Saturday, November 22, 2014

Mid-Life Ponderings

I love to learn from other people.  I am a watcher.  A soaker.  A gleaner. I love learning.  I love history, because I learn from people.  I love scripture, because I learn the ways of God and I see the paths we can choose from.  I love people's stories, testimonies, struggles, and triumphs.
And here I am, in mid-life, after 21 years of marriage, and 20+ years of raising children and building friendships and church life and homeschooling. I see where we get the term 'mid-life crisis'.  I think for me it's more of a mid-life assessment.I am looking around at people my age, looking at my own life, too.  Thinking and figuring from the past, and wondering about the future. And through it all I see some wonderfully relieving and life-giving things that I have learned and am learning.
I have learned that hating my weaknesses doesn't make me get past them. I really really wanted to be that lady in the book who just gets it, and tells everybody else how to do it well.  And yet I keep being me. And somehow after all these years I am loved more than ever.
I have learned that I am not that perfect-looking lady in the book, on Pinterest, behind the amazing blog.  And that if I focus on her, I will never become me.  And I won't become her, either.
I have learned that I really do love God.  That although He may have many things to teach me and much dross to purify me of, I do love Him very much, today, as I am.
I have learned that being a good supportive wife isn't about me.  It isn't about trying harder. It isn't about looking the greatest or being the best at something or just getting it right. It is about simply loving and respecting this man today.  And tomorrow.  And the next day.  
I am learning that clutter steals.  Be it junk piles around the house, overly complicated vacations, celebrations, and holidays, or noise from other people's or the internet's way-too-loud opinions, clutter is just that.  Not much of value, just noise and distraction.
I am learning that being simple is wonderful.  Mother Theresa once commented on how insecure Western parents are.  True. Trying to keep up with our own choice of Joneses, making sure we are not knocked off the band-wagon, desiring to keep ahead so we don't fall behind. It's wearying. Simple is awesome.  Reading to my children as the chimes ring happily outside is so very wonderful.  Feeding my young adults piles of home-cooked food - just Mom's cookin'- does so much more than fill their bellies. Slowing down and listening to people and taking more time to read my Bible and pray and smiling at these faces I get to be with for this time. Simple.
I am learning that the fumbly-bumbly two-steps forward one-step back way I do things isn't going to keep my family from succeeding.  That those wonderful people who tell me to follow their ways aren't always right.  They are convincing, and strong, and organized. But not always right.
I am learning to trust the One Who is worthy of my trust. Does He hear me? Yes. Is He holy and righteous? Yes. Does he know how to help me and my family and everything else I bring to Him? Yes. Does He comfort and heal in His time? Yes.
And I am learning, perhaps most importantly, what it means to have my Lord be the 'Author and Finisher' of my faith. It means that He writes my story. And yours. That all those times I was pulling my hair out because things were NOT going right, He was guiding, directing, allowing, molding. That my plan for this family isn't anything compared to His. It's so very hard to let go. So very hard. But I find no other path to Life than to trust my Author.
Loving this learning in mid-life...Sometimes hating it too. 
Looking forward to the next decades, Lord-willing, of watching and figuring and hoping and learning. 
And hopefully, along the way, teaching it too.

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