The Secret Gift to Growing Older

Margaret —  August 20, 2014 — 19 Comments

The Secret Gift to Growing Older

I recently had my Bible rebound.

I’ve had it for well-over a decade and it’s literally traveled tens of thousands of miles with me—physically and spiritually.

It’s pages provided comfort during the long dark winters in Alaska, hope during times of transition when we returned to Colorado, and wisdom for various steps along the way. In the end, I had the wrinkled pages of my Bible pressed, additional blank pages added to the back, five new ribbons, and a genuine leather cover that smells, well, like fresh cow skin.


But in all honesty, what I was really paying for were the things money couldn’t buy: the years of notes, the prayer lists, the underlined and circled passages, the dates where particular scriptures were the most impactful.

Those are the things money can’t buy. Priceless.

The whole process of having a book rebound is counter-intuitive in our fast-paced, highly disposable world. Some have suggested that I should have just ordered a new Bible. From a fiscal perspective, they’re right. Most Bibles are a whole lot less expensive and the process would have been quicker.

But there’s something wonderful about that which is old, tried, and true.

There's something wonderful

This whole book binding experience has raised the question of what else should I be holding onto?

What else should I try to restore?

Who have I lost touch with who used to be significant in my life?

Which people poured into me years ago who only now are seeing some of the fruits of their labors?

What connections did I have in leadership and ministry that in the busyness of everyday demands have slipped away?

What activities did I used to love that I’ve let go of?

Which relationships are frayed but need to be rebound?

Indeed, rebinding takes many forms.

Sometimes it’s meant for old, leathery Bibles whose pages are falling out. Other times it is meant for people, who need to share the greater story of what God has been doing over the last few (or many) years.

What in your life is ready to be rebound?

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19 responses to The Secret Gift to Growing Older

  1. I just love the way you think Margaret, you’re questions really, really cause me to pause…process…ponder…and finally pursue. I wish my brain worked like yours but since it doesn’t…I thank The Lord for you!! My walk is deeper and richer because of yours! xoxo
    On another note, I had a bible rebound several years ago for the same reasons…it is an irreplaceable treasure! However, about a year and a half ago I had to break down and buy a large print bible (for my aging eyes) I was so distraught BUT it was right around the time seasons were changing in my spiritual walk and I feel like the new bible has been a new journey. I have had to dig deep and read again to find verses that before I may have just flip quickly through thinking “I know I have this underlined or marked”. I still pull my old bible (and my readers) out every now and then but I have so enjoyed the freshness of the new journey!

  2. Wow this hits home! I did order a new bible because mine is falling apart, but I’ve found I can’t bear to move away from my old one. Memories, dates, notes – my life with Jesus runs through these pages of truth. But you take it farther with your great analogy and challenge – thank you for the reminder to examine ‘old’ things that may need to be renewed.

  3. I received one of my Nana’s Bibles a few years ago and treasure her notes, prayers, struggles and victories she notated. I love having something of her’s so special, even though she is gone.

  4. Marianne Salazar August 20, 2014 at 11:04 am

    I would love to go to your writer’s boot camp in Denver this October. Is it sold out? How can I register? thanks PS: I too have a home in Steamboat Springs, CO. Loved your book.

  5. I had my old “King James” Bible turned in for a new copy. I didn’t realize how much I had lost when I looked at the crisp pages without any underlining or small notes by a precious verse. Yes, it is best to be rebound and build upon the foundation that the Lord Jesus has laid. I was happy with the new copy until I couldn’t locate some verses that flickered in my mind. It took some research and renewing of my spirit to find comfort from the verses I needed. I won’t let this copy go now.

    • I love to look through old notes, underlines, and dates. I also keep a prayer list in the back of my Bible, an amazing way to see God’s faithfulness throughout the years. Priceless!

  6. I LOVE my old bibles – never thought of rebinding – great idea! I do go back from time to time and reread the circles, underlines, and other notes – because it reminds me of how far I’ve traveled in my journey to be more like Him. It encourages me to keep moving forward – Thanks for this posting!!

  7. I connect with your idea of rebinding a Bible. A couple years ago I bought a small Bible to carry in my purse.and I began using it a lot. My
    Previous Bible King James I recently looked for. In my moves some where it was misplaced. There were so many notes, I’m going to check
    with my church, I hope it’s there! Your idea of reconnecting with others
    I just love. We all age as does the leaves of our lives and in the aftermath of busyness I see that now as an Echo. Everyday we print a new leaf in our book of life and I have been succeeding to move forward
    Because of your teachings!! XOXO blessings your way!!

  8. Last weekend I took a trip to my alma mater in Columbia, SC to visit my brother, his wife, and two good friends from college.
    I hadn’t seen them in quite some time and it was such a blessing to be reminded of who I was in college after having drifted and journeyed and changed in the past few years since graduation–for better, but also for worse.
    This week has been a tough one. The guy I’ve been seeing for a short while ended our relationship. But I know that after this past weekend, I’ll be okay. It’s good to be loosely tethered to the past and have those people to remind you who you were, who you are, and where you’ve been. That trip was probably divine timing.

    • Praying for you during this tough week, Kelsey. May God wrap you tightly in his love.

      • Thanks, Margaret! Maybe I carried your post in a different direction than you had intended! Haha but I think your old, trusty Bible was a reminder of all God has taught you through it. And that’s what visiting my old home was: a good reminder of all God taught me during those four great years of my life. It is GOOD to remember.

  9. Linda Nitteberg August 21, 2014 at 11:13 pm


    I adore your story of your old Bible. I hope you are continuing to be strong after your battle with Cancer. I have been clean since 1980. Praise God!

    I had planned to come see you at Redwood’s retreat in a month. I am so disappointed I am not able to come and see you again and meet Hershey. I am in kidney failure again. Maybe my faith is just to week to try to make the outing.

    I will be praying for you and missing seeing you.

    In His holy service, because He lives,
    Linda Margaret Nitteberg, San Jose

  10. Thank you Margaret, God has been leading me on that path of ‘rebinding’ with people I have lost connection with over the years both family and friends. It has been amazing and yet required a letting go and moving to unfamiliar places for it to happen. He has been so faithful to me!

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