Trade crankiness for kindness.  Don't allow the pain of your past to weigh you down and cause you to become a cranky woman who doesn't honor God or attract other people to Him.  Ask the Holy Spirit to renew your mind each day and help you choose an attitude of kindness that expresses itself in kind actions to others you interact with every day.

Mentor younger women.  Invest in the lives of the younger women you sense God leading you to help in some way.  Pray with and for them.  Use your talents to help meet their needs.  Teach them the skills you've learned that can help them in situations they're facing now that you've successfully gone through before.

Give up idols.  Ask God to reveal any idols in your life - anything to which you devote more attention than you do to your relationship with God - and help you give them up so you'll be free to grow closer to God.  Consider what you want most, what you think about most, how you use your money, what you do with your leisure time, the company you enjoy, what you laugh at, and whom and what you admire.  That process should give you a good idea about what matters most to you.  Pray for the power you need to break free of any attachment that is currently a higher priority to you than your relationship with God.  Remember that only God truly has the power to fulfill you in a lasting and complete way.

Make prayer a frequent habit.  Develop the habit of praying often throughout each day and night, connecting with God to talk and listen whenever you're awake.  As you pray, remain open to whatever God may want to do through your life.  View prayer as your passport to adventure with God for every new day that He gives you.

Build close friendships.  Now that you're free from some of the obligations that kept you busy as a younger woman, you can invest more deeply in friendships.  Choose friends who encourage you spiritually, and do all you can yourself to encourage your friends to keep growing closer to God.  Pray for the ability to recognize God's reflection in every person you encounter.

Keep the end in mind.  Remember that each day brings you closer to the end of your life, so consider carefully what you want your legacy to be, and make daily choices that will help you create that legacy.

Adapted from Embracing Your Second Calling: Find Passion and Purpose for the Rest of Your Life, copyright 2010 by Dale Hanson Bourke. Published by Thomas Nelson Publishers, Nashville, Tn.,

Dale Hanson Bourke is president of the CIDRZ Foundation, supporting AIDS, malaria, and cervical cancer research in Africa. Previously, she spent 20 years as a marketing and publishing executive and was president of Publishing Directions, Inc., which launched, developed, and acquired major national magazines. She also served as publisher for Religion News Service and was senior vice president of marketing for World Relief. She has served on the boards of World Vision (US and International) and International Justice Mission and now serves on the boards of Opportunity International and MAP International. In addition, Bourke has written a nationally syndicated newspaper column and eight books, including The Skeptic's Guide to the Global AIDS Crisis and, most recently, The Skeptic's Guide to Global Poverty. She earned an MBA from the University of Maryland and a BA from Wheaton College. Dale and her husband, Tom, have two sons.