Mid-Life Crisis

This title kind of makes me giggle, yet I’m very serious about the topic…I’m 49 – I will definitely have a long life if I’m mid-life right now (and I hope I do).

I haven’t struggled with any age in the past – I’ve embraced each decade with vigor and an appreciation for my wisdom. For some reason 49 has really bothered me. I wondered if 50 might bother me, and I’ll let you know when I get there…but I never expected to feel this way at 49.

I’m not having a mid-life crisis in the normal sense….or maybe it is only men that buy sports cars…I did color my hair platinum blonde a year+ ago (not my best idea)…maybe that was part of this crisis…

In all seriousness – my crisis is more about feeling like my life hasn’t had meaning and purpose. I know I have a God given purpose, but I surely don’t feel like I’ve been progressing towards that. I’ve truly been so buried in work for the past year and several months that I have totally lost sight of my purpose…mainly meaning I haven’t had the emotional bandwidth to write or pray like I should…I haven’t spent time with Jesus like I should….mainly because that is so emotional for me (the best kind of emotional ever), and I think subconsciously I knew if I stopped and crawled into His arms, that would be all she wrote…I couldn’t lose sight of all of my other obligations, so instead I lost sight of my first Love and myself.

I’m starting to come up for air now as the holidays approach. I have more staff to help me and more on the way, so I hope to end 49 with accomplishments that speak to my heart and point to Jesus! I’m trying to give more things to God rather than continuing to tightly grasp everything and plunge forward like a stick of dynamite is chasing me.

My heart is for ministry, and that is my long term goal and how I want my life to end. Jesus presses on my heart that the “sick need a doctor”. People that are unsaved need to know Jesus…but it doesn’t end there…that is truly the beginning of a different race – the race to know ourselves in Jesus – the race to know who we truly are underneath all of the false identities that life has thrown at us – and that we so easily picked up and carried. I want to be the one to nurture people back to health – spiritual and emotional health. I want people to be free and light and airy – to walk through this life in the glory of who God created them to be – free to fulfill their very own purpose.

I heard somewhere this week that God created each of us with something that is unique to only Him and us – that each of us resemble Him in our own special way. I don’t know if this is true – but what if it is…that would be something!

To end – I heard this scripture Sunday in church, and it brought my heart back to life – the medicine I needed for this mid-life crisis of mine…Job 42:12 “The Lord blessed the latter part of Job’s life more than the former part”. There is hope – there is time – everything has and will happen right on time – in His perfect timing.

Empty

This is a boring title…but it is so full of depth and emotions. I could have called it depleted…same thing – both are how I feel…empty and depleted. This has been a long time coming…but I’ve only now in this moment had the chance to let myself sit still and cry and let these feelings come rushing out. I’ve held them in for so long, I almost don’t know how to let them escape. I’ve been struggling with depression for the past month or maybe more…mainly because I have been giving absolutely everything I have to everyone else…making sure everyone else had their needs met…I have given away all of my time and all of my attention, and I left none for myself…this is a big no-no for an introvert. It has led me to this place…the place of absolute emptiness. I’ve been shielding this emotional breakdown for so long that I don’t even know how to stop and let Jesus come in and take over…such a foreign place for me. I know I’ve intentionally kept him just on the outskirts of my heart because His love always touches me, and I just didn’t have time to break down and fall in His arms. I’m at such a low place, and I know Jesus will pick me up, cradle me, love me and set me on the right path…and I’m ready to let Him. In my own mind I have no idea what that path looks like…there is no path that is appealing to me except for the path that leads to Him. I feel so far gone that I don’t even know what makes me excited – what makes me happy – what fills me with joy. I pray that He will show me…as I re-learn how to take time for myself.

I could go into all of my disappointments in life and how I never thought I would be where I am…but that seems pointless and wasteful. The past is the past. It has taught me much. I long for a future in which my past makes sense…I long for a moment in which I let it all go…my disappointments, my heartbreaks, my what-ifs…maybe now needs to be that moment…where I lay it all at the feet of my greatest Love, Jesus! All of these things are a puddle at His feet…and in the puddle I see a reflection of myself hand in hand with Him. I gaze into His loving eyes and I am full. I am complete. I am everything I need to be.

Boundaries – the key to freedom

Boundaries/Margins/Limits are probably things I’m going to be writing about for a few weeks.   I’m so blown away by the things God is imparting into my heart on this topic…I’m also so thankful for these simple, yet life altering, revelations.

I’ve always been someone that doesn’t rest well…I’ve never been good at being idle.  I’ve been programmed to feel (through life wounds and experiences) that if I’m idle, the ‘other shoe’ might drop and cause catastrophe in my life.  I’ve felt that if I’m on top of things (controlling my environment and the things I can control) I will bounce back more easily when something I can’t control goes wrong.  Can anyone else relate to this?

Priscilla Shirer in “Breathe” commented that in a sociological study when group A kids were given a playground with no fence or borders, they stayed bunched up together and didn’t venture out.  When group B kids were given a playground with fences, they combed every piece of the area, explored and had a great time.  This is how we should view boundaries…boundaries give us the freedom to explore knowing we are safe within our limits.  We won’t be consumed and get off track.  This is such a huge revelation to me.  

I’m learning that I don’t have to do everything TODAY.  I’m trying to define limits for myself around work and even home chores.  I’m learning that no chaos will ensue if I leave a few things undone that can be done tomorrow or later in the week or whenever.  God is giving me peace through showing me how to set limits…otherwise, I have no limits and I exhaust myself…never stopping because there is always something to be done.  It brings me so much joy to realize that work can stop when I determine work can stop…it leaves me time to do the things that are in my heart to do – the things that bring me true joy and fulfillment (going about my Father’s business, spending time with Jesus, praying for others, being in the Word, filling my Spirit) and various other things that I never allow myself enough time to do because I have been so busy trying to do all of the un-fun stuff that I thought was necessary.

I find that I’m excited when I get home from work because I’m going to take time just for myself – to do the things that make my heart dance.  It’s amazing.  I’m realizing that the things I leave on the table undone will still be there tomorrow…I’m realizing that if Jesus could feed the multitudes on a few loaves of bread, He will also give me the freedom to walk within my limits and still get everything done in time.

I’m thoroughly enjoying this newfound freedom and the peace and joy that come with it.  If you are like me and have struggled in these areas (taking time for rest/setting boundaries), please buy this book by Priscilla.  God is changing my life through it.  This GIFT of boundaries is for all of us, and it truly is a gift.  The sabbath was a gift to teach us how to not be in bondage or enslaved to others or things of this world.  The Sabbath is a “loving, gracious gift that would break the chains that remained inside of them” (the Israelites and their mindsets of being enslaved as it was all they ever knew).  That gets me excited and is a gift I wholeheartedly am receiving.

Sabbath – old school or necessary?

I just started a Bible study by Priscilla Shirer – Breathe.  It’s about making room for sabbath in all areas of your life.  It’s really not about taking Sunday off…it’s about setting margins for things in your life…think of margins as boundaries or self-contained units.  I love that Priscilla likens boundaries or margins to a fire-pit…a self-contained area meant to be enjoyed.  This has helped me so much – I struggle with work-life balance.  I can’t rest when there are things to be done (and there are always things to be done)…and when I say rest – it means my soul just doesn’t know how to be still.  I’m learning to set work boundaries once I get home…I’m realizing it’s imperative to my well-being.  

I love that Priscilla talks about how on the 7th day, God CREATED rest – He created tranquility and serenity…it’s meant to complete us.  I LOVE that…it’s not something we are meant to do (rest that it is)….it’s something that is meant to complete us – without it we aren’t complete.  That certainly explains a lot in my life.

For the first time ever I’m learning to rest – I’m learning to quiet my soul and mind and just be infiltrated with peace, tranquility and serenity.  It feels awesome so far…but I’m definitely a big work in progress :).  

More to come on this later as I progress in this study…but it reminds me of something my dear friend, Kim Strong, says – Peace must be our operating system.  That is so true, and without rest it is impossible.

Who Do You Say I Am?

Unknown

Who do you say I am….

Breathtaking, Beautiful, Truth, Peace, King, Lover of my soul, Brilliant, Amazing, The Word, Counselor, Son of God, Grace, Honesty, Purity, Gentle, Passionate, Consuming, Overwhelming, Magnificent, Splendor, Loving, Forgiving, Healer, Overcomer, Victorious, Strength, Shield, Protector, Encourager, Living Water, Refresher, Restorer, Redeemer, Deliverer, The Christ, Lord, Savior, Love, Courage, Wealth, Song, Eternal, Everlasting, Alpha, Omega, Present, Gift, Freedom, Compassionate, Warm, Loving, Dances with me, Warrior, Prayer, Interceder, Defeater, Far-stretched, Hope, Intimacy, Foundation, Rock, Salvation, Resurrection, Worthy, Everlasting, Beginning and End, Elegant, Sweet, Pursuer, Mercy, Truth, The Way, Life, Fun, Happy, Pleased, Beaming, Laughter, Tears, Doctor, Sword, Priest, Teacher, My Heart, Tender

I say You are the Christ! You are the one and only Son of God! You are My Lord & Savior! You are my life!