I’m turning 34 this year, and I’m in a weird place where I don’t feel young anymore but I don’t feel like I’ve quite arrived to where I’m supposed to be as an adult. I’m somewhere between “I’m not there anymore” but “I’m not there yet.” I’m not single anymore, but I’m not out of the trenches of toddler parenting yet. I’m not free to do as I please anymore, but I’m not free to do as I please (again) yet. When I was in my 20s, the goal was to get to where I am now- married, kids, stability, a steady groove- but now that I’m here, my heart’s struggling to be content and grounded. I look behind me and ahead of me, and my heart paces back and forth between mourning what’s not and longing for what’s to come.
I’ve been here before- this place of uncomfortable restlessness. The grass looks greener everywhere else except for the patch that I’m standing on, and I imagine everyone must be happier, more content, having more fun on the spacious, luscious grass they’re on while I’m stuck on my yellowing patch. It’s not true, but my heart has a hard time believing.
The middle is always full of the mundane and ordinary, and I’m reminding myself that every novel beginning is short-lived. The excitement fades, the long middle settles in, and the only way to get out of the pity party of discontentment is to look up. Instead of comparing whose grass is greener between you and me, I need to compare the grass we’re both standing on to the beauty of Christ. Neither yours nor mine can compare. Both of ours fade in comparison to Him, and only He can settle my restlessness and fill my heart to full contentment no matter the kind of grass I’m on.
I read this quote by Lysa Terkeurst the other day-
After all, the grass isn’t greener on the other side – the grass is greener where we water and fertilize it.
She wrote it in the context of marriage, but isn’t it true in every situation? The work of the middle is to water and fertilize. It’s not glamorous, it’s not consistently exciting, but when we have our eyes set on Christ, we find contentment in the mundane. The ordinary of the middle isn’t for naught because He is in it.
It’s Tuesday, and as Emily Freeman says, let’s appreciate the small things on this simple day.
What if, instead of thinking we have to choose between our ordinary life and an extraordinary life, we began to realize they’re the same thing?… Let’s take back the long day and the short years and all the months that come between them, because this is where our real life happens. and we won’t be so naive as to try to make the hard times beautiful, but we will have faith that the hard days are making us, remaking us, and forming us into the likeness of Christ.
Happy Tuesday, everyone.