Saturday, August 31, 2013


We are in a tough stage of life known as middle age.  I don’t really think of myself as middle aged, but if you ask my teenage niece, she would probably say I am.  When I say “we”, I mean most of my friends and siblings. 

Middle age is hard.  I am just going to say it.  It downright sucks.  I feel like I am surrounded by pain, divorce, adultery, debt, job loss, illness and affliction.  Is this a stage?  Yep, it is called middle age (aka LIFE).  We have moved into a new phase. 

When you first get married, everything is rosy.  Even if you or your spouse loses their job, not a huge deal.  You still have one income.  Everything is exciting and new.  Perhaps you are even lucky enough to buy a house or get a dog (not us, but just saying).

Then you arrive at an even more exciting time of life.  The child bearing years.  They are filled with really long days (and nights) and your whole life is consumed by your cute little offspring.  You pop out a few kids and you love coming into their rooms and night and sniffing their sweet smelling heads.  It is exhausting but wonderful.

Then you arrive at the middle ages.  Nothing exciting is happening anymore.  Your kids are growing so fast you can hardly keep track and you are exhausted in a different kind of way.  You are exhausted from trying to keep track of 5 (give or take a few) schedules and figure out who goes where with which parent at which time.  You try to sneak a load of laundry in between trips to the baseball field and the school assembly and you just sneak a quick peek of the kids because sniffing their heads no longer brings pleasure.

As a stay at home mom, you wonder how you can be a “stay at home mom” when you are never actually home, your house is always messy and the laundry basket can be compared to the pit of despair where it slowly sucks one year of your life away (see aging myself here).

It is the doldrums of life.  Everywhere you turn, someone has a had a death in the family, has a child who is chronically sick, lost their job, left their spouse……and on and on and on.

The sad part is, it is just as prevalent in the church.  Christ followers are not immune to the tragedies of life.
When I was in my 20’s I went to a bible study where someone said “God disciplines those he loves” (she was in her middle ages).  I actually thought to myself “God must not love me very much, because I have a pretty great life”.  Stupid.  Naive. 

The last 6 years have been the most difficult years of my life (apparently I have needed a little discipline and needed God’s love even more!).  2007 was a particularly difficult year and all I wanted for Christmas was an ornament that looked like a pile of @#&* with the year 2007 on it.  It would have been the perfect summation of the year.  I didn't get it.  Now I am kicking myself.

I purposely went to bed at 9 on New Year’s Eve because I was so mad at 2007 that I didn't want to give it the satisfaction of saying goodbye.  But you know what?  I saw God’s hand throughout my life a lot and I grew quite a bit that year.

2009: rough year.  I wanted to throw in the towel a lot that year too.  Perhaps odd numbered years aren’t the best for me!

2013 has proved to be a pretty tough year as well.  But I have grown a lot in my faith.  I have learned a lot and I have helped shoulder the load of some pretty big burdens.  And through that, God has blessed me.  He has taught me, molded me and pushed me to become a better Christ follower, mother, wife and all around woman. 

I read a blog the other day that had an interesting thought:  “If the grass is greener on the other side, perhaps you need to start fertilizing”. 

I have spent so much of my time comparing myself to others, wishing things were different, wanting what others have……etc.  Throughout my life, I have been spending a lot of time looking at other people’s grass.  In 2013 I have learned that I need to fertilize my own grass.  And you know what makes a great fertilizer?  You got it!

So I am learning to take the @&%* in my life and figure out how to learn from it and use it to make me appreciate and cultivate what I already have, cause I’ve got it pretty good.

Bring on the middle ages, cause I am armed with a cart full of @&%* and a God who can turn that into a work of art.  Just don’t expect my house to be clean.

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