5. Investing Eternally: Another year of life means we have another year to invest in encouraging, inspiring, and serving others. I think about this, particularly, when it comes to my daughter. How many years will I be able to invest in her life? Maybe it comes to your mind as you think of a grandchild or family member. If you can't think of anyone whose life you are investing in right now, that might be a nudge from the Holy Spirit to start looking for someone who needs a touch, or someone to care. There is always someone who needs help, weekly care, discipleship in the Word, or simply some kindness on a daily basis because they have no one else. Who can you reach out to so that you can really start living?

6. Longing for Heaven: The longer we are here on this earth (and the more we outlive others), the more intense our longing can be for heaven. While we are to enjoy the life God has given us here on earth (in our relationship with and service to Him and others), we don't want to become too attached to where we forget where our home really is.

7. Intimacy with God: The more we age here on earth, the more we discover of God and his wondrous ways before we leave this earth to meet him face to face. I can only hope that my years on this planet attest to my years of communion with God. As I near "the big 5-0" the words to an old hymn come to my mind: "Every day with Jesus is sweeter than the day before." There's something about aging that makes those words ring even truer.

What are YOU thankful for as you grow older?

Cindi McMenamin is a national women's conference and retreat speaker and the author of a dozen books, including When Women Walk Alone (more than 120,000 copies sold), Women on the Edge, and her newest, God's Whispers to a Woman's Heart. For more on her books and ministry, or for free resources to strengthen your soul, see her website: StrengthForTheSoul.com.

Publication date: February 27, 2014