Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Meditations on Mid-Life

Two women stand behind us in line. I judge they are perhaps 10 years my senior, but it's hard to tell. I inwardly cringe as one bursts into a litany of complaints and coarse language. The other can hardly stop talking about who she's tweeting and snap chatting while we wait. One as salty as a sailor, the other as giddy as a schoolgirl.

I see myself in these women.

A complainer who makes those around her miserable.

A foolish woman too mesmerized by social media to be a friend to someone standing right beside her.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Lisa's friend passes away. A woman I've never met, but will one day. Her example to Lisa became an example to me. While she is just beginning to understand what it means to worship God fully, her family and friends mourn a life ended too soon.

I consider the woman I long to be.

A woman who, in Lisa's words, "...believes the good news of the gospel to be true; she believes it, she needs it, she banks her life on it."

~ ~ ~ ~ ~
The words leap off the page
 I don't know if tomorrow will be my last day, but every year I pass - unheralded - the anniversary of my death.

My life on earth has a time limit, a shelf life, an expiration date. When I number my dates, each day rattles with sharp significance. What does this measured span look like as I weigh the brevity of my days? When I take those last breaths, how will I - and how will God - assess the days alloted to me? Life on earth will not go on forever. Every breath is a gift. Time is flying. - Jean Fleming, Pursue the Intentional Life

The questions burrow deep in my soul.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

It hasn't come easy, admitting I'm middle-aged. Yet the calendar tells me that I have, in all likelihood, lived more than half of my life. Sometimes when I look back over the 46 years I've been blessed with, I feel crushed by the time I've let dwindle away. Hours, days, years that have had little value in the kingdom of God.

Then I contemplate the marriage that I've forged, by the grace of God and the love of a godly man. I gaze at the curly-haired young woman who makes me laugh and ache to rock her to sleep just one more time.  They are tangible proof of the goodness of the Lord and His daily mercies. And yet there are miles to go before I sleep...

There is much to do and time is fleeting. I remember a question Fleming poses and I ask myself variations of it. If this is my last year, what's the most important contribution I can make to my family? To my church? To my friends?

When I stand before the Lord

He's not going to care how many "likes" my cute photos on Instagram garnered.

He's not going to ask how many Twitter followers or Facebook friends I had.

He's not going to be impressed by the number of people who read my blog.

He's not going to wonder why I didn't read all the latest "must-reads".

He's not going to congratulate me on making everything from scratch, or condemn me for eating sugar and bringing home take-out one too many times.

The things that seem so important to me here and now will vanish, and all that will be left are the things I did for Him and in His Name. Will I be ashamed of how paltry my offering is?

I don't know how many days I have left in this life. I do know it's time to start counting them, to make them count.

So teach us to number our days
that we may get a heart of wisdom.
~Psalm 90:12

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Gone Quiet

This space has been dormant for a month. I never intended to take an extended break. Time has passed in slow rhythm frequently broken by the frenetic pace of a girl growing up too fast. These are days I want to remember, to savor and cherish. They are my treasures, not for public consumption

and so the blog has remained quiet.

And, truth be told, I've been too busy watching Masterpiece Theater and reading excellent books to think about writing

and so the blog has remained quiet.

Although I haven't written any blog posts, I've read plenty. Sometimes with a resounding "Amen!"; sometimes shaking my head in disbelief. More often than not, realizing much of what happens in Fantasy Land (as my beloved has dubbed social media) should have little impact on - or value in -  my life

and so the blog has remained quiet.

Although I haven't made my presence known here, I've been present with family and friends. Long and thoughtful conversations around a table, in a kitchen, in a living room, and on the phone have nourished my soul. Coming together before the Throne of Grace with the ladies in my small group has humbled and encouraged me. Our Theology Reading Group meetings have blessed me beyond measure. I want to put people before pixels

and so the blog has remained quiet.

Then there is the realization that not every opinion I have needs to be heard (or read, as the case may be)

and so the blog has remained quiet.

I continue to ponder the quiet life, what it means and how it's best lived. As I do, I consider how to reconcile it with the "look at me" attitude of social media. I think about why I occupy this corner of the internet, and the worth of doing so. These ruminations sometimes make me weary, but then I realize I'm overthinking it all

and so the blog has remained quiet.

There have been times when words flew from the tips of my fingers so quickly that I could hardly contain them. I suppose I've been in recovery from that incessant chatter. I once thought perhaps I'd used all my words, but I know that although they are deep in the quiet, they will resurface and find a way here again.

And so the blog  remains quiet...for now.