Ask a Septuagenarian

September 24th, 2020 | Family
Ask a Septuagenarian

Guest Post by Debby Thompson

Wow! A 70th birthday—25,550 days—constitutes a milestone to be celebrated.

In preparation for my own landmark occasion, I contacted Bob Tiede, my friend and Cru colleague, to see if he had a 70-specific list of birthday questions. He responded, “No, but Debby, if you will draft 70 questions for someone celebrating their 70th Birthday, I would be honored to post them on my blog!”

I accepted his invitation, and the outcome is today’s post. Thank you, Bob!

These questions provide the honoree an opportunity to look back over 7 decades, to reminisce, and to celebrate. The desired outcome is for this to be a life-giving experience for all participants.

User-friendly Suggestions:

  • Offer these questions to the birthday person in advance and ask the individual to select 7 to answer.
  • Provide a copy of these for each guest and allow the guests to select the questions.
  • Ask the honoree to write out the answers as a legacy for the family.
  • Take an entire year to ask a few questions, periodically, during social gatherings or family events.
  • Relax and enjoy! The purpose is celebration, not completion.

Now for the questions …

  1. How is this birthday different from all the others you have celebrated?
  2. What do you know about the day you were born and the details surrounding your birth?
  3. What is your full name and why was it chosen for you?
  4. Did you enter a family as the firstborn or were there older siblings? How did the family structure affect your growing up?
  5. What were your parents’ occupations and what influence did that have on you?
  6. What is your very first childhood memory? How old were you?
  7. Who do you recall as your childhood friend? Where is that individual now, and do you still stay in touch?
  8. Describe your relationship with your grandparents.
  9. Who was your favorite elementary school teacher and why?
  10. In grade school, did you experience success in learning or were you challenged?
  11. What games did you play at recess?
  12. Did you have a pet growing up? If so, what was its name?
  13. Share a holiday memory from your formative years.
  14. What role did church play in your childhood?
  15. Did you move during your elementary years? If so, what impact did that have on you?
  16. If your life were a book, what would be the title?
  17. What did you learn in your youth that serves you well today?
  18. What was your first job and how much did you earn? Describe your boss.
  19. What extracurricular activities were you involved in?
  20. Who, other than your parents, served as a role model for you?
  21. What historical events took place during your teenage years?
  22. What music did you listen to in your teen years?
  23. How did you choose your university?
  24. What was your major and why?
  25. At what point in your life did your relationship with God take priority?
  26. Share details of your spiritual journey.
  27. When did you meet the love of your life?
  28. Describe your first date.
  29. What do you recall about the proposal?
  30. Relate a few details from your wedding day.
  31. Where did you go on your honeymoon? Have you visited there again?
  32. What would be one piece of advice for newlyweds?
  33. What is your nonnegotiable conviction for marriage?
  34. How have you celebrated anniversaries?
  35. What advice would you give to a young parent?
  36. When did you make the decision to invest in living with eternal intentionality?
  37. What hobby has been the most enriching for you?
  38. Which season in life was your hardest?
  39. If you could repeat a joyful experience, which one would you choose?
  40. What job assignment has been your most productive?
  41. Share your 3 best health tips.
  42. What is one of your favorite life passages of Scripture?
  43. Which books emerge on your list of favorites?
  44. Where is the favorite place you lived?
  45. Which invention over 7 decades has had the greatest impact on your life?
  46. Share one conversation that changed your life.
  47. Which vacation would you want to relive?
  48. When did your faith take its greatest hit?
  49. How has the grace of God changed you?
  50. What stands out as a powerful spiritual lesson you have learned?
  51. When did God surprise you in the way He showed up?
  52. Looking back over your life, what has made you the most afraid?
  53. Which elements of your devotional life have stood the test of time?
  54. Who has been your favorite pastor?
  55. Which country (other than your own) holds meaning for you?
  56. When did you feel your life was in danger?
  57. What professional achievement means the most to you?
  58. If I had it to do over I would ______________.
  59. Share your best secrets to a meaningful life.
  60. Which regrets come to mind?
  61. If you could relive one particular decade which would you choose?
  62. As a grandparent, I have learned __________________.
  63. What investment of your time has yielded the greatest dividends?
  64. What do you want your grandchildren to know?
  65. Life has taught me ______________.
  66. What excites you as you look ahead? What is your greatest fear?
  67. Is there a place you wish to visit—a skill you desire to learn, a goal do you want to accomplish?
  68. My prayer for the next decade is ______________.
  69. _____________ has brought me the most joy and gladness.
  70. Most of all, I thank God __________________.

(Use your own creativity and ask a question of your own.)

Note from Bob:  Happy 70th Birthday Debby!  By my calculations you only have 10 years of development left before God gives you your assignment for which you were born – like He did for Moses, Joshua and Caleb when they turned 80!  You have done many really great things and will continue to do many more in your 70s – but all of this is preparation for your Big Assignment that God will give you in your 80s! The Best is Yet to Come!  Huge Thanks for your terrific “Guest Post” today!


Debby Thompson


Debby Thompson and her husband Larry have served in global missions with Campus Crusade for Christ International since 1974, and are counted among the pioneers of Western missionaries who lived covertly behind the Iron Curtain in communist Poland. In total, the Thompsons spent 33 years serving in Eastern Europe, witnesses to a period of dramatic social, political and spiritual change. Now living in Cincinnati with Athletes in Action, International, Debby is a speaker, writer and mentor for women around the world. Debby is passionate about encouraging and empowering women to pursue intimacy with Jesus, authenticity with others, a passion for their calling, and a purpose for their influence.  Debby is the author of a wonderful book: “The Leader’s Wife – Living with Eternal Intentionality”   She speaks at Church Retreats, Women’s Groups, Seminars, and Conferences on Living with Eternal Intentionality®. For speaking at your event, go to Contact Debby. Subscribe to her blog at and follow her on Twitter at @Debbythompson17.


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