Fall is slipping through our fingers as October, in all her orange and golden glory, is coming to an end. I watch the seasons pass in the field across from our house. A hill of evergreens is met at the bottom by maples, birch, and oak—each presently showing off in orange, red, or yellow with just a few green leaves left here and there.
Each morning, I slip downstairs early and open the dinning room curtains. I sit at the table with espresso and my Bible and watch the fog lift in feathery strings of magic up out of the lowlands before mingling in wispy bands with all those colorful trees.
I’m having trouble comprehending how it can almost be November, how so soon we’ll be grabbing coats and boots before stepping outside in what right now is absolutely perfect weather.
Having a baby warps time a little bit, I think. The sleepless nights and relentless days bleed one into another and for a girl who loves her day planner, I’ve been surprised at how often I’ve had to ask what day it is or stop and think before I know for sure what month we’re in. Time both flies and trudges on achingly slow. Somehow, my baby is three months old and I’m both happy at watching her grow and heartbroken by the same.
Time is a trickster, making us feel we’ve got all of it we need and might even just be stuck in the same place forever yet all the while slipping through our fingers and only being realized in the fallen leaves at our feet after months have gone by.
Darren and I sat talking the other night, a rare feat these days. Our conversation centered around the season of life we’re in, where so much seems out of reach and down the road. We are very much in the middle.
In the middle of sleepless nights and long days with little ones who need us endlessly. And though our children absolutely fill our hearts to overflowing, my gosh, I could use a nap too.
We’re in the middle of jobs and business plans that are neither just beginning nor anywhere near done. We’re past the initial excitement and miles from the finish line.
We’re in the middle of our marriage—being neither newlyweds nor all that far down the road of our relationship at nine yearsIn the middle (though hopefully closer to the end) of remodeling our house with a zillion big and little projects still needing to be done.
We’re working and planning and moving forward day by day by day. But the years and miles stretch out before us and it’s easy to get lost and discouraged here in the middle. I find myself wanting to start a new venture or take a big trip—just to be at the beginning of something exciting again instead of stuck halfway through all the work that eventually brings those exciting beginnings to a fruitful end. God is teaching me a lot about my own character right now, showing me the areas in need of refinement. When I’m stuck with the hard work of doing something I began, will I have the patience, discipline, and contentment to keep plugging away day after day? Or will I quit because I’m bored and tired and it’s really, really hard here in the middle where the dust likes to settle and Satan likes to whisper so loudly in our ears about what could be or could have been if I’d just stopping wasting my time on the same old drudgery?
Fortunately, God whispers too. He whispers to my heart through his word and his people that there is a harvest to be gathered at the end of this journey if I just keep going, if I just keeping doing the same hard task over and over again. You don’t stay happily married for fifty years by walking away when the excitement grows thin. You don’t successfully raise children by giving up on lovingly disciplining and instructing them when you’re only half-way there. You have to keep going. You have to keep working all the way to the end to reap the harvest you sowed so many years ago. So I’m learning to endure. To keep getting up early each morning with hope that this day, so very much like the day before with all the same work needing to be done, will build slowly but faithfully into something worth having. My marriage is worth working for, as are my children, my home, and our ambitions and endeavors—all these things are worth the slow, faithful work of beginning again each day with the belief that what I do counts and will be blessed by the Lord if I stay faithful to the very end.
I hope you will be encouraged to believe and live the same. Let’s not give up in the hardness of the middle.
10 thoughts on “Life in the Middle”
Wow! I totally am in the middle with you girl ♡. I have needed reminded again and again of how much God has blessed me. It’s so easy to say I wish I were single and could go meet a friend for coffee anytime I wanted, or say if only the kids were grown up and we could go on a vacation alone together to visit Ireland or Hawaii. Yet then I am reminded as I see my sweet babies faces. God has called me to be a mother to these children right now ♡. He blessed me with a son and daughter. He blessed me with a Godly husband. He’s provided for us a beautiful home. I live in a country where I’m free to worship God without a lot of persecution. I don’t have to go to bed each night fearing that someone will break into our home and take my children from me or my husband from me because I’m a Christian. He has blessed us above all we can ask or think! I don’t need to go on a vacation or to coffee with a friend right now. I need to thrive and grow where I’m planted ♡. I need to be the best mom in life that I can possibly be with God’s help. I need to train up my children to love and serve the Lord. So am I babies cry I remember that I have them and they are gift from God. When they are coughing and waking every hour or two for an hour long I remember that God gives strength and Grace. When I read your post I remember how blessed I am again and that it’s okay to be in the middle. It encourages my heart to know that there are other moms that love the Lord here in the middle too. Love ya! (HUGs) You are not alone!
You are definitely not alone either. I’m so thankful for social media and the way it allows us moms to connect even when we live on totally opposite ends of the country. These years with little, little ones are INTENSE but I know God is stretching me and teaching me so much. I realize now more than I have in years that I NEED God—he’s not an accessory or an option—he’s all I need every single day to manage these hard years well.
You’re right, we are so blessed and it’s so important to stop and remember that even when we’re muddled up in the middle.
Beautifully expressed, Kari! Yes, you are in the thick of it but these really are great years. I’m so glad you’re home with those children. Not enough of that these days. We’re in the stage of near retirement and, of all things, I’ve launched a home based business! But it’s a lot of fun. I reduced my regular work hours and traded them for this new adventure. Plus, have all the kids and grands nearby. Always something to fill the time. We are blessed with good health thus far, 37 years of marriage, house nearly paid off. This stage, with kids all on their own, is like having compounded interest that just keeps on giving. Longevity in marriage is like that. And I’m sitting here with my Bible and fresh roast, too! Your writing is superb.
It’s a strange place to be because I know it’s a really beautiful season and when it’s over I’ll miss it…but it’s so hard at the same time—it can be difficult not to rush and try to get to the next thing.
Congrats on the business…that sounds exciting! ☺
Thank you for your kind words and taking the time to leave me a comment.
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As I read this, I thought of so many of your previous posts and you have grown so very much and still each of your words bless me and encourage me. Thank you for being you and know that I pray for you and yours often. DAF (Cathi)
Thank you so much, Cathi ♡♡♡ Motherhood is sanctifying me so much and it’s hard but so good to feel God moving in my life and heart.
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As someone who is well past the middle and hopefully not quite near the end yet either…I can tell you from experience that the place you are in right now in your life is yes busy, yes at times very monotonous, and yes, VERY, VERY worthwhile. It does seem like the time goes both too fast and too slow at this point but trust me once you slip past the middle and into the “over the hill” time goes at warp speed! If I could have just one day of the past back it would be a day spent with all of my little ones around me and just playing with them, looking forward eagerly to an evening with my hubby after finally getting the kiddo’s to bed for the night…it would truly be the best day! And truthfully I am very much enjoying THIS stage of my life as well, it’s fun to be able to just go when I want and have lots of time with my sweet mate of 40 years. God is good thru every stage!
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I try to remind myself that these little monsters are only little for a little while…even if they’re driving me crazy 😉
That baby girl looks just like you, Kari. That’s okay, Darren, because your son looks like you, and that’s the way it should be.
Kari… life goes on, you will never be finished remodeling and improving your house, just as your life… don’t overthink it.
She looks just like my baby pictures so I do wonder how much she’ll continue to look like me as she grows up. Roman is just like his daddy in both looks and personality—it’s pretty cute 🙂 Thanks for the comment