Hello Lovely Studio. #sleepingcats
Hello Lovely Studio

Grace moves with me in messy times, at the end of my personal resources, when my vision is blurred.

Pet portrait of Jayda by Michele of Hello Lovely Studio. #shihtzus

Grace comes as wind or peace or miracle, turning the ground holy. New eyes are given. What was lost is found. A way through the wilderness appears.

Pet portrait of Gracie by Michele of Hello Lovely Studio. #shihtzus #petportraits
This is GRACE, a furry angel rescued by my parents

Aging with Grace means there is no winning or losing; no transaction at all.

No self-consciousness about where I land on the spectrum of gracefulness any given day.

Michele of Hello Lovely Studio reclining on Nollapelli sheets in a white linen robe from Serena & Lily. #nollapellisheets #hellolovely #whitelinen #whitebedrooms

Aging with Grace is an invitation to become aware we need never be lonely again.

Hello Lovely Studio

What a blessing when the truth of those words penetrate the soul.

Ugg tall boots in Hello Lovely's fall bedroom with Zuma Zum ocean area rug (Amber Lewis x Loloi).

Thank you for visiting each day and reading these thoughts that arise.

Fall bedroom with blue Montara pillow and Zuma Ocean rug (Amber Lewis x Loloi) by Hello Lovely Studio.

If you are struggling with issues related to aging, I honor your journey and pray fresh mercies will arrive at your door.

Come tour our French nordic cottage style bedroom with Stikwood statement wall and tone on tone decor - Hello Lovely Studio.
Hello Lovely Studio

We really are in all of this together.

Richard Rohr quote about contemplative mind and presence. #contemplativechristianity #spiritualjourneyquotes

Birthday Treats I’m Sharing With the Class

Macarons!

I love them and make them occasionally, but they are an intermediate baking activity!

Here’s an awesome tutorial:

Peace to you right where you are.

-michele

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White Slipcovered Sofa
French Stripe Seagrass Basket Set
29″ Whitewashed Table Lamp Set of 2
White Matelasse Quilt on MY BED
THE BEST Energy Bars!
Trees White Wallpaper Mural
Round Farmhouse Table
Myla Slipcover Sofa
Deconstructed Wingback Bed
French Farmhouse Dining Table
Milagro Heart
Slipcovered Dining Chair
Rustic Farmhouse Stool
Edgecombe End Table
Parisian Style Iron Table Lamp  33.5″
Black or Bronze Accent Table
French Stripe Basket Set
White Cotton Crochet Bed Skirt
French Country Rattan Basket Set
Marble Subway Mosaic Tile
Rattan Basket With Lid
White Ruffle Bedding
Seagrass Basket Set
Schumacher Wild Things Wallpaper
Slipcovered Sofa
Linen Napkin Set
French Country Lamp Set
White Matelasse Quilt
Tree Mural Wallpaper
Faux Potted French Lavender
Shaw Daybed
Distressed White French Country Chandelier
French Country Headboard
Oval Back Counter Stool, Set of 2
Antique Brass Pharmacy Floor Lamp
Round French Tufted Ottoman
Kinston Wood Bench
Italian Candelabra Chandelier
Slipcovered Linen Chair
Warner Upholstered Bench
Rustic Country French Dresser
Laurel Wreath Mirror
Round Farmhouse Dining Table
Reclaimed Wood Dresser
Louis Upholstered Bench
Pardon My French Doormat
Stripe Turkish Towel Throw
Pamela Arm Chair
Sweater Weave Basket
French Carved Wood Chandelier
Terracotta Pots & Basket
French Country Wood Chandelier
French Linen Dining Chair
Gustavian Cabinet
French Farmhouse Dining Table
Bar Stool
Beachy White Slipcovered Sofa
Rattan Armchair
Diptyque Oyedo Candle
Cross Back Dining Chair
French Country Candle Holder
French Industrial Metal Chairs (4)
Designer Favorite Wall Mirror
Holborn Lantern Pendant
French Country 6-Light Chandelier
Tray Side Table
French Country Upholstered Arm Chair
Wicker Trunk Set
French Ticking Stripe Pillow
Jute Area Rug
Mohair Throw
Rustic Industrial Farmhouse Shelves
Belgian Linen Sofa
White Duvet & Bedding
Rustic Wood Candlestick Set
French Market Basket
Linen Modern Wing Chair
French Country Farmhouse Baskets
Concrete Pillar Table Lamp
Boheme Madera Bench
Belgian Style Lamp
Kendall Skirted Dining Chair
White Charleston Sofa
Scrubbed Wood 5-Light Chandelier
Arched Champagne Wall Mirror
Moravian Star 1-Light Pendant
Highback Armchair
Mini Pendant Light
White Vase Set
Round Woven Placemat Set
Cashmere Throw With Fringe
Black Bergamot Soy Candle
Fireclay Farm Sink (Reinhard, 30″)
White Waffle Coverlet
Light Grey Vienna Quilt
Boheme Madera Bench
Belgian Linen Duvet Set
Round Marble Side Table
Rustic Pedestal Farm Table
Rattan Hanging Chair Swing
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34 Comments

  1. Nan
    January 23, 2023 / 1:23 pm

    Happy Birthday, Michele!

    • Michele
      Author
      January 23, 2023 / 7:18 pm

      Merci! 🙂

  2. ry
    January 23, 2023 / 5:22 pm

    blessed and happy birthday to you!

    • Michele
      Author
      January 23, 2023 / 7:18 pm

      Thanks so much! 🙂

  3. January 24, 2023 / 6:54 am

    Happy Birthday my friend!! You are beautiful at every age! ❤️

    • Michele
      Author
      January 24, 2023 / 1:27 pm

      Thank you, beautiful woman of God – your work and spirit continue to inspire and uplift my heart. 🙂

  4. Kyle Russell
    January 24, 2023 / 7:28 am

    Happy birthday, Michelle! I am so grateful to you for your daily design inspiration and words of wisdom.

    • Michele
      Author
      January 24, 2023 / 1:26 pm

      Thanks, Kyle. It’s a blessing to have you here. 🙂

  5. Betty Bitterman
    January 24, 2023 / 7:39 am

    Happy Birthday, Michele!
    Thank You for giving us the gift of Hello Lovely.
    I look forward to it every morning.

    • Michele
      Author
      January 24, 2023 / 1:26 pm

      I’m so grateful to have you here, Betty. Peace to you, friend.

  6. Marianne
    January 24, 2023 / 7:51 am

    Have a wonderful birthday Michele!

    • Michele
      Author
      January 24, 2023 / 1:25 pm

      Thanks for the wishes, friend. 🙂

  7. Emily
    January 24, 2023 / 7:59 am

    HAPPY BIRTHDAY sweet girl!

    • Michele
      Author
      January 24, 2023 / 1:25 pm

      Thank you! It’s awesome being called a girl at this age! Hahahaha. 🙂 Peace to you.

  8. Jeannie
    January 24, 2023 / 8:03 am

    Happy Lovely Birthday to beautiful you!!
    Jeannie

    • Michele
      Author
      January 24, 2023 / 1:25 pm

      Thanks so much, lovely one. Peace to you.

  9. Lisa
    January 24, 2023 / 8:30 am

    Thank you for sharing this amazing post! Wishing you a meaningful birthday full of love and grace

    • Michele
      Author
      January 24, 2023 / 1:24 pm

      Thanks so much for reading and the support!

  10. Charlotte
    January 24, 2023 / 10:33 am

    Aging with Grace! Well said, Michele. I couldn’t agree with you more. Your post made my day. HAPPY BIRTHDAY!

    • Michele
      Author
      January 24, 2023 / 1:24 pm

      I’m so happy to have you here – thanks for the wishes, friend. 🙂

  11. Margie
    January 24, 2023 / 10:48 am

    Grace is God’s Riches At Christ”s Expense

    • Michele
      Author
      January 24, 2023 / 1:24 pm

      Peace to you.

  12. Mary Wilder
    January 24, 2023 / 10:52 am

    Every day is a gift when I open your blog! Hope you had a wonderful birthday!

    • Michele
      Author
      January 24, 2023 / 1:23 pm

      Awwwww, and your comment is the sweetest gift to me. Thanks for being here, Mary. 🙂

  13. Samina
    January 24, 2023 / 1:41 pm

    May your deepest wishes come true…happy birthday!

    • Michele
      Author
      January 24, 2023 / 4:36 pm

      Thanks so much! 🙂

  14. Suzi Wollman
    January 24, 2023 / 3:49 pm

    Happy birthday, Michele!

    Thank you for your gifts of loveliness, grace, and beauty. Your blog always makes my day!

    Remember: “Goodness and mercy will FOLLOW ME all the days of my life” (Psalm 23)
    You do not need to pursue grace. It will find you.

    • Michele
      Author
      January 24, 2023 / 4:36 pm

      Thank you! 🙂

  15. Amy
    January 24, 2023 / 7:45 pm

    Happy happy bday friend! Hope you’ve had a day full of all the people & things that bless you!! You bless us every day🤗

    • Michele
      Author
      January 25, 2023 / 11:29 am

      Thanks so much, Amy. My day was quiet and peaceful and just what I needed to feel loved. xox

  16. Nancy
    January 25, 2023 / 12:58 am

    Happy Birthday Michelle! Thank you for sharing much beauty! I like what you wrote about growing older with grace! Dear Michelle, may GOD bless your year and may you feel HIS presence as well!

    • Michele
      Author
      January 25, 2023 / 11:28 am

      Thanks, Nancy. Something in that adjustment of my thinking about the blessing of grace helps. I’m being joined by grace as I age and am not bound to do it peerlessly, perfectly, or even gracefully. Thank you for the blessing and wishes. 🙂

  17. Lauralee Boling
    January 25, 2023 / 1:42 pm

    Happy, happy birthday beautiful friend! Love your thoughts on grace and aging. We are all aging if we are still here! Lovely thoughts on that. XOXO Lauralee

    • Michele
      Author
      January 25, 2023 / 2:32 pm

      You’re so right! Even babies are aging, and the word need not be a curse word. 🙂 Thanks for being here.

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White Slipcovered Sofa
French Stripe Seagrass Basket Set
29″ Whitewashed Table Lamp Set of 2
White Matelasse Quilt on MY BED
THE BEST Energy Bars!
Trees White Wallpaper Mural
Round Farmhouse Table
Myla Slipcover Sofa
Deconstructed Wingback Bed
French Farmhouse Dining Table
Milagro Heart
Slipcovered Dining Chair
Rustic Farmhouse Stool
Edgecombe End Table
Parisian Style Iron Table Lamp  33.5″
Black or Bronze Accent Table
French Stripe Basket Set
White Cotton Crochet Bed Skirt
French Country Rattan Basket Set
Marble Subway Mosaic Tile
Rattan Basket With Lid
White Ruffle Bedding
Seagrass Basket Set
Schumacher Wild Things Wallpaper
Slipcovered Sofa
Linen Napkin Set
French Country Lamp Set
White Matelasse Quilt
Tree Mural Wallpaper
Faux Potted French Lavender
Shaw Daybed
Distressed White French Country Chandelier
French Country Headboard
Oval Back Counter Stool, Set of 2
Antique Brass Pharmacy Floor Lamp
Round French Tufted Ottoman
Kinston Wood Bench
Italian Candelabra Chandelier
Slipcovered Linen Chair
Warner Upholstered Bench
Rustic Country French Dresser
Laurel Wreath Mirror
Round Farmhouse Dining Table
Reclaimed Wood Dresser
Louis Upholstered Bench
Pardon My French Doormat
Stripe Turkish Towel Throw
Pamela Arm Chair
Sweater Weave Basket
French Carved Wood Chandelier
Terracotta Pots & Basket
French Country Wood Chandelier
French Linen Dining Chair
Gustavian Cabinet
French Farmhouse Dining Table
Bar Stool
Beachy White Slipcovered Sofa
Rattan Armchair
Diptyque Oyedo Candle
Cross Back Dining Chair
French Country Candle Holder
French Industrial Metal Chairs (4)
Designer Favorite Wall Mirror
Holborn Lantern Pendant
French Country 6-Light Chandelier
Tray Side Table
French Country Upholstered Arm Chair
Wicker Trunk Set
French Ticking Stripe Pillow
Jute Area Rug
Mohair Throw
Rustic Industrial Farmhouse Shelves
Belgian Linen Sofa
White Duvet & Bedding
Rustic Wood Candlestick Set
French Market Basket
Linen Modern Wing Chair
French Country Farmhouse Baskets
Concrete Pillar Table Lamp
Boheme Madera Bench
Belgian Style Lamp
Kendall Skirted Dining Chair
White Charleston Sofa
Scrubbed Wood 5-Light Chandelier
Arched Champagne Wall Mirror
Moravian Star 1-Light Pendant
Highback Armchair
Mini Pendant Light
White Vase Set
Round Woven Placemat Set
Cashmere Throw With Fringe
Black Bergamot Soy Candle
Fireclay Farm Sink (Reinhard, 30″)
White Waffle Coverlet
Light Grey Vienna Quilt
Boheme Madera Bench
Belgian Linen Duvet Set
Round Marble Side Table
Rustic Pedestal Farm Table
Rattan Hanging Chair Swing