August 1, 2019

The Middle Matters... a Five Minute Friday post (and Book review post --because, of course!)


August? It's already August? If you subscribe to the monthly NewsyLetter then you may have just read about how I feel like we JUST fell into the rhythm of lazy summer days and it's already August? (Not that I'm actually complaining because if you have been around this little corner for long at all, you know Fall is my favorite!)

This is a Five Minute Friday post... which simply means I set a timer and free-write for five minutes flat on the one-word prompt: MIDDLE


I have said it several times: Whenever Lisa-Jo Baker writes something, I'm gonna get my hands and my head and my heart all around it. (And more than likely, I'm gonna share it and tell all my friends to read it, too!) So it was no real surprise to find myself on the Launch Team for her latest book, The Middle Matters. I've been on all of her launch teams to date... I knew that going in this book was different in that it is a collection of essays and they are all based on the Middle --of life, of parenting, of marriage, of --you know, our middles!?

I love Lisa-Jo because she is real... she is honest and open and she just tells it like it is. She is full of grace and love and she makes room at any given table and scooches over on any given couch. Her message rings loud and clear: You are welcome here.  

There is something that is so needed for voices like hers --for hearts like hers-- in our world right now! She is an InCourager (--ya see what I did there?) and a Champion and, gah! We need more people to be people that love well and follow hard after Him (while being Oh So Real about our messy lives!)

I have found myself in the middle of oh so many things right now... 
I am in the middle of life (or at least I'm nearing the end of my 40's so it is beginning to feel like the end of the middle!)

I'm in the middle of aging parents battling sicknesses and needing extra care... doctors appointments, and prescriptions, and health plans and possible surgeries galore.

I'm in the middle of shouting all the 'Proud of you', 'You are amazing!' things and being ever so grateful that on this side of parenting, we managed to raise someone who is truly one stellar human being --and she just so happens to be one of our best friends, too!

We're in the middle of falling head over heels in love with our first grandchild! (Well -the middle? I doubt there is ever really an end to this one!) But if our girlie is anything like me (and I think we have confirmed this in a million little ways on the Podcast and in real life that she is like me!) Lil Miss just might be our only grand, so we don't want to miss a moment!

We're in the middle of transitioning into a new season... learning a new job... looking for new ways to be creative, and finding our footing again with ministry!

We are in the middle of -once again- remembering that what we are called to is what we are called to in our actual real everyday-living lives. It's who we are more than what we do... and it doesn't require anything more than a willing heart and an ear tuned to His spirit as He leads us one step at a time! (We're in the middle of relearning to be OK with that, too!)

As I've mentioned many times, sometimes we forget all the things we already know! We need grace and reminders and a bit of a reset to get back to the basics!

We are in the middle of marriage and as good as the beginning was for us --the middle is better! But there is growth and transition and new learning that has to happen... there are constantly new ways to become that One Flesh that we are called to! More and more, I find myself in awe of this man who so often reminds me of Jesus and who loves so well --not just me... but our girlie and Lil Miss and family at large and friends and everyone who will let him, really! He's the real deal, too... and I am blessed to have lived more of my life WITH him than I ever did without him! 


My timer went off but I was only in the middle of listing all the things I'm in the Middle of, like:

I'm in the Middle of walking on the water, believing for miracles with a beloved family member battling cancer.  

I'm in the Middle of walking out forgiveness... How many know even after you've forgiven others, you must forgive yourself? (And how many know sometimes that is the hardest part!) 

I'm in the Middle of pursuing Jesus with no strings attached... just a simple, pure longing to be with Him. 

I'm in the Middle of loving my one life and reacquainting myself with the Me I lost track of... I keep remembering that I really like her!

I'm in the Middle of growing new friendships and making sure I have time to sow into the ones that are long-standing that can so easily be taken for granted --including my friendship with myself! (See above paragraph!)

I'm also in the middle of a stack of books and an iced coffee and packing for our vacation and... well- you get the idea!

Mostly, I guess what I'm learning as I read through Lisa-Jo's book (which, by the way, I'm still in the middle of!) is this:

I'm in the Middle of learning

to actually LOVE the Middle
and not just try to
rush through it to the End
--or to whatever is Next and New!

I'm in the Middle of staying Present in my real life... 
and giving myself grace and living life open-handed and open-hearted
and allowing myself space to introvert
and space to pour out in extroverty ways!

I'm in the Middle of loving each day that is given to me and remembering to look for Wonder and Joy... 

I'm in the Middle of remembering that I love to laugh!
It's my favorite... head back, mouth and heart wide open...
A Joy that is contagious, spilling out and over!

Something about The Joy of the Lord is my strength...

Something about the Kingdom of God

Something about loving my one life out loud...

Something about Speaking Life... 
Being Love... and Shining On!

Linking up with  Kate Motaung and the #fmfparty Community today.  Five Minute Fridays give us the chance to dive right in and share what He puts on our hearts! Click HERE to read what others have to say about "MIDDLE"!

The FMF lowdown: The gathering happens on Twitter on Thursday nights & then we write our hearts out & hit publish all over the interwebs on Thursday & Friday (& sometimes on Tuesdays!) It's where we encourage & uplift... where we share prayer requests & praise reports... where we talk about food & friends & we find support & kindred hearts. It's where we are reminded that life is good & God is good & we're not alone... & then we all write for five minutes flat, a flash mob of wordsmiths letting our hearts & our fingers do the talking tapping & we hit publish before we can second-guess it all away. We'd love to have you join us!

I'm also linking up with the lovely writer communities linked below:

Crystal Twaddell for #FreshMarketFriday

Mary Geisen for #TellHisStory

Kelly Balarie for #RaRaLinkUp

What about you, friend? What are some of the things you are in the Middle of right now? Comment below and let me know!


  1. Right in the middle of reading your post, I wanted so bad to go order the book, but decided to take care of reading your post first. Thanks for sharing. I am a member of that exclusive club. The over fifty club, I tell myself I am so lucky to be here because not everyone lives long enough to get in. I did add the book to my list, so I won't forget I want to read it. Thanks for posting! FMF #46

    1. Well thanks for sticking around 'til the end! I'm so glad you added the book to your list! It's so good! And yes --in this in between stage of helping to care for family on both ends of life, we hear the complaints of getting older however we know each day is a gift! Thanks so much for stopping by!

  2. The middle of the cinnamon roll is the best part...maybe the middle we find ourselves in is the best part as well!

    1. Oh YES!!! Completely agree --at least about the cinnamon roll! ;)


Thanks so much for stopping by! I always love to hear your thoughts! Remember to: Speak Life - Be Love - Shine On!

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