I had to remind myself of a few things this morning:
Even a run-walk is better than no run. You don’t need the right workout clothes to work out. Your kids are not the boss of your feelings. God loves you because of who you are not what you do. The forties are the love story of life in the middle — in the middle of kids, faith, doubt, marriage, failure, wonder, and the muffin top. And these are all good things.
I took the two youngest kids to the bus stop for their last day of school (finally!) while dressed in leggings and my favorite t-shirt that says, “I’m just a sweatpants girl living in a skinny jeans world.” They tried to teach me that dance move called “flossing.” It did not go well. But it’s fun and also funny to try to get my hips and arms to move in opposite directions. I’m sure the bus driver finds it just as amusing when she pulls up. My kids board the bus with all my hopes and amazement stuffed into their backpacks, alongside the end of year notes and the Chapstick they take everywhere.
I’m the mom on the corner waving and flossing to their embarrassed delight as the bus rumbles out of view. Then I put in my earbuds and start my morning walk. I drive this road every day, infinity times a day it seems, but somehow walking it slows me down and helps me see better.
There’s the half-pipe the neighbors tried to build and that now they’re dismantling for reasons I don’t know, but I’ve enjoyed watching the story unfold out there on the side of the road. There’s the new development and the new houses that I didn’t know two years ago would be home to new friends who have sat around my table and sipped my tea and told me about what it’s like to track the trajectory of a satellite or a friendship.
I walk and feel the weight of my body that no scale could properly measure. It reminds me of the Bible verse my mother lived and also died by:
For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all.
2 Corinthians 4:17 (NIV)
I’m learning to see because I can feel it — how these days and roads and stories and moments are weighed down with the kind of ordinary wonder that will take your breath away more than a good run, more than that raise or praise or all those accolades.
If we only have eyes to see, we might be stunned at all this crazy, unexpected, underserved treasure that we’ve been given by a generous Father God. As my friend Elise reminds me over and over again, this — this — is wealth.
This is the place where we have grown into the shape of our souls even as we might have outgrown the shape of our teenage jeans.
I’ve come to believe that the secret to a life well lived in the middle isn’t about trying to seize the day. It’s about being sure you actually see each day — even if just out of the corner of one eye. Because the middle is worth remembering while you are actually living it because you won’t pass by this way again.
You are living at the very center of what will be your story right now. Let’s stop long enough to celebrate the treasure God has buried for you in plain sight. Because trust me when I tell you, the middle is worth seeing.
These are the days of miracle and wonder.
These are the stories that will line our empty nests one day. We are living the memories that will be passed down to the ones who are still living their beginnings.
Sister, what if the middle is the gift you didn’t know you were right in the middle of?
Maybe we don’t want to hide it, ignore it, or miss it. Maybe, just maybe, the middle is the part where it really starts to get good.
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Bev @ Walking Well With God says
A good friend of mine who is in their late 20’s remarked about how this first half of the year has flown by. I remarked, “Just wait until you’re my age, instead of days flying off the calendar, whole years fly off at a time.” I do believe that as we age, time speeds up. All the more reason to be intentional about “seeing” the day and declaring with conviction, “This is the day that the Lord has made; I will rejoice and be glad in it.” I admit that some days I’m not in a rejoicing kind of mood, but then I realize the fact that I just woke up is a blessing. I have food in my fridge and clothes in my closet, and that makes me rich by the world’s standards. If we look around, God has tucked, what I like to call “God-winks”, into each of our days. As I type this, the sky is morphing into a pink-purple sunrise that is stunning. Praise for eyes to see this. Praise for bodies that move in order to comically try the latest dance trend. Praise for the gift of laughter to enjoy the “funny” in life. There is beauty in the beginning, middle, and end. We just need to look for it. Great post!
Amen and Amen, Bev!!
I’m past middle age (yet I can’t believe how old I am!) and on the downward slide….almost to social security…then a few years to Medicare etc etc….yet I’m happy in this ‘middle’ space. Time does fly the older you get and nothing will slow it down or stop it. I’m blessed beyond measure for many, many things. To be able to watch a grand baby every day – the joy of seeing him grow and change daily – I’ll gladly take payment in smiles and giggles! God is so faithful and good to us. I hope I tell Him enough how grateful I am and how much I love Him….
I relate to so many of the authors’ posts, and I so enjoy your comments – you are wise and wonderful!
Both of you are so right on… ‘
in the blink of an eye we have moved into a new phase of life, and soon we are wondering where did the time , and all the other phases go? Carpe diem… Seize the day for the Lord hath made it!
Those walks and waits at the bus stop are part of the tapestry of your life, and your children’s as well. There is always something new around the corner, even as we are looking back!
love it ! that captures my heart and the way I think. I love to see the little things. on a beautiful day I looked up to see a cotton candy sky..literally blue pink and yellow. a gift for our day but then as I look down I see such busy people rushing in cars..all over missing all that God created.
middle years are wonderful, that’s when we finally get that we don’t have to be constantly perfect ! I love how you dance with your kids at the bus stop !! middle age is where we don’t acknowledge others critical judgements but love our lives daily !!!
keep having fun and enjoy the days !
Loved this piece. I need that t-shirt too!! I’m a bit past the “middle” of my life…,but you are so right, looking for the glory in each day is the key to happiness.
Julia Broeders says
I had a 21-hour day on Saturday full of happy happy scurry scurry that ended it what I’ve come to call ‘the gloaming’ part of the day, where the scurry is over and the jammies are on and the deep things are spoken of and we revel in the grace that God has granted us in such huge handfuls: all the feels about all the middles. Loved this!
Beth Williams says
Do not feel bad. I tried the flossing dance today in my living room & forget it. Doing it slowly sure, but put it to fast music & I get tangled up. You are so right on. I wake up realizing I’m 54 & half or more of my life is gone. Where did it go? 10 years were spent working & caring for aging parents. Now that they are gone I have in-laws to care for some. Mostly I’m free. I’m seeing & seizing the day for God. Use my extra time to volunteer with Relay for Life (Cancer), help out at church, do Bible studies & once a month do a “Feed the multitude.” Our church makes the desserts (homemade). Then I help clean up & take casseroles to in-laws & neighbor. Like you I’m learning to embrace this time of life. Enjoy & savor all the gifts God has given us. Last night I saw a most beautiful sunset. Not worrying about what the scale says, how I look or each mistake I make. It is all a part of this life God gave me. I’m working on leaving a legacy behind. I want my dash to count for something. Yes to embracing the middle of life, faith, hope & dreams. P.S. Loved your new book!! You are a great writer!!
Becky Keife says
This. Is. Wealth. Amen, my friend. These middle moments matter so much. Thanks for the encouragement not to rush past them, but to embrace them for the gift they are. xx
Elise Hurd says
“I drive this road every day, infinity times a day it seems, but somehow walking it slows me down and helps me see better.”
I love how you help me see, friend. I love taking a walk with you through your story and discovering glory in the ordinary.
Glory in the ordinary. That’s the gospel.
Your stories tune me in to God’s heartbeat in ways that often bring unexpected tears to my eyes.
Thank you for sharing your walk and your words with us. #ThisIsWealth
Oh what a life it has been! I am the youngest of 7 and so excited today to celebrate this life with my 2 remaining siblings in the beautiful Black Hills of South Dakota. Our family spends a couple days every other year just being us and being grateful for the gift of family. I’m one of the older family ones now with passing of those sisters. Once I was a baby of this family. Seeing my children and their cousins be in the “middle “is such a blessing. And more importantly it gives me a chance to remind them that God, Family, and Friends are what counts. And I live the words Carpe Diem!! Seize the day, find Glory in the ordinary! Praise Jesus and pass Grammas sugar cookies!!!