I like endings and beginnings. Not middles.
Sometimes it’s hard to say good-bye.
Sometimes it’s scary to embark on a new adventure.
But it’s the middles that get me.
The middles can be messy and confusing. I can easily become disoriented in the midst of something. How quickly I begin to question and wonder how I got there? Or I obsess that things will never ever change? It’s the middle times that cause me to feel burdened and burnt out. Frustrated from the daily grind and failing to see the bigger picture. I lack the endurance that middles require. Maybe that’s why I’ve never been a long-distance runner. I’m too quick to quit, emotionally check out, and move on to something new.
Right now I am wrapping up 2014 practically speaking. I am organizing toys that the boys got for Christmas and putting away ones they don’t play with any longer. I am filing away stacks and stacks of medical paperwork for Nathan like this file folder that contains all of his EOBs from 2014. (That’s just from one insurance company folks. He has two insurers.) These are not hard things to say good-bye to.
Right now I am looking towards 2015 from a visionary perspective. I am writing goals for how I want to grow as a person spiritually and physically. I am anticipating what our family life will look like as we live out the story God is writing into our lives. Each of us is so very different. Yet the one itty bitty among us who is defined as especially special (because all of us are special really), both overshadows us with his neediness and highlights our strengths from he requires of us. I’m beginning to see my calling more clearly.
I’m still in the middle though. I’m still the same old me. The calendar has changed but I have not. Every day I’m trying to be faithful in the small things. Discerning about how I spend my time. Investing in my marriage best I can in spite of external pressures. Advocating for my kids and being the best example I can for them. I’m still finding that I need to spend more time on my knees because the middles are just. plain. hard.
This year I am starting a new devotional, The One Year Daily Grind, which is now published under the title The One Year Coffee with God. (Big shout out to my friends at Tyndale.) So far I’m loving it. It is very conversational with a challenge each day and a little bit of Scripture to hold on to. The overall structure of the book follows the Church calendar. I’m hoping this will provide me an overarching perspective of what God has been doing through his people since the beginning of time, all the while I am living out my own daily grind.
Until it’s fully the end, I will be living in the middle time. There will always be something to press through, something to learn, something to fight for or wait for. And there will always be something to pray for. This year as I muddle through the daily grind of my messy life I hope I’ll be on my knees more.
And same as last year, I’ll be focusing on this verse.
My book, Beauty in Broken Dreams: A Hopeful Handbook for the Early Years as a Special Needs Parent, is now available on Amazon!
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