Hello, middle of your life Me.
I like you.
They say men go through a mid-life crisis in their 40s or their 50s, asking, “Is this really all there is to life?” and I know some women do, too, but in my experience women come into their own in this season. We start to give up on the harshness and the competition and embrace embracing — most of all embracing ourselves.
I’m not so worried about trying to prove myself. I’ve done the proving.
I’m here, aren’t I? I’m still standing.
I have a quiet confidence that only comes from surviving the hard losses and softly savoring the gentle moments.
This mid-life time is so very…middle.
In the middle of children and my parents.
In the middle of friendships.
In the middle of my career and my marriage.
Sometimes I feel like I have it together. I’m actually coming into my own and understand this whole adult-world thing. I like being in my 40s so much better than my 30s. I’m confident. I’ve got this. I like being who God created me to be.
Other times I’m a big fat fraud. I’m a pretender. I hope other people don’t figure out that I honestly don’t know what the heck I’m supposed to be doing.
I’m in the middle of myself.
When I was in my 20s, what did I imagine for the middle of my lifetime?
A successful career.
A happy marriage.
A couple cute (ahem, naturally well-behaved) children.
It seemed humble enough to ask for at the time.
What would my 20 year old self think of the life I have now? Would she be impressed? Would she recoil in horror?
There are times life is so drastically difficult. I cry while driving to appointments for no other reason than the overwhelmingness of it all.
Other times I sit back and simply enjoy the swirling chaos that is mine. Once when I was visiting my mom, we called my house with Mike and the kids on Facetime. It was nuts with cats and kids climbing in and out, and my mom asked, “Doesn’t that chaos drive you a bit crazy?” and I said, “NO, I love it.”
With every heartbeat my heart is pounding, “Mine! Mine, these people are MINE.” Not selfishly. Not that I won’t share them or let them go into the world, but with a thank you God, for giving them to me.
I’ll take it. I’ll take the sink full of never-ending dishes and the pre-teen boy smell. I’ll take the nights of worried restless sleep. I’ll take the hours of phone calls and the endless school meetings.
I get my husband’s arm around me as he curls up next to me at night. I get my daughter’s texts during the day and the look of pure joy my son has when he laughs.
I’ll take it all. Yes, I will.
Oh gracious Lord,
You’ve given me the gift of another year. Fill me with thankfulness and grace this year. May I never take this year for granted. Allow me to walk with quiet confidence that comes only from from surviving the hard losses and softly savoring the gentle moments. Let everyone I come in contact with this year see Jesus shining brightly through me.
In Your Holy Name I pray, Amen
Happy birthday.,sara.I’m in the mess and in the middle and in the word with you.thanks for your honesty and encouragement.you make me smile and think and not feel so bad about it.love to you and your family,sincerely Kara
Happy birthday,Sara.you are honest and funny and grateful.you encourage me ,and bless me and make me think.you are a blessing to me and many others.sincere thanks,sisters in Christ,Kara
Awe, thanks, Kara! I’m glad this post touched you. xoxo
Amy Hagerup says
HI Sara, Happy Birthday! I’m so glad I found you (on pinterest). We have a lot in common except I am a lot older than you. I am a baby boomer who is loving this stage just like you are loving your stage. I have 3 biological kids, 3 kids in heaven, 2 adopted kids, and 13 grandkids. My life is full and delightful as I follow the Lord’s path for me. I too blog about 3 categories. Mine are faith, health, and home business tips. I hope you will visit my blog and comment too. Looking forward to getting to know you better. I’ll be back. Sharing the love, Amy
Thanks for commenting, Amy! I can’t wait to come and visit your blog. I can already tell we will be friends. 🙂
Mitzi Hellyer says
Wonderful statement from a beautiful child of God! Happy birthday, Sara!
Thank you, Mitzi!
Christine Drews says
That is a beautiful prayer. Happy birthday, brave woman!
Thank you, Chris. So fun to have you as a partner in writing, friendship, prayer, and many things!
Happy Birthday, Sara! Praying with you that you have an awesome year ahead of you!! And, praying that mine may be as happy and joyful and…well, as little chaos and crazyness as possible as I continue on this journey called life…with my husband and his dementia.
Thank you for sharing your life, your love of HIM, and your beautiful words! Happy new year…may He walk beside you through the next year and many more as you continue on your journey!!
Hugs, Barbara. May we each be blessed this year in the midst of the chaos and the joys. I’m thankful you are my friend to share together with!
Emily Ekegren says
God is amazing. Today is my 38th birthday and I was really starting to get into that birthday funk that tends to happen. I came in the office to spend my day working on my math class (super fun day!). Needless to say, I needed this email and this prayer today. Thanks!
Emily, Happy birthday! No way, we share almost the same birthday. I’m glad this was an encouragement to you. I hope the rest of the math prep goes well. xoxo
Jeanette Rorabaugh says
Happy Birthday, Sara!
Thank you, mom! I love you! xoxoxo