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1

Robin Steinweg: Sweet in the Middle

Posted by Julie on September 13, 2017 in encouragement, God's Word, Guest blogger, Julie Arduini, Life Lessons |

 

Stuck in the Sweet in the Middle

by Robin Steinweg

 

Do you ever feel you’re in that awkward, in-between stage? I sure do!

 

I recently spent years stuck in a crushing middle. Round and round I turned from the growing needs of aging parents to those of growing sons to those of work. I’d carve hours from sleepless nights to write, compose, or read. More often to pray. My husband accepted leftovers with grace and gratitude. Not just food, but time and energy. He was stuck in his own middle, caring for his dad and doing more for my parents than can be recorded.

 

Sweet in the Middle by Robin Steinweg

Now our parents are gone. I’m living in the middle of grief, rediscovering who I am if no longer a caregiver. Looking to experience—and to pass on—the rich life Jesus came to give us (John 10:10). Know what? God shows me things I can do so He can help me move forward. I’m not stuck here. I get to be here, where it can be sweet in the middle!

 

If you’re in the midst of circumstances or even past them, it’s never too late to rediscover who you are. Try some of the following:

 

  • Develop friendships with people who will build you up.
  • Find ways to build others up.
  • Journal what you’re going through as a way to release feelings.
  • Photo journal or doodle journal.
  • Admit if you need help.
  • Get more color in your surroundings/clothing.
  • List your blessings.
  • Express more gratitude.
  • Find ways to expand or share your hobbies.
  • Join a book club.
  • Volunteer to help others.
  • If you have grieving to do, do it whole-heartedly. But don’t stay there.
  • Live fully. Enjoy what God gives you to enjoy.
  • Dream again. Don’t hold back—dream big. What does God have for you next?

 

These ideas have helped. Yes, I still pick up the phone to call my mom or find jigsaw puzzles for my dad. I still if wonder I could have, should have done more for them. Guilt and remorse creep in.

 

But I realize that’s the voice of our enemy, the accuser. So I intentionally turn to words of life in God’s Word. I leave my broken heart at Jesus’ feet. I embrace the blessings He sends my way.

I affirm this truth: It is Sweet in the Middle!

 

About the Author:

Robin Steinweg says life is like a sandwich-cookie. Whatever circumstances close in on us, it can be Sweet in the Middle. Her writings can be found in Today’s Christian Woman, Upper Room, Secret Place and The Christian Pulse. She also writes monthly for Music Teachers Helper blog.

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3

What 45 Looks Like on Me

Posted by Julie on March 28, 2015 in About Me, encouragement, Julie Arduini, Life Lessons, surrender |

Each year around my birthday I take a selfie or have a kid snap a picture and share what I’m experiencing. In this year of “revive” I have another hair change planned and new glasses so I’ll wait and post one from February.

February2015_edited_editedWow. 45. That’s a crazy number. Thirty didn’t bother me because I felt right on track for goals and God’s direction. Forty wasn’t too bad because the thirties had been tough, tough years in many ways.

Forty-five?

That’s inching to fifty. Yikes!

I’m at a place where we have a teen driving and getting college mail. Our talks aren’t about Blue’s Clues and dogs, they are about relationships, faith and the future. We watch Vines and Jimmy Fallon.

We also have a tween and this year especially we’ve noted the change. She wears headphones a lot and retreats to her room. She’s finding me more often for girl chat, if she looks for anyone at all. She’s caring more about her appearance and rolling her eyes more than I like (because even once is more than what I like.)

My husband and I are talking about parents and hospital stays. When is a pet’s life no longer quality. Parts of the job that aren’t fun. Grown up stuff that isn’t full of laughs.

Then there are the changes. New home and transition. Being published and trying to savor that but needing to be working on the next thing, while marketing. Realizing more change is on the horizon.

And being tired.

So very, very tired.

As up to date and current as I’d like to think I am, and our son’s friends are kind enough to play around, I feel that age, especially with bad knees. There are times I see more of my chiropractor than my husband and that’s sad. The supplements I take doubled since last year. I can’t stay up as late as I have in the past, not without a mandatory nap the next day.

It’s a transition time and that’s a little scary, but what is secure in my life—my faith and family, that gives me the courage to take a breath and move forward.

That’s 45 on me.

What about you? What does your current age look like on you?



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