Midlife Press

bored

I will turn 39 this year…The more mid life I get, the more I’m convinced these all too common midlife crises are stemmed from sheer boredom. Ruts, routines.

I’ve been in the same career for 16 years. Been at the same company for 12. It gets boring. So much so, that I can be busy and bored at the exact same time. Sometimes our comfort zones can get so comfortable they start to feel uncomfortable. I’m more convinced than ever that idle hands (and minds) are the devil’s workshop. Let’s be aware that we can be busy as heck raising kids, working full time, holding down relationships and marriages, entertaining friends and still get bored. It’s a restless heart syndrome. And, this doesn’t make us bad. It makes us human.

Last week my daughter was talking about how bored she was. She’s 9. She said “Mom, we do the same things! Morning and night. And, school! It’s boring too.” She said the same thing at church last weekend. “How BORING!!” She was in a rut. I knew exactly where she was coming from, but couldn’t help but lean over and say, “Trust me honey, this is the MOST exciting thing you’ll hear….ever.” I still got an eye roll. The sermon was about the second coming of Jesus. Is there ANYTHING more exciting than that? No. I say bring it.

We look for the next exciting thing. We yearn for a vacation, a new friend, anything to break the monotony. Newness. We crave a challenge. Something, anything to ease the day in, day out, same thing, every day. This boredom and desire for excitement and adrenaline can easily lead to some very poor choices with a devastating ripple effect. We need to be aware of what’s going on. Are we just bored?

What if we leaned into rather than away from what our souls crave the most? What if we leaned into our calling? Asked God what it is? Dug into our passions? Filled our minds with all that is good? Poured into someone’s life? Asked God how to serve Him more? Love the people in our lives better? Learn how….There is always something to learn.

How much better to get wisdom than gold! To get understanding is to be chosen rather than silver. Proverbs 16:16 (ESV)

How about rather than twist off, we twist on and dig in to what and Who really makes us tick. Ask Him how to jump start the rut we feel. Follow our passions. Step out. There is excitement and fear in that. And, that’s just the right combo of emotions for a good mid life press that just might better us and the world around us rather than leave a destructive wake. Can we spice things up in a positive way? Recognize it for what it is and be more aware of what we are looking to in order to change things up a bit?

We have individual interests and passions for a reason. What exhilarates you in a positive way? Do more of that. You may have stumbled upon your gift. When the routines of life leave us bored and restless, let’s press in rather than peel out.

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Paper Bag Moments

roller coaster

Have you ever had a moment that blows you away? Not in a negative way, but in a positive way? The kind of moment that you dreamed of, but didn’t know would ever come true? The kind of moment that left your mouth wide open and a personal dream realized? I call them my “paper bag moments”. The moments when God shows up and shows off.  The moments that take your breath away. The moments when you just KNOW that He is looking and smiling down on you. The moments when all you can think is “Oh, how He loves us….me!”

The assurance of God’s presence in our lives should blow us away daily. When He acts out on our behalf in our personal dilemmas, issues, concerns, and fears, it blows us away personally. He wants to blow us away. He wants us to KNOW that He cares for our personal struggles and is fighting for us. He wants us to KNOW that He is very much present in our daily lives. He wants us to KNOW He is still very much a miracle worker. He wants us to KNOW that in those moments when the pain feels like more than we can bear, He is not only with us, but He feels it too. He want us to KNOW that He is a loving Father. Even in His discipline, He wants us to KNOW that He is showing love. He is drawing us to Him, not pushing us away.

I have had many “paper bag moments” recently. Moments associated with love, family, and ministry and they seem to keep coming. Moments when I feel like I really could use a paper bag to breathe into. I cherish these moments now. God says, just breathe, because I’m about to BLOW you away. Oh, how He loves us!

Life’s journey is like a rollercoaster. It goes up, down, and sideways. After a long downward plunge, the ups can make our stomachs leap into our throats. The excitement can feel scary because it’s so unexpected. I am reminded of how many times God says “Do not fear” in the Bible. When the ups come, throw your hands up and Praise His name! Just like when the downs come, the best thing for us to do is hit our knees and cry out. But, either way, don’t forget to breathe! He is WITH us in the good times and in the bad.

Here’s to more “paper bag moments” in all our lives. To God be the Glory of our story!

A Fresh Start!

spring

Spring has arrived along with a sense of newness.

We love new things. New clothes, new cars, new jobs, new relationships, new babies, new ideas. There’s just something about newness that gives us that fresh start feeling. Inevitably, the newness does wear off and we are left with the desire for something else that is new. I know I crave a fresh start everyday. A “do over” of sorts, especially when I lose my patience in mommy world or get anxious about the future.

The steadfast love of The Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are NEW every morning; great is your faithfulness.  Lamentations 3:22-23 (ESV)

God’s mercies are new every single morning. That’s a fresh start we can count on. The newness that returns day after day. We may take it for granted, but it’s a shame if we do because it’s a fresh start….everyday. Something to look forward to. Something to bring joy, relief, and peace. It’s the ultimate “do over”.

Let’s focus on blessings today. Blessings like a brand new healthy baby, a new friend, answered prayers, the love of family, and the encouragement from friends. Everything from quiet time with a hot cup of coffee in the morning to Abby’s smile and hearing Elle say “thank you mama” and “kisses” before bed are all such precious and personal blessings to me!  We each have our very own.

I am guilty of paying more attention to what I lack than what I have. I want a fresh start and forgiveness from that. I want to focus on what God graciously GIVES because He does and He LOVES to do so. Let’s all take the time to count our blessings and recognize His gifts.

Spring has definitely sprung in Texas so let’s all thank God for fresh flowers, fresh rain, fresh air, and fresh starts!